The Slayer Album That Kerry King Regrets Making

Kerry King photo via YouTube
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Not every thrash metal band can claim to have survived the late ‘90s in one piece. Although the nu metal craze may have been culminating around the same time, the titans of other metal genres were going through some rougher patches in their discography, from Judas Priest getting a new singer to Metallica and Megadeth going alternative on records like Load and Risk.

Slayer was always pure thrash from start to finish, but if you ask Kerry King, Diabolus in Musica is the moment where things started to go wrong.

After starting off the decade strong with Seasons in the Abyss, there was a little bit of a change musically with Diabolus in Musica, taking a few cues from the world of nu metal with some of the drum patterns, detuned riffs and more bouncy/groove-oriented parts.

Speaking in “Metal Evolution” years later, Kerry said, “That’s the one record that I really paid not enough attention to because I was really bitter about what kind of music was popular. I thought it was very frat boy stuff…and maybe that’s why it was popular. Diabolus didn’t get as much attention from me because we didn’t stay in focus.

Reiterating his point to Brave Words, King said: “Diabolus, I was kind of fuckin’… I wasn’t a train wreck personally. I was a train wreck by what was popular in music, and I didn’t understand it. And I let it get to me. I shouldn’t have done that. You know, hey, I ain’t perfect.

And I let it get me, and it showed in what I was making up. I mean, there were two or three good songs I wrote on Diabolus.”

This wasn’t just a little experiment for Slayer either, going on to tour for the record with bands like Deftones and Korn from around the same time, bringing “Raining Blood” to the same audience that was hyped to hear songs like “Freak on a Leash.”

Going through Diabolus, King addslooking back, we were just saying ‘alright, how do we make Slayer fit into today’s society? But that’s probably my least favorite record. That’s our {Judas Priest’s} Turbo.

Even Phil Anselmo felt the same about this period in the band’s time period, once saying:

“They leaned into what was popular you know? Remember when Kiss went disco when we were kids? They’re [Slayer] trying to stay up with the times.”

Going through the rest of the record though, you can still hear that classic Slayer intensity in their as well, almost like what you would hear if Slayer had collaborated with the likes of Pantera on a couple of tracks.

Even if Kerry might not look back that fondly on a record like this, this is the kind of record that got a lot of hungry nu metal kids into the more intense side of what metal had to offer.

Watch Kerry King Explain His Least Favorite Slayer Album In His Own Words: