Former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo reiterates his love for the iconic thrash metal band’s track “Ghosts Of War”
Speaking with Banger TV‘s Sam Dunn, original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked why he previously named “Ghosts Of War”, from the band’s 1988 album “South Of Heaven”, as one of his favorite SLAYER songs. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “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.”
When Dave initially revealed “Ghosts Of War” as one of his favorite SLAYER songs in a 2022 talk with Metal Hammer, he said: “‘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.”
Lombardo also picked the track “Captor Of Sin” from SLAYER‘s 1984 EP “Haunting The Chapel”, noting: “The reason why is that is the first time I started to use double bass.”
Dave’s final choice in his three favorite SLAYER songs was “Beauty Through Order”, saying: “I have to go with something from ‘World Painted Blood’, as that was Hanneman‘s last album. ‘Beauty Through Order’, I remember recording that song, as the music had a natural crescendo, a natural de-crescendo too. We didn’t follow the grid and just stay metronomically correct, we went with the emotion of the song. The song started off, for example, 150bpm, but at the end of the song it was 175/180bpm, because it grew with intensity.
“I remember sitting with Hanneman on the ‘World Painted Blood’ tour, before he got sick, and listening to that song,” he added. “We would laugh at some of the whammy bar parts that were overdubbed, it sounded like some kind of bird or something flying through the air.”
Lombardo, who has predominantly split his recent years among various musical endeavors, including crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS, hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS, and MR. BUNGLE, faced an effective dismissal from SLAYER. This occurred after he opted out of the group’s Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to contractual disputes with his fellow band members. His replacement came in the form of Paul Bostaph, who had previously served as SLAYER‘s drummer from 1992 to 2001.
Following his departure, Lombardo revealed that he uncovered a startling fact: approximately 90 percent of SLAYER‘s tour earnings were being deducted as expenses, which encompassed management fees and other costs, ultimately resulting in the band losing millions. This left them with a mere 10 percent of the proceeds to be divided among the four members. Lombardo and Tom Araya took the initiative to engage auditors to investigate the financial discrepancies. However, Lombardo expressed that he was never granted access to the obtained information throughout the process.
SLAYER performed their last concert ever in November 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles.