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DEATH - Scream Bloody Gore cover
3.37 | 78 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 1987

Filed under Death Metal


1. Infernal Death (2:53)
2. Zombie Ritual (4:33)
3. Denial of Life (3:35)
4. Sacrificial (3:41)
5. Mutilation (3:28)
6. Regurgitated Guts (3:44)
7. Baptized in Blood (4:29)
8. Torn to Pieces (3:36)
9. Evil Dead (2:59)
10. Scream Bloody Gore (4:33)

Total Time 37:54


- Chuck Schuldiner / vocals, guitar, bass
- Chris Reifert / drums
- John Hand / rythm guitar

About this release

Full-length, Combat/Under One Flag
May 25th, 1987

John Hand is credited as the rhythm guitarist, but he did not actually play on
the album.

Produced by Randy Burns. Executive produced by Steve Sinclair. Recorded at The
Music Grinder, Los Angeles, California. Album design and cover illustration by
Edward J. Repka

CD bonus tracks:
11. Beyond the Unholy Grave [3:08]
12. Land of No Return [3:00]

1999 Century Media reissue bonus tracks:
13. Open Casket (live) [4:49]
14. Choke On It (live) [5:58]

2008 Century Media digipack reissue bonus track:
13. Denial of Life (live)

Thanks to UMUR, Unitron, Vim Fuego for the updates


More places to buy metal & DEATH music


Specialists/collaborators reviews

Scream Bloody Gore is most likely (depending on who you ask and how strict you’re being) the first true Death Metal record, and by that I mean it’s not Death and Thrash like Seven Churches or Blackened Death Thrash like Morbid Visions. Absolutely there are still Thrash influences, but this is primarily a Death Metal record and could not be argued otherwise.

Amazingly for a debut album in a genre still in infancy, the music is grade A material. The musicianship is tight and fast, Chuck being rather technical even here. Chuck’s growls are also prime cuts of the genre, inhibiting a fantastic middle ground between demonic growls and discernible yells. Even the production is pretty good for an underground debut, nothing groundbreaking but all the instruments including the bass are audible and strong. And that snare sound – my god, never heard anything that stuck with me so much. Just the right amount of reverb to pack a lasting punch that somehow sounds sinister. This is the kind of drumming that is simple (not easy!), but serves the music so incredibly well.

There is one weakness here. For many a non-issue, but for me a glaring one: the lyrics range from bad to offensively atrocious. They’re pretty much what it says on the title, with subjects of gore, random acts of violence, death, etc. Don’t get me wrong, there is a right way to do this – Pig Destroyer and Slayer (when Tom is writing) are prime examples of writing eloquently and effectively on such matters. The lyrics here sound like an 18-year old’s Deathcore band. They’re just so juvenile they take away from the music at parts, and ruin the otherwise evil atmosphere.
siLLy puPPy
When it comes to metal music legends, the story of Chuck Shuldner’s epic journey with his influential band DEATH has to be one of the most enduring as Schuldner is not only regarded as the godfather of the entire death metal subgenere but one of the most innovative musical influences in the entire metal genre period ( . ) with each album in his all too short career taking massive leaps of evolution over what came before. When it comes to the origins of death metal, the endless debate will surely revolve around who really created it and the answer will forever exist in the morbid murky nebulous annals of history and the idiosyncratic definitions of when and where the death metal sub actually split off from its parent thrash metal. I have developed my own take on this and instead of assigning a clearcut definition, i prefer to view it from a rather biological evolutionary perspective since musical developments occur in much the same manner as do animal and plant species. One species clearly could not exist without branching off of another and each slight differentiation may or may not constitute a relabeling of its characteristics and corresponding nomenclature.

