How Pantera Inspired Slayer to Title 2001 Album 'God Hates Us All' | Revolver

How Pantera Inspired Slayer to Title 2001 Album 'God Hates Us All'

Kerry King: "It’s the kind of title that people can make what they want of it. People can apply it to everyday life."
pantera slayer GETTY 2001, Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage
Pantera and Slayer, 2001
photograph by Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage

Released on the fateful date of September 11th, 2001, Slayer's God Hates Us All was an all-too-fitting statement of violence and doom for its time. Featuring now-classic songs like "Disciple" and "Bloodline," it stands years later among the thrash OGs' best, and according to some fans, remains the band's last truly great album. It's blunt, brutal title certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to the record's place in the Slayer pantheon. In Kerry King's own words, "it's an awesome traditional Slayer-type title," right up there with Reign in Blood and South of Heaven. "It's the kind of title that people can make what they want of it," the guitarist enthused around the album's release. "From anyone saying, 'Ahh, my mom died today, I got in a car wreck, God really fuckin' hates me today.' People can apply it to everyday life."

What makes the title even more compelling for metal fans is the fact that King has his buddies in Pantera to thank for it. As he revealed in a 2001 interview with Ink 19, Slayer didn't have an album title at first. They did have songs, however — including "Disciple," which features the line "God hates us all" repeated over and over. It took the Cowboys From Hell to point out what a standout phrase it was. "Pantera were in town when we were recording," King recalled. "This was before we toured with them last summer, and if they're anywhere near me I'll go check them out — they're really good friends of mine. I played the songs for Pantera, and they were like, 'Man, "God Hates Us All" would be a great shirt!' And I was like, 'That would be a great title for the record!' It's the first chorus of the first real song on the album ['Disciple'], so it fell together really well." Indeed, it did.