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Death - Scream Bloody Gore CD (album) cover

SCREAM BLOODY GORE

Death

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.79 | 105 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
2 stars One of the Most Important Albums in Death Metal, But Far From the Best!

When you're talking about death metal, a discussion doesn't go very long without mentioning the classic Scream Bloody Gore from Death. This is the album that is often credited for "creating" death metal. While there is an ongoing argument as to what is the first death metal album, Scream Bloody Gore is undeniably a landmark in the genre.

At this point, Death was fronted by Chuck Schuldiner (as they always were) and it featured Chris Reifert on drums. This album is filled with a level of harshness and brutality that had never been met before. For that reason alone, this album is praised by metalheads worldwide. I am a dedicated fan of the death metal genre, but for some reason this album never did anything for me. The playing is emotionless and cold, the production qualities are awful, and the music is often directionless.

This is not because I dislike Chuck Schuldiner's compositions, either. Death's last four albums are some of the highest quality technical metal albums I've ever heard! Unfortunately, the primitive death metal practiced on this album is nothing compared to their later works. This album won't hold any interest to progressive rock fans, either. Chuck's later efforts will appeal to the traditional prog metal fan, but this album is only for those of you into death metal.

Lyrically, this is Death's worst album by far. Their later albums (aside from Leprosy and partially Spiritual Healing) are focused on human relationships and problems in society, whereas this is just pure gore and violence. These lyrics are awful, and there's no denying it. Every song has something to do with killing people, blood, gore, guts, etc. There really is no lyrical message sent across, and it is disappointing.

The production quality is the worst part of this album, though. The music isn't great anyway, but it's almost unlistenable because of the production qualities. The guitar is muddy, the bass is borderline inaudible, those annoying 80's drums are present, and the vocals sound awful. Needless to say, it wasn't until later Death albums where the production quality was good. When you add on the fact that the songwriting is uninspired and lacking in dynamics, it makes for a rather poor album.

THE MUSIC:

"Infernal Death"- The first song opens up with a slow, but very heavy section. It goes into a fairly interesting mid-tempo riff, making for one of the better moments of the album. Soon it turns into just pure madness, with fast drumming and guitar riffing. The drumming is fairly irritating in this section, mostly due to the poor production quality. There is then a useless guitar solo, and back into more screaming. This song is decent.

"Zombie Ritual"- This starts with a decent enough riff with a good drum rhythm. Unfortunately, the song goes into a fast paced, unintelligent section like the last song. This has a good moment, but the faster sections just don't work here. The drumming is pretty boring during these parts, and the production qualities of this album can't handle the brutality. The chorus is very good and catchy, and there is some good playing from Chuck Schuldiner here. The lyrics are pretty laughable, though. Much of this album does seem like Chuck's trying to get as much violence as he can into one album, and this is no exception.

"Denial of Life"- This has a decent enough opening, like all of the other songs, but it soon turns into another really fast and pointless section with awful drumming. This is followed, however, by an excellent riff. The chorus is great as well, and this features some of the most memorable parts on the album (even though it's not flawless).

"Sacrificial"- This was originally called "Sacrificial C**t" (no, I'm not kidding). This title is actually said multiple times in the song, as well as some ridiculous things like "Choking on your blood, I sh*t on your guts". The music is actually much better than the original title and the lyrics sound, and this is filled with quality riffs. This won't hold much interest in fans of progressive rock, but this is a quality death metal song.

"Mutilation"- This song is stuck with the same flaw that kills most of the songs here. This is just fast noise, focused on brutality more than memorable riffs and rhythms. This song is one of my least favorites from the album, and I think it's a complete throwaway.

"Regurgitated Guts"- Despite the completely ridiculous title, this is a good death metal song. This has good riffs, unlike most of the other songs. The drums are irritating as ever, but at least the riffs are fairly enjoyable. The production is really muddy sounding, though.

"Baptized In Blood"- This starts out with a cool riff and a really high scream from Chuck Schuldiner. It turns into fast and brutal riffing with no real purpose. Chuck is just growling with noise at this point. The chorus is decent, but this is lacking in dynamics.

"Torn To Pieces"- This opens up with a good riff, but the growls are a little irritating. I've grown to enjoy his growling from Human-forward much more. Maybe the poor production qualities make his vocals sound so bad here, because they certainly make Chris Reifert's drumming sound terrible. Musically, this song is nothing special.

"Evil Dead"- This opens up with one of the only "awesome" sections on the album. A repeated guitar melody is excellent, and sounds similar to the NWOBHM bands. Unfortunately, this soon turns into the same fast and pointless riffing present in most of these songs. Honestly, it's really hard to differentiate most of these fast sections from one another. They all sound almost the same. This does have a good guitar solo, though.

"Scream Bloody Gore"- The title track has some cool moments, but much of this song is severely lacking in quality, memorable riffs. The outro is really excellent though, and is a great way to end the album. If more of the album were like that, I would be much happier with the end result.

Conclusion:

Scream Bloody Gore is a borderline disastrous debut album, honestly. I know that this is a landmark album in death metal, and I will not dispute that. However, its flaws in production, songwriting, and musicianship are undeniable. On a metal web site, this would probably be a confident 2.5. Since this has nothing to do with progressive rock, I will lower that to a 1.5. I will go up to a 2 star rating, since a 1 would be a little unfair. Still, this holds little interest for progressive rock fans, and they will have to go later in Death's discography to find any interest at all. If you're into death metal, this is a classic (if flawed) album.

2 stars.

J-Man | 2/5 |

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