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"Raining Blood" is the final track from thrash metal band Slayer's 1986 album, Reign in Blood, and is the band's signature song. It has become a live staple, played at every Slayer show since its release, and is featured on every Slayer live album and DVD.


"Raining Blood" is in the key of E♭ minor, although definite tonality is difficult to place on the song as the tonic note is used only as a starting point for different riffs, not chord progressions, as with most metal in this genre. There is no distinct vocal melody, with the song instead relying on changing, varied riffs that are played as accompaniment, in order to give the song tonal reimbursement. Arguably, the most notable riff in the piece is when both Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King play 4 chromatic notes starting on F# and G repeatedly in a very rapid succession using alternate picking techniques. The solos in this song however are another story. In the solo, the guitarists double tracked themselves. One track playing the chord progression in the background, and the other track playing the dual solos. Accompanying the dual solos is Lombardo's drumline which increases the tempo as the dual solos progress. At the end, he uses his double bass technique while Hanneman and King harmonize pinch harmonics and use their double locking tremolo systems to bend the pitch of the harmonics.

Appearances in media

The song was featured in the 127th South Park episode "Die Hippie, Die", which aired on March 16, 2005. The plot centers on the town of South Park, which has been overrun by hippies. Eric Cartman states "Hippies can't stand death metal" and proceeds to hijack a hippie concert by drilling through the mass of hippies with a giant armored drilling vehicle. He makes it onto the main stage to change the audio to "Raining Blood", in turn upsetting the hippies and making them flee. Slayer guitarist Kerry King found the episode humorous and expressed his interest in the show, mentioning it in an interview, saying "It was good to see the song being put to good use. If we can horrify some hippies, we've done our job."

The song was also included in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in-game radio station V-Rock. "Raining Blood" is a playable song in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, where it is renowned for being one of the hardest songs in the Career Mode setlist. Potential Guitar Hero game testers must be able to pass the song on Expert difficulty. The song is also featured in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, with the very first five note chord in the series. It is also featured in the skateboarding game Skate. "Raining Blood" has also become a staple at Pittsburgh Penguins games at the Mellon Arenamarker. Lil Jon sampled "Raining Blood" on the track "Stop Fuckin Wit Me" on his album Crunk Juice.

At the mixed martial arts event UFC 97 on Saturday 18 April 2009, notable fighter Chuck Liddell made his final appearance in the UFC and used "Raining Blood" as his entrance music.


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".

King states the cover was odd; "It took me a minute and a half to find a spot in the song where I knew where she was. It's so weird. If she had never told us, we would have never known. You could have played it for us and we'd have been like, 'What's that?' Like a minute and a half through I heard a line and was like, 'I know where she's at!'" In response, Slayer sent some T-shirts to Amos, which she said was appreciated. The song was also covered by Malevolent Creation, Chimaira, Cryptopsy, Vader, Diecast, Reggie and the Full Effect, and Erik Hinds, who covered the entire Reign in Blood album on a H'arpeggione.

In Flames covered a portion of it on their Tokyo Showdown album.

The guitar riffs from "Raining Blood" and "Mandatory Suicide" were sampled by rapper Lil Jon in the song "Stop Fuckin Wit' Me" from the 2004 album Crunk Juice. It was Rick Rubin's only collaboration with Lil Jon on the record. Jon wanted to attempt to create a African-American version of Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized".



  1. [1], Retrieved on 2008-12-21.
  2. TORI AMOS | HEREINMYHEAD.COM | artistic expressions | others

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