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DEATH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Death picture
Death biography
Founded in Orlando, USA in 1983 (as MANTAS) - Renamed in 1984 - Disbanded in 1998

Chuck Schuldiner founded Death in the early 80s as an extreme metal band, not knowing that in the years to come the band would be celebrated by many as the band which created the genre of Death Metal. During the years the lineup changed frequently, with Schuldiner as the constant element. Their music got more and more complex in the 90s, and their last releases Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance are the reason for their inclusion in the archives. The music on these albums is what is today often referred to as "Progressive Death Metal", and it influenced many other bands in the following years which further explored the possibilities of this new kind of music. Eventually Schuldiner founded the band Control Denied, which essentially continued Death's evolution towards a more experimental music - their first release is very similar to Death, minus the typical Death Metal vocals. After the release of that album in 1999 Schuldiner was diagnosed with brain-stem cancer, and due to this disease both Control Denied and Death were put on hold, and in 2001 Schuldiner lost his battle with his illness.

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Death can be seen as the founding fathers of two genres: Death Metal and Progressive Death Metal. While their first 4 studio are not progressive, the remaining 3 show an amazing development of more and more experimental structures.

See also: - Control Denied

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DEATH discography


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DEATH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.99 | 177 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
1987
3.09 | 184 ratings
Leprosy
1988
3.49 | 164 ratings
Spiritual Healing
1990
4.19 | 405 ratings
Human
1991
4.18 | 321 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
1993
4.25 | 586 ratings
Symbolic
1995
4.22 | 463 ratings
The Sound of Perseverance
1998

DEATH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 32 ratings
Live in L.A.
2001
3.89 | 19 ratings
Live in Eindhoven
2001

DEATH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.29 | 12 ratings
Live in Eindhoven
2001
4.23 | 16 ratings
Death - Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
2001
4.17 | 6 ratings
Live at Cottbus '98
2005

DEATH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.30 | 16 ratings
Fate
1992
2.44 | 8 ratings
Vivus!
2012

DEATH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DEATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Human by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.19 | 405 ratings

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Human
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars As one of the pioneering forces in wresting the nascent death metal scene out of the burgeoning 1980s thrash metal world, the aptly named DEATH led by the indefatigable Chuck Schuldiner was also in the forefront of advancing the genre into what would become tagged technical death metal although bands such as Atheist, Cynic, Nocturnus and Demilich released material earlier. Throughout Schuldiner's all too brief career, he was a force to be reckoned with although he was never content on resting on laurels along. With every subsequent album Schuldiner raised the bar ever higher and even in the current era some three decades after he crafted some of the most influential metal albums in history, his works are still utterly unique and relevant.

After two albums of thrash infused death metal, DEATH began to drop hints of more intricate technicalities on "Spiritual Healing" but beginning with DEATH's fourth album HUMAN, Schuldiner turned up the progressive and technicalities a few notches and hit a major home run as the album was and still remains DEATH's most popular and biggest selling album. Another feature of DEATH was a constant rotating cast of musicians with HUMAN featuring a completely new lineup with only Schuldiner (guitars, vocals) as the common denominator throughout this amazing band's death metal reign in the 1990s. On this fourth installment of the DEATH universe, in came Cynic guitarist Paul Masvidal, Sadus and Autopsy bassist Steve DiGiorgio and Cynic drummer Sean Reinert which explains the sudden explosive leap into the world of complex progressive death metal.

The original HUMAN album was explosive but only hit the 34-minute mark with future editions featuring the KISS cover "God of Thunder" and the 2011 Relapse Records reissue featuring an entire bonus disc of instrumental studio tracks and demos. HUMAN also debuted Schuldiner's move aware from the gore-based lyrics that became the staple of old school death metal and focused on more complex themes that were introspective and intelligent. The technical leap was not only in the tighter virtuosic playing of the band with faster guitar solos, more intense riffing and a heightened role for the drum complexities but also in the compositional fortitude which featured more hairpin turns into a more diverse palette of moods and motifs including not only tempos but atmospheres and sound effects once again thanks to the Cynic members adding their expansive visionary methodologies to the mix.

