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"Assassin" was formerly known as "Debase Mason's Grog" ("Message Board Song") or ("Dom's Arse Goes Bang"), and before the finalisation of the album's track list, Demonocracy. Demonocracy means the power or government of demons.

Bellamy has said this is a "kind of take a gun out and kill somebody" style song. Early reviews prior to the album's release described the introduction with reference to the Knight Rider theme music.

Several major changes were made to the song compared to earlier live versions from 2005. Previously, it had a longer, more distorted intro, more varied percussion, most prominently contained a slow bridge between the first and second chorus, and was generally more progressive. The original drumming was used in "Map of the Problematique".

The song is featured in the 2008 game Guitar Hero: World Tour as a playable track, where there is also a secret achievement for the 360 version of the game called "Muse to My Ears", requiring you to score 222,222 points or higher on Assassin, playing the drums.

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