That demonic shriek in the first few seconds of "Angel of Death" — that's a devilish wail of none other than Slayer frontman Tom Araya.

Born in Chile on June 6, 1961, Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was 5. After learning to play the bass at 8 and listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones with his brother, he would eventually go on to become one of the greatest, most ferocious leaders in metal as the vocalist and bassist for one of thrash's household Big Four names.

Araya joined Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Dave Lombardo in 1981 to form Slayer. Covering topics such as war, Satanism, mass destruction and terrorism while playing more aggressively than any other band on the scene, Slayer attracted both a great deal of controversy as well as a devoted fanbase. After several decades, they finally called it quits at the end of 2019 and will no longer tour.

Slayer's legacy has been undeniably profound on the entire heavy metal genre, and the band have often been referred to as a direct influence on the rise of death metal. Araya's distinctive, volatile vocal style makes it easy to identify him in seconds, and years of headbanging faster than the speed of sound even resulted in him needing back surgery. It doesn't get more badass than that.

Check out photos of Araya throughout the years in the gallery below.

Photos of Slayer's Tom Araya Through the Years

See photos of Tom Araya from the beginning of Slayer's career through the band's retirement.

Slayer: All 118 Songs, Ranked From Worst To Best

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