Almost exactly a year after founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s untimely passing at age 49, Slayer have reemerged with not only their first new studio recording in five years, but a surprising departure from their longtime label. The Big Four’s most consistent horseman -- already recognized twice in the Decibel Hall of Fame -- had been a mainstay on American Recordings for 28 long and fruitful years, but after completing their 12th album later this fall (tentatively scheduled for early 2015), Slayer will be releasing new music on their own as-yet-unnamed imprint on Nuclear Blast. For a sample of what Kerry, Tom and now Paul Bostaph have in store, you can head to www.slayer.net to download new single “Implode” for free. If it sounds a bit different, it’s because the band is also parting ways with longtime producer Rick Rubin; “Implode” is produced by Terry Date and co-produced by Greg Fidelman.
“Rick has played a huge role in our career -- we’ve made some great albums with him,” frontman Tom Araya said in a press release earlier today. “But today is a new day, record companies don't play the kind of role they once did, and we really like the idea of going out on our own, connecting directly with our fans, and Nuclear Blast is fired up about taking on that challenge with us.”
“The prospect of helping Slayer take a leading role in the creative process surrounding their releases, projects and other cross-promotional opportunities is the ultimate honor for me, a metalhead who grew up in Los Angeles listening to Slayer,” added Nuclear Blast label manager Gerardo Martinez. “Nowhere in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Nuclear Blast would be making history alongside one of the best bands in metal.”