Even after a bad breakup, there are some things that will always remind you of your ex… in a fond way. Dave Lombardo, of longtime Slayer fame, recently admitted on Banger TV that “Ghosts Of War” is one of his favorite songs from his time with the iconic thrash outfit.
In his chat with metal documentarian Sam Dunn, Lombardo explained that it was how the the track from Slayer’s 1988 record South Of Heaven feels while playing it that makes it stand out to him so much.
“Probably several reasons. The song structure, of course. It has a great pulse, great lyrics, the melody, just the way the song was put together. The drum break—It’s just so heavy when it breaks down into that section. The guitars are so chunky. And the groove—It feels good. That’s the bottom line. It’s gotta have feeling. It’s gotta breathe. Otherwise it’s just sterile; it’s just a straight line, no emotion. And that song, I think, captures a feeling. And there’s some songs that do and some that don’t. And that, I believe, has all the makings or the quality of, for me, a pure, great metal track, thrash metal track.”
I’m pretty sure if you asked most Slayer fans what their favorite song was, you’d be hard pressed to find too many people who’d name the same deep cut as Lombardo did. Depending on their familiarity with the band, it’s incredibly likely you’d hear way more calls for “Mandatory Suicide,” “War Ensemble,” or “Raining Blood” than “Ghosts of War.”
And while his admission might seem like a shock to most fans, it really shouldn’t at all, since he was quoted as saying a very similar thing during an interview last year with Metal Hammer magazine.
“‘Ghosts Of War’ has a breakdown in the middle of the song, where I play these particular drum rolls over Kerry [King] and Jeff’s [Hanneman] riffing—It’s a certain break, and every time I played that section and that song, it would give me the goosebumps. It would just make me feel good. Whatever it is that music does to humans, stimulate your endorphins or whatever, that song uplifted me and gave me the chills when I was playing it.”
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