In the case of death metal, there can be absolutely no doubt that the underpinnings of the sub originated with the English heavy metal pioneers Venom whose macabre and bantering din laced with the first vociferations of harsh shouted vocals would ultimately blossom into what would later be called extreme metal. In the beginning Venom was in a metal limbo or rather a somewhat embryonic extreme metal stage where thrash, black and death metal were all nestled within the very DNA of the caustic sonic waves that emerged from their baleful expressions of societal contempt and verbal vitriol wrapped up in distorted decibelage and breakneck speed outbursts. Out of this primordial cesspool sprang forth other early degenerates such as Celtic Frost, Slayer and Kreator as they began to diversify the intensity and focus of their bombastic approaches. These could be considered the proto-death metal bands that not only launched the nascent beginnings of the thrash scene but also were ultimately influential for the evil contorts of Bathory which would hatch the wretched spawn of black metal, death metal’s evil twin.

The next phase in the development of death metal is undoubtedly the Bay Area’s own Possessed who took Slayer’s extreme speed and demonic gore to even greater extremities with lightning fast blitzkriegs of thundering riffing, bantering percussive drive and Jeff Becerra’s guttural vocals, a style that to many, defines the very essence of the death metal sub entirely, however musically Possessed were very much still a thrash metal band as they hadn’t quite taken that final step into low-tuned tremolo picking riffing accompanied by the double kick blastbeat drumming that utilized the ugliest aspects of minor keys, atonality and wicked chromatic chord progressions. They were still a few baby steps away from what we would call death metal today, but personally i find them to exist in that crucial phase 2 development of death metal much like a tadpole (which would be Venom and friends) would development limbs (the Possessed phase) but still not quite the frog that is free of its fully aquatic features and thus keeps it from being a full fledged amphibian, the completely liberated death metal stage.

Chuck Schuldner’s DEATH is where that very amphibian phase of death metal finally came of age. Schuldner had been unleashing his sonic terror onto the world with his many demos (released under the moniker Mantas as well as DEATH) but these too were somewhere in the Possessed camp of proto-death with thrash leanings. Always the visionary even at the young tender age of seventeen, Schuldner set out to evolve his own brand of extreme metal into something even uglier, taking his primary metal influences of Possessed and Slayer to the next level. In the search for the musical talent to take him to this new level, Chuck had one helluva time finding anyone to fill these roles and after moving from his native Florida to the San Francisco Bay Area and then to Canada and then back to the Bay Area. After placing an ad or two, Schuldner finally found promise in the 17-year old drummer Chris Reifert but was unsatisfied with the music scene as nobody else fit the bill to fill the shoes of his new musical vision.

Undeterred, Schuldner opted to record his debut DEATH demo “Mutilation” completely by himself with only Reifert along for the ride, therefore Schuldner performed all lead and rhythm guitars along with bass and vocals. Although John Hand had briefly joined the band, he didn’t play on any recordings or participate in any live settings either. “Mutilation” proved quite the hit on the underground cassette trading community and caught the attention of the fledgling extreme metal label Combat Records which enabled Schuldner and Reifert to record their full-length debut SCREAM BLOODY GORE. The process proved to be more trouble than expected as the album was recorded once in Florida and then by record company demand had to be re-recorded once more in California with Rnady Burns as the producer. While many tracks such as “Infernal Death” and “Baptized By Blood” had appeared on prior demos, half the tracks on SCREAM BLOODY GORE were completely new and therefore the album has an interesting range of primal to more sophisticated, albeit nowhere near as complex and crazy as DEATH would become with each subsequent release.

Point blank, SCREAM BLOODY GORE was a shout out to the metal universe that something new had emerged and that something was the equivalent to a nuclear bomb being dropped at a Bon Jovi concert turned horror movie where audience members’ body parts rained o’er the blood stained lands. And so it was. Death metal was born on 25 May, 1987 as SCREAM BLOODY GORE made its debut to an unsuspecting public that while unheard by the masses has only gained its legendary status as the following decades ensued. Like many metal fans, i myself had only come to experience the magic of DEATH in a posthumous Chuck Schuldner reality. Despite being the DEATH album with the least finesse, there’s a certain rawness and assured certainty in the powerful delivery that infuses the ethos of hardcore punk with the provident shock and awe for an entire branch of the metal universe to spiral off of. SCREAM BLOODY GORE has to be one of the most ferocious sonic attacks of all the 80s, taking the frenetic bantering of Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” and adding a sense of brutality and offensiveness never heard before. Much of the subject matter was inspired by horror movies such as “City Of The Living Dead,” The Beyond” and “Zombie” and Schuldner pummeled the senses with a sense of sonic horror hitherto unmatched.

