KERRY KING Announces Lineup Of Solo Band, Shares First Single 'Idle Hands'

February 5, 2024

SLAYER's Kerry King will release his debut solo album, "From Hell I Rise", on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music.

Joining the 59-year-old guitarist on the LP are DEATH ANGEL singer Mark Osegueda, longtime SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph, former HELLYEAH bassist Kyle Sanders, and ex-MACHINE HEAD and VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel.

The LP's first single, "Idle Hands", can be streamed below.

"From Hell I Rise" contains 13 tracks that were recorded with longtime LAMB OF GOD producer Josh Wilbur.

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, Kerry 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 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 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.'"

"From Hell I Rise" track listing:

01. Diablo
02. Where I Reign
03. Residue
04. Idle Hands
05. Trophies Of The Tyrant
06. Crucifixation
07. Tension
08. Everything I Hate About You
09. Toxic
10. Two Fists
11. Rage
12. Shrapnel
13. From Hell I Rise

In a recent interview with Consequence, King spoke about his collaboration with Wilbur, who has also worked with such acts as MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM and KORN.

"It's my first time working with [Josh], and we hit it off great," the guitarist said. "Can't wait to work on another one with him, and he feels the same way about the project, so hopefully that gets going sooner rather than later. Super easy to work with. The guy is a wizard on the computer. I mean when we're in there editing stuff or overdubbing anything, I'll do my part, or the singer or whoever is doing their fix or whatever, and he'll just go back and forth on the computer a few times, go 'Here, how's that?' I'm thinking, 'I have no fucking idea where you are dude. He's so quick, so easy to work with. It was spectacular."

Regarding the recording approach for his new album, King said: "It was very similar [to the way we worked in SLAYER]. First and foremost, I wrote most of the last SLAYER record, so people know what I sound like, people know how I write. This one I did one hundred percent of, so if you've ever liked anything I've done in the past, there's going to be something you're going to like on this one, if not the whole thing. I love the whole thing."

Elaborating on the new project's musical direction, Kerry said: "My sound is what we've done on the last, I couldn't tell you how many SLAYER records. And one thing I feel is that Josh really captured probably the closest to my live sound, because my live sound is very hard to get to tape. I think this is the closest it's ever been. So that's very exciting for me. And the rest of it, Paul's playing, so hell yeah, it's going to sound like SLAYER because he's got his own style. You know, screamy vocals — new guy — but you know, it's still definitely got the vibe."

Last month, Kerry told Metal Hammer magazine that the upcoming debut album from his solo project has been "done since June" 2023. Regarding the musical direction of his solo material, the 59-year-old musician said: "If I was ever to try anything different [from SLAYER], I guess that would be the time. But no, I really have no desire to do anything different. If I wasn't in SLAYER, I would be a SLAYER fan. So yes, I think it's an extension of SLAYER, and I think a lot of people will think it might have been the next record. I guess maybe 80% of it would have been, maybe it would have been exactly what I'm putting on this one. In my eyes, I think it's a definite extension, a follow-up to [SLAYER's 2015 final album] 'Repentless' for sure."

He continued: "There's definitely some fast stuff on it. It's not the fastest thing I've ever done, but I've done some pretty fast stuff. There's definitely some Herculean speeds getting achieved on this, but there's heavy stuff. There's punky stuff. There's doomy stuff. Pretty much any aspect of any kind of music we've done in our history, I think you'll find on this record."

Kerry added: "For me, the slowest [song] is similar in vibe to ['Repentless' track] 'When The Stillness Comes'. That one came out really cool and spooky. And then there was one where my entire intention was to write something like the SCORPIONS' 'Animal Magnetism' crossed with the 'chug' of 'Hell Awaits'. That one came together pretty early. I like that song a lot. I mean, I like all of them a lot, but that one, that one's got a different vibe for sure."

Kerry's new band, called simply KERRY KING, has announced two U.S. shows so far: May 9, 2024 at the Welcome To Rockville festival at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, and May 16, 2024 at the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival at the Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

SLAYER's final world tour began on May 10, 2018 with the band's intention to play as many places as possible, to make it easy for the fans to see one last SLAYER show and say goodbye. By the time the 18-month trek wrapped at the Forum, the band had completed seven tour legs plus a series of one-off major summer festivals, performing more than 140 shows in 30 countries and 40 U.S. states.

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