Despite the leaps in technological prowess, Schuldiner didn't abandon his core principles of writing fairly catchy riff-based thundering powerhouses of head banging wonder. With the basic structures of his pioneering death metal idiosyncrasies in tact, the DEATH 2.0 was simply a tighter fine-tuned beast that perfected all the elements that came before and added new twists and turns that wouldn't come to full fruition until the albums "Symbolic" and "The Sound of Perseverance" a few short years down the road came out therefore HUMAN could rightfully be thought of as the next step in that transitory period where the scant technicalities of "Spiritual Healing" were allowed off the leash a bit more, actually a whole lot more. Generally the first side of HUMAN is more conservative with tracks like "Suicide Machine" resembling the old DEATH from the "Leprosy" and "Spiritual Healing" period whereas the second half introduces newer elements that would be developed even further on subsequent albums.

The quality of DEATH albums is more a case of relativity of the albums that surround any given release due to the fact that ANY particular DEATH album was of an extraordinary caliber above and beyond what most of the competition was churning out at the same time. HUMAN is clearly a step up from the three previous albums and loses none of the feisty charm that came with those albums but also hasn't quite reached for the stars in terms of the progressive compositions nor the technical free-for-alls but given that ole Chucky was a master at keeping composiitons whole in their perfection no matter where they ranked on the prog-o-meter, all of the albums are equally riveting despite the technical wizardry or progressive maestrohood. For me this album is just shy of perfect but that's only in comparison to what came later. As a stand alone experience there is no doubt that this is one of those essential near masterpiece metal albums of all ages and therefore is a mandatory album in any death metal fan's collection.

4.5 but enthusiastically rounded up because, damn DEATH is one of the best ever!

 Symbolic by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.25 | 586 ratings

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Symbolic
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars - Review #17 -

The greatest death metal album of all time. Surprisingly, that opinion isn't too unpopular. Symbolic was pretty much Death's musical climax, it was the album where they truly pulled out everything that they were capable of doing. The brutality and heaviness of their first three albums and the technicality and progressive-ness of the two previous albums, Human and Individual Thought Patterns, were combined in Symbolic (and later on, in The Sound Of Perseverance).

And it was a godly combination. When I say it's the pinnacle of Death metal, I mean it. Practically all Death metal bands took something from this album, it's practically the embodiment of the genre. The growls, the technical and melodic guitar solos, the ridiculously fast drums, the highly-noticeable bass in the mixing... it's all in this album. And it's all executed with delightful precision.

This album also features one of the most iconic death metal songs, which makes sense considering how iconic this album is: Crystal Mountain! Probably the most quintessential death metal song, and my personal favorite. It's brutal and crushing, yet melodic and (somehow) soothing at some points.

So, yes, this album is essential. There's pretty much no other way to describe it, so go listen it yourself. To me, and to the majority (would say >90%) of the death metal fan base this is essential. Five Stars.

 Symbolic by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.25 | 586 ratings

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Symbolic
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lieutenant_Lan

5 stars Symbolic, which came out in March of 1995 is the sixth studio album by American Death Metal Band Death who are arguably the creators of Death Metal. Symbolic is considered to be one of the bands better albums and for good reason, the album also has some progressive elements in the mix as well, like the occasional odd time signature, time signature change, key change, and tempo change. The album has excellent musicianship, heavy vocals, awesome lyrics, heavy production, and a great mix. This is definitely an essential in any progressive metal collection and extreme metal collection. For me its an easy 5/5 because I love this album. But unless your into extreme metal I cant really recommend it to you.
 Symbolic by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.25 | 586 ratings

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Symbolic
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars If you're a death metal fan and don't have this one, your collection ain't worth nothing!

One of the most essential death metal albums of all time, and on top of that, incredibly quintessential. It features all the classic Death Metal trademarks and utilizes them in the best way possible.

With no weak tracks, Symbolic finds Death at its peak (a peak that would stay in their last album, The Sound Of Perseverance, as well) of Death Metal creativity and inventive: It Pioneers Progressive Death Metal!

Featuring very technical instrumentation and time signature changes, Symbolic follows the steps of its predecessors, Human and Individual Thought Patterns, which both approached Technical (and progressive) Death Metal in a truly amazing way, and goes one step further.

I seriously could not imagine myself (or any Death Metal fan) not having this album. Truly essential. Fives stars without even thinking twice.

 Human by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.19 | 405 ratings

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Human
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars The first truly incredible Death album. Human was the first Death album where things started to get very progressive and technical (although those technical tendencies were noticable in Spiritual Healing as well).

The only thing I don't like about this album is how short it is! But even so it gets rewarded by the complexity and value of every single track, along with their memorable guitar solos that are very characteristic of Death and Chuck's style.

On top of that, it's innovative, creative, and executed with great precision and musicality.

