Throughout their 38-year-long career, the Huntington Park, California band Slayer crafted a number of songs some might deem controversial – with lyrics featuring graphic violence and blasphemous imagery.
However, among all the songs the thrash metal legends have ever made, one of their most infamous tunes is none other than 1986’s “Angel of Death,” a track from their album Reign in Blood.
Lyrically, the song revolves around the atrocious and evil acts of Josef Mengele, a Nazi physician who experimented on people at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Upon releasing the song, the band was met with criticism, with some folks accusing them of being Nazis.
In a new conversation with Metal Hammer, this point in time in the band’s career is brought up to Dave Lombardo; in regard to “Angel of Death,” the interviewer brings up to the drummer how the band was accused of being Nazis and if he could understand that.
In response, Lombardo shares the following: “I couldn’t, at all. People just seemed to be getting it all wrong and it didn’t make sense to me; it’s a song, and nowhere did it give off this idea that fascism was cool.”
Lombardo continues, referring to “Angel of Death”: “Tom [Araya, frontman] was talking about this guy who performed these horrible surgeries on innocent people – really stupid, horrific things. You shouldn’t need to read the lyrics to understand we weren’t condoning those things.”
What are your thoughts on the Slayer song “Angel of Death”?
In other news related to the thrash metal legends, we recently ranked the ten best albums from the Big Four. Featuring records from Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica, you can check out our ranking by following this link here.
Separately, we have ranked every Slayer album from worst to best. Which of the band’s records is your favorite?