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THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE

Death

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Death The Sound of Perseverance album cover
4.13 | 294 ratings | 31 reviews | 51% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Scavenger of Human Sorrow (6:54)
2. Bite the Pain (4:29)
3. Spirit Crusher (6:44)
4. Story to Tell (6:34)
5. Flesh and the Power it Holds (8:25)
6. Voice of the Soul (3:42)
7. To Forgive is to Suffer (5:55)
8. A Moment of Clarity (7:22)
9. Painkiller (6:03)

Total Time 56:08

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Chuck Schuldiner / vocals, guitar
- Richard Christy / drums
- Scott Clendenin / bass
- Shannon Hamm / guitar

Releases information

Nuclear Blast 27361 63372
Produced by Jim Morris and Chuck Schuldiner
Music and lyrics by Chuck Schuldiner
Cover art and logo by Travis Smith

Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the addition
and to aapatsos for the last updates
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DEATH The Sound of Perseverance ratings distribution


4.13
(294 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(51%)
51%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (12%)
12%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

DEATH The Sound of Perseverance reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Death, of course, owe much to Kreator for their overall sound, which has not changed much since "SBG", except in terms of production and the additional detail in the riffs, which is what I think leads to the misconception that this might somehow be progressive.

It isn't.

It's metal, and whether you want to call it Death Metal because it's by a band called Death, or whether you want to face the facts and wake up to the fact that it's a bunch of over-elaborate, calculated and memorised riffs and tangential changes, it makes no difference. One could be generous and call it "technical" metal, but that's a technicality really, as there's nothing technical about the songwriting.

"Scavenger of Human Sorrow" begins with a crisply executed drum solo, that feeds into a bit of widdley-woo, then the main (hiccuping) drum riff that underpins the guitar riffs which seem to have been adapted from a Kreator album. Even the vocals these days have stopped being Chuck's trademark gutteral grunts that gave the Death edge to the sound, and are more a diluted version of Kreator's, with an extraordinary similarity to Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth.

There's another riff, in which the bass does something different to the guitar, presumably to indicate that it can, then another riff, another riff, another riff - clearly someone had a lot of riffs they wanted to use...

Then there's a quiet bit, apparently led by the bass, which concentrates like mad on keeping an odd time signature going using really boring steps in order to help keep count, I'd wager.

This plethora of simliar riffs soon gets very old, and really, this piece is at least 3 minutes too long and lacks any kind of real drama or build up, and the re-emergence of the earlier bundle of riffs is all too apparent, proving that the structure here is a bog-standard rock song structure.

There is no vision here - the last 3 minutes could just as well have been copied from the first 3 and pasted in here, with a few details changed here and there.

"Bite The Pain" is similarly non-progressive. Melody - there is none in the vocals, but the guitar parts occasionally shine through with some catchy fragments. Rhythm - you hear sooooo many bands writing riffs with rhythms that are intended to baffle that it all ends up sounding pretty much the same, and I fail to be impressed with these - they're all repeated anyway, so there's no development. Harmony. Hah! There is no harmony to speak of. Slabs of open 5th power chords, with noodling guitar solos and monotonous vocals means a complete dearth of harmony. Form. Standard Rock song with more riffs than it really needs in the name of so- called "complexity" - this is wearying, not exciting. Timbre - There are really loud bits and not so loud bits, but the overall sound is pretty much unchanging throughout.

"Spirit Crusher" begins with a bass riff. That's a really nice tone on the bass, but I'd bet the guitar is just going to pick it up in unison... Oh, yes. It does. Then there's another riff...

None of these riffs are instrinsically bad - they're actually quite good on the whole, but nothing that you can't find on a large number of albums from the late 1980s, but done with a clearer vision of how the pieces are going to pan out, and a sense of song development instead of this really annoying tendency to just go off at a mad tangent with a new idea constructed in order to sound bogglingly complex while it just isn't.

Even the impressively fast guitar flurries don't save this piece from sinking into the same monotony as its predecessor.

"Story To Tell" begins like part II of "Spirit Crusher" - the riffs in exactly the same soundscape. The overall feel is slower, but the monotony is exactly the same.

"Flesh and the Power It Holds" begins with striding guitar riffs in complete step movement: Obviously, it's difficult to do odd rythms when you're playing striding features - it's much easier to do that when you're playing power chords that are close together, and that is exactly what happens next.

Some good riffs in here - and I like the starts and stops, particularly the one around 3:40, that drops into a nice chunking riff. However, the annoying tangential change to a striding bass riff coupled with noodly guitar solo around 30 seconds later is just dull, dull, dull. And it sounds like the bass player is playing the wrong notes most of the time. A clear demonstration of why understanding harmony is a good thing.

"Voice of The Soul" starts promisinglyish, with an acoustic guitar riff and bass pedal notes with soaring guitar - straight out of the NWOBHM text book... This is actually the most interesting track on the album, as the drums stay out of the picture, and the piece is built up with guitars alone. But it's still just a collection of riffs. To hear how this should be done, buy "Canterbury" by Diamond Head.

"To Forgive Is To Suffer", apart from having a very negative title that makes me tut with annoyance, is another collection of riffs - I like the main riff a great deal, but find the slowing down and speeding up a continual irritance.

"A Moment of Clarity" is anything but... Can't tell you how long I've been waiting to trot out that little chestnut ;0)

The focus is, well, non-existant and the tangents obfuscate everything except the band's lack of understanding of how to put together a developing piece of music. Again, a standard rock structure with elongated solo passages is exactly what Rock bands have been doing for decades - so null points on the Prog scale yet again.

