In a recent interview with Loudwire, SLAYER frontman Tom Araya was asked if he thinks the band’s late guitarist, Jeff Hanneman, would have been proud of SLAYER‘s new album, “Repentless”.
He responded (as transcribed by Blabbermouth.net): “Yeah, I think he would have. When we first started… They were demoing a while ago. And Jeff was around, and I kept telling him, ‘Dude, you need to listen to some of the stuff. Help out here.’ And he’d show up to rehearsals and he’d listen and he’d leave. But I kept telling him, ‘You’ve gotta put your hands in this, because you can make things sound really good.’ So when we went into the studio after he passed, I was a little apprehensive, because SLAYER is a combination of the two of them [Hanneman and guitarist Kerry King] putting music ideas together, and so it was, really, to me… I felt it would be really lopsided, because SLAYER has two sounds: really aggressive and fast, but also aggressive and slow. So we started recording the songs and working on the ideas, and the more and more I worked on the vocal aspects of the songs, they started coming together. I was, like, ‘Okay, this sounds good. This is okay. This is good.’ And then when we were coming towards the end, and I would listen to everything, I thought, ‘Okay, this is SLAYER. This, to me, is SLAYER. This is gonna be good.’ So I figured once I could hear that, I knew that everybody would be okay with it. ‘Cause I’m a fan, and, you know, I wasn’t sure how things would turn out with Jeff not being present. But it sounded really, really good. It came out the way I’d hoped it would.”
“Repentless” was released on September 11, 2015, and is the first Slayer album to feature guitarist Gary Holt of EXODUS and the first to feature drummer Paul Bostaph since 2001’s God Hates Us All. Repentless is also SLAYER‘s first album following the death of Jeff Hanneman in 2013, and the band’s first album to be released on Nuclear Blast.