Slayer couldn't handle anyone but Holt

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Slayer have compared the addition of guitarist Gary Holt to AC/DC’s hiring of Brian Johnson.

The Exodus axeman has been a touring member since Jeff Hanneman took ill in 2011 and stayed on board after the co-founder’s death in 2013. He makes his first studio appearance with the band on their upcoming 11th album.

Mainman Kerry King tells Metal Hammer: “It’s one of the best fits in music history. It’s like Brian Johnson joining AC/DC – it’s a slam-dunk replacement, and you don’t get those very often.

“He was my first choice, and luckily I’ve been able to use my first choice since day one. Also, he’s from my own era. He’s been doing this for the exact same time that we have.”

Frontman Tom Araya believes the fact that Hanneman and Holt were friends made it easier on him. He says: “I thought I could handle that – but I couldn’t have handled anybody else.

“Gary was into it. He knew what was going on and he wanted to help in any way he could, so Gary made Slayer a comfortable place to be.”

Araya has also revealed that Hanneman’s death brought about a new level of communication in the band. The exclusive interview appears in the current edition of Metal Hammer, on sale now.