"Painkiller" is anything but... (Yay! I got that one in again!) - a raucous piece that begins far more in Kreator mode than anything thus far - it could have been lifted from "Extreme Agression" - maybe it's the title track... I need to go back and listen to it. What a great album that is... er... back to the album in hand...

A fair summary really - if you liked Kreator, then you probably own all of their material, so there's no point buying this.

If you liked early Death and wanted to find out what they were up to recently, then you might like this - but there's none of the originality of their original outings, even though the standard of playing has improved considerably. Note that this does not apply to the standard of musicianship, which is meandering and contrived at best.

An album for collectors of "brutal" metal, but safe to ignore if you're into Prog.

There's no Prog here.

Just Metal - and if you ignore the squeaky-clean production, technically precise playing and over-fiddly riffs, there's not much left.

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Send comments to Certif1ed (BETA) | Report this review (#66815) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006

Review by AtLossForWords
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Death metal's contribution to progressive music.

Death's Sound of Perseverence is probably one of the most progressive attempts at a straight up death metal album. Death is well known for their extreme metal innovation in the late '80s and early '90s. Sound of Perseverence is quite different, it's not about blasting heavy guitars with blast beats, this album is much more structured, musical, and technical than most death metal albums of it's time.

The vocals are not the gutteral growls that Chuck Schuldiner became so famous for, but they are much more like screams heard in melodic death metal bands like At the Gates or In Flames. the vocals may be too extreme to the average listener, but they have a clarity that most death metal albums do not have.

The guitars do some impressive work. Chuck Schuldiner and Shannon Hamm blend emotion and technique quite well. The album has dissonant melodies and precise soloing. The riffing is quite complex using quite unconventional rythymn figures. A true highlight is voice of the soul blending some acoustic and distorted tones togethor to create quite an instrumental piece.

The drums do some notable work too. Richard Christy does an excellent job of changing signatures and varying cymbals. It's quite technical drum work. The double bass is not typical extreme metal repeatition, but structured off and on beat precision. The fills are often and exciting. The drum tracks alone on this album are worth listening to.

The bass does some great stuff. For a death metal band, Scott Clendinon strays from root notes, and moves in and out of fills and time signature making the bass an excellent listen. The bass is a unique highlight from a genre that doesn't emphasize much bottom end technique.

The production is great. The extreme screams are clear and audible, a pleasant suprise. The guitar tones are strong and variant. The drums are crisp, clear, and powerful. The bass is potent enough to cut through this mix of powerful drums and a wall of guitars. I have no complaints from producer Jim Morris and Morrisound studios on this album.

Is this album progressive, definately. The album shows class musicianship and variation. The emotion is a rarity for extreme metal. The late Chuck Schuldiner made an album that has certainly touched all fans of his genre and many others. All in all this is quite possibly the best effort from a Florida Death Metal band to produce an album of progressive stature. Why not five stars then, as good as it is, it's not perfect. The compositions could be longer and more complete. I feel that as variant and precise the compositions are they lack the length to give a sense of completion.

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Send comments to AtLossForWords (BETA) | Report this review (#69634) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2006

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I'll start this review by saying that if you're not a fan of screeching and screams, then you might not like this album. I happen to love Chuck's high pitched screams and screeches, but even for those who don't.... I suggest you give it a chance before saying no to this album. Chuck's voice has gone more high pitched, but it doesn't derail the awesomeness of the music one bit. This is probably the second best Death album, only beaten by Symbolic, the previous masterpiece. In terms of lyrics "The Sound Of Perseverance" is even another time an improvement in comparsion with it's predecessor. I think Chuck's lyrics only get better and better over time with his music.

This album deals out a lot of everything. There is a fair share of chunking, speed, and melody to go around for everyone. The drums on this album are some of the best I've heard on any Death album. Chuck made a good decision to pick up Richard Christy. From the first ten seconds of listening, you can tell that he's a very intense drummer, on an album with very intense drumming. It goes not as beyond as Gene Hoglan's unreached performances on the previous two albums but still are not describable by words.

The guitar work is superb as usual...dealing out bits of technicality, melody, speed, and heaviness. The bass on the album is okay, but I liked Death better with Steve D. Now I'll review each song on the album.

Track one: Scavenger of Human Sorrow

Excellent opening with the jaw dropping drum work from Richard Christy. For the first little bit, this song seems more like a chunked song, but it gradually gets faster and more technical. I'd say this is probably the most technical song on the album. It's also one of my favorites because of the melody and technicality it delivers. The lyrics are also catchy and stick very well with the listener, usually.

Track two: Bite the Pain

The opening guitar riff gives the feeling of moving into a bottomless pit. This song is speedier after the first couple of riffs, and in the first few lyrics Chuck really pushes his scream hard, which I love. Good song, but there isn't much else to say about it except for what I've already said. It's good, but there isn't much to say.

Track three: Spirit Crusher

The opening bass riff is simple, but it gives a good unsettling feeling, as if something is about to come up and smash you in the face. Then, low and behold, the music breaks into the moment and crushes everything in its path. This song isn't based on speed as much as Bite the Pain or Scavenger of Human Sorrow, it's more based on chunk riffing. There is some speed here and there (especially in the solo), but it's more of a heavy song than a fast one. One of Death's catchiest songs.

Track four: Story To Tell

This one seems a bit like a combination of Bite the Pain and Spirit Crusher. It has some chunky moments, but it also has its fast moments. I'd say it's fast chunky, if that makes any sense. Wonderful song by all means especially the trem picking melodies.

