Thoughts On Tomorrow’s Slayer ‘Raining Blood’ For Orchestra
“Raining blood / From a lacerated sky”
I received a video from my friend Rick Calvert, that created a DMX-512 lightorama version of Slayer ‘Raining Blood’. What an awesome idea, and then I thought… Slayer. For Orchestra.
The lyrics are deep. The drums drive. The guitar screams. And the intro suspends.
Slayer’s Raining Blood was released in 1986 on the album “Reign in Blood“, at a time when punk rock and metal were merging as superior genres of the underground. It has power and attitude. Perfect for the orchestra.
We used the brass section to create the powerful undertone with the trumpets, horns, and trombones. The introduction started off with violin tremolos and waterphone in order to create a suspenseful pre-cursor for 2 reasons: to create suspense, and to have a ‘breathing point’ before the main riff kicks in.
There is no rest in this orchestration – everything comes out screaming. The flutes were used for the lyrics – which was a surprising choice given the ‘heaviness’ of the song – but the result is just as you’d want it to be. Surprising. Beautiful. And breathless. We added harp, trills, and ritardandos (gradually slowing down a tempo) to add to the structure of the orchestration.
These lyrics got me thinking. I really connected how they described how blood was shed from a laceration. Blood was poured out from the sky, but it could have been anything, and so then I thought that there are so many things in other’s lives that we don’t know what’s behind them, until we open them up. The more experiences you have, the more we learn about each other. And the more others open up, the more we learn about them.
Humans aren’t perfect. They’re meant to experience pain, love, adventure, suspense, joy, and more. Everyone has their own lacerations, and everyone has their own problems. But it’s important that we look through them, learn from them, and grow from them, because obstacles make us who we are. Striving to be the best we can be allows us to be confident in opening up to others because you’ll never know what they may learn, what lives you’ll change, and how much better you’ll make things. I’ve learned that lacerations may draw blood, but that just means we’re human.