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DEATH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Death biography
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.



Discography:
Scream Bloody Gore (1987)
Leprosy (1988)
Spiritual Healing (1990)
Human (1991)
Individual Thought Patterns (1993)
Symbolic (1995)
The Sound of Perseverance (1998)
Live in L.A. (2001)
Live in Eindhoven (2001)

See also:

- Control Denied

Death official website

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DEATH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

2.85 | 122 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
1987
2.83 | 122 ratings
Leprosy
1988
3.33 | 109 ratings
Spiritual Healing
1990
4.18 | 283 ratings
Human
1991
4.15 | 228 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
1993
4.25 | 417 ratings
Symbolic
1995
4.15 | 334 ratings
The Sound of Perseverance
1998

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

3.17 | 26 ratings
Live in L.A.
2001
3.80 | 15 ratings
Live in Eindhoven
2001

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

3.15 | 8 ratings
Live in Eindhoven
2001
4.17 | 10 ratings
Death - Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
2001
4.25 | 4 ratings
Live at Cottbus '98
2005

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

1.30 | 16 ratings
Fate
1992
2.32 | 6 ratings
Vivus!
2012

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

DEATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spiritual Healing by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.33 | 109 ratings

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Spiritual Healing
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Necrotica

4 stars There seems to be a growing number of people who consider the 1990 album Spiritual Healing to be Death's worst record, even deeming it clunky and unfocused. Personally, I still stand by my opinion that Scream Bloody Gore was the most lackluster offering by the band; it sounded more like a foreshadowing of future greatness than a great album itself. While follow-up Leprosy did its best to raise the stakes, Spiritual Healing still seems to improve things much further and hit almost all of the right notes. While it may not be the very best album of the Death canon, it is often overlooked and definitely deserves more praise than it gets.

So what do we get? Between eight tracks and forty-two minutes of non-stop death metal, the record flies by pretty quickly. Chuck Schuldiner's songwriting is still the main focus here, but plenty of new elements after predecessor Leprosy help this album succeed the way it does. First things first, the music is way more technical and intricate; many of the speed metal sections of Leprosy and Scream Bloody Gore, while still present, are toned down and usually replaced with rapid tempo shifts and frequent time signature changes. That, and the rhythms are usually quite unorthodox; the riff during the verse of the title track still throws me off now and again. More specifically, though, everything has tightened. The production sounds cleaner, the songwriting is actually more focused than people give it credit for, and Schuldiner was finally starting to ditch the gory lyrics in favor of more social and philosophical issues.

With that said, how are the songs? They follow the typical Death "verse/pre-chorus/chorus/solo/verse/pre-chorus/chorus/sudden stop" formula fans have come to expect by this point, but with the sort of forward-thinking attitude that makes this a great predecessor to Human. Schuldiner and co. were interested in progressing the band's sound, and it shows. It's probably best to start with the opening number "Living Monstrosity" because it's the first impression. As the mid-tempo riff starts up, you may realize the aforementioned tightness in the sound compared to Leprosy. One other thing to note is that Chuck's vocals are a touch odd, and are my main issue with the album. While they're not bad, there's an unsettling echo effect used on his voice that sounds pretty off-kilter compared to how organic the rest of the music is. However, going back to the song, it's an exceptionally strong opener, combining thrashy riffs, an emotional chorus that repeats the beginning motif to great effect, and an emotionally poignant solo that leads to Schuldiner's climactic lyric, "Some say she's naive; she's a stupid bitch." Blunt, but effective.

The other tracks are of a similar nature to "Living Monstrosity," but all have certain moments that set them apart from each other. For instance, after a rather complex riff pattern in "Low Life," a solo battle between Schuldiner and other guitarist James Murphy comes out of the blue. They both let their playing styles clash as a galloping thrash riff illustrates the background behind the two leads. Also worthy of noting is the doom-laden intro to "Altering the Future"; while the rest of the song is Death doing business as usual, the beginning sets a completely different tone, one of despair and a loss of hope. Even when the mid-tempo riff for the verse appears, the atmosphere set by the first thirty seconds continues to loom over the music long after it has concluded. Finally, there's the title track. Good God, the song is great. After a very Halloween-esque (seriously, it sounds eerily close to something out of the main theme from the Halloween movies) intro, the rest of the song is absolutely jam-packed with those "certain moments" I mentioned, the ones that set it apart from other songs on the album. How about the unorthodox riff that manages to be in 4/4 time, and yet has some of the most off-kilter drum work in Death's discography? How about the constant tempo-switches during the speed metal portions? How about the chilling chorus with rapid guitar runs and Schuldiner screaming the song's title? Great moments are littered throughout the song, making the whole thing an absolute highlight.

