Single Review: Kerry King – “Idle Hands”

Press release below with more details, but here’s my take on new single “Idle Hands” which just dropped. In short… Slayer-lite. Actually, that’s not fair. Slayer-esque, maybe. I’d have been disappointed if King hadn’t released something that sounded like his longstanding famous band’s older material, and I’m not disappointed with “Idle Hands”. I just feel it’s about 90% of the way there, so I really can’t wait to hear the upcoming album so I can put it in context.

I think part of the issue is mine. King is synonymous with Slayer, arguably more of a recogniseable frontman than the actual frontman, Tom Araya. King is like Sabaton’s Joakim, an imposing and larger-than-life character who to some extent is the band. As a result when you see one, you expect the other. Quoted as saying that Slayer quit too early, it would be expected for Kerry King to continue along the same lines and “Idle Hands” doesn’t do a bad job. When you look at the lineup as well… ooft.

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Phil Demmel is well known to Machine Head fans, and did cover for Gary Holt on a handful of Slayer dates when Holt had to head home to deal with “real life”. Paul Bostaph… well, enough said. It’s lovely to see Kyle Sanders back in the limelight as he really put in a great shift with Hellyeah, and Mark Odegueda on vocals? Yes. Yes, that works. Sounding initially a bit more death-metally, as the track progresses I’m, yes, making the inevitable comparisons to Araya, which is unfair. He’s a different singer in a similar genre and he is more than capable of belting out the hatred over King’s trademark riffery.

If “Idle Hands” is a taste of things to come from the only full-time Slayer veteran to continue producing music, then it’s a good taste. From Hell I Rise is out on May 17th and King reckons he has enough material to already fill album number two. Colour me blood red with excitement.

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Header image by Adam Stuart Photography

Check out all the bands we review in 2024 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

Kerry King: facebook | instagram | spotify | youtube

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