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Slayer: Still Reigning

Following the shocking death of Jeff Hanneman, Slayer faced an uncertain future. Metal Hammer spoke to Tom Araya and Kerry King about the new songs honouring their brother’s name...

There’s a storm brewing. If you identify as a metalhead, you can probably feel it. A new Slayer album, the first since 2009’s World Painted Blood, is looming over the horizon, and it’s time to brace those neck muscles and prepare yourself for a fresh onslaught. But, of course, things are very different this time around.

In the six years since Slayer last released an album, they’ve had to weather a more emotionally gruelling storm, as the untimely death of founder member, songwriting genius and talismanic icon Jeff Hanneman in 2013 whipped the rug from under the legends’ feet and plunged them into a well of uncertainty unlike anything they’d previously experienced. The overwhelming outpouring of grief that bled from the global metal community after Jeff’s passing said it all about his impact on our world and, more pertinently, his significance in Slayer’s birth, evolution and prominence.

Perhaps understandably, many speculated that, without Jeff, Slayer would never be the same. Some even suggested that the band should quit altogether. But this is fuckin’ Slayer: not just one of the greatest bands in our genre’s history, but a fundamental cornerstone of everything that our genre stands for. And now they’re back.

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