Today, June 6, is one to celebrate in the metal community. Back on 6/6/06 the first International Day of Slayer was celebrated, and now, the heavy metal holiday rings in its seventh year anniversary and continues to be a cause for metal fans to unite.

In a new video message to fans, seen above, Slayer guitarist Kerry King spoke about the International Day of Slayer and how it was hard not to be consumed with thoughts of Jeff Hanneman, Slayer’s founding guitarist who tragically passed away on May 2 of this year. On tour in Germany, King talked about how Hanneman loved playing there. “He’s totally in our hearts in the moment because he always loved coming to Germany and here we are on the International Day of Slayer,” said King. “ I’m pretty stoked, the fans are so adamant about it existing that it’s still here, what’s this, seven years after they did it the first time, so that’s pretty cool.” He also spoke of the challenges of heading out on the road for the first time without Hanneman, sharing, “We’re out on tour, the first tour since Jeff’s passing, so that’s tough. Me, Tom, Gary and Paul are out here carving the next legendary, monumental thing that is bound to happen on this tour."

The creators of the International Day of Slayer also spoke out about how the passing of Hanneman impacts the holiday too. "The outside world was once again forced to reckon with us as a cultural movement when they acknowledged the loss of one of metal's most important figures, so it would be a mistake to simply hang our heads and close up shop,” explained CEO Jim Tate. “Jeff made music that was loud and defiant, and we must continue to uphold this standard in how we commemorate him and represent the hessian community."

So in memory of Hanneman and to celebrate Slayer, take a little time to enjoy the day, roll down your windows and blast some Slayer!