Tom Araya

Although satanic imagery and grisly subject matter was nothing new to the realm of heavy metal (Venom, Black Sabbath, etc.), it wasn't until Slayer came along in the early '80s that it was explored so thoroughly. Although the band's brutal guitar riffing and superhuman double bass drumming were major ingredients of the band's sound, it was frontman/bassist Tom Araya's screaming vocal style and disturbing lyrics that set Slayer apart from the rest of the thrash metal pack. Born on June 6, 1962, in Santiago, Chile, Tom Araya and his family fled to the United States (California to be specific) when he was only four due to the political turbulence that Chile was experiencing. Inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal as a teen (Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest), Araya took up the bass and began jamming with local musicians.