In Precious Metal
, Slayer co-lead guitarist Kerry King has this to say on the controversy over this song: "People get this thought in their heads - especially in Europe - and you'll never talk them out of it. They try to talk you
into what they're thinking. When you ask them a question and you give them an answer they don't want, they'll be like 'Well, don't you mean...' And I'm like 'No, dude, I don't
mean that.' It's just like, wake up."
A mini-essay about controversy: Why does
Slayer go through life with such a target on its chest? Dozens of bands produce material that's far gorier. Almost every heavy metal band you can name pins a pentagram or 666 or other "Satanic" imagery to their album cover. Here is the Reign in Blood album cover
, which is part of the reason Def Jam's distributor, Columbia Records, refused to release it - compare it to the work of Hieronymus Bosch
. As for subject matter, there's a song out there which makes light of violence against women, murder, mutilation, necrophilia, and cannibalism. That song is "I Hold Your Hand in Mine
," by noted satirist Tom Lehrer. Now, where's the protests and picket groups and censorship and album-burning when it comes to Lehrer? Science needs to find out why bands like Slayer draw so much fire while others get a free pass. In the mean time, we're going to have to assume that Slayer is scary while Lehrer and Bosch are not, and so people are reacting based on raw emotions and not on any kind of logic at all.