Watch Phil Demmel make his Slayer debut in Copenhagen

As we reported yesterday, Slayer guitarist Gary Holt had to leave the band’s farewell European tour so he could fly back to the US and care for his ill father.

Former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel was brought into the fold at short notice – and he made his debut last night at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena.

Footage of his performance of Hell Awaits can be watched below, while Demmel has also spoken about it being an “honour” to be asked to help Slayer out.

Demmel says on Instagram: “Full circle. Karma. It’s so crazy how things work out. I got a text less than 24 hours after I played my last Machine Head note. Eleven years ago – almost to the day – I had to leave a tour to fly home to be with my family when my father passed away.

“Some amazing dudes stepped in to cover for me and to help the band out. I am filling in for a legend who was replaced by a legend in a legendary band on their farewell tour."

Demmel adds: “Despite the fact that Slayer is the reason I wanted to play heavy music, it’s beyond my utmost honour to be asked to do this. Learning 19 songs – not just Slayer songs – has been a daunting task and I have worked very hard to do Gary and the entire camp proud.”

Following the show, Demmel posted: “Never has 90 minutes gone by faster. Made a few mistakes but I feel really good about this first one. Much love to all of you for the ongoing support.”

Demmel played his last-ever show with Machine Head just over a week ago, after both he and Dave McClain reported in September that they would be leaving the group following the conclusion of the Freaks & Zeroes tour.

Following the latest run of dates, which will conclude in Helsinki on December 8, Slayer will take a few months off before a run of shows in Australia and New Zealand in March and have further performances planned throughout 2019

Holt will be back for the 2019 shows.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.