When all is said and done, one can only bow down to the metal god that was Chuck Schuldner and pay reverence to his pivotal role in the great big bang of the death metal scene. Perhaps other acts such as Morbid Angel or Obituary would have eventually reached similar musical conclusions, but it was Chuck Schuldner who relentless strived to exercise extreme creativity that would ratchet every single album he touched into higher levels of musical expression in his ceaseless reach for the stars and beyond. While no one could ever conflate the magnanimous progressive achievements of albums such “The Sound Of Perseverance” with DEATH’s earliest offerings, there is also no denying that no one quite dished out the old death school charm like Schuldner did on SCREAM BLOODY GORE with not only its landmark old school death metal cover art but also with the pummeling guitar riffs, the frenetic skin punishing percussion or the grim growly gusto of Schuldner’s vocal style.

While this debut may not be the my first album of choice for repeated listens out of the septet of DEATH’s canon, it is clearly the one that deserves the most respect for paving the way for everything death metal related to follow and remains as enigmatic today as it must’ve sounded all those decades ago. THIS is truly one of those “must hear before you die” sort of albums not only for its immortal legendary status of ushering in one of the most popular metal styles of the 90s but must be experienced for its punishing ear assaults that crank out one addictive mutilated groove after another. After recording SCREAM BLOODY GORE, Schuldner would move back to Florida leaving Reifert behind as he would opt to remain in California to create his own band Autopsy. And so the tradition of a new lineup for every album was born along with an entirely new subgenere that continues to evolve in a post-Schuldner world but still carries on his musical DNA in the tapestry of every fiber of the death metal universe.
Before they became a prime mover behind death metal's shift into increasingly technical complex territory, Death pioneered the early genre's rough, thrashy, dirty style with albums like this debut, the culmination of a series of well-received demos. Several of the songs are inspired by the horror films of Lucio Fulci, and appropriately enough they're just as trashy and gorey as the material which inspired them. A product of a time before fancy Florida production chops gave death metal a more polished sound, this is an eruption from the underground which may turn off listeners whose main interest in Death lies in their later, more technical works. If, on the other hand, you appreciate the rougher side of the genre, it's a vital manifesto of that.
"Scream Bloody Gore" is the debut full-length studio album by death metal act Death. The album was originally released through Combat Records in May 1987. "Scream Bloody Gore" was recorded at The Music Grinder in Los Angeles and produced by Randy Burns. The cover illustration was designed by Edward J. Repka who is also responsible for the cover albums for some of the releases by Megadeth (among others). The album lineup consists of Chuck Schuldiner on vocals, guitars, and bass, Chris Reinert (Autopsy, Abcess) on drums, and John Hand on rhythm guitar. Alledgedly John Hand didn´t play a note on the album though.

Death was founded in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner under the Mantas monicker. The early lineup featured future Massacre members Kam Lee (vocals, drums) and Rick Rozz (guitars). The band changed their name to Death in 1984 after releasing the "Death by Metal (1984)" demo, and released their second demo "Reign of Terror (1984)" under their new name. A third demo "Infernal Death" was released in early 1985 before lineup changes started to occur (not before releasing the "Rigor Mortis (1985)" demo), and Schuldiner opted to move to San Francisco, California and continue with the band there (the "Back from the Dead (1985)" demo was recorded during this period). That wasn´t a success though and he moved back to Florida. After an unsuccessful stint with Canadian thrash metal act Slaughter, he moved to San Francisco again, and met drummer Chris Reifert, with whom he recorded the "Mutilation (1986)" demo, which was the demo that secured them a deal with Combat Records. So the early history of Death is quite eventful but also rich with demo and rehearsal releases, and full of material which ended up on "Scream Bloody Gore" (a little over half of the tracks on the album were culled from the demos).

