Slayer 2015: Gary Holt (guitar), Tom Araya (bass/vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Paul Bostaph (drums)

Slayer is set to release their 11th studio LP.

It is the first release without co-founding band member Jeff Hanneman who passed in 2013.

Fortunately for fans, Henneman was present in the studio at the beginning of the recording process and managed to complete one as of yet unnamed track.

Tom Araya recently told Revolver: “The whole process of this album started three years ago, when Jeff was still a part of it. There is one track on there that we recorded with him, that he did play on, which was completely done except we hadn’t finalized the vocals for it. So we were fortunate to have something that he had participated in.”

Recording without his longtime band mate was something that weighed heavy on co-founder Araya.

“Ever since his passing, it’s been like that—just odd and strange, because he’s never gonna be there again, you know?” he says, with a noticeable sadness in his voice. “Even when we were doing stuff without him while he was still alive, that felt strange. Yeah, I missed him during the process. But the way things turned out, I think he was definitely a part of it, even if he wasn’t there physically.”

photo: Andrew Stuart

photo: Andrew Stuart

This new album also marks a departure from longtime producer Rick Rubin and his American Recordings label.

Terry Date (Pantera, Soundgarden, Korn) was chosen to usher in this new era of Slayer on record, which will be released under a Nuclear Blast imprint.

Gary Holt (Exodus) was invited in to do some solo work against guitarist Kerry King’s tracks. Holt had filled in for Slayer on tour during Hanneman’s illness, so he has proven worthy of the task.

“Kerry asked Gary to come in, and he shredded some leads on quite a few songs,” Araya recalls. “He came down and damaged his wrist. I’m serious! Well, he didn’t damage it, but his wrist was pretty sore—that’s what he claimed,” he laughs. “Gary gave it all—and he was a man about it, too!”

So until new Slayer… here is some classic Slayer…