Gary Holt Prepared to Write Slayer Music

Current Slayer guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus), who replaced former primary songwriter Jeff Hanneman after Hanneman contracted necrotising fasciitis from a spider bite and drank himself to death, told Ultimate-Guitar that he is prepared to write new music for Slayer. This can only be an improvement as Kerry King wrote all of the godawful Repentless.

“I’m certainly well prepared to do it.
“I get a lot of people saying, ‘Oh yeah he plays for Exodus, but can he write a Slayer song?’
“You know, quite often the difference between an Exodus song and a Slayer song is just note selection. It’s all thrash metal.
“You can differentiate the subtleties like Kreator is more melodic than Exodus and Slayer is more chromatic.
“I’ve played in the band long enough to where I think I have a good enough insight into how a slayer song goes versus an Exodus song.
“So I’m ready to go if and when the time arrives.”

Holt does not recognize that Slayer effectively wrote melodically coherent riff mazes in death metal style and that Kreator were random. He is however, right on about Slayer’s riffing mostly be chromatic and Kreator engaging in major scale idiocy. Even if Holt utilizes chromatic triplet riffs he was unable to make work in Exodus and works them into simplified, Reign in Blood¬†or Seasons in the Abyss style compositions, that would still be a great improvement over Slayer’s recent work.

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22 thoughts on “Gary Holt Prepared to Write Slayer Music”

  1. Gardens of Grief Gnome says:

    Exodus is fucking lame. How much worse can new Slayer get? The only alive songwriter barely gets it…

  2. Necronomeconomist says:

    “quite often the difference between an Exodus song and a Slayer song is just note selection. ”

    WOW. I’ve only heard “Bonded ‘n Blood” — got bored quick — but this seems like a REALLY deluded claim. Like, “Yeah man, my other band was like Slayer but with the notes rearranged. It’s all one love, we’re all equal co-progenitors of death/black metal.”

    1. Gardens of Grief Gnome says:

      In all fairness, the new Slayer music videos sound like Drowning Pool meets Metallica’s Load with an “allusion to past” riff thrown in for those not paying attention. Not too different from Exodus in the lack of direction.

    2. GGALLIN1776 says:

      Listen to Dukes era stuff, much better than the rest. Everything with Steve sucks.

      1. canadaspaceman says:

        dukes fan? ok, will have to revisit those albums, maybe I was biased. It took me years to finally accept Steve was as good as Paul. But Steve still sucked for leaving legacy/testament. what a knob.

  3. Gardens of Grief Gnome says:

    If he starts writing music for Slayer, it will sound like Epidemic meets an angrier Metallica’s Fuel. Still bad.

  4. GGALLIN1776 says:

    They should’ve broken up when Jeff died, I hope Gary improves things but I don’t have high hopes.

    1. you're gay says:


      no Hanneman = no Slayer

      1. Slayer really had three audiences. Their releases up through South Of Heaven were for the core audience that also branched out to death and black metal, their stuff from Divine Intervention onward aimed at the Pantera/Meshuggah/numu crowd, and their new material with Holt is aimed at 80s retro audiences. So, this is several bands in one. I miss Hanneman and will always revere his talent and wisdom, but the classic era was really the only Slayer that fits my listening profile, and they had not doing anything with that for 25 years at the time of his death.

        1. Uncle Sam says:

          I mostly agree, but it seems worthwhile to point out that even as far back as the mid 90’s Jeff was suffering from arthritis and drinking his way through it – to the degree that there are videos where he leaves the stage because he cannot play the song. And then there are stories about how he reacted backstage – which of course would be nobody’s business but his own – but the point there is that this might help explain how Slayer became Kerry King’s band a lot earlier than people recognize. And of course after a certain point when Jeff still wrote songs Kerry was the one performing his parts in the studio, which I think says a lot.

          Well before the arm injury it was very evident in live videos that Jeff just could not play up to par anymore due to his physical state, and I suspect that had a negative influence on his ability to write music because apparently he lived for being on stage.

          In short, I don’t think it was entirely a shift in his creative input that resulted in Slayer’s downfall, but more his emotional state due to his declining ability to physically do what he was best at. I think he gradually gave the band away because he couldn’t do it anymore, and this began happening far longer ago than the arm injury. Maybe I’m wrong, but after learning about the physical and subsequent emotional issues he went through a lot of Slayer’s catalogue began to make more sense to me.

          Still, an absolute inspiration. Going back through their classics it is amazing to consider what he was responsible for.

          1. Interesting. It is entirely possible that this was a classic case of a musician alienated from what he loved. However, he seemed to be able to execute the Slayer songs live when I saw them over the years. For me, Divine Intervention was the official “we are out of ideas and want the Pantera audience” record, following up on the more rock-like followup to South of Heaven, Seasons In The Abyss. At that point, it seemed to me that Slayer was no longer what it had been, and that was fine because what they did in five releases — Show No Mercy (Wohs On Ycrem), Hell Awaits (Lleh Stiawa), Haunting the Chapel (Gnitnuah Eht Lepahc), Reign in Blood (Ngier Ni Doolb), and South Of Heaven (Htuos Fo Nevaeh) — outpaced what the rest of the genre was doing from 1982-1988. Without Slayer, Bathory and Hellhammer, there would be no underground metal. They took what Discharge and Iron Maiden were doing and turned it up to the next level. I do not mind their first live release, Live After Death (Evil Retfa Htaed), nor the classic Slayer bootlegs of live shows from the 1983-1988 “golden age” era. I remember getting ahold of Seasons In The Abyss and noticing how simplified the main riff on the first song was, and then oh wait there is a main riff, tied to the chorus and now the vocals are more important… hmm, not good signs, and then the album eventually peaked in some mournful song with actual singing about little children getting shot in the face or something. I tried to like that album for years, but could not.

            1. you're gay says:

              yes, classic era + Undisputed Attitude will always be Slayer for me

              But as long as Hanneman was alive I could still consider it nu-Slayer even if the music sucked. Now it’s just a joke. Old guys who don’t want to give up being rock stars. Just take old yeller out to the tree and shoot him and remember the good times. Because they were really fuckin good.

              1. I feel like I say this too much already, but when a band needs to shift style, it is time to start a new band in the new genre. Slayer had an initial crop of ideas, and when those were gone, it was time to start Slaytera and truly cut free from the style of music they once made. Had they executed the albums through South of Heaven and then quit and gone on to do something else, the metal world would have been shocked, but then adapted quickly, and the musicians would have had the freedom to do something else that they clearly craved.

          2. Uncle Sam says:

            Good points, and valuable info.

            For context, I didn’t even get in to slayer until about 20 years ago due to my age, so I’ve had to piece their history together from what I could find since I wasn’t there as things were unfolding.

            Above all I only truly care about the music, but there is this lingering curiosity of what went wrong and why metal bands can only seem to put out between one and three excellent albums. And since Jeff never seemed to have any interest in being a rock star (hardly did interviews, didn’t talk to fans, very reclusive, etc.) it has always remained a mystery to me how the primary songwriter for such an important band let things get to where they were.

            Possibly just a little bit of everything – physical deterioration, out of ideas, music industry demands, substance abuse, band politics…you know the rest. Or maybe he just didn’t want to be like Motorhead and put out the same album over and over again, but couldn’t think of anything new – but then hey there’s this nu metal fad and the other leader of the band is in to that so why not give it a try. At least it isn’t hard to play, and maybe we can make it better. Not sure.

            I wish more bands would do what Bolt Thrower did and admit that they’ve taken the concept as far as it can go, and that they would do this in order to preserve the integrity of what they had created thus far. Treat it like art.

  5. Goat Egg says:

    Kill all these thrash divas.

  6. canadaspaceman says:

    Bonded by Blood album was one of the blueprints for many bands to come.

  7. aol instant messenger says:

    Even Metallica are holding up better than modern Slayer. It’s butt-metal hessians don’t like but they still pretty much rule the world as far as laymen go. Slayer’s new shit is just, well, what’s its audience? Does anyone like it?

    1. you're gay says:

      the nostalgic and the undiscriminating

  8. ANUSAURUS says:

    They’re not going to quit – money is good y’know. Metal (‘dignity’) is finissshhed.

  9. Exfoliation says:

    Kerry King is probably pissed at his quotes “fuck that thrash shit man, we are beyond all that, we never were, we were always Slayer and just that” then he will throw an even bigger conniption when he hears that Gary’s riffs have no breakdown mosh riffs

  10. Cornrose says:

    Slayer has been beyond redemption for nearly 25 years now

  11. Glibert V says:

    Ser you Slayer!!!!

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