In an engaging conversation with Rolling Stone, Kerry King revealed the ensemble for his much-anticipated solo endeavor while sharing insights into his decision-making process, notably regarding why Phil Anselmo of Pantera wasn’t selected as the vocalist.
King’s debut album, titled ‘From Hell I Rise,’ is set to launch on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music. The album boasts a stellar lineup, including Mark Osegueda of Death Angel lending his vocals, Paul Bostaph, King’s compatriot from Slayer days on drums, Kyle Sanders of Hellyeah fame on bass, and Phil Demmel, known for his work with Machine Head and Vio-lence, on guitar.
Adding to this impressive roster is Josh Wilbur, a producer with credits for Lamb of God, who brings his expertise to the mix, ensuring the album’s 13 tracks resonate with the raw energy and intensity metal fans crave. King’s strategic selection of musicians underscores his intent to carve a distinct identity for his solo project, distinct from his influential tenure with Slayer. He elaborated on his decision to expand beyond his Slayer connections:
“While I was certain about Paul joining me, I initially considered Gary Holt. However, distancing myself from Slayer made me realize I wanted to avoid any perceptions of this being a derivative or ‘Slayer Lite’ version. It wasn’t about any rift with Gary; it was about crafting a new narrative.”
Phil Anselmo was heavily favored by King’s management, promoters, and record label to take on the vocal duties. Yet, King felt Anselmo wasn’t the perfect match for the project. He clarified:
“The industry figures were all rooting for Phil, and while he’s a close friend and an immense talent, something told me he wasn’t the one for this. Mark’s performance on the album will affirm my choice. It’s clear he was meant for this role.”
King further reflected on the significance of selecting the right voice for his project:
“I explored all possibilities because, with Philip, the path to large venues seemed assured, blending new material with Pantera and Slayer hits. However, my conviction solidified when the Pantera reunion emerged.”
Kerry King is confident that fans who appreciated his contributions to Slayer’s sound will find ‘From Hell I Rise’ equally compelling. In discussions about the album’s creation, he noted its similarity to Slayer’s sound, attributing this to his role in the songwriting, as he had with his former band. He praised Josh Wilbur for capturing a sound that mirrors the intensity of a live performance, promising an authentic metal experience.