Track five: Flesh and The Power It Holds

To me, this is one of the weirdest songs on the CD. The opening is catchy, and seems like it would be more of a heavy song, but it's actually pretty fast paced after the opening. I can hear more bass in this song than most of the others, which makes me happy. The solos and trem picked melodies are simple astounding in this song.

Track six: Voice of the Soul

This is an instrumental track with both an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. If there were a battle between any and all instrumentals, this song would take the cake. This song is simply amazing. It feels much more meaningful than the bands other instrumental track, "Cosmic Sea". There are no drums in this song, just guitars.

When I sat down and really took the whole song in, it almost moved me to tears. It's got more of a paced melody than speed, but there is some speed there. The melody is what really makes this song sing without lyrics. Excellent song.

Track seven: To Forgive Is To Suffer

Here we have another track that opens with Richard Christy pounding away on the kit, then comes the rest of the band with heavy riffs, then quickly goes to the classic melodic death style that we know and love Death for. If I had to choose, I'd probably say this is the second most technical song on the album. It reminds me of Scavenger of Human Sorrow, except faster. There is even some fast tapping near the end, which fades out nicely after that.

Track eight: A Moment of Clarity

In my opinion, this is the most over looked song that Death has ever done. I can't say that I know why, because it's an awesome track. The bass in this song really gives it sort of an "out there" feeling...as if there is some kind of secret sound wave emitting from the song. Speed isn't really a property of this song, it seems more mid paced and chunked. It's not slow by any means, but it's not fast either.

Track nine: Painkiller

This is a cover of the Judas Priest song, "Painkiller". On this song in particular, I notice Chuck really pushed his voice to his ultimate limits. I was astounded that such screams and screeches could ever come from a human being. I actually happen to like this cover more than the original song.

TSOP is Death's swansong and Chuck Schuldiner's funeral album. If you happen to be the kind of person who doesn't like screechy vocals, you should either learn to over look it, or love it. I say that because if you ignore this album because of the vocals, then you are missing some very special music. I wasn't too keen on the Sound of Perseverance vocals at first, but I learned to fall in love with it, because at the time I hadn't heard vocals like it before. The album is worth every penny of your money and sets an end to Chuck's ambitious mission to progress DEATH metal. How successful he was and this record will remain as his final gift to the fans and the Progressive Death Metal chapter. R.I.P. Chuck!

Album rating: 9.5/10 points = 94 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#75535) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Review by JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is my 2nd favorite Death album. This is the epitome of a progressive death metal album. While it still has the heaviness, riffs, double bass, blast beats, and wild guitar solos of death metal, it also has long songs often with several riffs throughout, varied tempos and time signatures, and even an instrumental song.

While I do not think this is best overall Death lineup, "The Sound of Perseverance" has the best guitar duo of them all. Chuck Schuldiner and Shannon Hamm make some great riffs, dual harmonies, and solos on every song. Even when one is soloing the other lays down some great rhythm. The two are perfect together on this album.

The bass is good, quite good actually, but does not compare to Steve of prior albums. Also, filling the shoes of Gene Hoglan is no small task, but new drummer Richard Christy does so magnificently. While not as intense overall as Gene, his drumming may be more technical and really blows my mind when I hear it. I certainly can not play along with it!

Scavenger of Human Sorrow: This song begins with with a drum intro in a crazy time signature, (as of now I can not think what). There is a slower musical interlude, that displays some technical guitar and drum work before going back into a thrash riff. Also on this song you will hear some great drum fills! The solos, while still metal, are quite melodic and progressive. Also you will Chucks new vocals. While he has started using a higher pitched screaming, on this album his "death growl" is pretty much gone and replaced with a higher pitched shrieking, VERY emotional.

Bite the Pain: This one starts with a great dual guitar intro, and continues on with technical yet fast riffs, tempo and time signature changes and melodic guitar solos. During the solos you will hear some great drumming!

Spirit Crusher: Has a great bass intro and overall is a slower paced song. It displays some great technicality and has a great ending.

Story to Tell: Has a groovy start then right into some emotional guitar solos. A pretty slow song, with lots of soloing and technical prowess. After the solos is a stop and go section. Also, you can hear some of the best bass on this song.

Flesh and the Power it Holds: My favorite song on the album. It starts with an unusual guitar riff, and there are some great harmonies and dual playing between Chuck and Shannon, (not to mention some killer bass). The song has it all: slow riffs, holds, a technical part in the middle followed by a crazy high speed riff and double bass drumming. This song has some of my favorite guitar solos of all time. While they are shredding there is a beautiful, and trippy, under layer of bass.

Voice of the Soul: This is an instrumental track, with no drums, and 3 guitars (including an acoustic). Words can not describe accurately this masterpiece. There is a wonderful acoustic guitar intro that continues playing through the whole song, even while the 2 electric guitars are playing away. The composition is just beautiful and the dual, (well triple) guitar work at 1:33 to 1:49 takes me to another place.

To Forgive is to Suffer: Starts with anther odd time signature drum intro and has some superb twin guitar riffs, backed up by great drumming. The solos are again wild, and the last 30 seconds are wonderful madness!

A Moment of Clarity: Starts like most of the others with varying riffs, twin guitar harmonies and technical breakdowns. There are the obligatory solos, which range from shred to melodic. Just before 4 more minutes the song shifts into a thrash riff that I just love. I think it is the combo of Chucks voice and interesting drum beat.

Painkiller: My least favorite song on the album. It is good, and I like it but it is just my least of the batch. A cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller" this song is great musically and has an interesting take on KK's and Glenn's solos but I actually do not like Chucks vocals. While I can feel the emotion and power he is putting into it, (and it sounds like he's going to the limit) it sounds forced. I give him kudos for trying, but I do not like it. Though near the end you can hear Chuck using clean vocals!

Overall, a superb album. A must for any metal, prog/tech metal fan! Every song is good and if it wasn't for the slightly weak cover song...this would be my favorite Death album. The perfect blend of progressiveness, technicality and of course amazing musicianship. An amazing way to go out, though as we know the end of Death came too soon... 5 stars

R.I.P. Chuck Father of Death Metal, amazing guitarist, musician, and human being

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Posted Monday, August 14, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ah, my 100th review for PA. As a little celebration, I chose to review Death's The Sound of Perserverance. This is the final studio recording from underground metal legend Death whose leader and sole constant member, Chuck Schuldiner, invented a new sub genre and also helped to expand it beyond his own humble, yet gory, beginnings. For this outing, Chuck has roped in his most cohesive lineup yet: second guitarist Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin, and ex-Iced Earth drummer Richard Christy all help to craft Chuck's ever improving music. Though the Individual Thought Pattern lineup is Death's most skilled (King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque, extreme session man Steve DiGiorgio, and future Devin Townsend kitbasher Gene Hoglan), this lineup functions the best, resulting in Death's tightest, most progressive record ever.

This album grabs you from the start. "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" opens with a short drum solo before you get hit with several in rapid succession. Chuck's vocals have progressed from deep growls to a positively unsettling shriek, like the kind found on melodic death metal records. His vocal change alone shows that he's not fooling around here. Scott and Richard provide truly dizzying rythm patterns that could shame every technical death band that tries so desperately to outdo Chuck. The lyrics also have matured. Older Death albums never lacked in anger, but Chuck honed his focus onto the filth of humanit in a way he never did. The solo is pure Death.

"Bite the Pain" is more straightforward and a break from the uber-complexity of the preceding song. The song continues to push the heaviness and Chuck's vocal limits while he and Hamm forge more great riffs.

"Spirit Crusher" is a death classic with great bass from Scott and some of Chuck's best lyrics.

"Story to Tell" is another complex masterpiece with great solos and rythms.

"Flesh and the Power It Holds" has a stunning progression of arpeggios before settling into an almost groovy (!) beat. Another great solo demonstrates how this album has Chuck's greatest fretwork.

"Voice of the Soul" is a great instrumental that perfectly blends a beautiful acoustic guitar with he furious riffs of standard Death. A highlight of the album.

"To Forgive is to Suffer" opens with another short drum solo, while Chuck's guitar is at its most emotive; imagine if David Gilmour took some amphetamines and let loose with metallic distortion, and you'd come close to this.

"A Moment of Clarity" has Chuck's best solo ever. It just kills. The riffs never cease to both amaze and pummel. Truly dizzying.

"Painkiller" is a deathy cover of the Judas Priest classic. Chuck pushes his vocals to the limits, and even manages to be more terrifying than Rob Halford. However, considering the inventiveness of the rest of the album, this cover is very out of place.

TSoP is Chuck's finest work. Richard matches Gene for speed and even manages to outshine the drum god at spots. Scott isn't as good as Steve DiGiorgio, but he lays down some impressive and complex lines. Shannon complements Chuck perfectly. Chuck's fretwork was his best. After this album Chuck announced Death would continue to produce this kind of progressive output. The metal community was ecstatic. The man who helped to pioneer death metal had redefined its standards. Death had officially risen to the top of the metal heap. Chuck then formed Control Denied, a side project with more traditional vocals. Sadly, after that project released its wonderful album, Chuck was diagnosed with cancer and sadly died. Fans should get Control Denied's album, but this album stands as a great swan song and hands down the greatest death metal album of all time. It's mystifying progressions make this an ideal choice for fans of prog metal. Here, Chuck not only played technical, he played prog. Very highly recommended.

Grade: A

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Posted Friday, January 19, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Sound of Perseverance was a big dissapointment to me as I loved the three albums before it. The lineup had changed again with a new drummer, bassist and guitarist, but this didnīt matter much as they all do a great job on this album ( particularly Richard Christy, wow what a drummer). The compositions are just not as good as they were in the past. I feel that they donīt flow. There are too many awkward breaks that just donīt sound too well.

Chuckīs vocals have gone over the edge too. Itīs way to screamy ( almost a black metal sneer), which I donīt find satisfactory. And the awful cover of Judas Priest classic track Painkiller is just terrible ( Iīm being nice here). This all sounds like this is a really awful album, but the musicians and the fact that Chuck have written tons of good riffs for this album ( theyīre just not good together)save the whole affair from being a total loss of investment. I am in doubt if this is a 2 or 3 star album, but as I gave Scream Bloody Gore 2, and find this one just a bit more enjoyable Iīll give it 3.

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Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Death is a milestone band in metal genre, that everybody knows , but also this band combined extremly well death metal with prog elements, that give them a new status: prog-metal gods. So after an absence of three years Chuck is back, and with a full force. Sound of perseverence released in 1998 was a kinda come back to the fusion metal that they used on Individual, less death rooted like the previous one, the members shines on every piece. The death metal elements are very well melted with techno-trash so good that is hard to forget an album like this one. The new drummer Richard Christy is absolute mindblowing, he's nuts, i think is one of top 10 metal drumers in the last 10 years. Shannon guitar and Scott bass are new to teh public but man what a musicians, they grew around Chuck's music and the result is clear here, they were the best choice in Schuldiner's agenda. The music is very strong with a lot's of time signatures and is very progressive. To me the best track are:Scavenger of Human Sorrow and Flesh and the Power it Holds, the rest is above average music. In the end an essential album in metal genre and i will give very easy 4 stars, recommended to all prog fans, like on every Death album pieces are only killers no fillers. .

