|Song by Slayer|
|from the album Christ Illusion|
|Released||August 8, 2006|
|Songwriter(s)|| Jeff Hanneman |
"Jihad" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer which appears on the band's 2006 studio album Christ Illusion . The song portrays the imagined viewpoint of a terrorist who has participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks, concluding with spoken lyrics taken from words left behind by Mohamed Atta; Atta was named by the FBI as the "head suicide terrorist" of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center. "Jihad" was primarily written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman; the lyrics were co-authored with vocalist Tom Araya.
"Jihad" received a mixed reception in the music press, and reviews generally focused on the lyrics' controversial subject matter. The song drew comparisons to Slayer's 1986 track "Angel of Death"—also penned by Hanneman—which similarly caused outrage at the time of its release.
Joseph Dias of the Mumbai Christian group "Catholic Secular Forum" expressed concern over "Jihad"'s lyrics, and contributed to Christ Illusion's recall by EMI India, who to date have no plans for a reissue in that country. ABC-TV's Broadcast Standards and Practices Department censored the song during Slayer's first US network television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on January 19, 2007. Only the opening minute was broadcast over the show's credits, thus omitting 40% of the lyrics.
Primarily written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman, "Jihad" features lyrical contributions by vocalist Tom Araya.Both Hanneman and Araya had previously written about controversial lyrical matter in past Slayer tracks; while Hanneman had written songs like "Angel of Death" and "SS-3" which explored the atrocities committed by Nazi figures such as Auschwitz concentration camp physician Josef Mengele and Third Reich henchman Reinhard Heydrich, Araya had delved into the lives of serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein in the tracks "213" and "Dead Skin Mask" respectively. "Jihad" is written from the perspective of a 9/11 terrorist, and imagines the thoughts that "the enemy" might have. The climax of the song features spoken text taken from a motivational letter left behind by Mohamed Atta, who was named by the FBI as the head suicide terrorist of American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Guitarist Kerry King has been outspoken in his defense of "Jihad", and has claimed that the song has the "coolest angle" on Christ Illusion."These new songs aren't political at all," King states, "'Jihad', 'Eyes of the Insane'—it's what's spewing out at us from the TV." He further clarified that the band was not attempting to promote the terrorists' perspective of the war, nor their ideological beliefs, although he expected others to assume Slayer was doing so. They did not wish to dwell on the topic "because every band on the planet already has" and "came from a certain perspective", so felt they had to present an alternative viewpoint. "We're Slayer, we have to be different" was King's assertion.
American singer/songwriter Steve Earle attempted a similar concept in penning "John Walker's Blues" (from the 2002 album Jerusalem ), written from the perspective of the Washington-born John Walker Lindh, a Taliban member captured during the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.Earle was criticised for this track; King anticipated a comparable reaction to "Jihad": "People make an assumption before they (read) the lyrics. It's definitely not only human nature, it's very American-natured."
"Jihad" is played in standard 4/4 time and runs for 3 minutes and 31 seconds.A skittering vamp played by Jeff Hanneman leads into the track, while Dave Lombardo shimmers his hi-hat. Smoothly mixing up tempos, the band builds the song with a fast, "wonky, catchy and angular" guitar riff reminiscent of the breakdown in 1986's "Angel of Death". This guitar riff decelerates before bursting forward again in two-bar stretches underpinned by Lombardo's pounding, fifth-gear drumming.
IGN reviewer Andy Patrizio was dismissive of the song's musical structure in comparison to the other tracks on Christ Illusion "Jihad", "Flesh Storm", "Skeleton Christ", and "Supremist", and felt there was too much similarity in the riffs, tuning, tempos, and arrangements.MusicOMH.com's Ian Robinson was also negative, remarking that the song "concludes with the 'now getting slightly old hat' Slayer trick (but still atmospheric) of over sampling voices over the solo."
"Jihad"—alongside fellow Christ Illusion album tracks "Eyes of the Insane" and "Cult"—was made available for streaming on June 26, 2006, via the Spanish website Rafabasa.com.The album was Slayer's ninth studio recording, and was released on August 8, 2006. During reviews "Jihad" received a mixed reception.
Blabbermouth 's Don Kaye gave the opinion that "a handful of songs" on Christ Illusion "are either too generic or the arrangements are too clumsy to work well", and specifically singled out the track: "I'm looking at you, 'Jihad' and 'Skeleton Christ'." Ben Ratliff of New York Times remarked that the song is "predictably tough stuff, but let's put it on a scale. It is tougher, and less reasoned, than Martin Amis's recent short story 'The Last Days of Muhammad Atta.' It is no tougher than a taped message from Al Qaeda." Peter Atkinson of KNAC.com was equally unimpressed, describing the group's choice of song climax as:
... the same sort of detached, matter-of-fact tactic Hanneman and Araya have employed for "difficult" subjects in the past—Josef Mengele's Nazi atrocities in "Angel of Death" or Jeffrey Dahmer/Ed Gein's ghoulish proclivities in "213" and "Dead Skin Mask"—with great effect. But here it feels atypically crass and exploitative, as if it was done purely to get a rise out of people ... And Slayer's usually a lot more clever than that.
Not all reviews were so negative. Thom Jurek of Allmusic observed that "the band begins to enter and twist and turn looking for a place to create a new rhythmic thrash that's the most insane deconstruction of four/four time on tape."The Austin Chronicle's Marc Savlov asked readers to "listen to the eerie, stop-start cadence of lunacy in 'Jihad,' with Araya playing the role of a suicide bomber almost too convincingly."
King would have appointed "Jihad" as the group's nomination in the "Best Metal Performance" award category at the 49th Grammy Awards, deeming the chosen track "Eyes of the Insane" "the poorest representations" of the group on ninth studio album Christ Illusion.Despite King's statement, "Eyes of the Insane" won Slayer their first Grammy award. The Slayer guitarist has also stated; "I like playing 'Jihad' because I'm back changing my guitars, and Jeff starts it and he starts it quietly so you can hear the fans go crazy about it and you can't always hear that at the beginning of a song."
"Jihad"'s lyrical matter provoked controversy from several quarters. Peter Atkinson of KNAC.com remarked that the song, "no doubt will be Christ Illusion's most controversial track." In May 2006, World Entertainment News Network announced that revelations of the song's lyrical content had angered the families of 9/11 victims.
Joseph Dias of the Mumbai Christian group "Catholic Secular Forum" (CSF) issued a memorandum to his police commissioner, in which he expressed concern that "Jihad" would offend "the sensibilities of the Muslims ...and secular Indians who have respect for all faiths." EMI India met with the CSF, apologising for the album's release, and recalled all copies, with no plans for a reissue. On October 11, 2006, it was announced all stocks had been destroyed. The track, alongside the album's controversial Larry Carroll painted cover art and provocative lyrics, were the specific reasons for EMI India's decision. Araya had expected "Jihad"'s treatment of the events of 9/11 to create a backlash in America, however it failed to materialise. This was in part, he believes, because of peoples' view that the song was merely "Slayer being Slayer". Hanneman expected that the Muslim community would either "embrace" or hate Slayer for penning the track, or that the victims of 9/11 would criticize the band over the song's subject matter.
"Jihad" was one of six songs performed by Slayer during their first US network television appearance on ABC-TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live! (January 19, 2007), although only the opening minute of the track was broadcast.ABC-TV's Broadcast Standards and Practices department censored "Jihad", and approached Slayer the day prior to broadcast with roughly 40% of the song lyrics deleted. King has since confirmed that the group were ten minutes from withdrawing from the show, but eventually decided to "just go do it."
|Yeah, that was blown out proportion. People thinking they know what it says without really reading it. And that will happen with every record for everybody, because people like to take an opinion without being informed about anything. It's easier to just shoot your mouth off because the more noise you make the less basis in fact your argument has to be because people are too dumb to recognize the difference. |
On a number of occasions the song has been compared to "Angel of Death",a Hanneman-penned Slayer track from 1986's Reign in Blood , which was lyrically inspired by Nazi physician Josef Mengele. "Angel of Death" focused on human experiments conducted by Mengele at the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. KNAC.com's Peter Atkinson commented upon the similarities, to which King responded that the whole affair "was blown out of proportion".
Making the connection, King remembers thinking "Great, now we're gonna be answering for this one!" after listening to a playback of the song."But as with 'Angel [of Death],' we're not endorsing anything. It's just not an 'anti' song, either." Hanneman emphasised, "Like 'Angel of Death,' it's just a documentary."
Slayer was an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, drummer Dave Lombardo, and bassist and vocalist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's final lineup comprised King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Drummer Jon Dette was also a member of the band.
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. However, the band's members stated numerous times that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on July 5, 1988 by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's second collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose production skills on their previous album Reign in Blood (1986) had helped their sound evolve. In order to offset the pace of its predecessor, Slayer deliberately slowed down the tempo on South of Heaven, and utilized undistorted guitars and toned-down vocals. South of Heaven was the band's last album released by Def Jam, although the rights were transferred to Rubin's new label Def American Recordings after Rubin ended his partnership with Russell Simmons. The album was one of only two Def Jam titles to be distributed by Geffen Records through Warner Bros., as Def Jam's then-distributor Columbia refused to release work by the band.
Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known for being the guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and remained a member for nearly four decades.
Show No Mercy is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on December 3, 1983 by Metal Blade Records. Brian Slagel signed the band to the label after watching them perform the song "Phantom of the Opera" by Iron Maiden. The band self-financed their full-length debut, combining the savings of vocalist Tom Araya, who was employed as a respiratory therapist, and money borrowed from guitarist Kerry King's father. Touring extensively promoting the album, the band brought close friends and family members along the trip, who helped backstage with lighting and sound.
Hell Awaits is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released in March 1985 by Metal Blade Records. The band's 1983 debut Show No Mercy became Metal Blade Records' highest-selling release, and as a result, producer Brian Slagel desired to release a second Slayer album. To that end, Slagel financed a recording budget and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio.
God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 11, 2001 by American Recordings. It was recorded over three months at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and includes the Grammy Award-nominated "Disciple". Guitarist Kerry King wrote the majority of its lyrics, taking a different approach from earlier recordings by exploring topics such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. The band experimented, recording most of the album in C# tuning, with three songs in drop B and two others with seven-string guitars in B♭.
