It was billed as "Hell and Heaven United," with Satan-loving Slayer co-headlining with Christian rockers Stryper. However, the September 23 Monterrey Metal Fest in Nuevo León, Mexico, was derailed "due to Slayer not wanting to share the stage with Stryper," according to an e-mail from show promoters.
"This came as a shock to us after eight months of long and very complicated negotiations with Slayer's booking agent.... We are looking at Saturday, November 18, 2006, as the new festival date." Before Slayer's cancellation was announced, the band's website indicated that they'd be appearing in Mexico City on the same day as the Monterrey festival. A band press release cites "personal reasons" for the pullout.
"I was literally booking our plane and hotel reservations when they sent word not to confirm anything yet," says Veronica Freeman, singer for Benedictum, which remains on the bill. "I think a lot of people will still show up. Deicide is still playing, and we heard a rumor they were trying to book Accept.... I wish they'd get Dio!" Benedictum's new album, Uncreation, was produced by Dio knob-twister Jeff Pilson and includes Dio vets Craig Goldy (guitar) and Jimmy Bain (bass).
Slayer's new album, Christ Illusion, was released 6-6-06; on their website that day, the band urged fans to "desecrate a few churches." The entreaty was removed a day later, after several churches reported being defaced by depictions of the band's logo.