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Album: The Downward Spiral
Length: 3:54
Tempo: {{{BPM}}} BPM
Versions: Heresy
Heresy (Version)
Heresy (Blind)
Heresy (Demo)
Live: Self Destruct Warm-up
Performance 2007

"Heresy" is the third track on The Downward Spiral. In 2004, a demo version was included with the Tenth Anniversary 2-disc SACD of The Downward Spiral.

Song Credits




  • Righteous Kill internet teaser trailer



Best described as a scathing attack on religion (particularly Western Christianity), Heresy contains heavy guitar riffs backed up by aggressive vocals and moody synth. The lyrics are ripe with Nietzschean concepts and allude to the infamous "God Is Dead" statement. It is also the second song on the album to contain "The Downward Spiral Motif" and is played (in power chords at Drop D tuning) by the guitars during the chorus as follows:

The motif found in the chorus

Heresy (Version)

Coming soon.

Heresy (Blind)

This version splices up the bass track and the drums to create a dancier beat (like the "Slate" remix of "Head Like A Hole"). In the choruses, there is much less layering.

Song Credits

Heresy (Demo)

This demo version is found on the 2-disc Deluxe Edition of The Downward Spiral. The vocals in the verses are whispered and are not as layered as they are in the final album version. As well, the tempo is slower, and the structure is altered, specifically in the introduction.


When performed during the Self Destruct warm up shows in 1994, the song was played very similar to the album version. The only noticeable difference is the much louder guitars to the point where the famous The Downward Spiral motif in the chorus can be heard clearly. The way it was played in 1994 is similar to how it is played 2007.


    He sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see
    He tries to tell me what I put inside of me
    He’s got the answers to ease my curiosity
    He dreamed a god up and called it Christianity
    Your God is dead and no one cares
    If there is a Hell I will see you there
    He flexed his muscles to keep his flock of sheep in line
    He made a virus that would kill off all the swine
    His perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain
    Demands devotion atrocities done in his name
    Your God is dead and no one cares
    Drowning in his own hypocrisy
    If there is a Hell I will see you there
    Burning with your god in humility
    Will you die for this?

The last two lines of the final chorus as printed in the liner notes can't be heard on the final album cut.

External Links