There's not much else more to say, really. Spiritual Healing is a delightful slice of death metal, as well as a great illustration of how Death were progressing as a group and an entity. While later albums like The Sound of Perseverance and Individual Thought Patterns would come to surpass it, the album has aged very well and remains an early technical death metal classic even after twenty-three years.

P.S.: What the hell is up with that silly album cover?

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Leprosy by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.83 | 122 ratings

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Leprosy
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Whether it's Relayer or Love Beach, I can at least apply some sort of positive acknowledgement towards album covers that reflect the contents of the music within, which was certainly useful back in the days before the internet. I look at a cover sleeve like Leprosy and immediately deduce that, contained in this release, there will be no song titles such as "Girl, I Need To Give You All My Lovin'" or "Disco Chicken".

This is pure, unabashed pre-grindcore influenced old-school death metal. Somewhat drop-tuned, and not even a typical horror film ambient piece to initiate the onslaught. Musically it's more ambitious than the band's debut, brandishing more riffs and tempo changes, along with lyrical subject matter that still stays true to the group's namesake, but less reliant on comical gore and occult themes which adorned Scream Bloody Gore. Of course, upping the difficulty factor concerning the rhythms by no means warrants Leprosy as a progressive release, as this stuff is still very much a product of its time, anchored in brutal thrash with hoarse, throaty growls wailing away over the riffage. Chuck was already beginning to excel regarding his guitar skills, but due to the limitations regarding the rest of the performers, his playing is tempered to simply pumping out the meanest chord progressions possible along with occasional tasteful guitar solos.

The production actually never bothered me way back when I first bought this release, yet revisiting it recently, the complaints critics charge towards the drum sound ring true to my ears, which is actually annoying since it never irked me before. But yeah, that snare is stupidly loud and brash to the point where it draws away from everything else to a certain extent.

As for the songs themselves, the title track is still a clear winner of utter nastiness boasting hellish riffs and an unmercifully grim subject matter. "Pull The Plug" and "Open Casket" are other doozies that retain the fun regarding the over-the-top song title shouts of Scream Bloody Gore, but as a whole, what Leprosy gains in maturity, loses in the sheer catchiness department. Their debut was a hilarious speed-fest, and about as prog as Rocket To Russia. Leprosy tempers the lunacy, but doesn't quite replace it with any 'wow' moments musically, although it was a logical step in the development of Chuck's prowess. I enjoy it, but mainly for a few killer tracks.

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 The Sound of Perseverance by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.15 | 334 ratings

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The Sound of Perseverance
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

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 album, which is the only album released on Nuclear Blast. And wow...I am so glad I got this album.

Personally I think this album is one of the greatest death metal albums of all time. It is also one of the greatest metal albums of all time. I also think it's one of the greatest albums of all time. If anyone ever disses metal or death metal and tries to say it isn't art or it's just noise, I usually just blast this album at them. Either they are impressed or they run away. Either way, I win.

One of the biggest changes in the Death sound is the bigger and longer songs. On average each song is around 6 minutes, with one or 2 changes throughout. The albums sound is definitely a lot bigger. Each song is almost like a piece of classical music, with certain musical ideas being pushed together and worked upon.

As usual the band line up has changed, but this time with a difference. This time, the new line up is a bunch of new faces, who funnily enough seem to have no past experience from being in big bands. Richard Christy is definitely one of the main attractions, being one of the best metal drummers alive, and funnily enough, it's this album that kind of put his name on the map.

Vocally, Chuck has now gone into Dani Filth territory, with his screams being so high that it's hard to even wonder if they are even human. Overtime he was getting better with his vocals, but this album is definitely him at his pinnacle.

