Raining Blood - Composition

Composition

"Raining Blood" is four minutes and seventeen seconds long, and is Reign in Blood's closing track. The song is one of three songs from the album that exceeds three minutes in length. Steve Huey from Allmusic proposed that "Reign in Blood opens and closes with slightly longer tracks (the classics 'Angel of Death' and 'Raining Blood') whose slower riffs offer most of the album's few hints of melody." The song's music was written solely by guitarist Hanneman (who is also a primary writer of the song's lyrics), who presented both hostility and anger in his writing. Huey also noted that "the riffs are built on atonal chromaticism that sounds as sickening as the graphic violence depicted in many of the lyrics," and said that it was "monstrously" and "terrifyingly evocative."

Clay Jarvis from Stylus Magazine wrote that the song possessed "a red-herring, scorched-earth intro, eerie thunderstorm-and-tom-tom-triplet interlude and one of the most recognizable riffs in metal history. It is a dynamic, explosive and fitting end to a remarkable, violent experience." D. X. Ferris wrote, author of the 33⅓ book Reign In Blood, that the song "lunges to life with its core riff, the ten most recognizable notes in metal, a diminished-scale run down the fretboard that's the most badass guitar riff since Black Sabbath's 'Sweet Leaf'." Guitarist Kerry King said that "The intro is big with the two harmony and then the first beat that Dave does, that double-kick thing, and it's like this backwards gallop that gets the crowd going wherever you are." The piece ends with a full minute of "rain sound effects," closing Reign in Blood.

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