\"Raining Blood\" was written by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. D. X. Ferris said that \"when Hanneman wrote the song, he envisioned a scene from a dark street or bloody back alley\", and later went on to say that the song \"described a banished soul awakened and hungry for vengeance.\" The second verse was written by King, who \"pick[ed] up on Hanneman's title and in his new direction\". The song, along with the rest of Reign in Blood, was recorded in 1986 in Los Angeles, California, with producer Rick Rubin.
Hanneman explained that \"it's about a guy who's in Purgatory 'cause he was cast out of Heaven. He's waiting for revenge and wants to fuck that place up.\" King later said that \"the rest of the song explains what happens when he starts fucking people up. The lyrics 'Return to power draws near' is because he's waiting to get strong enough again to overthrow Heaven. And then 'Fall into me, the sky's crimson tears' is everybody's blood flowing into him. So basically, 'Raining Blood' is all the angels' blood falling on him.\"
King told D. X. Ferris that \"whenever 'Raining Blood' comes in the set, it just electrifies the whole crowd. People just shit when you hit the first few notes. Like 'Jesus Christ it's a guitar, settle down.'\" In the past, Slayer used fake blood to cover their bodies when performing the song live. However, when asked about using fake blood in future performances, King remarked \"It's time to move on, but never say never. I know Japan never saw it, South America and Australia never saw it. So you never know.\"
In 2001, the song was covered by Tori Amos on her studio album Strange Little Girls. The cover of \"Raining Blood\" was suggested by bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who told Amos that she \"had tried pretty much every other genre of music, from rap to new wave to punk to country to pop, why not some metal\" Meldal-Johnsen chose the album Reign in Blood, and after listening to it, Amos agreed to make a cover version of \"Raining Blood\". In an interview, she stated that upon first hearing the song, the imagery she thought of was \"this beautiful vulva [laughs] ... raining blood over this male abusive force\".
The tracks \"Raining Blood\" and \"Angel of Death\" have become almost permanent additions to Slayer's live set, and were Hanneman's favorite tracks to play live. The band played Reign in Blood in its entirety throughout the fall of 2004, under the tour banner \"Still Reigning\". In 2004, a live DVD of the same name was released, which included a finale with the band covered in fake blood during the performance of \"Raining Blood\".
King later said that while the idea of playing Reign in Blood in its entirety was suggested before by their booking agency, it was met with little support. The band ultimately decided they needed to add more excitement to their live shows, and to avoid repetition incorporated the ideas of raining blood. When asked about using fake blood in future performances, King remarked: \"It's time to move on, but never say never. I know Japan never saw it, South America and Australia never saw it. So you never know.\" In 2008 the band performed Reign in Blood in its entirety once again, this time in Paris, France, during the third European Unholy Alliance Tour.
I would also contend that you do not hear the likes of angel of death on the radio is due to the still contentious nature of the lyrics. Plenty of radio stations play slayer but of course metallica are going to be played more, they are one of the biggest bands in the world so have more mass appeal and lets face it, radio is all about money.
back in stock and cheaper - slayer took the leap to the big leagues with this, in the same way metallica, megadeth and anthrax all did with their second albums. the only difference was this was slayer's third album, the previous two, 'show no mercy' and 'hell awaits' both plagued by rough production which thwarted slayer from sounding as brutal as they should have been. 'reign in blood' put matters straight, as rick rubin's production put them over the top, with a precise and clean sound few have ever topped. this is the way to make a thrash album. ten tracks clocking in at twenty eight minutes, all fast, an easy way to make an impact and a point. overnight acts like celtic frost, bathory, and destruction were made to look as crude as they were, while exodus, metallica and anthrax seemed tame by comparison. hanneman and king established themselves as thrash's premier guitar duo, and rightfully so, the level of twisted genius running through 'necrophobic', 'criminally insane' and 'angel of death' something they themselves had trouble topping. i once read one seasoned metal scribe remark how no one had heard drumming like lombardo's up until 'rib', and the drum sound is crisp and clear, always fast and banishing memories of lombardo's efforts on the first two albums. the main reason slayer distinguished themselves from most was their ability to retain melody amongst such a vicious rampage. every song has a discernable hook and melody line, something that was lacking from many, particularly euro bores. whether this is the greatest thrash album i don't know, it's in the top five certainly, slayer equaling this in many ways with 'divine intervention'. but it's still thrash's key point, a glorious reaffirmation of how superior 80's metal was. 59ce067264