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Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
5 stars Was the last meant to be their best?

Unfortunately, I became a fan of DEATH too late to fully realise their contribution to the metal scene and this was probably the album that mainly drew my interest. Unfortunately again, the man behind this band, Chuck Schuldiner, lost the battle with cancer at the peak of his career - at the point where The Sound of Perseverance by DEATH and The Fragile Art of Existence by CONTROL DENIED (Chuck's side project) were released.

This release seems to have the best production of all DEATH albums. The overall and each individual instrument's sound is 'crystal clear', something that is adding to the quality of the compositions. While the distortion of the guitars represents a more heavy/thrash rather than death metal sound, the way that the tracks are performed justifies the term technical thrash/death metal. The album clearly steps on its predecessor, Symbolic, and moves a step further to even more challenging and technically oriented compositions. In this album the influences are presented in a very wide range: from jazz/fusion (everywhere in the album) to straight heavy and thrash metal in the vein of Judas Priest and Metallica (e.g. Spirit Crusher).

The amount of guitar riffs performed in this release is just phenomenal - the number of changes within the songs hardly countable. The drum performance, though it's not Gene Hoglan this time but Richard Christy, is at the highest level - metal fusion at its best! The vocals are a bit more 'high-pitched' than before but the aggression is still there; a point where some prog fans need to be aware if they are to invest in this release. The moments that I personally enjoy more are the changes between classic heavy/thrash groovy riffs in tracks like 'Scavenger of human Sorrow' and 'Spirit Crusher'. The diversity of creative moments is evident throughout: more sophisticated mid-tempo riffs appear in 'Bite the Pain' and 'Story to Tell' while the beautiful acoustic 'Voice of the Soul' is a pleasant surprise; an expression of virtuosity, passion and musical brilliance.

Picking up from this last one, the variety of different speed levels within each track is at least impressive. Heavy slow passages interchange with thrashy high-speed riffs and bizarre fusion breaks. If I had to pick any weak points, I would say the vocals on the (otherwise very good) cover of Painkiller. However, this does not remove the tag of a masterpiece...

Prog fans of technical extreme metal (heavy/thrash/death) should already have it in their collection. Not recommended to those that dislike 'aggressive' vocals or any form of extreme metal.

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Posted Monday, June 08, 2009

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Had it not been for his untimely passing in 2001, I have a feeling Chuck Schuldiner and Death would still be pushing the extreme metal envelope to the limit. After virtually inventing death metal in 1984, Chuck then turned the genre upside-down into a progressive and technical behemoth with a long string of more experimental albums. With Human, Death began incorporating progressive and jazz-influenced sections into their music, and from there onward Chuck Schuldiner kept widening the scope of death metal. Three years after the essential Symbolic, Mr. Schuldiner proved he was far from running short on ideas with The Sound of Perseverance. What we have here is possibly the most progressive and technically-demanding album Death ever released, and the end result is nothing short of amazing. As expected, Chuck's hand-picked cast of musicians is top-notch, the production is stellar, and (most of all) it's filled with enough killer riffs to keep you headbanging the entire time. What's even more impressive is that this isn't even my favorite Death album - that in itself proves what an excellent body of work Chuck Schuldiner has been involved in over the years. This isn't the best starting point for any Death newbie (that would be the legendary Symbolic), but anyone who wants to call themselves a metal fan better make sure this finds its way into their collection.

The Sound of Perseverance almost completely defies categorization when it comes to genre tagging. You could call this a death metal album - but it's extremely uncomfortable among the likes of Morbid Angel and Deicide. You could call it prog metal - but it looks out of place among albums from Dream Theater and Fates Warning. Hell, progressive death metal is even inaccurate when you think of the other bands that pioneer that genre. Although firmly rooted in death metal, this is an incredibly unique album. You can't even find another like it in Death's own discography. The music here is highly-technical and filled with constant tempo changes, time signature shifts, and complex rhythm patterns. In one sense this album is very similar to Atheist's Unquestionable Presence, but even that's a bit of a stretch. Chuck Schuldiner was a visionary who reinvented himself with each new album and seldom tried to sound like any other band.

From the beginning of Richard Christy's opening to "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", you know you're in for a real treat. Opening the album up with some of the most powerful metal riffs in existence, Chuck continues the album in a similar fashion. After the highly technical, almost sinister, "Bite the Pain", Chuck Schuldiner delivers an amazing vocal performance in "Spirit Crusher". Although every song can be regarded as excellent (pardon maybe the cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller"), my favorite has to be "Flesh and the Power it Holds". Scott Clendenin's bass playing on this track is spectacular, not to mention Richard Christy's technical acrobatics and the guitar mastery from Evil Chuck and Shannon Hamm. "Voice of the Soul" is possibly the softest song Death has ever performed. It begins as a light acoustic guitar bit, before a killer electric guitar solo dominates the rest of the piece. This is a truly beautiful song that harkens back to the early New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The next two tracks serve as two more killer slabs of technical metal, before closing the album off with their cover of Judas Priest's iconic "Painkiller".

