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Death - The Sound of Perseverance CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.25 | 506 ratings

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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.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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