Photo by Jonas Rogowski

Photo by Jonas Rogowski

The members of veteran thrash metal unit Slayer remain determined and stay true to their craft with their upcoming eleventh studio album, ‘Repentless.’ The effort marks both a positive change for Slayer and a sign of resiliency, and what distinguishes the two all comes down to the performing lineup.

‘Repentless’ is the first Slayer album to feature Gary Holt of Exodus on guitar, not to mention the band’s first since 2001’s ‘God Hates Us All’ to include Paul Bostaph on drums. At the same time, ‘Repentless’ is the premiere album since the death of Jeff Henneman in 2013. Rather than hang up their guitars and call it a day, Slayer remain as ferocious as ever on new tracks such as “Cast the First Stone.”

Centered around growling vocals and ferocious chord progressions, “Cast the First Stone” is another strong contender on Slayer’s first studio album in six years. The song can streamed via the SoundCloud widget below, as well as downloaded for free via Adult Swim.

Slayer guitarist Kerry King previously told Rolling Stone that the inspiration for “Cast the First Stone” surfaced while traveling across Athens and pondering about the infamous battles that took place there over the centuries. “It’s juts about battle, not a particular battle,” King explains. “You cast the first stone, I’m gonna win.”

Although Henneman has passed away, his memory remains alive throughout ‘Repentless.’ The album features “Piano Wire,” a previously unfinished song from the ‘World Painted Blood’ sessions that was penned by Henneman. As King offered: “When I hear it, I think ‘Jeff.’ It sounds like a Jeff Hanneman song.”

The title track “Repentless” has also been described by Slayer as a tribute to their deceased band mate. “’Repentless’ is my Jeff [Hanneman] tribute,” said King. “I call it the ‘HannemAnthem.’ It’s my perspective of Jeff’s perspective, it’s what I think… If Jeff wrote a song for himself, ‘Repentless’ would be it.”

“The new album sounds like Slayer,” adds bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. “In the past, our fans have always known what to expect, this time they don’t. But we really like it, and I don’t think the fans are going to be disappointed.”

Slayer’s eleventh studio album ‘Repentless’ is due for release on September 11 via Nuclear Blast.