Since 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss came out two years after South of Heaven, Slayer haven’t exactly been in a rush to put out albums. If you don’t count 1996’s covers album, Undisputed Attitude, they’ve taken three to six years between albums. So it should come as no surprise that there’s no major rush for them to get in the studio and record a follow up to last year’s Repentless. That being said, during an interview with Jagermeister at the Bloodstock festival, Kerry King says that they’ve already made a solid amount of progress on the follow up, with songs written for it.
“We’ve got lots of leftover material from the last album, ’cause we wrote so much stuff, and we recorded a bunch of it too. If the lyrics don’t change the song musically, those songs are done. So we are way ahead of the ballgame without even doing anything for the next record. And I’ve been working on stuff on my downtime. Like, I’ll warm up and a riff will come to mind and I’ll record it. I’ve gotten a handful of those on this run. So wheels are still turning. I haven’t worked on anything lyrically yet except for what was done on the last record, so that’s something I’ve gotta get on. But, yeah, Repentless isn’t quite a year old yet.”
It might stand to reason they have more music, given that there was a six year break between World Painted Blood and Repentless. Of course given that they suffered the loss of Jeff Hanneman (not to mention Dave Lombardo’s departuer) in that time, it’s understandable why there was such a long break. But with music already recorded, King compares the inevitable follow-up to Repentless to Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, which were recorded around the same time and released a year apart.
“Me and Jeffwould usually write ’till we got around the ballpark of a record, and there might be two or three left over, but this time there’s, like, eight left over. Plus a lot of ideas, like half-songs. Like, the first half a song will go with another half a song. So we might be inching up on ten songs already, when I get down and think about it, and that’s very unique for Slayer, and very cool, because can do a one-two punch on this record… We could probably start doing something at the end of next year, but, man, we’ve still got a lot of touring going on next year. So I’m guessing… What’s this… ’16, ’17… I’m guessing it won’t be ’18 before we record anything.”
Well, looks like despite what Tom Araya might have alluded to, we’ve still got plenty more Slayer to look forward to. If they really wanted to rush things, they could probably put out a halfassed album this year, but that’s not their style.