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Slayer's Kerry King string tension confusion

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  • #16
    Originally posted by superpete View Post
    tony iommi uses 8-38 tuned down to C# and it sounds heavy as hell. 9s down a half step isn't completely crazy.
    And to think we probably wouldn't know that the way we do right now if he handed accidentally chopped the tips of his fingers off.
    The opinions expressed above do not necessarily represent those of the poster and are to be considered suspect at best.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by dave74 View Post
      Jeff brought the musical substance and Kerry brought the image and persona IMO.
      Kerry was one helluva player and almost always on his game live until the mid 90's, then there was a marked decline IMO, probably just due to slightly reduced dedication.
      Some players (myself included) have to practice very often in order to speed-pick for long without cramping. Age and/or carpel-tunnel can vastly affect this too.

      Classic Slayer might not be rocket science or technical flash,,,,,,but I'd just love to hear some of the bashers due a valid War Ensemble cleanly at tempo, and then continue right into another ten songs,,,,,and no ballads in the middle for a break. It's not a just a normal set, it's a guitar sprintathon.

      His guitars used to be all BC Rich USA, and they of course used 24 5/8" on many of those original models back in the 80s.

      Low string tension and EMGs both promote a very soft playing touch, and that alone greatly reduces flop, thereby negating the need to raise the guitar's action.

      When you use larger gauges and/or tighter tension there is the natural adaption of touching the string slightly harder in order to have the same attack sound.
      I've never found that larger gauges and/or tighter tension allow for lower action, in fact the opposite ends up being true because you must compensate attack. (IMO)

      Personally I prefer turbo slinky 9.5-46 for Eb on 25 and 25.5" scales. Never had a 24 5/8".
      Slash uses 11-46 at Eb.

      I've always assumed that Kerry only used the EMG gain-booster for leads. His riffing tone was usually quite dry and crunchy.
      His Marshall heads were kt88 loaded from about the time he became friends with Zakk. Those lend a drier bark than the typical EL34's more saturated gain.
      To me Kerry is like the Lars Ulrich of guitars. He was absolutely essential in the creation of an iconic band and sound, started out as a player who is pushing for greatness on his instrument then when success struck he stuck to bare minimum and dealt with image and business more than music. Which is completely fine, someone has to do that too and it's better if some can do it from within the band, because that ensures, at least to a certain point, genuine care about the band itself. I agree that his stamina and endurance are great. I could not do a full Slayer set. But unfortunately there not much else to write home about in his playing in the past couple of decades. I think his greatness was in being a great tandem with Jeff and vice versa and when Jeff passed away it became painfully apparent that Kerry lost the complementary piece of his playing. Imagine Lars doing a solo record, written completely by himself and recorded with hired guns...

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      • #18
        I have no patience for Slayer-bashers that call themselves metal heads. Everything about that band is vital to everything that came after it.

        At the risk of sounding political, it would be like if some Uber-patriot said, “I think the Founding Fathers are pretty overrated.”
        "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
          I have no patience for Slayer-bashers that call themselves metal heads. Everything about that band is vital to everything that came after it.

          At the risk of sounding political, it would be like if some Uber-patriot said, “I think the Founding Fathers are pretty overrated.”
          There’s no way you’d literally have a handle “From Hell” and not know how important Slayer are. You tell em! Then take those unworthy guitar posers’ souls!

          Mike Patton said it best “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like Slayer” and if you don’t know who Mike Patton is, quit music altogether.
          The opinions expressed above do not necessarily represent those of the poster and are to be considered suspect at best.

          Lead guitarist and vocalist of...



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          • #20
            Originally posted by weepingminotaur View Post

            I don't know that I'd go that far, but he was certainly not the core of Slayer. Hanneman wrote all their best tunes. Araya has even hinted that Hanneman helped King with songs on which King appeared as the sole songwriter.

            But hey, that's JMO. I thought Repentless was mostly a ton of crap and an embarrassment to the legacy of Slayer. King's lack of songwriting prowess on full display.
            It sounds like you just cemented my point...
            The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
              I have no patience for Slayer-bashers that call themselves metal heads. Everything about that band is vital to everything that came after it.

              At the risk of sounding political, it would be like if some Uber-patriot said, “I think the Founding Fathers are pretty overrated.”
              So you have to buy in on Kerry King being able to play guitar in order to like Slayer? I Think the band is great for what it is. It was crucial in a movement of music and there is no doubting or questioning that. That fact that they peaked in 1987 and haven't written anything truly notable since Seasons in the Abyss isn't anybody's fault. It simply is what it is. Back in the days of their prime they were an immense force live. Heck, I have always enjoyed them live but that still doesn't mean Kerry King can play guitar. Jeff and Gary are a million miles ahead of him when it comes to talent.
              The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

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              • #22
                Just for the record: I LOVE Slayer. They are the cornerstone and root of multiple metal genres and my teenage faves together with Metallica and Megadeth. But being a flawless player doesn't equal great band or great music and playing in a great or innovative band doesn't mean that the band members are flawless masters of the instrument, nor is it required. Kerry King or Lars Ulrich proves my point. There is so much more to being a visionary innovator than being a great player. I did not mean it as bashing. There are thousands of 5 year old asians playing better than King or Hetfield or Mustaine. But they don't have the vision and creativity of those, so we won't hear about those great asian players in a few weeks from now, yet I'll alqays shriek with foaming mouth in a white eyed trance whenenver I hear Angel of Death or War Ensmble, even 30 years from now.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bogner View Post

