It looks like a case of hurry up and wait for Slayer's next album. The projected mid-September release date for the typically gorily-titled 'World Painted Blood' now looks like a bust. Official sources say late October -- just in time for Halloween kiddies! -- is more likely, but nothing is yet confirmed. Rest assured, though, the delay has nothing to do with creative problems. Though never ones to rush a recording, this time the thrash metal titans were itching to get going.

"With this record, we had a spark of creativeness," drummer Dave Lombardo tells Noisecreep. "It really ignited us. It's because of what's going on onstage; we're learning from each other more. It's built up; it took time for me to recognize it.

"When I started performing with them again," Lombardo explains, referring to his 10-year split from the band through the '90s. "I thought, 'What am I doing up here?' I couldn't believe I was back in the band. But it's been some years now, and they enjoy how I play. And I enjoy how they perform."

While playing this summer's Mayhem Fest dates, Lombardo notes that Slayer -- which also numbers bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman -- kicked its musical chops up a few more notches. "I really follow Kerry, and Kerry locks in with me. Sometimes I venture off in this drum world and Kerry's right there, solid. Then Jeff goes off on his leads. What we have going on onstage, I don't think people really know there's a lot more than just these guys thrashing around up there."

So is Slayer in danger of becoming a jam band? "Yeah," Lombardo laughs, then adds, with a mocking yell: "Freeee-bird!"