Slayer’s lead guitarist Kerry King talked about the band’s albums from past to present and unveiled the album in which they sound just like another band during a recent conversation with Noisey.
In the interview, Kerry pointed out that the bands often emulate their heroes during their first albums, and they get to find their own direction and sound mostly after the release of the second record. However, Kerry admitted that Slayer couldn’t do such a thing.
Kerry Says ‘Hell Awaits’ Is Actually A Mercyful Fate Record
‘Hell Awaits’ is the second studio album released back in 1985, two years after their debut album. Also, it features one of the band’s most versatile and progressive sounds. In addition to that, the tracks are longer than the usual Slayer songs, averaging about five minutes.
In the conversation, Kerry revealed the main reason why this record was different than the others. As Kerry said, he and Jeff Hanneman got into Merciful Fate around that time, which inspired them and their music. Consequently, the album they created sounded very similar to them. Kerry even said that if King Diamond were singing the vocals, people would think it is a Merciful Fate album.
Kerry on ‘Hell Awaits’ recording:
“The first album, you emulate your heroes; the second one, you gotta start finding your own direction. And our second record is a Mercyful Fate record.
You can tell me and Jeff were so into Mercyful Fate ’cause our songs got longer, we put all kinds of riff changes in it.
Aside from Tom singing – you put King Diamond on there and you’d probably think it’s a Mercyful Fate record.”
The Album That Made Slayer Become Slayer
A year after releasing ‘Hell Awaits,’ Slayer dropped one of the most famous metal albums of all time, ‘Reign In Blood.’ It was Slayer’s third studio album, but it was enough to create one of the most extreme thrash metal albums of that time.
‘Reign In Blood’ also featured Slayer’s greatest hits such as ‘Angel Of Death,’ ‘Raining Blood,’ and many more. However, the album only peaked at No. 47 in UK Albums and No. 94 in US Billboard 200.
In Kerry’s opinion, this album reflects what Slayer sounds like because they removed all the reverb and tried to stop being like other bands, such as Merciful Fate. Moreover, King stated that it represents the band’s sound that people have come to know, and that’s why ‘Reign In Blood’ is the album that made Slayer become Slayer.
Kerry King explained why ‘Reign In Blood’ is a pure Slayer record:
“‘Reign in Blood,’ when we took out all the reverb and stopped trying to be like Venom and Mercyful Fate, that’s where Slayer became Slayer and the sound you’ve known us for to this day.”
You can listen to the full interview below.