Former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel made his live debut with Slayer last night, crushing it with the thrash legends in Copenhagen, Denmark. Demmel is filling in for Gary Holt as the guitarist tends to his dying father.

Phil Demmel spent the last 15 years as lead guitarist for Machine Head, leaving after tensions within the band became too overwhelming. Demmel performed his final gig with Mf’nH on Nov. 24, blazing through a three-and-a-half hour set in Santa Cruz, Calif. Less than 24 hours after Demmel played his final note with Machine Head, he got a call from Slayer.

"Full circle. Karma. It's so crazy how things work out. I got a text less than 24 hours after I played my last Machine Head note,” Demmel writes on Instagram. “11 years ago (almost to the day), I had to leave a tour to fly home and be with my family when my father passes away. Some amazing dudes stepped in to cover for me and to help the band out. I am filling in for a legend who has replaced a legend in a legendary band on their farewell tour.”

“Despite the fact that Slayer is the reason I wanted to play heavy music, it's beyond my utmost honor to [be] asked to do this. Learning 19 songs (not just songs — Slayer songs) has been a daunting task and I have worked very hard to do Gary and the entire camp proud. As we all here send our love and support to Gary Holt as he goes through a life-altering time, the rallying this camp has done is amazing. Thank you all for your support as I grab the baton for a few shows and fly the Bay Area flag high on stage right.”

"And lastly, the biggest hero is [my wife] for being so selfless after having her partner home for two days, sends him off to follow this crazy dream. All hail the Queen."

During Demmel’s soundcheck with Slayer, he got to pick four songs to jam. Phil chose “Repentless,” “Dittohead,” “When the Stillness Comes” and “Chemical Warfare.” Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe even captured a photo of the soundcheck.

Demmel also checked in after the gig:

Watch Phil Demmel perform with Slayer in the clip above and click here for Slayer’s full list of farewell tour dates.

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