King has gone on record many times about his deep regret that Slayer hung it up too early. He’s also been staunchly protective of what he considers “true” metal over the years, often publicly critiquing his peers in Metallica, Machine Head, and more when they had album missteps that had them veering too far away from their heavy roots.
So, it’s always intriguing when Kerry shows rarely seen vulnerable side about what he deems to be the (few) creative missteps in Slayer’s legendary musical history.
Per a conversation with Rolling Stone, King said quite bluntly:
“There’s a handful of songs in our history that I’m like, ‘Goddamn, I hate that song.’ Like, I fucking despise Desire and I hate Cleanse The Soul.”
Desire was track 7 on 1998’s “Diabolus in Musica,” so it’s not entirely surprising that the track draws King’s ire, considering his overall thoughts and feelings about that record.
Speaking in “Metal Evolution”, Kerry said, “That’s the one record [Diabolus] 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.”
As mentioned previously, Desire isn’t the only bastard child in King’s eyes. Here’s his reasoning behind why he doesn’t like Cleanse The Soul (from 1998’s “South of Heaven”) either:
“That’s one of the black marks in our history, in my book. I just fucking think it’s horrible. [Laughs]
I hate the opening riff. It’s what we call a ‘happy riff.’ It’s just like ‘la-lala-la-la-la.’
I can’t see myself playing it, but after that, where it gets heavier, I like that section. If we ever did a medley, I’d put part of that in there.”
So there you have it folks. But to be fair, considering that Slayer has hundreds of songs in their musical canon, it’s actually kind of impressive that there’s only a handful of songs that King regrets.
If you’re unfamiliar with both tracks, check them out below and decide for yourself if King is being too harsh or not.