DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll, who made headlines back in March 2020 when he came close to death after contracting COVID-19, recently battled the virus for the second time. He told Fast Eddie of Capital Chaos TV about his latest experience: “Obviously my second bout with COVID was nowhere near as intense as my first, but it kicked my ass, for sure. I was down for about a week. [It happened] right after we got back from our Japan/Philippines trip. I was getting weird recall of how I felt the days leading up to my coma. Not a pleasant experience.
“As I do this interview, I’m packing for our European co-headlining tour with SACRED REICH,” he continued. “It’s obviously going to be an amazing tour and I’m excited about playing for all of our Euro fans, but I’m not gonna lie, a part of me is dreading going across the pond. I almost died from a virus/disease I contracted over there so I will always equate Europe with my COVID ordeal, which is unfortunate, as I love Europe.”
Carroll first revealed his second COVID-19 battle in an October 3 post on his Facebook page. At the time, he wrote: “Well, my second bout with Covid wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the first but it still kicked the living shit out of me. I’ve been in quarantine pretty much since I got back from Japan/Philippines but today I’m happy to say I tested negative and am feeling much better.”
He added: “Oh, and anyone who feels they need to chime in on how Covid is a farce or the tests don’t mean anything or any conspiracy laden train of thought can go fuck right off.”
Carroll, who spent almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital in March 2020, first got sick when he and the rest of DEATH ANGEL spent more than a month on the road in Europe with TESTAMENT and EXODUS as part of that year’s “The Bay Strikes Back” tour.
The now-50-year-old musician was hospitalized at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco after catching the virus on the aforementioned European tour. 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. He also said his near-death experience gave him a new outlook on life, with plans to live a healthier life as well as a belief in a higher power.
When Carroll initially discussed his vision in a May 2020 interview, a number of mainstream news outlets picked up his 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”
Carroll later 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.”
A few days earlier, 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, 2020 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.”
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”.
DEATH ANGEL will play two Christmas shows on December 21 and December 22 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Support at the gigs will come from the recently reactivated FORBIDDEN.