DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll says that too much has been made of the fact that he had dreams of visiting the afterlife before waking up from a 12-day coma after testing positive for coronavirus.
The 47-year-old musician was hospitalized at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco after catching the virus on a European tour in March. While comatose at the facility, Carroll said he saw himself leave his body and plummet down to hell, where Satan — a woman in his case — punished him for the deadly sin of sloth, morphing him into a Jabba The Hutt-like-monster who vomited blood until he had a heart attack.
A number of mainstream news outlets picked up Carroll's story and focused on the "Satan" angle, with the New York Post running the headline "Death Angel Drummer Says He Met Satan During Near-Death Coronavirus Coma"
On Thursday (May 21), Carroll took to his Facebook page to chastise the media, explaining that his supposed encounter with the devil was only a small part of his experience.
"It seems a lot of news outlets are taking my story and completely missing the point of it," he wrote. "They're focusing on my dream, vision, hallucination, whatever, which is a small part of a bigger story. What they should be focusing on is what it took for me to beat this horrible virus. And the doctors and nurses that worked so hard to make this happen. This whole 'Satan' thing is getting blown wayyy out of proportion."
Earlier in the week, Carroll wrote on social media that he was not quite ready to embrace "the God thing."
"To make things clear. I'm not some holy roller all of a sudden," he said. "I won't be attending church every Sunday and I won't be quoting scripture. I still like and have an interest in evil music, movies, art and literature. But this experience was quite frightening to the point where I truly believe a higher power saved me. What that higher power is I haven't quite figured out.
"I strongly believe that everyone's collective prayers and positive energy played a big part in my recovery," he continued. "Before this nightmare I didn't think something like that was possible and I know for sure that Satan had nothing to do with me being alive today. The vision I had was horrifying and it will stay with me forever. But let's not get carried away with the God thing."
Carroll woke up from a medically induced coma on March 30 after spending nearly two weeks on a ventilator. Doctors told the San Francisco Chronicle he was in critical condition and came close to dying.
"He still was near the limits of what we could do with our supportive care, and we were very worried about him," said Dr. George Horng, a pulmonologist.
"He wasn't getting worse, but if he were to get worse, there wasn't much more that we could have done."
Carroll said his near-death experience gave him a new outlook on life.
"I'm still going to listen to satanic metal, and I still love DEICIDE and bands like that," he said. "As far as for my personal life and my experience of what I went through, I don't think Satan's quite as cool as I used to."
On March 22, TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Several days later, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt also said that he was infected with the new coronavirus. Both had spent more than a month on the road with DEATH ANGEL as part of "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" European tour in February and March.
DEATH ANGEL had been touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out in May 2019 via Nuclear Blast.
The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance" for the "Humanicide" title track. It was the group's first Grammy nomination.
Carroll joined DEATH ANGEL in 2009 as the replacement for the band's original drummer, Andy Galeon.
Will can be heard on the last four DEATH ANGEL studio albums: "Relentless Retribution" (2010), "The Dream Calls for Blood" (2013), "The Evil Divide" (2016) and the aforementioned "Humanicide".