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Metal drummer Will Carroll claims he met Satan in COVID-19 coma

Drummer Will Carroll  of Death Angel performs at Aftershock Festival at Discovery Park on Oct. 22, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.
Drummer Will Carroll of Death Angel performs at Aftershock Festival at Discovery Park on Oct. 22, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif. Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

After spending nearly two weeks in a coma fighting COVID-19, Death Angel drummer Will Carroll has revealed that during his battle with the virus, he had bizarre dreams of the afterlife, where he would be sent to hell and meet Satan.

Carroll tested positive for the novel coronavirus shortly after the conclusion of Death Angel’s most recent European tour.

The illness left him in a critical state where he was put on a ventilator while lying unconscious in a California Pacific Medical Center hospital bed for 12 days before recovering.

In an exclusive interview with the San Francisco Chronicle published on May 15 — just days after the musician’s 47th birthday — Carroll revealed that in his dreams, the devil would punish him for the “deadly sin of sloth.”

The musician said Satan would transform him into a creature similar to that of Star Wars‘ Jabba the Hutt, and that he would vomit blood until he ultimately had a heart attack.

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During the first few days of his treatment, Carroll’s heart failed multiple times as a result of the intensity of his medication, according to a medical staff member.

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Carroll told the San Francisco Chronicle that “what he went through” allowed him to change some of his typical lifestyle habits, including his once-heavy alcohol and cannabis intake.

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“I’m still going to listen to Satanic metal (though), and I still love Deicide and bands like that,” joked the musician after admitting his experience battling the virus felt like “returning from hell.”

Carroll later admitted that after beating COVID-19, he doesn’t think “Satan’s quite as cool as (he) used to.”

While it’s unclear exactly when or where Carroll contracted COVID-19, he believes it was on an airplane heading back to the U.S. from Death Angel’s 24-date co-headlining tour with Testament and Exodus.

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The tour concluded mid-March in Germany and ended quite miserably for all three of the veteran metal bands.

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Between each of the band’s members and crews, 10 others were diagnosed with COVID-19, including Testament frontman Chuck Billy, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The Bay Strikes Back tour kicked off on Feb. 6 and concluded on March 11 — one day before the band headed back to California, and only a few before President Donald Trump called for a travel ban in the U.S.

Though the bands were aware of the concern surrounding the novel coronavirus, mass gatherings were not yet banned at the time, meaning they were able to power through the five-week tour anyway — with only one cancelled gig in Milan, Italy, on Feb. 25.

Chuck Billy, singer of the American trash metal band Testament, performing live on stage in Bologna, at the Bologna Sonic Park 2019 first-ever edition, opening for Slipknot.
Chuck Billy, singer of the American trash metal band Testament, performing live on stage in Bologna, at the Bologna Sonic Park 2019 first-ever edition, opening for Slipknot. Alessandro Bosio/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

“The last couple of days were tough,” Carroll recalled of the tour. “Not that we like shows to be cancelled, but in that situation, we just wanted to go home.”

Front-line health-care workers treating Carroll told the San Francisco Chronicle that his situation was a “wake-up call” for them.

“We realized in that moment that COVID-19 is here now, and (that) this is a disease that can really do some serious damage to otherwise young, healthy people,” said Ritik Chandra, an emergency medicine doctor at the institute.

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On March 30, Carroll finally awoke from his unconscious state and said he received a standing ovation from those treating him.

Additionally, he recalled the first words he said upon waking up.

“I woke up on the hospital bed with tubes coming in and out of me, and there was a nurse right there and my first words were, ‘Am I still in hell?’ She ignored me,” he said.

(L-R) Damien Sisson, Will Carroll, Mark Osegueda, Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar of Death Angel attend the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif.
(L-R) Damien Sisson, Will Carroll, Mark Osegueda, Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar of Death Angel attend the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, Calif. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Death Angel’s latest release is their ninth studio album Humanicide (2019) — which earned them their first Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance earlier this year.

For more information on the band, or to find their music, you can visit the official Death Angel website.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca