The first music from Kerry King's new band sounds "crushing" and is "on par with SLAYER," according to an American radio DJ who got an early preview of the project.
Nikki Blakk, who pioneered San Francisco Bay Area's rock radio station 107.7 The Bone, heard most of the songs that will appear on the debut album from King's new group while visiting Kerry and his wife Ayesha at their home in New York City earlier this week.
On Friday (July 29), Nikki took to her Facebook page to share a photo of her with the couple, and she included the following message: "I heard the new #KerryKing songs last night & they are CRUSHING. The world hasn't been the same without SLAYER But, now I'm looking forward to 2023. …and yes, I know who's in the band, but NO, I won't tell you. Sorry Blabbermouth.net #AboutLastNight #Slayer #NotSlayer #Metal".
When pressed for more details about the music by some of her Facebook followers, Nikki added in the comments: "It sounds killer! I loved all of it. Not a clunker in the bunch! I think I heard 8 or 9 songs."
After one of her Facebook friends opined that late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote the group's best songs "that will never be outdone by Kerry's new band" and that original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo is "the greatest thrash metal drummer ever", implying that Lombardo's replacement, Paul Bostaph, is an inferior musician, Blakk countered with: "Jeff wrote a lot of their greatest songs, but far from all of them. Not to mention, many were written by King/Hanneman together." She added: "I'm not going to have the Lombardo/Bostaph argument, cause they're both killer drummers, but they couldn't be more different in style, for 2 guys who played the same songs. Personally, I'm #TeamBostaph, but it's purely subjective. Lastly, Kerry was a major contributor to the SLAYER sound and towards the end, he orchestrated nearly all of it, so anything he does will be on par with SLAYER."
Earlier this month, Kerry spoke to Metal Hammer magazine about his post-SLAYER project, saying that "won't be dragging [his] feet much longer" when it comes to going back on the road.
Nearly two years after he revealed that he had more than two records' worth of music written for his new band, King stated about the new material's direction: "You know me, so you know what it's going to sound like. I played this new song for a buddy, and I said to him, 'If there's anything I've written in the last few years that sounds like SLAYER, it's this.' And he said, 'That sounds like you could have pulled it off of any SLAYER record.' I actually made that riff up backstage at a SLAYER show. We were walking to the stage and I got my phone out and recorded it so I wouldn't forget it."
While King was reluctant to reveal the rest of the lineup of his new band, he confirmed the involvement of Bostaph.
"We just started rehearsing and the only person I can give away is Paul because I took him from SLAYER and we work very well together," the 58-year-old guitarist said. "We didn't start rehearsing until the end of March, and that was the first time since that last SLAYER show at the end of 2019 that me and Paul finally got into a room together."
King went on to say that he expects his new band to start out by playing "much smaller" venues than SLAYER did at the end of its four-decade run.
"Had it have been up to me then I'd have been out in 2020," he said. "But that thing called the pandemic fucked everything up for everyone. You know, I waited on that, because it had to run its course. I didn't want to be the guinea pig; I didn't want to learn how to tour again. I already did my dues; I don't want to have to prove myself again.
"Have I been dragging my feet? Yeah, because I wanted this [pandemic] shit to get sorted. I won't be dragging my feet much longer."
SLAYER played the final show of its farewell tour in November 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles. One day later, Ayesha King said that there is "not a chance in hell" that the thrash metal icons will reunite for more live appearances. In August 2020, she once again shot down the possibility of her husband and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya sharing the stage ever again under the SLAYER banner.
After Ayesha shared three photos of Kerry holding their cat in slideshow-type Instagram post, a fan wrote: "No Tom, No SLAYER Kerry. Stop thinking SLAYER without @tomarayaofficial". Ayesha then replied: "don't worry, they'll never be SLAYER again! You can rest easy".
That same month, Bostaph confirmed that he is involved in a brand new project headed up by Kerry. Paul told Australia's Riff Crew that the new band will "sound like SLAYER without it being SLAYER — but not intentionally so. I mean, Kerry's been writing songs in SLAYER his entire career, and he has a style," he explained. "And that style, as a songwriter, you just don't change your style because your band is done… So, all I can say is if you like heavy music and you like SLAYER, you'll like this."
Just a few days earlier, Kerry told Dean Guitars that he had plenty of musical ideas for his upcoming project. "I've been very, very lucky with riffs in 2020," he said. "Maybe because I can't go anywhere — I don't know — but riffs have certainly not been a problem. And looking forward into the future, what that means for me is I'm gonna be able to cherrypick the best stuff. And it's good stuff. I've got more than two records' worth of music, but to be able to go through that and cherrypick the best 11 or 12 [songs]… That first record should be smoking."
When SLAYER first announced that it was embarking on its final tour back in January 2018, Ayesha assured fans that they would "always get music" from her husband.
King has said in previous interviews that his post-SLAYER musical efforts would not be much different from the sound fans have grown accustomed to hearing from him.
"If someone quit, I'm not going to go around with a made-up SLAYER," he told AZCentral.com back in 2010. "But my next band would sound like SLAYER, that's all I know."
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.
Photo credit: Chad Lee for Dean Guitars
I heard the new #KerryKing songs last night & they are CRUSHING🤘😆🤘 The world hasn’t been the same without Slayer But,...
Posted by Nikki Blakk on Friday, July 29, 2022