TESTAMENT Guitarist On SLAYER's Final Tour: TOM ARAYA Is 'Super Appreciative' And 'Ready To Wrap It Up'

TESTAMENT Guitarist On SLAYER's Final Tour: TOM ARAYA Is 'Super Appreciative' And 'Ready To Wrap It Up'

TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick spoke to "The Rock Writer's Ramble" about SLAYER's decision to call it quits after completing one last world tour. Asked if he gets the impression that bassist/vocalist Tom Araya "is more than willing to get off the SLAYER train at this point," Skolnick responded (hear audio below): "I think so. I think that's one of the reasons he is smiling [on stage so much on the current tour]. Because he's super appreciative of it. And he's gotten to a point where he doesn't wanna do it forever — at least not at the level that SLAYER is going, where they do a record, they do a record cycle, which, for them, is very intense… But I think now that it's a finite time period, he's really appreciative — he's smiling all the time. And that's also who he is offstage.

"It's so funny, 'cause the name SLAYER, it's like the notorious name that brings to mind Dante's Inferno, but offstage, [Tom is] just this very mellow, easygoing guy, who's just very funny," Alex continued. "And you're seeing more of that onstage this time. But I think it has a lot to do with the fact that, yes, he's ready to wrap it up. And I don't know if that means they'll never do it again, but I think as far as the album after album, followed by a long album cycle, you're not gonna see that. They're also young enough, so if they decided to do a one-off in a few years, as a special occasion, then it's fine."

TESTAMENT joined SLAYER on the two U.S. legs of the latter group's farewell tour. Also appearing on the bill were thrash metal veterans ANTHRAX, '90s thrash revivalists LAMB OF GOD and British grindcore greats NAPALM DEATH.

TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy said in a recent interview with "Talking Metal" that the band is hoping to enter the studio in January to record the follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album. He also confirmed that TESTAMENT is planning to use British metal producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, SAXON, MEGADETH) once again to mix the upcoming disc.

"Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), guitarist Eric Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by Sneap.

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