This song was written by lead singer Dave Mustaine and bass player David Ellefson. The lyrics talk about ending a dysfunctional relationship, and near the end of the song, Mustaine sings about giving the girl "the kiss of death." This led to speculation that the song ends with him killing his partner, but Mustaine has dismissed that, explaining that it is a very personal written at a difficult time. Said Mustaine: "'Tornado of Souls' was written the day I broke up with my fiancé; it explains what I went through, how I sprang out of it. I thought my existence was in that relationship – I was trapped in the eye of a tornado, and if I stepped out of line, I'd be blown to oblivion. No more whirlwind romances for me. If I do get back in that situation, I'm gonna be very aware now and check the weather before I get involved."
The intro of this song is made up by an unusual guitar riff largely based on palm-muted natural harmonics.
Marty Friedman's complex solo in this song is one of his most classic and beloved ones, and it seems to have been an important one for himself too at the time. In a 2002 interview, he recalled: "When I finished the solo to this one, Mustaine came into the studio, listened to it down once, turned around and without saying a word, shook my hand. It was at that moment that I felt like I was truly the guitarist for this band."
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