SLAYER has returned to the studio to resume recording its new album for a tentative early 2015 release. Helming the sessions is Terry Date, who previously worked with the band on the song "Implode", which was made available as a free download as a "thank you" to the band's fans for their continued support following SLAYER's surprise performance at this past April's Revolver Golden Gods awards in Los Angeles.
Joining guitarist Kerry King and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya in the studio for SLAYER's new album are returning drummer Paul Bostaph, who replaced Dave Lombardo last year, and guitarist Gary Holt (also of EXODUS), who has been filling in for Jeff Hanneman on tour for the past four and a half years.
Speaking to Jose Mangin, SiriusXM director of programming and on-air host (Liquid Metal, Ozzy's Boneyard, Octane), Araya stated about the progress of the recording sessions for the new CD: "We're just getting started, man. We're laying down drum tracks at the moment, but yeah, we're just getting started. I'd say we're two weeks into doing stuff."
Regarding the direction of the new SLAYER material, Araya said: "There's stuff that Kerry has been working on for the past almost two years, two and a half years.
"We started this whole process of writing a new album several years ago — three or four years ago — so it's been a long process; it's something that we've been doing for a while. So a lot of these songs have been around for a bit and now we're just trying to figure them out and make them good."
Araya also talked about SLAYER's collaboration with Date, saying, "He's awesome, dude. He's really, really good.
"We actually finished up a song that we're doing for somebody and we put that together in five days, and we went in and recorded it, we did all our parts, and then Terry mixed it and we presented it and it fuckin' sounds really heavy, man. [It] sounds awesome, sounds real fuckin' heavy."
SLAYER's next CD will be released on Nuclear Blast Records through the band's own label imprint, closing out a 28-year relationship with Rick Rubin and American Recordings. It will also be SLAYER's first album without the group's co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
"I never go online and see what people are talking about because people are ten foot tall behind a computer screen, you know?!" King told ARTE Concert at last month's Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany. "But, you know, a lot of [the reaction to 'Implode'] was positive, a lot of people said, 'For anybody that was worried about what SLAYER was gonna sound like post-Hanneman, don't worry about it.'"
He continued: "I know people are gonna think that [we can't make another quality album], people are gonna expect us to fail because it's the first record without Jeff; I get it. But I'm also very proud of what of we've done so far towards new material. It's fast, the slow stuff's heavy. I mean, it's… Everything that people liked SLAYER for in the past is on this record."
Bostaph was SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band — the gold-certified "Divine Intervention" (1994), the 1996 punk covers album "Undisputed Attitude", "Diabolus In Musica" (1998), "God Hates Us All" (2001) that received a Grammy nomination for "Best Metal Performance", as well as the DVD "War At The Warfield" (2001), also certified gold. In addition to SLAYER, Bostaph has been a member of FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, SYSTEMATIC and TESTAMENT.
Original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).