In a brand new interview with the Cleveland Scene, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King spoke about his songwriting approach on "Repentless", the band's first album following the death of SLAYER's co-founding axeman Jeff Hanneman. He said: "[My goal] basically, [was] just having something that sounded relevant and songs that sounded different to each other.
"With one dude writing 90 percent of it, it's easy for the songs to all sound the same. I wanted to avoid that, though I wanted it to still sound like SLAYER. I wanted to come together as a good album.
"Recording with [new SLAYER guitarist] Gary [Holt], it wasn't a lot different. He contributed some leads, so when we would play live, he could contribute something.
"SLAYER has always been a two-guitar band, so that's always in my mind."
He continued: "As far as writing the music goes, maybe I overthought it, but I thought SLAYER fans might not be ready for a new SLAYER writer.
"We used one of Jeff's leftover songs. I think the lyrics are pretty typical. I always try to keep it really street.
"If we do demonic songs, of course, that's just fictional thoughts I made up in my head. The political ones like 'Take Control', I write in such a generic form that anyone can get something out of it. I'm not just bitching about my government. Everybody wants to take control, because the government sucks. Look at our scenario. People are thinking about voting for Donald Trump. What kind of farce is that? The two parties are so polarizing but they provide ammo for songs until the end of time."
King also talked about the fan reaction to "Repentless", which he says has been overwhelmingly positive.
"I'm proud that people came out and supported this record the way they did," he said. "It was worldwide No. 2, which is unheard of for a band like us, and it's unheard of for a band with a deceased guitar player and a carousel for drummers. The fans supported it, and we made a record they wanted us. The planets have aligned. That's on us. I just feel that if I'm not doing my job, and I don't bring it, don't pay me."
SLAYER's seven-week North American tour with ANTHRAX and DEATH ANGEL will kick off in Cleveland on September 9 and will hit both major and secondary markets across the continent.
"Repentless" debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 50,000 equivalent album units in the week ending September 17, 2015.