Heavy metal band Slayer are courting controversy among Christian groups by releasing sacrilegious artwork on their latest album. The cover for upcoming record CHRIST ILLUSION depicts a tattooed and amputated Jesus Christ standing in a sea of blood and corpses, and has infuriated right-wing religious groups. The Californian foursome are preparing themselves for a bitter backlash after the pictures were slammed as hurtful and grossly irreverent. However, guitarist KERRY KING defends the shocking imagery, saying, "We wanted Christ in a sea of despair. "The first version that came back looked like he was just chilling out in the water!" Frontman TOM ARAYA adds, "Then when they sent a new one he had his eyes half open and was surrounded by floating heads. It was much better because he looked like a drug addict!" Slayer hit the headlines last month (06JUN06) when fans desecrated a New York City seminary after being urged by a fansite to cause chaos on the so-called day of the devil. They have also angered 9/11 victims' families with extremist track JIHAD, which appears on their new album.