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Kerry King on Vinyl: ‘It’s Old, but It’s New’

Noel Vasquez, Getty Images

Slayer‘s 30th anniversary is coming up next year, but don’t call metal’s reigning royalty old. The band is somewhat celebrating the anniversary with the Oct. 12 release of ‘The Vinyl Conflict,’ a high-end 11-disc vinyl box set which collects the band’s entire sanguine American Recordings catalog from ‘Reign in Blood’ to ‘World Painted Blood.’

That’s a lot of platelets right there, and with the CD medium dying a slow death and vinyl experience a bit of a renaissance, Slayer are reverting back to a ‘classic’ medium such as vinyl. It’s been years since the Slayer vinyl has been in print — only the two most recent albums are currently available on vinyl, while the rest have been out of print for years and are very hard to find.

“I think that vinyl seems to be getting popular again since kids these days — and not-so-young kids — never got a chance to get into it. So it’s new, but it’s old,” guitarist Kerry King told Noisecreep. “I think that is the idea of why to do it.”

‘The Vinyl Conflict’ is newly packaged, but with no extra odds and ends. The purpose of the collection is renewed interest in vinyl, alonside the fact that Slayer fans probably have beat-up copies of the American Recordings classics and could use the new, beautiful presentation.

King said the initial naming process of ‘The Vinyl Conflict’ was generic and record label generated, like ‘Vinyl Series of Slayer Recordings,’ which King and company promptly nixed. “This isn’t the Eagles man,” King said with a laugh. “We have to have something cool. Everyone busted my balls, so I said, ‘Give me a second, and I can come up with something.’”

The guitarist came up with something when he was consuming a libation at a local watering hole. “I was hanging in a bar, and I had nothing to do but think of Slayer ideas, so that’s where I came up with it, and everyone loved it. All you need is a minute to clear the head and come up with it,” King said.

‘The Vinyl Conflict’ collects 10 albums on 11 discs: ‘Reign in Blood’ (1986), ‘South of Heaven’ (1988), ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ (1990), the double-record ‘Live Decade of Aggression’ (1991), ‘Divine Intervention’ (1994), ‘Undisputed Attitude’ (1998), ‘God Hates Us All’ (2001), ‘Christ Illusion’ (2006) and ‘World Painted Blood’ (2009).

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