According to Kirk Hammett, we may have the best guitar solo of 2024 and that accolade goes to Phil Demmel's work on Kerry King's new song, "Idle Hands."

We may only be in March, but the bar may have already been set by Demmel. The guitarist spoke about the positive response he received from Hammett during his recent appearance on the Good Company With Bowling YouTube Show.

Demmel, the longtime Machine Head and Vio-Lence guitarist, has been quietly keeping his association with King's new music under wraps until the Slayer musician finally announced his band earlier this year. Now, with the news public, he's speaking about playing with King and offered up one of the biggest accolades he's received so far.

Speaking about the new song "Idle Hands," Demmel revealed that he's heard of Kirk Hammett's praise for his guitar work on the song.

"It was the first song I heard, and it was the first song that I wrote a solo for," explains Demmel. "So the solo in that song was the first one that I wrote here in the studio. So it's kind of cool to hear that being the first one released."

He continued, "I'm gonna be name-dropping here a little bit, but I was going back and forth a little bit with Kirk Hammett today. Cause he had told Mark Osegueda, 'Hey, the solo is awesome. It's the solo of the year' or whatever, so I thanked him. I said, 'Hey, I heard that you dug the solo on the song.' And he's like, 'Oh my God, I thought that was Kerry. I didn't know.' He didn't put it together."

Demmel says, "I missed his call, but he left me this awesome fucking voicemail, dude, saying, like, 'It's the best solo of the year so far,' and all these just glowing things that Kirk Hammett is telling me. [He's] one of our heroes, and to hear him glow about the solo, that's ... it's one of my least favorite solos on the record, actually, but to hear him say that, it was really personal."

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The guitarist went on to discuss his approach to playing with King, explaining, "I wanna bring that sense of ... I don't know if it's melody or .... I hate the word 'controlled chaos,' but some sort of lineage between the music and the solo sections that kind of make 'em - those solo sections in Slayer and in Kerry's music before are really frenetic. What Gary [Holt] was doing, it matched all that brutality, and I think my solos are less brutal in nature."

He continued, "I had to check with him. So I had to tell Kerry, or ask him, or broach it with him that, 'This is what I'm doing.' I tracked my leads here first and played them 50 times to where I'm just playing them single pass and playing them best as I can and sent them away and was like, 'Hey, this is me and this is what I'm going to do here,' of course, if it's okay with him, cause it's his trip. And, 'Is that okay?' And he said, 'Yeah, I love it.' He's all, in true Kerry fashion, 'I don't hate it.' So that was a compliment to me getting that out of Kerry King."

You can hear Phil Demmel's solo on "Idle Hands" below, and look for the song on Kerry King's solo debut album, From Hell I Rise, which is due May 17. Pre-orders of the album are available now.

Kerry King, "Idle Hands"

Phil Demmel on the Good Company With Bowling YouTube Show

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Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff

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