The song is played regularly in concert and is from the album 'Show No Mercy,' which generated massive controversy for its satanic themes of 666 and an inverted cross in the album artwork. 'Show No Mercy' was the band's debut album, which was self-financed from lead singer Tom Araya's savings as well as money Kerry King borrowed from his father.
This song came off Slayer's eighth studio album 'God Hates Us All' and got the band their first Grammy nomination. The album's name came from 'Disciple''s lyrics, as Tom Araya sings "God hates us all, God hates us all / You know it's true God hates this place / You know it's true he hates this race"
'Postmortem' is featured in 'Reign in Blood,' which is significantly shorter than the band's previous records, running only 29 minutes long. Slayer later said that they were listening to a lot of Metallica and Megadeth while recording the album and were tired of the repetition. They decided to create a more fast-paced and to-the-point record.
This track -- depicting the horrors of war -- helped earn Slayer some much-deserved airplay on MTV; it appears off of the album 'Seasons in the Abyss' which was released 19 years ago on October 9, 1990.
Slayer took a break from the world of satanism to discuss religion on this track from the album 'Reign in Blood.'
'Dead Skin Mask'
The inspiration for this song comes from Ed Gein, a murderer and grave robber who would make trinkets out of the skin and bones of the deceased. The track was also selected as one of the Top 10 Halloween Metal Songs by the editors of NoiseCreep.com.
'South of Heaven'
'South of Heaven' was featured off the same-titled album -- following 'Reign in Blood' -- and was consciously slowed down to give a break from the belligerent, fast feel of the previous record. Despite initial mixed reviews, the song 'South of Heaven' as well as the track, 'Mandatory Suicide' have both become favorites and are often played live.
'Seasons in the Abyss'
The song deals with the apocalypse and the possibility of man reverting to sadist rituals and inhuman behaviors.
'Angel of Death'
Guitarist Jeff Hanneman wrote the song about the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele after reading books about him. The lyrics depict the gruesome experiments Dr. Mengele performs on his subjects. Many critics viewed the song as being Nazi sympathetic, however this was not Hanneman's intention; he only thought the subject was interesting.
The track is Slayer's signature song and often played live. In a 'South Park' episode entitled 'Die Hippie, Die' the character Cartman says, "Hippies can't stand death metal" and literally drills through a hippie concert while playing 'Raining Blood.' Guitarist Kerry King thought the episode was funny and said, "It was good to see the song being put to good to use. If we can horrify some hippies, we've done our job."