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Death - Spiritual Healing CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.46 | 154 ratings

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Time Signature
3 stars Paul Masvidal of progressive acts Cynic and Ĉon Spoke has described this album as the starting point of Schuldiner's more progressive direction, and "Spiritual Healing" has been hailed by many as Death's transistion album from straightforward death metal to progressive metal. That is probably true, although I think there are innovative and progressive inklings already on "Leprosy".

Compared to "Leprosy" the songs on "Spiritual Healing" are slower which allows the musicians to focus more on technicality, which is reflected in much of the riffage being more complex here than on "Leprosy". Schuldiner's talent for composing dynamic songs based on changes in time and tempo and in the stitching together of seemingly incongruous song parts, which surfaced now and then on "Leprosy" is much more evident on this album (the title track, "Altering the Future", and "Defensive Personalities" are good examples of this). There is also a considerable ammount of melody on this album, which is very well balanced with brutality, making for more complex song structures than on the predecessors of "Spiritual Healing".

Highlights are "Altering the Future", "Spiritual Healing", and "Killing Spree". "Defensive Personalities" and "Low Life" have potential and are essentially good ideas, but they are barred from being as good as they should be due to Terry Butler's and Bill Andrews' skills not being on par with those of Schuldiner's and James Murphy. As with "Leprosy" one can only imagine what these songs would have sounded like with the same line up as on "Human".

"Spiritual Healing" is not a brilliant album, but it does qualify as a good and solid album (if disregards the impalance in musical skills among the band members), and, while not a purely progressive album as such (it probably has no appeal to progsters who are not into metal or hard rock), it is an important milestone in the history, not just of Death, but also of technical/progressive extreme metal and progressive metal as such. So, death metal afficionados and others with an interest in progressive/technical extreme metal and progressive metal of the more hard-hitting kind might enjoy this album.

Time Signature | 3/5 |


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