Slayer have completed work on their 11th album – and they already have six tracks for their 12th, Kerry King has revealed.
But the guitarist admits it was difficult working in the studio for the first time without late bandmate Jeff Hanneman.
Frontman Tom Araya last month described the experience as “odd and strange.”
King tells That Metal Show: “The weirdest thing for me was the lack of his presence. I played all the stuff, which I had been doing – that part was the same.
“But having the guy I wrote all the records with all those years not be there, that was really weird. It was just me and Tom, pretty much.”
He last week confirmed that, while Hanneman’s track_ Piano Wire_ appears on the follow-up to 2009’s World Painted Blood, the guitarist’s playing doesn’t feature.
Now he adds: “I think the assumption was, it’s Jeff’s song, we recorded it for World Painted Blood. They assumed Jeff played on it. But as everybody knows, I’ve done Jeff’s rhythm tracks since the 90s – and he has no lead on it, so it’s only me.”
The as-yet unnamed album features the return of drummer Paul Bostaph, who laid down his own version of Piano Wire. It also includes the band’s first recorded work with Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who’s been with them for five years.
King reports: “A lot of times I’d just turn Paul loose, because he’s got good ideas. We had Holt play on seven, eight songs, guitar lead-wise. I thought that’s how the fans would accept Gary being on any part of a Slayer record to start with.”
And while the band’s 12th album may be years away, he says: “There’s six songs towards the next one that are already recorded – so we did a lot.”
One of those tracks is the last piece Hanneman completed before his death in 2013.