The album opener "Scavenger Of Human Sorrow" is like a mastodon toppling over you. The drum intro alone can you send you into a coma. An absolute classic song with some really impressive instrumental work.

"Bite The Pain" starts off rather beautifully before exploding into a dark and twisted song. Brilliantly arranged and full of exciting twists and turns.

The albums lead single "Spirit Crusher" is just a Death classic. Having covered this song in one of my old bands (vocals and guitar by the way), I know how much of a hard song it is to play and I was honoured to cover it. Just a classic really.

The album's real crowning achievement has to be the 8 minute epic "Flesh & The Power It Holds." The layout of this song is really smart with loads of build ups and break downs throughout and a powerful vocal performance from Chuck. Lyrically the song is just brilliant...it's about sex, which always makes me happy.

The album's instrumental "Voice Of The Soul" is a rather beautiful moment on the album and really shows off how much of an amazing guitarist Chuck was. One of the most insane moments on the album is the bonus track. Now, covering Judas Priest and doing it well takes a lot of skill indeed, especially with a song like "Painkiller". I have to admit, when I first heard this cover, I was completely blown away. Musically of course the song is slightly faster than original and a little bit heavier, but vocally, it's very different. To out do Rob Halford takes a lot of power and impression, and Chuck is able to accomplish this. His vocals are just insane and easily topple the shrieks of any power metal vocalist.

In conclusion, this album is just an absolute classic. The only people who I've ever heard criticisms from usually are not death metal fans, but for death metal fans, this album is like Valhalla. Pretty much flawless in it's design and sound, this album's power and impact will never die. Sadly the band are no more due to Chuck's untimely death, but as a swansong, this album really does pack a punch.

9.4/10

RIP Chuck Schuldiner

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 Individual Thought Patterns by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.15 | 228 ratings

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Individual Thought Patterns
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars Having enjoyed Human, but yet slightly disappointed with the overall sound of the album, I did predict that things would only get better. And lo and behold, I was right.

Taking an even bigger step from the last album, Death have now gone into even more experimental territory. And the oddest thing is that it actually works very well for them.

One of the biggest changes musically that the band has undertook was that...well, a lot more weirder stuff happens in this album. 'Human', while being quite technical and experimental, the songs did sound rather robotic. I don't know whether this was due to the mixing or the actual compositions themselves, but a lot of the songs did sound very similar at times. This album is the opposite. Don't get me wrong, the songs still have that Death sound throughout, but each song does have it's own unique characteristics.

Like all Death albums, a new line up is seen. Now, this line up really is a beast. Steve DiGiorgio is still in the band since the last album (which is pretty impressive for a member of Death), and wow. F*** Cliff Burton and any other big bass players, this guy owns them all with one hand. This guy can do stuff I could never imagine myself ever doing on a bass. Joining the band on guitar is Andy LaRocque who you may know as King Diamonds right hand man. But the big change was adding Gene Hoglan on drums. Gene, who would go on to join Strapping Young Lad, is a force to be dealt with, and can be heard very much so on this album. As time progressed, newer faces would join the folds, but this is one great line up the band had.

Lyrically the album almost acts as a concept album, with most of the songs dealing with mental issues, such as mental illness, psychosis, religion (yes, it is a mental issue) and other things to do with your brain. Oh, what a brainy bunch of lads.

If you listen very carefully, while comparing this album to earlier Death releases, Chuck's vocals seem to be getting higher. Believe me, in the next two albums

The album opener 'Overactive Imagination' is a very...overactive song. A lot is going on and a lot of crazy stuff can be heard now and then. Typical Death style really.

The album suprisingly also has a rather jazzy sound at times. This can be heard in the title track and also in 'Jealousy.' Drums and bass do an amazing job and the weird amalgamation does suprisingly work very well.

One of the other classics on this album is 'Trapped In A Corner.' In fact, this song has what the album has a lot of, and that's kick ass riffs. The riff in this song is one that will definitely stick with me for a very long time.

The albums longest composition 'Mentally Blind' is one of the most impressive songs on the album. Great use of build ups throughout and throughout the song, it reminds me of Slayer's 'Seasons In The Abyss', with the use of rather middle eastern sounding riffs.

The album's closer 'The Philosopher' is another classic Death song. The main riff is definitely up there with classic metal riffs. Lyrically I think the song is about Aleister Crowley, but it's not really important. The music also has a music video, and also was parodied by Beavis & Butthead. Worth a watch if you want a laugh. The bass solo at the end also proves how much of a machine Steve DiGiorgio

In conclusion, this album completely surprised me. I knew things would get a lot better, but I didn't expect them to get this good so fast. I know the next two albums take the band's genius to even more extremes, but I was really blown away by some of the tracks on this album. This album might get a bit overlooked if I'm honest, but this is a total Death classic.

RIP Chuck Schulinder

8.3/10

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 Human by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
4.18 | 283 ratings

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Human
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars Death are a band I have had a fond interest in the past few years. I do respect them immensely and have always liked their music, but they are a band that I have only really liked them at periods. I remember having this album on my Ipod for a very long time, with a very bad quality MP3 sound. The sound quality did make me have a slight negativity towards this album for the past few years. But after finally getting my hands on the CD copy of the album, I do know like this album a little bit more.

Musically, compared to their first 3 albums, a natural progression is slowly coming into form. While the previous album "Spiritual Healing" dealt with longer and more experimental compositions, the songs on this album are a lot more compact, with similar and closer time lengths. Now, this does at time prove to be a slight negative aspect on the album, making the songs sound slightly similar. I do not like the robotic sound of the instrumental sections as well and the high focus of rhythms does annoy me slightly, but I do try and look past that and see what else the album holds.

Lyrically the album shows another progression from their earlier material. Having started out as a gore guts lyrical steal, as time went on, Chuck started to become a lot more critical of the movement. So, with this and their previous 2 albums, the lyrics started to become more philosophical. Apparently they got criticized for there change in lyrical styles, but that wouldn't change Chuck's artistic and stubborn ways.

The album intro "Flattening Of Emotions" is an incredible way to start the album. Taking no prisoners, it speeds on like a tractor mowing down helpless weeds (weird metaphor, but it works well, so lets go with it).

The albums most technical song would be the longest composition "Secret Face." Brilliant mixture of technical guitar work and some very complex rhythms throughout.

The album's lead single "Lack Of Comprehension" is a Death classic. The intro showing some obvious Cynic influences, explodes into one of the fastest and most extreme songs on the album. The music video for the song is also worth giving a watch.

The instrumental track "Cosmic Sea" is a very interesting track. The atmospheric keyboards surprised me slightly, and even reminded me of the synths used in Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" album.

In conclusion, this wouldn't be my favourite era of Death, but I do love a lot of tracks from this album and respect it highly. Believe me, these guys will get a lot more interesting and in my opinion better. As a fourth album showing a band's sound progressing, this is a perfect example. Definitely a pinnacle of Death Metal history.

RIP Chuck Schulinder

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 Scream Bloody Gore by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.85 | 122 ratings

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Scream Bloody Gore
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars I think most of the Prog Archives users are not into death metal. Even for me, death metal was the hardest metal genre to swallow. Well, death metal must be seen as a joke, a way to challenge the normal music listener and his common senses, making technical or hard listening music heavier than everything else. Bands like Death were jokers and made offensive lyrics before, but after earn due respect, the songwriting went progressive and technical than before, focusing the lyrics on philosophy and psychology. Even sounding poor at times, like the terrible death metal debut Scream Bloody Gore, the music was very intelligent and innovative at times. That's why you should listen carefully this album, to fully understand the meaning and goals of the band with this one. Of course, some death metal bands and most of the current death metal scene are taking serious the ridiculous "brutal" stuff and dark jokes. Sorry but I despise the "self-called evil in real life" bands.