"Angel of Death" is the opening track on the American thrash metal band Slayer's 1986 album Reign in Blood. The lyrics and music were written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman. They detail the Nazi physician Josef Mengele's human experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz is a Chilean-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and bassist of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Araya is ranked fifty-eighth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.
Undisputed Attitude is the seventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on May 28, 1996 by American Recordings. The album consists almost entirely of covers of punk rock and hardcore punk songs, and also includes two tracks written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 1984 and 1985 for a side project called Pap Smear; its closing track "Gemini" is the only original track. The cover songs on the album were originally recorded by the bands Minor Threat, T.S.O.L., D.R.I., D.I., Dr. Know, the Stooges, and Verbal Abuse, whose work was prominently featured with the inclusion of cover versions of five of their songs.
Jeffrey John Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Hanneman contributed both lyrical and musical material to every Slayer album up until his death in 2013 and wrote the songs "Raining Blood", "War Ensemble," "South of Heaven," "Seasons in the Abyss," and "Angel of Death," all of which have been played at almost every live Slayer performance after their respective compositions. He had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.
Diabolus in Musica is the eighth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on June 9, 1998 by American Recordings. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote most of the album's content, which has been described as Slayer's most experimental. It was the band's first album to be played mostly in C♯ tuning, and named after a musical interval known for its dissonance. Lyrical themes explored on the album include religion, sex, cultural deviance, death, insanity, war, and homicide.
War at the Warfield is a concert video by Slayer which was released on July 29, 2003, through American Recordings. Recorded at Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, California, on December 7, 2001, it is the band's second video album. The DVD's contents were announced by MTV on July 25, 2003. It is the last release by Slayer with drummer Paul Bostaph, who left due to a chronic elbow injury. Bostaph was subsequently replaced by the original Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. War at the Warfield was well received by critics, debuting at number three on the Billboard DVD chart, and sold over 7,000 copies in its first week. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 50,000 copies in the United States. It also won a 2003 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for DVD of the Year.
Still Reigning is a live performance DVD by the thrash metal band Slayer, released in 2004 through American Recordings. Filmed at the Augusta Civic Center on July 11, 2004, the performance showcases Slayer's 1986 album, Reign in Blood, played in its entirety with the four original band members on a set resembling their 1986 "Reign in Pain" tour. Still Reigning was voted "best live DVD" by the readers of Revolver magazine, and received gold certification in 2005.
"Raining Blood" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer. Written by Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King for the 1986 studio album Reign in Blood, the song's religious concept is about overthrowing Heaven.
Eternal Pyre is an EP by the thrash metal band Slayer. Released June 6, 2006 (06/06/06) through American Recordings, the EP was limited to a pressing of 1,000 copies. The album is a pre-release to the later album Christ Illusion, which, like the EP, features the song "Cult". The album was released exclusively through Hot Topic chain stores in the United States and copies were also available in Germany, Finland and Sweden on June 23, 2006. There are three tracks featured on the album, one of which is an audio track and the others are videos. The album was not well received by critics, with few critics actually reviewing the album. The album charted on four different charts, peaking number two in Finland and three in Denmark.
Christ Illusion is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on August 8, 2006 by American Recordings. It was the band's first and only album featuring all 4 original members with their drummer Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990), and also marked the first time since Divine Intervention (1994) that they recorded songs in D# tuning. The songs "Jihad", "Flesh Storm", "Catalyst", and "Consfearacy" were recorded in D# tuning, while "Catatonic", "Eyes of the Insane", "Skeleton Christ", and "Supremist" were recorded in Drop B tuning and "Black Serenade" and "Cult" in C# tuning.
"Eyes of the Insane" is a 2006 song by the American thrash metal band Slayer, taken from their 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics explore an American soldier's mental anguish following his return home from the second Gulf War, and are based on an article entitled "Casualty of War" in Texas Monthly magazine. "Eyes of the Insane" was written by vocalist Tom Araya during pre-production for the album. The song was generally well received by critics, and also peaked #15 on the Danish singles charts.
World Painted Blood is the eleventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released through American Recordings and Sony Music on November 3, 2009 and was produced by Greg Fidelman and executively produced by Rick Rubin. It is the band's only album produced by Greg Fidelman. With much anticipation for the album after 2006's Christ Illusion, members of Slayer began revealing information about the album beginning in early 2009.
Repentless is the twelfth and final studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released on September 11, 2015, and is the band's only album recorded without Jeff Hanneman, who died from liver cirrhosis in 2013. Gary Holt replaces Hanneman as guitarist. Drummer Paul Bostaph also makes his first appearance on a Slayer album since 2001's God Hates Us All. It is also the only one the band released on Nuclear Blast and was produced by Terry Date, replacing Rick Rubin after twenty-nine years and nine studio albums as their producer or executive producer. The six-year gap between World Painted Blood and Repentless was the longest between two Slayer albums in their career. This would also be the band's final studio album before embarking on a farewell tour in 2018–2019 and eventually disbanding.