He died in May aged 49 from health issues related to heavy drinking. He’d been sidelined since 2011 after contracting necrotising fasciitis, which nearly killed him – thought to have been partly cause by his drinking.
Exodus man Gary Holt had been standing in ever since, and will continue in that role.
Now King tells Entertainment Daily News: “Jeff is going to be in everybody’s thoughts for a long time. It’s unfortunate you can’t keep unfortunate things from happening. But we’re going to carry on – and he’ll be there in spirit.”
Speaking at the Kerrang Awards, the guitarist added: “Coming to something like this wasn’t really his spiel. He wasn’t an awards show kind of guy; he wanted to be the quiet guy doing his thing at the hotel.”
Holt has previously said he wouldn’t consider joining Slayer full-time unless he was sure it wouldn’t clash with his Exodus duties.
Slayer have also replaced drummer Dave Lombardo with Paul Bostaph following a contractual dispute. They launch a European tour this week including a headline appearance at the Bloodstock Festival at Catton Park, Derby, on August 11.