This is one of the most influential albums into heavy heavy music. Death's debut was not a progressive album yet. But the power it holds is very important to the progressive bands after. Even for the death metal haters, this is a must listen and essential to the worldwide music: this is culture. The whole stuff was wrote by Chuck Schuldiner, the leader of the band, recording bass, guitars and vocals at Scream Bloody Gore. The first incarnation of the band, called Mantas, were not well accepted by the bands and local metal scenes around. Chuck's vocals were just too harsh for the current 80's metal, and general music. "The local situation was f* nearly impossible," Schuldiner later recalled. "A lot of people looked down upon us. We got a lot of sh* from the local band scene; all the bands from around (Orlando) thought we were pure sh*. We were noisy back then, but we were putting out brutal death metal, and it was too much for people to comprehend." The total lack of support from the neighbourhood drove them to break-up the band in late 1984. But Chuck didn't gave up, and started Death at Tampa - Florida.

The first "true" death metal album, Scream Bloody Gore, was finally released at 1987, after being recorded two times for the perfect capture of the moody and poor musical horror feeling, present before (not as music) in the b-movies and Romero's zombie works. Some of the songs were inspired by trash movies, like Regurgitated Guts, which was inspired by Gates of Hell a.k.a City of The Living Dead, Beyond the Unholy Grave by the movie The Beyond, and Zombie Ritual by Zombie, all films directed by the italian director Lucio Fulci.

Playing the album, you will first listen to a slow heavy riffage, nothing complicated, but but reaches the desired point: b-movie horror soundscape. Many people doesn't have fun watching ridiculous horror effects of the oldschool films, but I do, and if you did too, you will laugh and felt comfortable listening to Infernal Death b-music riffage. Chuck starts: DIIIIIEE. So after a few times the oldschool blast beating style, not so goddamn fast, like most of the later florida death metal acts, but just the way it should be in the pure death metal, many times evoked by early swedish death metal bands. The grinding guitars are funny enough.

So, the second track, Zombie Ritual, will probably catch you by the intro: it was my first death metal track, very nostalgic, as well as the best known Death song from the early period. The awesome exotic riff intro is followed by blast beats after few times, the same progressive formula of the previous track. But now the tempo changes to the pre-chorus, and changes again to the chorus. It's progressive, indeed, but not the kind of prog that Yes closed-minded fans will easily agree. After this, the blast beating drums strikes again. Oh, the lyrics are brutal, but you don't need to care, the worst part of the lyrics, at the very beggining, I would never understand without the booklet or internet.

Denial of Life starts out fast, and slow down after good riffs, to the chorus, and then back into different aggresive riffs. Constant rhythmic changes. It's a good pure death metal track. Sacrificial, the fourth track, is lirycally speaking, the murder track, that's horrible! The original title of the track was denied. Musically speaking, is a highlight. It's the progressive version of Infernal Death, but the main riffs are doom. Mutilation, the next step. Well, this is a death metal hymn. Not progressive. But this is de oldschool death metal formula. A definition of the "oldschool death metal" term. Angry bass, fast drums, grinding riffs and non- hightechnical guttural. Offensive lyrics, by the way ("I celebrate a faggot's death, human disgrace, Hanging your mangled corpse for display")

Regurgitated Guts beginning is very pleasent, weird guitar and time signature, falling into a formulatic horror lyrics and fast metal, with some technical habilities. Constant rhythmic changes again at Baptized In Blood. Well, if you liked the album until here, you will probably like this track too. I will highlight the guitar solo at Torn To Pieces, very funny and chromatic. My favorite song from the album is Evil Dead: the melodic doom intro is great! And the warcry chorus makes me shout together with Chuck. The Scream Bloody Gore self-titled track is the weak point, IMO. The bonus tracks are pretty cool.

More than relevant. Essential album to the music world.

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 Individual Thought Patterns by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.15 | 228 ratings

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Individual Thought Patterns
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although all of Death's albums from their technical death metal phase (from Human to Sound of Perseverance) are highly consistent, I have to say that Individual Thought Patterns has emerged as my favourite. This may on balance prove to be an entirely arbitrary choice since there's plenty of creativity on show on all 4 albums from this period of the band's existence, but I find this one grabs me a little more immediately than the others - it's not that it's simpler or more straightforward than the others because it really isn't, but the compositions here feel just a wee bit more polished than on the others. It's a hair's breadth between them, but I truly think this is Death's crowning accomplishment.

