Slayer guitarist Kerry King has given a very telling interview to Metal Hammer about the writing process for the band's next album and addressing what it's like to pen a disc minus the band's longtime guitarist and his songwriting cohort Jeff Hanneman.

King tells the magazine, "I've got assloads of songs! I mean, I'm more prepared than I've been before any record, working on this material for three years. Me and Paul [Bostaph, drums] have demoed 11 songs. I'm sitting on 14 or 15 songs and I've got seven complete with lyrics already. I'm in great shape!"

As for working without Hanneman, he added, "I can't pretend to be Jeff. We both learned from each other in 30 years of writing together. As far as going out of my way to write something that Jeff might've done? I won't do that. If it happens to end up sounding that way, good for me!"

King also stated that there is some Jeff Hanneman material lying around, but the band is debating whether or not to include any of it on their next record. The guitarist says, "I don't want it to come out just because Jeff wrote it. I want it to come out because it's awesome. We've just got to put out something that I think Jeff would be proud of." The guitarist had previously stated that his desired timeline was to start recording this month and to have a new record out by this summer.

So taking King's new comments into consideration, do you think Slayer will be able to match the level of their previous albums? Vote in our Readers Poll below: