DEATH ANGEL drummer Will Carroll has returned behind the kit for the first time since spending almost two weeks on a ventilator in an intensive care unit at a Northern California hospital. The musician — who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus — 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 "The Bay Strikes Back 2020" tour.
On Thursday (May 28), Carroll took to his Facebook page to write: "I just played my drums tonight for the first time since the last show of The Bay Strikes Back tour and a lot has happpened since then and now. I'm happy to say things went great. Everything came back to me quickly. I jammed for close to 2 hours and never got winded and my heart never raced. Aside from getting a couple of vicious blisters on my fingers everything felt as it should. I'm super stoked to be back on the horse."
Carroll told San Francisco's KRON-TV that he "knew" he had been infected with the coronavirus while he was still in Europe.
"Halfway through the tour, people started getting sick and it started spreading from one person to the other," he said. "Once I did get sick, the third or fourth to last day [of the tour], it hit me pretty hard and I knew I probably had COVID. I just knew it."
Carroll said that after the last show in Germany got canceled, DEATH ANGEL and the other two bands flew home and went into self-quarantine. He was hospitalized a few days later.
"My fever was so rampant that I don't remember the ambulance picking me up," he said. "I don't remember the trip to the hospital. I don't remember getting to the hospital. That's all a blur. They put me in a coma, 'cause my lungs were failing," Will said. "And they put me on a ventilator. And I was in that state for 12 days. And that was no picnic…. When I was in the coma, I had heart failure at one point. The more I hear, the more horrified I get. So I'd just rather not know. [Laughs]"
He said the doctors were amazed to see him regain consciousness.
"When I came to, the doctors were, like, shocked," he said. "They were shocked. They thought I was gonna die. That's one of the first things out of their mouths — [it] was, 'We thought you were a goner, for sure.'"
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.
DEATH ANGEL had spent most of the last few months touring in support of its ninth album, "Humanicide", which came out last May 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".