The music on the album is raw and quite simple death metal influenced by the most raw part of the 80s thrash metal scene and artists like Kreator, Possessed, and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. There aren´t many contemporary death metal studio albums from 1987 or before, and the few that exist (like "Season of the Dead (1987)" by Necrophagia, "Seven Churches (1985)" by Possessed, "Morbid Visions (1986)" by Sepultura, and the, at the time, unreleased "Abominations of Desolation (1986)" by Morbid Angel) are typically more raw and brutal thrash metal than actual death metal albums. To my ears "Scream Bloody Gore" is possibly the first album where the death metal elements overshadow the thrash metal ditto and in that sense it can be considered the first death metal release in history (which is of course always debatable).

The material on the 10 track, 37:51 minutes long album is generally well written and quite catchy with memorable vocal hooks and clear vers/chorus structures (the songwriting is slightly one-dimensional though). There´s relatively good rhythmic variation all things considered, the simple guitar/bass riffs are effective, and the intelligible aggressive growling works well too. The greatest asset is probably how organic and immediate it all sounds though, and the honest and authentic way the music is delivered. Despite the rawness of the recordings it is still abundantly clear that Schuldiner had a vision and the skills to pull it off.

The raw and simple music is complimented by an equally raw and brutal sound production, which suits the music perfectly. So upon conclusion "Scream Bloody Gore" is a well crafted album and for the time a very brutal one to boot. This particular incarnation of Death would be rather short lived, as Chuck Schuldiner opted to move back to Florida again, and as Chris Reinert decided to stay in California (he would later form Autopsy), a whole new lineup was assembled before recording the band´s second full-length studio album "Leprosy (1988)". "Scream Bloody Gore" is a historically important metal album and while it does sound a bit dated today, and it could have been a bit more varied, it´s still a pretty good quality release considering the year of release and the genre of music being played. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.
Phonebook Eater
Death is probably one of the most important metal bands ever, and "Scream Bloody Gore" is one of the reasons:released in 1987, this album is the first "official" death metal album, which makes it in a way a milestone. History aside, I knew I wasn't going to enjoy this much, and now I'm sure of it. "Scream Bloody Gore" is just a monotonous, very predictable album, I can assure you'll feel at least a little bit of disappointment.

Back in 1987, the great band Death was for a while a two man band; Chuck Schuldiner, who played all guitars, bass, and vocals, and Chris Reifert, who played drums. Also, John Hand in the album is credited for playing rhythm guitars, even though he isn't featured on any of the songs here, nor did he play in any live performances.

As I said before, this is considered the first death metal album ever, so don't expect anything spectacular or different;the production is rough and kind of lo-fi, the guitars are pretty thrashy sounding, as well as the fast tempo rhythms, and the vocals are always, like in every Death song, growled, even though in this first era for the band Chuck uses a more "normal", guttural style, while later, reaching maturity, he uses more high pitched vocal, and finally the lyrics are about zombies, killing, hell and similar stuff. All of the songs have this same style, and nothing really seems to change along the album, which is something I never like in a record. Another way to say it is that all the songs sound the same. I enjoyed a few songs, like the opener "Infernal Death", or "Evil Dead", but after those the other songs are just trying to be like those two, but fail in doing such.

I wasn't disappointed, I knew this wasn't going to be any good, to be fully honest, and if this is for some reason the only album you listened to by the band, please know that this is not nearly their most representative work. Of course, if you're a fan of the band or f death metal and you want to check their early stuff,or how death metal was in the very beginning, I won't stop you.
The Angry Scotsman
One of the most important metal albums of all time, this is the first full blown death metal record. While its roots lie in thrash metal, (and those bands that pushed its limits) this album took away the last bits of complexity, technicality and replaced it with flat out brutality. Maybe Possessed's "Seven Churches" was the first death metal album, but it was "Scream Bloody Gore" that truly made the genre what it is, musically and lyrically.

