Slayer - bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, guitarist Kerry King, and returning drummer Paul Bostaph, along with touring guitarist Gary Holt and producer Terry Date - has completed recording what is one of the most highly-anticipated albums of 2015, Slayer's 11th studio album and the band's first new effort since 2011's Grammy-nominated World Painted Blood. The currently untitled album is expected out later this year, and will be released on Slayer's own as yet unnamed label (through Nuclear Blast).
Slayer will tour extensively to support the new album, headlining this summer's Mayhem Festival as well as playing other major outdoor festivals and several "An Evening With..." Slayer-only concerts. The confirmed itinerary is below.
Following Slayer's studio sessions in March 2014 that yielded the track "Implode," offered by the band as a free download, Slayer recorded on and off between September and mid-January at L.A.'s Henson Studios, and is currently mixing the album. Eleven songs have been recorded, but what will end up on the final track listing is yet to be determined. Early reports indicate that Slayer fans have a lot to look forward to - the new music is a sonic assault of brutal, ominous, lightening-fast and heavy-as-hell music with lyrics that unmask what Slayer knows best - the terror, the corruption and the societal turmoil that dominates our world.
"The new songs have that iconic Slayer feel," said Nuclear Blast America's General Manager Gerardo Martinez. "Tom's vocals are probably the best I've heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal."
Fans got a second preview of the new album this past Saturday when another one of the new songs, "When The Stillness Comes," was released as a limited-edition (only 5000 copies worldwide), seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusive for Record Store Day.
The new album marks the first time Slayer has worked with producer Terry Date (Slipknot, Soundgarden, Deftones), Bostaph's return to the Slayer recording line-up since 2001's God Hates Us All, and Holt's first appearance on a Slayer album. It's also the first Slayer album without the presence of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, athough a Hanneman-penned song is on the final track listing.
According to Araya, "Jeff had always been writing and demoing songs, even up until shortly before he passed. You can tell by the quality of his songwriting that this was his passion. There will be a song written by Jeff on the new album. Everything but the vocals had been completed, so we did the vocals and it's done. And there are a few more of Jeff's songs that we might record and release in the future."
"With this new album," added King, "Tom, Paul and I put all of our ideas out on to the table, working in a more collaborative way toward the ultimate heavy outcome. And I've got to give big props to Gary who played lead on several of the new songs. I think he got all of his leads done in one day - he's a maniac!"
Confirmed Slayer tour dates:
24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*
1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*
13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal
(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA
1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah's Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX
1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX
* "An Evening with..." headline dates
For nearly three decades, Slayer's onslaught has proven the band to be the supreme thrash-metal band on the planet. The two-time Grammy-winning band has also accumulated an abundance of Certified Gold Albums along with "Best..." awards from media outlets all over the world, including Kerrang!, SPIN, Metal Hammer, Revolver, and Esquire. Throughout Slayer's history, the band has never faltered in unleashing its extreme and focused sonic assault, and, unlike many of its contemporaries who "commercialized" their sound, Slayer has remained crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream. Slayer's founding member, guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed in 2013, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has been filling in since. Paul Bostaph, who was Slayer's drummer from '94 - '01, has rejoined bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King, and is back behind the kit. Slayer is set to release its 11th studio album later this year.