                  So you have to buy in on Kerry King being able to play guitar in order to like Slayer? I Think the band is great for what it is. It was crucial in a movement of music and there is no doubting or questioning that. That fact that they peaked in 1987 and haven't written anything truly notable since Seasons in the Abyss isn't anybody's fault. It simply is what it is. Back in the days of their prime they were an immense force live. Heck, I have always enjoyed them live but that still doesn't mean Kerry King can play guitar. Jeff and Gary are a million miles ahead of him when it comes to talent.
                  Yeah. It's weird how some metal fans can't take any kind of criticism of their guitar heroes and seem to espouse the same herd thinking the genre is supposed to oppose. I'm a big Slayer fan. Have been for decades. Seen them live plenty of times. I'm not going to dig on Kerry King's playing, because I certainly couldn't get up there and play all those songs at that speed with that precision. And I will opine that from Seasons on, he was the better of the two when it came to leads. His leads were actually melodic at times, not just the "horses whinnying" whammy bar stuff. But as a songwriter, he was markedly inferior to Hanneman. It's not even a question. Jeff knew how to put dynamics into his songs. He wasn't just about the speed. And riff-wise, his worst days were still better than 90% of what King wrote.

                  I like a lot of Slayer's post-Seasons stuff, by the way. World Painted Blood was great, so was Christ Illusion. Everyone hates Diabolus In Musica but I will go to bat for that album every time. I think music fans tend to equate "music that was made after my formative years" with "bad music" automatically.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by nexion218 View Post
                    Just for the record: I LOVE Slayer. They are the cornerstone and root of multiple metal genres and my teenage faves together with Metallica and Megadeth. But being a flawless player doesn't equal great band or great music and playing in a great or innovative band doesn't mean that the band members are flawless masters of the instrument, nor is it required. Kerry King or Lars Ulrich proves my point. There is so much more to being a visionary innovator than being a great player. I did not mean it as bashing. There are thousands of 5 year old asians playing better than King or Hetfield or Mustaine. But they don't have the vision and creativity of those, so we won't hear about those great asian players in a few weeks from now, yet I'll alqays shriek with foaming mouth in a white eyed trance whenenver I hear Angel of Death or War Ensmble, even 30 years from now.
                    Agreed. Let's be real: there are tons of young players today who could play King, Hanneman, Mustaine, and Hetfield under the table. And that's a good thing! Things change, generations evolve. But being able to play like a mofo doesn't necessarily mean you can write songs. Some players are virtuosos, some are songwriters first. It's all good. We need every type of musician.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bogner View Post

                      So you have to buy in on Kerry King being able to play guitar in order to like Slayer?
                      No, not at all what I said. Kerry’s obviously not a virtuoso lead player, but I think anybody who craps on his rhythm chops is objectively wrong.

                      The last show I saw prior to shutdown was Slayer’s farewell tour. I’d never seen them prior to that, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with their late-2019 performance.

                      And really... I don’t think I’d want to hear anything but the whammy-wank fest leads in their songs. That’s as much a part of it as Tom’s vocals and that chunky JCM800 tone.

                      "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                      • #26
                        Hey, if whammy-bar leads are your thing, knock yourself out. They fit Slayer to a tee on Reign In Blood, but there's only so many times I can hear that same solo over different songs before I lose interest. You can definitely see King's lead playing improve from South of Heaven to Seasons. I believe he actually took lessons and put in some work at that time to improve his playing. Some of his solos on Seasons are excellent: fast, but they tell a musical story.

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                        • #27
                          I think a lot of folks would be surprised if they worked at their picking/playing speed/stamina how quickly it can improve. Its like anything else, use it or lose it and you can easily get yourself into "playing shape" in a reasonable amount of time. Every artist/player has to if they take any time off. On another note, Slayer is playing the type of music they play. it is their music. Fast playing is supposedly their thing right? Tight and fast should be their familiar place because it is what they do. I say all this to say if you played like Slayer or were in Slayer it shouldn't be an issue to play that tempo because that is most likely the most familiar thing to do for you as a player.

                          Anyway, I think Kerry King is a hack, I am a big fan of Slayer, I have all their albums and have seen them numerous times, I think after Seasons they dropped off. As fast and sloppy as they played, I enjoy a lot of their slower paced songs. Their energy and intensity was far more impressive than their speed (to me). Great live band, especially in their prime.
                          The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Bogner View Post
                            Anyway, I think Kerry King is a hack
                            Kerry King wrote Black Magic and Hell Awaits, arguably the band's #2 and #3 most important songs (behind Angel of Death, of course). Calling him a hack just because of the silly jock-ish image he's put forth in the last 20 years is shortsighted.

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                            • #29
                              Silly jockish image? What, because he's in shape?

                              Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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                              • #30
                                You gotta give King credit for the satanic image Slayer's been strongly associated with all these years...lol. If it weren't for King the producer would've picked Testament for the Big 4 tour.

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