After introducing one of the best lineups in the history of metal with Human, Chuck Schuldiner managed to find an equally excellent (and, in some cases, even better) lineup with each following release. I especially have to give a nod in Richard Christy's direction - man, he is one hell of a drummer. Whether or not he's up there with Sean Reinert and Gene Hoglan is up for debate, but it's hard to critique his mind-blowing drumming on The Sound of Perseverance. Scott Clendenin handles bass duties on this album and does a terrific job as well. Death was one of the few extreme metal bands that utilized the bass significantly - you'll even find some bass solos on The Sound of Perseverance. Shannon Hamm takes care of half of the guitar playing here, and certainly gets the job done well. This album is filled with highly demanding guitar sections, and Hamm delivers them with ease. And of course, you have "Evil Chuck" Schuldiner handling the vocals and guitar. He was simply a spectacular musician in all regards; there's no other way of putting it. A lot of people will criticize his higher-pitched vocals on this album, but I personally love them. It's definitely an acquired taste, though.

The original album consisted of 9 songs and a 56:13 playing time, but the 2011 Relapse reissue features 10 bonus demo-tracks. As I write this, I only have the digital version, which benefits from new artwork, a remastered sound, and the aforementioned bonus tracks. The physical edition supposedly contains a repackaged layout, which I'm confident most Death fanboys will want to get their hands on. The 10 bonus tracks on the Relapse Reissue are all demo tracks of songs that would later be on The Sound of Perseverance. As such, the bonus material is largely non-essential and only for the die-hard fans. It's interesting to listen to some of these demos, but I'd take the album cuts over these demos any day of the week. If you already own The Sound of Perseverance, the Relapse Reissue isn't really an essential purchase unless you're a collector of sorts. For newbies, this is worth picking up since it's probably the easiest version to find of this album nowadays.

The production of The Sound of Perseverance was one of the best in extreme metal, and the remastered version shines an entirely new light on this factor. Jim Morris & Chuck Schuldiner created a sound here that was raw and unpolished, but extremely effective and powerful. I like the sound of Symbolic a bit more, but the production of this album is still amazing nonetheless.

The Sound of Perseverance is an album that every self-respecting metal fan owns, and the new Relapse Reissue gives a good reason for anyone who doesn't own it to finally give this masterpiece a shot. I would've originally given this album a 4.5 star rating, and the bonus material isn't noteworthy enough to make me think twice about that score. Unfortunately, this album would end up being the last Death album before Chuck lost his battle with brain stem cancer in 2001. So as a swansong to the possibly the greatest metal band of all time, The Sound of Perseverance does its job, and does it pretty damn well at that. Rest in peace, Evil Chuck... the metal world misses you!

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Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars The last album in Death's catalogue finally provided me with some kind of answer to my query why the band is associated with Tech/Extreme Prog Metal. The Sound of Perseverance is without doubt the album where they finally forced some openings in their tight Death Metal coffin, letting in some mild influences from jazz and prog metal.

With that technical issue settled, let's take a look at the actual music.

And that, unfortunately, is quite a disappointment. Some of the thrash metal instrumental bits are rather enjoyable but overall the 'progressive' influences serve no better purpose then just being there. They sound disconnected from the rest and are merely a gimmick, pasted in to conceal the lack of really good basic ideas. It certainly didn't help them to create more interesting or poignant songs, quite the contrary; the new elements didn't seem to inspire the band into more epic or challenging songwriting. The material may be ok from a technical point of view but any band with similar technical skills could have written this train of riffs. Besides, I can't hear any riff, melody or progression that is as good as anything from the preceding albums. A song like Flesh And The Power It Holds works a bit better.

A second disappointment comes from the vocals. Where is that chillingly gruff moan from Schuldiner. Where is the pain? Where is the craving? The high-pitched shriek he adapted here is devoid of any feeling and expression. He sounds like a petty troll whose angry screech won't scare anyone but your little niece. Painkiller is painful example.

Death may have succeeded in adding more progressive elements, but they failed at creating better music. And I know which I prefer from these two. The album seems to go well with most fans though. 2.5 stars.

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Posted Monday, May 31, 2010

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'The Sound Of Perseverance' - Death (9/10)

The last album released under the name Death by Chuck Schuldiner both tragically passing away in 2001 from complications due to cancer, this legendary death metal project would close its gates with what is easily the most controversial and polarized album in the band's discography. Among fans, the band's seventh album 'The Sound Of Perseverance' represents either the band losing their early grit and death metal vibe, but to others, it is the pinnacle of the band's creation. It should be known that while respecting them for their historical context and influence, I have never been a fan of Death's music, finding it generally overrated amongst metalheads. However, listening to 'The Sound Of Perseverance', I realized finally what the hype was all about. As much as it was the end of a musical journey for Chuck and his fellow musicians, Death's swansong represented to me, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for me and this band's music. Finally correcting the greater issues I had with the music up until this point and putting an even greater emphasis on technicality and progressive songwriting, 'The Sound Of Perseverance' stands out to me not only as Death's greatest achievement, but also one of the best progressive death metal albums out there.

One of the most noticeable develops on this album when compared to earlier works like 'Human' or even 'Symbolic' are the vocals. Here, Chuck sounds as distinctive as he ever would; a higher register growl with a unique inflection here and there. This is not where the differences end however; far from in fact. The greatest improvement that Schuldiner has crafted here with the seventh album is in the instruments and the songwriting. Up until this album, it felt like- despite their differences in technicality- it felt like Chuck was only using one or two different structures for his songs to follow. I can't say how many times I've heard a Death song that went from a verse or post-chorus vocal part to a speed up reprise of the guitar riff, with a phrygian solo played overtop. While it may have not been a horrible sound or formula to work with, it wore thin after even listening to one Death album. Here, 'The Sound Of Perseverance' feels like Chuck tries to show his technical prowess through the riffs themselves, instead of waiting for the almighty solo to prove himself. What results is a feeling that the compositions here have never been more complex, or intelligent as they are on this album.

