Slayer fans everywhere shared a melancholy moment when the band announced they would be touring for the last time. They (somewhat) officially played their last show in November of 2019 at the Los Angeles Forum.
Now, in the typical never say die spirit of most rock n’ rollers, rumors are surfacing that the band may be continuing on replacing front man Tom Araya with former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo.
The rumor originated in an online exchange between Slayer’s most recent drummer, Paul Bostaph and fellow percussionist Jason Bittner (Overkill, Shadows Fall, etc.) During the exchange, Bittner asks Bostaph about what he has planned for the future. Bostaph replied by saying, “Something is brewing with a friend of mine that is very familiar to you.” Bittner responded, “Everyone knows that by now.”
Bittner was referring to rumors that have been surfacing in the heavy metal community regarding a possible reformation of Slayer featuring founding member Kerry King along with Anselmo. The lineup is also rumored to include the most recent Slayer guitarist, Gary Holt (formerly of Exodus) and, of course, Bostaph.
There is no word on who would be playing bass. In the past, Araya was both the bass player and lead singer for the band.
Although the metal community is certainly buzzing with this rumor, other than Bostaph’s quote, there is no confirmation that the band will actually be reforming. In fact, Gary Holt was quoted as saying that he would be making Exodus a priority now that Slayer was no longer touring.
King, on the other hand, just did an interview with Guitar World magazine concerning his new Dean signature guitar. When asked whether he would be releasing new music now that Slayer decided to call it quits, the guitarist responded, “Dean didn’t sign me for nothing.”
Furthermore, there is no question that the band had plenty of opportunity to bond with Anselmo in a personal and professional manner. Anselmo supported Slayer on the last leg of their farewell tour playing with his Pantera tribute band, “Phil H. Anselmo & The Illegals”.
Slayer first announced their retirement and final tour on January 22, 2018 with a montage video that showed footage and clippings that spanned the band’s career. The band expressed that they were wrapping things up due to Araya’s desire to no longer be on the road and spend more time with his family.
The farewell tour kicked off in the spring of 2018 and continued into 2019 with dates in North America, South America and Europe. They finished things off with the November 30 date. At the end of the performance, the band and crew got on the stage to hug and say goodbye and Araya thanked the fans for their support throughout the years.
Despite the news that’s going around, word is that this should be treated as a rumor only until anything solid is confirmed. However, if it does happen, we would definitely be looking forward to Anselmo’s take of Raining Blood.