Angel of Death (4:52)

Cover of Reign in Blood

From Reign in Blood and 38 other releases

Written for 1986’s highly praised album Reign In Blood, ‘Angel of Death’ was written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman after he bought two books about Nazi physician Josef Mengele, famous for carrying out gruesome experiments in the concentration camp Auschwitz.

For almost five minutes this song tells the horrifying tale of Mengele’s exploits in the camp, never being afraid to leave anything out or taking sides. This in turn led to Slayer being accused of having Nazi sympathies, an accusation that would follow them for the rest of their career.

The band has responded by pointing out that the song accurately describes the events of Mengele’s life in the same fashion as a documentary film would, and that they— themselves a multi-ethnic group with vocalist/bassist Tom Araya being Chilean and drummer Dave Lombardo being Cuban— find it obvious that they did not support Mengele or Nazism.

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