While a constant criticism from many people is that this album is not as heavy as proper Death should be, I would beg to differ on that matter. While there are more melodies here in the way the music is written and the production has been polished tenfold over what it once was, the technicality and dynamic of the music here makes things feel much more intense than ever before for the band, when compared to the tinny mixing and derivative structures of albums like 'Scream Bloody Gore' or 'Human'. While the fact that Schuldiner's riffs and guitar work has never been better is taken for granted, i must point out the merits of the drums on the album. Simply said, the percussion work here is unsurpassed by anything else heard on a Death album, Gene Hoglan's contributions included. Here, Richard Christy uses some very complicated drum techniques and a very distinctive crash cymbal to add to the complexity of the music.

Certainly Death's most progressive and detailed work, it is my favourite and most enjoyed album ever released by the band. Perhaps a little too much on the proggy side to be considered 'death metal' by a typical standard, 'The Sound Of Perseverance' is the band's most achieved and consistently interesting piece of work, and by extension, has given me a whole new dimension of appreciation for Chuck Schuldiner and the music he made while he was alive.

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Posted Friday, March 04, 2011

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Death Evolves - For Good and Bad

For all true metal fans, a great riff is like a delicious entree, a satisfying reward in itself. Chuck Shuldiner writes great riffs. Pure and simple. When I listen to Death, I don't think about prog. I'm listening to the guitars. I also happen to really admire Shuldiner's solo style as well. It can be very fast and dextrous, but it always makes sense in the context of the song. He's doesn't wank just to show off. That's not something I can say for the band's thrash forefathers, including the truly atrocious Kirk Hammett who isn't even as technically good as Shuldiner. On SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE, the lead guitars may be the best they've ever been on a Death record. The riffs are more complex (leading some to call this progressive, of which I remain skeptical) than usual, and this variation makes this album another scrumptious riff morsel for me. Shuldiner also uses more clean guitar ideas here, and they add a new dimention to the songs. But this is nothing like Opeth, who employ ideas completely outside the realm of metal. Death is a metal band, through and through, and I wouldn't want them any other way.

As every reviewer has mentioned, Shuldiner's vocals are higher pitched on this album than any before, almost shrieky. This really annoyed me at first, but as with every other Death album, I got used to it and pretty much ignore them now. The emotional aspect of the delivery is the only aspect of the vocal style that means anything for me. i.e. they're bad but earnest here, but they've always been earnestly bad. The "singing" is especially awful on the Painkiller cover which is almost unlistenable. In addition, the new drummer, Richard Christy, is a big step backwards. But who wouldn't be from Gene Hoglan? Christy is competent, and manages to keep up, which is something in and of itself. But Hoglan put his mark on the music, and enhanced the sound of the band. New bass player Scott Clendenin, on the other hand, adds a nice layer to mix, and gets quite a few short sections to himself.

The songs on the album are solid, though none stick with me like classics from Human or Symbolic. I think Shuldiner was tiring of the genre he created, and it's not surprising he formed a band with a new vision after this album. There are times where he jarringly tapes together sections in different time signatures, which doesn't always work for me. Still, this album delivers on the one thing I want from a Death album. Heaping helpings of great metal guitar. 3 stars...great riffs, tasty metal soloing, minimal prog, tolerable vocals.

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Posted Friday, August 05, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Death's final album was supposedly a contractural obligation piece - something knocked off so that Chuck Schneider could satisfy his label and move on with his new Control Denied project. Sadly, of course, fate had other plans in store - so it's a good thing the band didn't let the high standards of their later, technically-inclined albums slip at the final hurdle. A particular highlight is the concluding cover of Judas Priest's Painkiller, in which the musical delivery matches the fury of the original and Chuck's absolutely unrestrained vocals actually beat Rob Halford at his own game. Though it was never planned as being the band's final album, at least Death ended on a high note - a Halford-esque wail, specifically.

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Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After gaining some comfort in this section of PA with Arcturus's LA MASQUERADE INFERNALE, it was time and tide for me to try another well-revered, critically acclaimed album from this section. Death seemed like the next logical choice as a band, and THE SOUND OF PERSERVERANCE is one of their most highly regarded albums. A couple of listens in, I am reminded about why this sector of metal scared me in the first place.

I'll give you a specific point on the album as an example. Two minutes into ''Scavenger of Human Sorrow'', I'm on the fourth riff already. This is simply riff overkill, and the way Death transition between two riffs is extremely kneejerk. It's like getting constant musical whiplash; it doesn't feel good at all even if the first two minutes is completely recapitulated later on in the number.

Take that specific gripe and spread it across the album; for most of the songs, I have the same problem. Since there are so many like this, the album blends into a forgettable menagerie of rifferama. The fact that most songs like this are five to seven (sometimes eight) minutes in length makes listening to this more of an exercise that leaves me completely drained.

Two exceptions: the instrumental ''Voice of the Soul'' (a very beautiful soundscape; makes me understand the potential of the band) and ''Painkiller'', a cover of a very thrashy Judas Priest song done quite well.

It's such a shame that I am repelled to this album as much as I am. The sound is crisp, clear and vital. The bass has significant importance (and I can hear it). I can enjoy the vocals on the album very much. It's those traits and the two songs I singled out that keep me from dooming THE SOUND OF PERSERVERANCE.

