Angel of Death (Pt2) King

Animated Angel of Death (Pt2) King tab by Slayer on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is the mega guitar riff from Slayer's song - Angel of Death. It's a cheery little number, as Slayer so often like to make. It's fast, furious and downright METAL. The song is from Reign in Blood - a true classic metal album - and this riff was even sampled for use by Public Enemy on their ground-breaking Album: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

In Part 1 we've already seen the thrashy riffs leading up to this part of the song. Here in Part 2 we look at Kerry King's guitar. This is the riff most people want to learn from the song.

Kerry King starts the riff and Jeff Hanneman joins in later with a slightly different riff. You can see Jeff Hanneman's guitar part here, but we recommend working through King's first (this ActionTab). It's a bit easier on the fingers. Remember you'll need to tune all the strings down by 1 note to Eb tuning:

Low Eb : Ab : Db : Gb : Bb : Eb

This riff involves hammer ons and pull offs at top speed followed closely by some deft picking. Don't expect this to come too easily, especially if you are new to speed picking.

Killer Riff - The riff starts with descending hammer / pull offs along the Ab string starting at fret 7, reverting to palm muting the low Eb string. The whole riff is played with downstrokes, many of them palm muted, but not all.

The riff is quite short and repeats a lot. Here's the starting note, and the last note before repeating it all again.

There is an alternative way to play this riff which we show at the end of the ActionTab - here. Most of the fingerings are the same, except instead of using the little finger, you can drop back with your first finger on the Db string here and here. Some people find this way easier. Try them both out and see which suits you best. There's pros and cons to both ways.

Mid-riff - After the killer riff, this heavy riff takes place. It's similar to the stuff we saw in Part 1. It's short, repetitive and uses the same chords. At this point in the song the tempo is slightly slower, making this riff a little easier than those in Part 1. Both King and Hanneman stick to using downstrokes here.

King and Hanneman occasionally play this little harmony (you can hear both guitars play different notes here if you listen carefully). And later, both play this same lick (i.e. no difference in notes, both play the same thing). If you want to see Hanneman's guitar licks / harmonies check out this ActionTab.

Remember the Golden Rule - Break each riff down into small manageable chunks (doesn't matter if it's only 4 notes or 24). Keep practicing that chunk slowly and get it right before building speed. Once you have it tight, then build the speed. Once you have a reasonable speed, then move to the next chunk. Rinse and repeat!

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