Tom Araya Calls Repentless “Half of Slayer”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Slayer QuotesSome people really like Repentless and some people don’t. But regardless of how you feel about the quality of the record, there is one thing upon which all reasonable people must agree: the band that made it isn’t really Slayer. It’s irrelevant that Kerry King turned out to be as good at ripping off Jeff Hanneman as a billion other bands are; when you say the name “Slayer” to a metal fan, they aren’t going to immediately think of Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph. Good or bad, Repentless is a Slayer record in name only.

One reasonable person who seems to all-but-explicitly agree: Tom Araya. In a recent interview with German workout magazine Rock Hard, Araya called Repentless “really good for half of Slayer” before making this sad admission:

“But deep inside, I know… I know that Jeff’s not here, and that we were lucky enough to have a song of his on the record. So that, to me, was… ‘Oh my God, this is Slayer.’ But inside I correct myself. I go, ‘Well, half of Slayer, but this is Slayer.’”

What Araya is saying, essentially, is that they made a really good facsimile of a Slayer album. (Which, again, is fair enough — you can’t begrudge King for aping his friend’s style when everyone else has already been doing so for decades.) But this isn’t the first time that Araya has all but proclaimed Slayer to be have died with Hanneman, and that makes me wonder why Araya agrees to keep dragging this old, sick horse through the mud, and that makes me realize there’s only one logical answer (which I shouldn’t have to spell out for you), and that logical answer makes me wanna cry.

I leave you with this astute observation made by the right honorable Mr. Vincent Neilstein, Esq. during an e-mail exchange regarding this interview:

“Araya implicitly states that at this point they have to try their damnedest to ‘sound like Slayer.’ As in, ‘That doesn’t come naturally anymore,’ whether it’s ‘half of Slayer’ or not. It’s an aesthetic they have to focus on recreating.”

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[via; thanks to Verklempt Vikernes for the tip!]

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