Earlier this week, the metal community was electrified with excitement as former SLAYER guitarist Kerry King finally lifted the veil on his solo venture
With the unveiling of the project came the debut of the first single and the revelation of the band’s lineup. However, equally significant was the disclosure that some of the members of SLAYER are no longer on good terms.
In a revealing Rolling Stone interview accompanying the single’s release, Kerry King disclosed that he hasn’t had any communication with bassist/vocalist Tom Araya since the band’s farewell show in 2019. Furthermore, King declared Dave Lombardo as “dead to me.” Surprisingly, King also confessed that he played all the bass parts on every SLAYER release since the early ’90s, not Araya.
“I have done that” Kerry said. “Not on this, but since the early Nineties I’ve done all the rhythm guitars and all the bass [on Slayer records]. I’ve always done bass because my guy [Tom Araya] really didn’t.”
This revelation sent shockwaves through the metal community, prompting questions about the dynamics within SLAYER. With no response from Araya and the band, King‘s narrative appears to be the truth.
Regarding the band’s decision to disband, Kerry King has been vocal about his reluctance to call it quits, whereas Araya seemed ready to move on. King speculated that Araya may have been worn down by the demands of touring.
“We were on tour and some kid was interviewing [Araya], and he said something about, “I’ve got to get together with Kerry and talk before we talk about the next record.” He should have just said, “I’m probably not going to do another record,” or had that conversation with me before he mentioned anything like that.”We were on tour and some kid was interviewing him, and he said something about, “I’ve got to get together with Kerry and talk before we talk about the next record.” He should have just said, “I’m probably not going to do another record,” or had that conversation with me before he mentioned anything like that.
“I was just assuming, “Oh fuck, what’s this going to be?” And it was, “I’m done.” Not what I expected. But if you made that decision, I’m not going to try to talk you out of it because your heart’s not going to be in it anyway.”
Given King‘s comments and his solo project, it seems unlikely that we’ll see a SLAYER reunion anytime soon. Nevertheless, fans of SLAYER‘s later work can expect a continuation of that sound in Kerry King‘s solo material, which has been likened to “Repentless 2.0.“
King‘s solo album, “From Hell I Rise,” featuring 13 new tracks, is set to release on May 17, with pre-orders available now.
Collaborating with the seasoned 59-year-old guitarist on this project are Mark Osegueda, the vocalist from DEATH ANGEL, Paul Bostaph, the enduring drummer from SLAYER, Kyle Sanders, the former bassist of HELLYEAH, and Phil Demmel, the ex-guitarist of MACHINE HEAD and VIO-LENCE.
Comprising 13 tracks, “From Hell I Rise” was crafted in collaboration with the renowned producer Josh Wilbur, known for his longstanding partnership with LAMB OF GOD.
The LP’s first single, “Idle Hands“, can be heard below below.
Kerry King told Rolling Stone that the title track, “From Hell I Rise”, is one of two songs — along with “Rage” — on the album that he has carried over from SLAYER‘s “Repentless” sessions. “It was finished, we recorded it,” he says. “I wasn’t happy with the performance part of it, so I was like, ‘All right, I’ll put this in my back pocket until the next SLAYER record.’ And that didn’t happen, so it’s now on my record.”
Asked why he decided to call his band KERRY KING, the guitarist said: “I didn’t. It was going to be KING’S REIGN for a long time, which is really cool. But even with that one, I went to the guys, like, ‘I’m not a vain dude. I don’t want my name to be a part of it.’ We talked about BLOOD REIGN for a while, but it didn’t work. Every time I came up with anything remotely cool, it was taken by some obscure band in Eastern Europe. It became KERRY KING because I love that logo.”
Regarding how he put together his solo band, KerryKing said: “I knew Paul was going to be with me. My original intent was to have [SLAYER guitarist] Gary Holt but the farther I got away from SLAYER, the more I thought people would call this band “SLAYER Light” or “Baby SLAYER.” They’re going to say that anyway, so I didn’t need to fuel that fire. There was no falling out between me and Gary.
“Demmel came out with SLAYER at the end of 2018 to fill in for Gary for four shows,” he continued. “What he did for us, I don’t think I could do for any band on the planet. He had basically two days to watch [SLAYER] play so he could know where the pyro was and the tempo of our set. I couldn’t do that for JUDAS PRIEST, and I’m a giant PRIEST guy. With this, Bostaph said, ‘Hey, what about Demmel [for the new band]?’ I texted him. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I just got done with MACHINE HEAD the day before yesterday.’ I went, ‘Well, that’s kind of perfect.’
As for Osegueda‘s addition to the band, Kerry King said: “With Mark, he was on board early on. I just didn’t pull that trigger. I was like, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ Say for instance, [JUDAS PRIEST‘s] Rob Halford calls me and says, ‘Hey, I would love to be your singer,’ I’d have to go that way.”
King also confirmed that PANTERA‘s Philip Anselmo was “considered” as a possible singer for his new project. “My management, my promoter, my record label all wanted Phil,” Kerry King said. “Phil‘s a good friend of mine, but I always thought he’s not the right guy. That has nothing to do with his ability; I just knew he wasn’t the right guy. When you hear Mark on this record, you know that’s the guy.
“I had to do due diligence, because at the end of the day, had Philip been the guy, we’d be in arenas immediately because we could play new stuff, we could play PANTERA, we could play SLAYER, and fans would’ve been happy. It ended when the PANTERA thing came up.
“I saw Mark a few years back singing covers of MINOR THREAT and cameo in THE WEDDING BAND with members of METALLICA. It was different from what he does in DEATH ANGEL, and he sounded great. He’s super versatile. He took steps to make this different than DEATH ANGEL. I don’t touch on probably 50 percent of what he can do on the album.
“Mark knew how I expected the songs to be performed. On my demos, I sing with very good conviction, but I don’t have pipes; that’s why I don’t sing. With ‘Residue’, he sounded so good I had to ask him, ‘Is this sustainable? I don’t want you to blow your load on this record and then blow your voice out every third show.’ And he swore up and down he could do it. He went on to some of the harder ones and did the same thing on those, so I went, ‘Okay.’”