Metal Hammer recently interviewed Slayer guitarist and co-founder Kerry King. During their conversation, the musician shared his opinions on Metallica’s ‘The Black Album’ while explaining why he liked it despite the change in their sound.
As you know, Slayer is one of the ‘big four’ thrash metal bands, and their huge success secured their position and reputation within the rock and metal industry. However, they decided to disband and ended their long journey with a farewell tour towards the end of 2019. Their fans were devastated after receiving the news, and they are still expecting a reunion.
Although metal bands are expected to be rivals, that hasn’t always been the case. Their constructive criticisms towards each other have also helped them improve. Thus, King’s recent statements on Metallica’s ‘The Black Album’ aroused interest since it is considered one of the greatest albums in metal history. Metallica recently released a remastered version of the album to celebrate its remarkable success and 30th anniversary. However, ‘The Black Album’ has sparked many debates ever since its release, especially within the thrash metal community.
‘The Black Album’ is the band’s best-selling record, but it also marked a change in their sound since it’s closer to rock. It sold 17.3 million copies in the U.S. alone, and it was in the top ten until August 1992. In a previous interview, King had talked about the album and said that Metallica still stands owing to their past achievements, although he appreciates them as a legendary band. The guitarist had also stated that Metallica organized many tours for ‘The Black Album’ although some fans were not quite content with the band’s changing sound.
During his recent conversation with Metal Hammer, King was asked about ‘The Black Album’ again, but surprisingly he responded in a rather unexpected way this time. The musician said that he has liked it since the first day, but he doesn’t think it is thrash metal. Kerry King later added that ‘The Black Album’ is slow, heavy, and catchy.
Here is how Kerry King responded to the question about his reaction to ‘The Black Album’:
“I may not have been super-stoked on it, but I never hated it the way a lot of people did. To this day, I like that record a lot. I think it’s Metallica, but I don’t think it’s thrash Metallica. You can hear where all the influences come from, from all of their older stuff. They just super-slowed it down and made it super-heavy; they made it super-catchy.
That record probably sold more than all of my records combined. There was so much grief over that when it came out. And to be honest with you, everything that came out after that for a long time, that’s what I have a problem with. But ‘The Black Album’? It’s still heavy. It’s got some fast stuff on it.”
King then expressed that ‘The Black Album’ is the first thing that comes to his mind when someone utters the name Metallica and said he considers it their most outstanding accomplishment. He also commented on his relationship with Metallica and said that he is familiar with the band members, but they are not close friends.