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Death - The Sound of Perseverance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 506 ratings

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4 stars "The Sound of Perseverance" is the 7th full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Death. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in August 1998. It was the last Death album released before frontman/guitarist Chuck Schuldinerīs untimely death in 2001, but not Schuldinerīs last recording as he had started a US power metal project in 1995 called Control Denied, who released their debut and sole full-length studio album "The Fragile Art of Existence" in 1999. There have been several lineup changes since the release of "Symbolic (1995)", and itīs actually only Schuldiner, who is left from the lineup who recorded that album. New in the lineup are Richard Christy (drums), Scott Clendenin (bass), and Shannon Hamm (guitars).

Stylistically "The Sound of Perseverance" is technical/progressive death metal, like the case has also been on the last three preceding album releases by the band. "The Sound of Perseverance" is probably the most progressive album in the bandīs discography and most tracks on the 9 track, 56:13 minutes long album are relatively long. Most clocking in at around 6 minutes or more. The only exceptions being "Bite the Pain" and the instrumental "Voice of the Soul". So "The Sound of Perseverance" is compositionally a relatively complex release, although itīs still unmistakably the sound of post-1990 Death.

Schuldinerīs vocals have over the years gradually gone from an aggressive and relatively deep growl to a higher pitched sharp snarling type growling vocals. It has generally worked pretty well for him, but on "The Sound of Perseverance" he has taken it a bit over the top. His voice now sounds unnaturally high pitched, effect processed, and at times verging on the hysterical. To my ears itīs a slight issue, but itīs probably an aquired taste. The musicianship is as usual on a very high level. Fast fusion influenced precision drumming, sharp edged death/thrash riffs and well played solos, and a heavy bass. Especially new drummer Richard Christy needs a mention for putting his own personal touch on the material.

The material on the album is generally well written, although to my ears a bit more conscise songwriting (a little restraint) could have worked a bit better. On the other hand, the last three releases featured a very similar and rather formulaic songwriting approach (which isnīt necessarily a bad thing, as it worked perfectly on those releases), and maybe it was time for something new, and I have to give credit to Schuldiner for trying to avoid stagnation. The first part of the album (the first four tracks) is the strongest and tracks like "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", "Bite the Pain", and "Spirit Crusher" are of high quality, but the quality drops slightly from "Flesh and the Power It Holds" onwards. The remaining tracks on the album simply arenīt as catchy or memorable as the tracks opening the album, although they are still quality material. "The Sound of Perseverance" closes with a cover of "Painkiller" by Judas Priest, and while Death do the classic song a lot of justice and also apply their own touch and solos to the track, I still think "Painkiller" feels a bit off on the album. In my opinion it would have been better left for a B-side on a single release.

"The Sound of Perseverance" features a powerful, detailed, and professional sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, and upon conclusion it is another high quality release by Death. Personally I feel Death peaked with "Symbolic (1995)" and "The Sound of Perseverance" arenīt exactly on par with that release, and that some of the more progressive moments on the album donīt always work that well or fit that well with the rest of the given song. Still a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 4/5 |


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