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Posted Monday, July 30, 2012

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5 stars I have a slight history with this album. I remember back in the day when Virgin Megastore was still open. Oddly enough in the metal section, they where having a massive sale on all albums from Nuclear Blast. I must admit, because of this sale I did get into a lot of good music. I also got this ... (read more)

Report this review (#1012894) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Wednesday, August 07, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Before hearing this album, I was a prog fan but my interest in metal of any sort was minimal. A good friend bought me this album on vinyl. The opening track "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" hit me immediately as being distinctly prog, and while it took 2 or 3 listens to get used to the rest of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#753825) | Posted by hol0015 | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It seems that if you have the name Chuck, nothing goes wrong for you. This album is an absolute pinnacle of the Tech Death genre, mixing dual/ triple/ whatever guitar pieces with epic drumming and strong basslines. It is an absolute pleasure to listen to and the lyrics are also up to scratch w ... (read more)

Report this review (#284811) | Posted by Laurelles | Friday, June 04, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was the album that did it for me, the one that got me into death metal, and what a fantastic release it is too, this sadly being Death's last album its more prog than you could ever imagine them getting, with some fantastic new additions as well including the powerfull Richard Christy on dru ... (read more)

Report this review (#283916) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Crushing... The finale, the ripper. Holy hell, does it deserve most of the praise tossed its way. The riffs, oh my the riffs. Each riff that is sent crushing your way will devastate your ears and placate your mind with unnerving fury. Each song houses at least one brilliant moment of riffing ... (read more)

Report this review (#212499) | Posted by Alitare | Sunday, April 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Death - The Sound of Perseverance...my favourite metal record. This album, release in 1998, is the best album by Death, in my opinion. The vocals are quite sick because Chuck Schuldiner sings much higher than on the previous albums. The drummer is really amazing. He plays a lot of great fill ... (read more)

Report this review (#175565) | Posted by Priamus | Saturday, June 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A FIST OF BRUTAL METAL IN A VELVET GLOVE. The next you're going to read, will be a brief review based on my admiration to the music made by Death all those years and my personal like for it. Personally, this review is beyond to be a simple critic from a recording or band, because Chuck Schuld ... (read more)

Report this review (#174978) | Posted by Epsilon | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the greatest metal albums of all time. It isn't necessarily progressive, but it has some of the catchiest riffs I've ever heard. Scavenger of Human Sorrow, Spirit Crusher, Story to Tell and Flesh and the Power it Holds are all metal classics. There is some jazziness to it, which has been do ... (read more)

Report this review (#148502) | Posted by King Crimson776 | Friday, November 02, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is it, the final album. It was recorded after Nuclear Blast records requested one more DEATH album from Chuck, and even though he was more keen to concentrate on his CONTROL DENIED band, he didn't simply rush this one out. The most striking thing here is that it sounds fantastic, Jim Morris h ... (read more)

Report this review (#148384) | Posted by Xanadu97 | Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars NOTE: Four stars, but you could easily chop it down to three if you're more of a traditional prog fan. I'm glad to see Death on the site and have to say that this album does really stand out for them. Although it has more personality than Symbolic did, the music isn't as interesting (except f ... (read more)

Report this review (#83681) | Posted by Berenger | Thursday, July 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE"? BEST PROGRESSIVE DEATH METAL RECORD OF ALL TIME! MY TOP 20 METAL ALBUMS LIST! BEST DEATH RELEASE! ONE OF BEST PRODUCED CD'S EVER! I first heard "Scavenger Of Human Sorrow" at metal radio show in 1998. and my jaw just drope down! To that point only Death tunes ... (read more)

Report this review (#80674) | Posted by MODULATOR | Thursday, June 08, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's hard to tell which one of Death's albums is the biggest anthem to Chuck's genius. From Individual Thought Patterns onward, each of the Death albums to me are close to the ultimate music experience: Constantly shifting tempos and structures, catchy and aggressive riffing and beautiful melodie ... (read more)

Report this review (#79903) | Posted by Arrakis | Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is obviously one of the most amazing metal albums of all time. It's basically the perfect all-round metal album, and is a perfect representation of metal as a whole. It does an excellent job of combining many disparate styles into one: jazz, death metal, black metal (mostly in the vocals) ... (read more)

Report this review (#69021) | Posted by | Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Actually Death and Kreator took different paths on their musical evolutions. Death does not sound anything like Kreator, or owe their sound to them at all, but Kreator eventually drew influence from bands like Death. Death is the godfather of death metal, the band Possessed wanted to have in ... (read more)

Report this review (#68954) | Posted by | Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Chuck Schuldiner (Death's "heart") has developed a long and intense path to this album, which represents his apex, and also his last work before his sudden death. His sound is consistent and convincing along all of his works (with the exception of his early extreme recordings). The complexit ... (read more)

Report this review (#68947) | Posted by Warholizer | Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Prog Metal is really no my thing but a band playing like this really caughts my attention. Now, I find the other albums by Death not so interesting despite some interesting moments on "Symbolic", but when I heard this album I was instantly blown away by Richard Christy's drumming! He has Hogland ... (read more)

Report this review (#68944) | Posted by El_Progre | Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars track 1: Scavenger of Human Sorrow - The song starts off with a polyrhythmic drum solo in 24/8 and leads up to a Death signature guitar lead, then continues to dazzle with spiraling melodies and odd choice of notes (good thing). 5/5 track 2: Bite The Pain - Great song, some great drumming by ... (read more)

Report this review (#68907) | Posted by | Thursday, February 09, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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