European Slayer fans will be witnessing a bit of a different lineup over the next few days, with guitarist Gary Holt being forced to miss the rest of the band’s current tour.

If you’ve been paying attention to the world of thrash metal over the last year, you would have undoubtedly heard the sad news that after almost 40 years, Slayer are calling it quits with one final tour.

With their fittingly-titled Final World Tour currently underway, the band have played some pretty wild shows with a stunning array of support bands. However, the remainder of the band’s European tour is set to look a bit different, with guitarist Gary Holt forced to return home to be with his family.

Taking to Instagram earlier today, Holt explained the situation, noting that former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel will be taking over while he accompanies his ill father.

“First things first, I want to say thank you to Berlin for the AMAZING show tonight!! BEST CROWD EVER! But what I’ve got to say has been very very hard for me these last ten days or so,” Holt began.

“My father is very near the end of his journey. I’ve been playing these last several shows with the heaviest of hearts. And with that heavy heart ,I have to announce I am leaving the Slayer European tour. I must return home to help care for my dad in his final moments.”

“Tonight ended with me in tears while finishing ‘Angel Of Death’,” he continued. “But the crowd brought out the best in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all.”

“And that having been said, I want EACH AND EVERY Slayer fan to give their biggest screams for Phil Demmel!! Bay Area legend,” Gary Holt implored.

“My dear friend, who having JUST finished a tour, agreed to help me and the band out and learn an entire Slayer set in days and come out here so I can return home for my dad. Thank you, Phil. You are family, love you bro!”

With Slayer’s European tour wraps up at the end of the week, the band will then be taking a few months off before they visit Australia for their final-ever trip down under.

Set to play Sydney and Melbourne for the 2019 edition of Download Festival, Slayer will also hit up Brisbane and Adelaide for a couple of sideshows.

Our sincerest thoughts go out to Gary Holt and his family at this difficult time.

Check out Slayer’s ‘South Of Heaven’:

YouTube VideoPlay

Slayer Australian Tour 2019

Supported by Anthrax and Behemoth

Thursday, March 7th, 2019
Riverstage, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets: Official Website

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA
Tickets: Official Website

Also appearing at Download Festival 2019

Saturday, March 9th, 2019
Parramatta Park, Sydney, NSW

Monday, March 11th, 2019 (Long weekend)
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, VIC

Download Festival 2019 Lineup

Sum 41 (Only Aus Shows)
Pennywise (Only Aus Shows)
Thy Art Is Murder
Twelve Foot Ninja


Ozzy Osbourne (Only Aus Shows)
Slayer (Final World Tour)
Judas Priest (Only Aus Shows)
Alice In Chains
Rise Against (Only Aus Shows)
The Amity Affliction (Only Aus Shows)
Halestorm (Only Aus Shows)
Me First And The Gimme Gimmes
I Prevail
Frenzal Rhomb
Luca Brasi
Code Orange
Andy Black
The Fever 333
War On Women
High Tension
Alien Weaponry

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