That is the only way to truly describe this album. Brutal. All the songs are pretty much the same. Manic tremolo picking, unrelenting blast beats, wildly chaotic solos, death growls, and straight up gore lyrics.

The album only has moments were it lets up, so you can catch your breath, (and maybe slowly bob your head) then throw you right back into hell. Adding to the chaotic feel on this album is the anarchic song structure.

I really like the bass on this album. You can hear it quite prominently, and has a kind of warm, thumpy feel. Its really great to hear a nice section of straight up madness, with simple, catchy bass over it!

This is a very raw album. I have no problem with the albums quality, in fact I like it. However, be warned it is quite raw. Also, all the songs do sound virtually the same and there a few too many given that.

Standout tracks: Zombie Ritual, Scream Bloody Gore, Beyond the Unholy Grave.

A straight up, death metal record. If you do not like death metal then avoid, however if you do this is a simply brutal album. By it's very nature is a bit unrelenting and uninteresting at times, it's a bit too long as well, but overall a competent album that holds a big place in history.

Two and a Half Stars
One of the Most Important Albums in Death Metal, But Far From the Best!

When you're talking about death metal, a discussion doesn't go very long without mentioning the classic Scream Bloody Gore from Death. This is the album that is often credited for "creating" death metal. While there is an ongoing argument as to what is the first death metal album, Scream Bloody Gore is undeniably a landmark in the genre.

At this point, Death was fronted by Chuck Schuldiner (as they always were) and it featured Chris Reifert on drums. This album is filled with a level of harshness and brutality that had never been met before. For that reason alone, this album is praised by metalheads worldwide. I am a dedicated fan of the death metal genre, but for some reason this album never did anything for me. The playing is emotionless and cold, the production qualities are awful, and the music is often directionless.

This is not because I dislike Chuck Schuldiner's compositions, either. Death's last four albums are some of the highest quality technical metal albums I've ever heard! Unfortunately, the primitive death metal practiced on this album is nothing compared to their later works. This album won't hold any interest to progressive rock fans, either. Chuck's later efforts will appeal to the traditional prog metal fan, but this album is only for those of you into death metal.

Lyrically, this is Death's worst album by far. Their later albums (aside from Leprosy and partially Spiritual Healing) are focused on human relationships and problems in society, whereas this is just pure gore and violence. These lyrics are awful, and there's no denying it. Every song has something to do with killing people, blood, gore, guts, etc. There really is no lyrical message sent across, and it is disappointing.

The production quality is the worst part of this album, though. The music isn't great anyway, but it's almost unlistenable because of the production qualities. The guitar is muddy, the bass is borderline inaudible, those annoying 80's drums are present, and the vocals sound awful. Needless to say, it wasn't until later Death albums where the production quality was good. When you add on the fact that the songwriting is uninspired and lacking in dynamics, it makes for a rather poor album.


I realize that this is a groundbreaking death metal album, but I find it to be Death's weakest album by a longshot. If you want to hear them at their peak, you'll have to go to their albums from Human-onward. I'm going to go with a 2 star rating on this one.

(Originally posted on

Members reviews

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.
1967/ 1976
If it were not for "Scream Bloody Gore" has been described as the first Death Metal album I would describe it as an album extreme Technical Thrash. Why do so today sounds. At the time, of course, "Scream Bloody Gore" sounded extreme, fresh and innovative. Today it sounds outdated, simple, obvious. Its importance is due to the fact that "Scream Bloody Gore" is the debut album from Death and the first full Death Metal album, rather than the music contained therein crews from the context.

Today "Scream Bloody Gore" is a cult album and as such should be handled. And it is for this reason that "Scream Bloody Gore" is an immortal album.

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