Postmortem by Slayer Lyrics Meaning – The Haunting Interpretation of Existential Decay


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Slayer's Postmortem at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Funeral held for the depression of man
Holds the key to his own death
Entering a tomb of a corpse yet conceived
Tighten the tourniquet around your neck

Sifting away the debris of hated life
Cold touch of death begins to chill your spine
Seeking life beyond your perishment
Repeating words echoing through your mind

Chanting lines of blind witchery
To save yourself from extinction
Wanting to die is your reason to live
New life born from the oppressed

Taste your blood as it trickles through the air
Another casualty beyond the shadows you fall
Losing ground, the fate you feel it draws near
Fatality, reality, you await the final call

My sinful glare at nothing holds thoughts of death behind it
Skeletons in my mind commence tearing at my sanity
Vessels in my brain carry death until my birth
Come and die with me forever
Share insanity

Do you want to die!

The waves of blood are rushing near, pounding at the walls of lies
Turning off my sanity, reaching back into my mind
Non-rising body from the grave showing new reality
What I am, what I want, I’m only after death

Full Lyrics

Slayer’s ‘Postmortem,’ a track from their seminal 1986 album ‘Reign in Blood,’ remains an unrelenting force in the thrash metal genre. The song’s lyrics present a chilling narrative, delving deep into themes of life, death, and the psychological struggle in between. To understand ‘Postmortem’ is to dissect an intricate web of metaphor and nihilism woven by lyricist Jeff Hanneman.

The prowess of Slayer’s musicality isn’t just in the aggressive riffs or the pounding percussion; it’s also in their ability to confront listeners with the existential horrors that lie beneath the veneer of civilized society. As we explore the lyrics of ‘Postmortem,’ we unveil a multifaceted narrative that questions the nature of existence and our preoccupation with mortality.

A Visceral Expedition into the Human Psyche

At first glance, the ferocity of ‘Postmortem’ seems only to echo the darkness of its composition. Yet, at a deeper level, these lyrics are a profound exploration of human consciousness and the often suppressed fixation on our inevitable demise. Through a meticulous choice of words, the song thrusts listeners into an existential examination of what it means to be alive and the dread of what awaits.

By invoking strong imagery like ‘funeral held for the depression of man,’ the song immediately imbues a sense of universal despair. It’s the story of every person’s internal battle, not just against external hardships but also the inexorable march toward death, the ‘final call’ that resonates through the chambers of our subconscious.

The Tourniquet of Self-Realization

The sinuous symbolism of a ‘tourniquet around your neck’ embodies the self-imposed restrictions we place on our vitality. By examining this metaphor within ‘Postmortem,’ it’s evident that Slayer isn’t just addressing death in a physical sense but also the metaphorical death of spirit and autonomy, brought on by societal norms and personal angst.

This self-strangling sensation represents an awakening – a brutal recognition of life’s fleeting nature and the urgency behind every breath. As much as it is about the end, ‘Postmortem’ is equally about the desperate clinging to existence, even when it seems that our grip is slipping.

The Song’s Hidden Meaning: Existential Rebellion

Beneath the song’s surface lies a poignant tale of rejecting passive acceptance of life’s script. Slayer is known for pushing against the grains of conformity, and ‘Postmortem’ dwells on the precipice of this dissent. The lyrics ‘Taste your blood as it trickles through the air’ aren’t just examples of thrash metal’s penchant for the macabre but are a call to recognize and savor the raw substance of life.

As the band leads us through a gory soundscape, they urge an existential rebellion, not in the search for death, but for a life beyond the ‘debris of hated life.’ ‘Postmortem’ becomes an anthem for those who desire to tear away the facades and ‘share insanity,’ challenging the norms of what it means to truly live.

Memorable Lines: Echoes of Madness

‘My sinful glare at nothing holds thoughts of death behind it’ is one of the song’s most arresting lines. It captures the essence of the void that stares back at us as we gaze into our mortality. These memorable lyrics become almost liturgical, a sinister and confessional mantra that articulates the chaos writhing within the human mind.

These verses aren’t mere fiction; they’re reflections of our darkest corners, the internal monologue of a psyche grappling with reality’s fragility. Each line becomes a piece in a maddening puzzle, where Slayer doesn’t simply offer us answers but forces us to confront the questions.

The Final Call: An Elegy for the Living

In the throes of ‘Postmortem,’ we are not just spectating death; we are living it. The song culminates in a crescendo of fatalistic realization, underscoring the thin veneer separating our everyday existence from our fascination with the end. ‘Fatality, reality, you await the final call’ is perhaps the song’s most chilling indictment—a solemn proclamation that life is perpetually intertwined with death.

Yet, the brilliance of ‘Postmortem’ lies not in macabre resignation but in the power it bestows upon listeners. It stands as a stark reminder that our days are numbered, and in this acknowledgment, there is a perverse type of freedom. Slayer, in delivering this uncomfortable truth, offers a gateway to authentically relish the tempest of living.

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