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 Scream Bloody Gore by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.85 | 122 ratings

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Scream Bloody Gore
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

2 stars Many people recommended me to try out some records of the legendary death metal band Death and I decided to start chronologically. During the last months and years I got more and more into progressive and twisted extreme metal music from underground black metal such as Putamen Insula over pagan metal stuff such as Pagan Flame to melodic death metal in the key of In Flames, experimental extreme metal such as the last effort of Morbid Angel or simply avant-garde extreme metal like UneXpect. I also like thrash metal and liked the last records of Anthrax, OverKill or Heathen as well as the classics from Loudness to Voivod.

But the Death's debut album really isn't my cup of tea. It's simply put ordinary death metal with a lot of thrash influences that remind me of Slayer or Venom. There is also a slight hardcore punk attitude within some of the tracks. The band shows some glimpses of their true talent as in the track "Sacrificial" that has some interesting slow breaks and a sharp but melodic guitar solo, the short atmospheric introduction of "Baptized In Blood" or the different kinds of screams and stunning guitar solos on "Torn To Pieces". The most interesting track on the record is probably "Evil Dead" with a great atmospheric opening, a dominant bass guitar and a simple but addicting riff. There is some light on this record but the shades are really predominant to me. That's why my final verdict is a little harsh as we don't have some dumb amateurs on here that don't know how to do a better job but some gifted musicians that lose their time and energy and lack of the creativity that could have been in here.

But most of the songs bore with similar approaches, exchangeable high speed riffs without emotions and mediocre vocals. The album feels long and is very hard to listen to from the beginning to the end. The lyrics are as superficial as the childish album title. Songs like the mediocre opener "Infernal Death" or the dumb "Mutilation" among many others only repeat other tracks on the same record and literally bore me to death, maybe that's the reason why the band called itself like this. Interesting passages of thirty seconds in many tracks are not enough to weight up the value of the songs that are generally around seven times as long as the promising passage.

Today, the death metal genre has so much diversity to offer and many excellent bands started and excelled in this genre such as my favourite's Therion and Amorphis for example. But this kind of music here is even quite closed minded and generic if we take into consideration the age of the record. At that time, many bands already experimented a lot with heavier music and developed more and more complex music. Death may be among the pioneers of their genre but even the first thrash records of Metallica or Loudness were already way more original than this soulless output. My final verdict can only be that this record is heavily overrated and not a good introduction to the works of the band.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on November 16th of the year 2011.

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 The Sound of Perseverance by DEATH album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.15 | 334 ratings

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The Sound of Perseverance
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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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 Vivus! by DEATH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
2.32 | 6 ratings

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Vivus!
Death Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Vivus!" is a live album by US technical death metal act Death. It's actually a 2 disc compilation of the two live albums "Live in L.A. (Death & Raw) (2001)" and "Live in Eindhoven '98 (2001)", which both feature the lineup that recorded "The Sound of Perseverance (1998)". "Vivus!" was released through Relapse Records in February 2012. The compilation also features new liner notes and unpublished photos.

"Vivus!" features two full shows, but there are fadeouts between tracks, so it's not necessarily apparent that you are listening to full shows. You never get a "full concert" feeling. As both shows were recorded during the same tour, there are several tracks that appear twice. The tracklists mostly represent the four last technical death metal albums by the band. It's only "Zombie Ritual" and two versions of "Pull the Plug" that represent the first three more old school death metal albums.

The band are well playing, but the processed high pitched growls by Chuck Schuldiner, sound odd and don't do the music much justice. But I guess it's no surprise as the vocals on "The Sound of Perseverance (1998)" also sounded like this. However it's the sound quality on both shows that's the real show stopper. We're talking good bootleg sound quality, but the sound is nowhere near professional live sound quality.

Quite frankly I find "Vivus!" a pretty unnecessary release. Even hardcore fans deserve live shows with a better sound quality than this and I'm actually a bit surprised that a respectable label like Relapse Records would release something like this. Live albums by death metal acts are for the most part hit and miss, and "Vivus!" most certainly belongs in the latter catagory. I predict that even the most hardcore fans will have a hard time enjoying this and a 2 star (40%) rating is warranted.

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