An essential Death Metal album, you need to have this one without a doubt if you're a Death Metal fan. Five Stars.

 Individual Thought Patterns by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.18 | 321 ratings

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Individual Thought Patterns
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars Individual Thought Patterns solves the biggest problem of its predecesor: Album length. With Human being just 34 minutes long, Individual Thought Patterns has Death going one step higher in many ways:

1. More decent album length. 2. Increase of technicality, executed in a balanced way. 3. Pioneering of progressive death metal. 4. Better musicality

All this combined into one single work. To this date, I still believe this is one of Death's strongest efforts, being balanced and memorable all the way through. Not only that, but in my opinion, it has the best Death song: The Philosopher!

I truly recommend this to all Death Metal fans. Five stars!

 The Sound of Perseverance by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.22 | 463 ratings

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The Sound of Perseverance
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars When a band creates its greatest work, it also creates its greatest monster: This monster is the seemingly un-toppable work that all their fans will use for comparisons within the band's discography.

"X is a good album, but don't think it's as good as Y" "The band became terrible after they released Y" "I wished they did more albums like Y"

Death almost (I reiterate, almost) faced a similar situation when they released Symbolic: It just couldn't get better. All their fans proclaimed it as their master work (which is understandable) that would never be topped.

But I said almost. When The Sound Of Perseverance released, it seemed like the band didn't go one step forward like its three predecessors, but it didn't go one step backwards either. It continued Symbolic's trademark of heavy, technical riffs and melodic guitar solos, combined with some admirable progressive aspects and characteristics within Death Metal: It was just as good as Symbolic.

Most of the time I'm actually thankful that Death's discography ended with this album, because their discography is pretty much perfect, and this album really felt like a great closing statement within their list of albums.

Giving it five stars. It's my favorite album and, in my opinion, just as good and essential as the master work Symbolic.

 Human by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.19 | 405 ratings

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Human
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ssmarcus

3 stars Here's a (not so very) hot take: early Florida-based death metal is just thrash metal turnT up to 11. By the start of the 90's, legacy thrash metal groups had matured their sound and songwriting, with records like Master of Puppets and Rust in Peace showcasing just how dynamic and colorful thrash metal could be. Even the mighty Slayer tempered their speed and fury on South of Heaven for the sake of their songwriting. In contrast, being the musical equivalent of Florida Man, Tampa based extreme metal groups instead doubled down on the speed, dissonance, and violent lyrical content of thrash resulting in music that, while maybe technically impressive in a number of respects, really just didn't sound that good to anyone not solely interested in how edgy and extreme music could be.

However, Death's fourth studio album Human definitely strikes me as one of the turning points for death metal songwriting. The music is not merely exaggerated shock value thrash but an expression of a unique, albeit still twisted, approach to melody and rhythm that would not only remain the hallmark of Death's music going forward but also become the cornerstone of the nascent technical and progressive death metal sub- genres. On a personal level, while I can appreciate much of this record, I still maintain a strong preference for more Iron Maiden inspired melodic or groove-based death metal ala Carcass or Lamb of God respectively. As such, I can really give this album any higher a rating despite its historical importance.

 Symbolic by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.25 | 586 ratings

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Symbolic
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by dougmcauliffe

5 stars Short Review//

Death's Symbolic is one of many metal albums that totally altered my perception on what music could be. More specifically, how extreme music could be, and how good that extreme music, could be! Within the 9 songs displayed on Symbolic, you're taken on a sprawling journey and display of filthy riff after filthy riff. The production is incredibly perfect and it's really the drums that stand as a mighty backbone to the rest of the music. Though all the songs sound incredibly heavy and evil, there's still a plethora of melody and groove to latch onto, I often find passages of this album getting stuck in my head. The album runs at nine tracks and about 50 minutes of music without a minute wasted. From the progressive and driving title track, to that fiery and catchy Crystal Mountain, to the crushing and atmospheric Perennial Quest, everything about Symbolic is essential. It's almost like the meeting of the spirits of all of Deaths potential and talents, the perfect Death album. My favorite track is the brutal Zero Tolerance, the main hook and the underlying chugging guitar part is especially nasty. Iconic record, perfect for someone who might be into heavier thrash or prog metal bands, but has never quite made the leap into Death Metal. On the following album, I think they embrace the progressive elements and schizophrenic song structures further, but to me Symbolic still holds up as the crown jewel of the Death discography.

 Symbolic by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.25 | 586 ratings

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Symbolic
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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.
Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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