Slayer have begun recording a new album, which they hope to have finished by September for an early 2013 release.
Guitarist Kerry King told Rolling Stone that the thrash metal kings have finished two songs that now need to be mixed, and have begun initial work on four other tracks as well.
They lay down the tracks with producer Greg Fidelman before heading off on the Mayhem Festival in the USA.
“If I get off my ass and start writing again on the road – since we’ve been in Europe, I keep trying to work on lyric ideas, maybe some leads, and fixing songs that didn’t work correctly – it should be a real quick process,” King told Rolling Stone.
The band has been working without guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is still recovering from a devastating attack of flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis on his right arm, believed to be caused by a spider bite. Hanneman joined the band for a two-song encore at the Big 4 Festival in Indio, California, but he hasn’t yet been able to tour or play over a long period with the band since.
King said Hanneman had been rehearsing occasionally with the band, and the door was wide open for him to return when all his health issues were sorted.
“After Mayhem we’ll reevaluate and see if he’s any closer,” King says.
“We’re planning for him to come back and the door is open, because it’s his fucking gig. If he can play, Jeff Hanneman is going to fucking be here, and I’m stoked about that.
“I love playing with Gary, and he’s doing a killer job, but if Jeff came back and said ‘I’m ready’, I’ll check him out to see that he’s ready, and off we go.”