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Death - Symbolic CD (album) cover

SYMBOLIC

Death

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.21 | 552 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm not that knowledgeable about the more extreme forms of metal and I don't often listen to it, but this album struck a chord with me. The band Death is of course knows as one of the founders of the death metal genre. To me the sound of Death on 'Symbolic' (a later album in their career) sounds like a more extreme form of the thrash metal of Metallica's 'Justice For All'-album. Darker, more abstract, more continuously angry, less trigger happy on the melody and Death is certainly not basing a song on a melodic pattern. The band puts many musical ideas in every song and though there's little variation in sound, this album is quite diverse in its approach to the death metal genre. For me the intense and extremely well-timed vocals of Chuck Schuldiner are a real winner here. The ability to keep the songs tense, exciting and abstract is also worth mentioning; the band often cuts of its more melodic parts quite early - only to introduce those heavy non-melodic guitar riffs that keep the overall atmosphere metallic and modern. Song structure is the hardest composition element to master, but Death surely are among the most gifted of the death metal genre in this regard. There's an often misunderstood artistry to the better thrash/death metal music, that could easily be compared to the atonal nature of modern classical music. For every band like Death there are probably more than a dozen bands that just fire riffs without ever touching that atmospheric finesse that an album like this represents. There are a lot of ways to score easily with the metal crowds - and nowadays that crowd seems to almost demand its identity-empowering metal clichés. Death seems to purposefully avoid them all on 'Symbolic'. Therefor, to me it seems absurd to doubt whether this album is progressive enough.
friso | 4/5 |

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