The first step in Kerry King’s rise to stardom happened in 1981, when he was trying out for the position as a guitarist in a band. After the session was over Jeff Hanneman approached him and the two began playing Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs with the session drummer. King proposed, "Why don’t we start our OWN band?” The result was thrash metal legend, Slayer.
Aside from his strong, often angular rhythm guitar work, King is one of the most distinctive soloists in metal: focusing more on speed and chaos than on melody or typical metal-style technical precision. King typically makes extensive and unorthodox use of whammy bar and uses a very heavy, irregular vibrato.
In addition to appearing on Slayer's albums, he has also made several guest appearances as lead guitarist. While lending production to 1986’s Reign in Blood, Rick Rubin was producing the Beastie Boys debut album Licensed to Ill. Rubin felt the track No Sleep till Brooklyn needed a guitar solo, so he offered King several hundred dollars to lay down the part. King also contributed lead guitar solos to the songs Disorder with rapper Ice-T the 1992 Judgment Night, and What We're All About from the Spider-Man movie soundtrack.
"You want killer tone, you need Monster Cable!"
- Kerry King