DEATH
Death Metal • United States

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Death was an influential death metal band founded by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner in Orlando in 1983. They released several demos as Mantas before changing their name in 1984.

Death is widely considered one of the most influential bands in the genre. The band’s debut, "Scream Bloody Gore", has been described as “death metal’s first archetypal document,” and Schuldiner himself as the “father of death metal". However, Schuldiner dismissed such attributions in an interview with Metal-Rules.com, stating, “I don’t think I should take the credit for this death metal stuff. I’m just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band.”

As of 2008, Death has sold over 1.5 million albums worldwide, with 368,184 albums having been sold in the US alone (not counting sales prior to the Soundscan era), making them one of the top-selling death metal bands of all time. Their best-selling album, "Human",
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DEATH Discography

DEATH albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.83 | 53 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
Death Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 55 ratings
Leprosy
Death Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 47 ratings
Spiritual Healing
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.21 | 90 ratings
Human
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 88 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 133 ratings
Symbolic
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.32 | 97 ratings
The Sound of Perseverance
Death Metal 1998

DEATH EPs & splits

DEATH live albums

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 10 ratings
Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.08 | 6 ratings
Live in Eindhoven '98
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 2.14 | 2 ratings
Vivus!
Death Metal 2012

DEATH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DEATH boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.83 | 5 ratings
Fate: The Best of Death
Death Metal 1992

DEATH singles (0)

DEATH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Japan
Death Metal 2010

DEATH Reviews

DEATH Leprosy

Album · 1988 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Leprosy" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US death metal act Death. The album was released through Combat Records in August 1988. After releasing "Scream Bloody Gore (1987)", band founder Chuck Schuldiner opted to move back to Florida, and as Death was essentially a two-man band at the time, and drummer Chris Reifert decided to stay in California (he would later found Autopsy), a whole new lineup had to be assembled. Rick Rozz who had been a member of Death in their formative demo years joined as the band´s second guitarist, and drummer Bill Andrews was also added to the lineup. Although Terry Butler is credited for playing the bass on the album, Schuldiner stated in several interviews over the years, that it was in fact him who performed bass in addition to guitars and vocals. As the case also was on the predecessor "Leprosy" is graced by one of the distinct looking cover artworks by Edward J. Repka. The album was recorded in April 1988 at Morrisound Recording with producer Dan Johnson, and is one of the earliest examples of a death metal album recorded at that now legendary studio.

While the music style on the album is old school US death metal, which was also the case on "Scream Bloody Gore (1987)", and the music on "Leprosy" is unmistakably the sound of Death, there is still a huge difference between the two albums in terms of the quality and complexity of the songwriting, the sound production, and the musicianship. "Leprosy" was not only the next logical step for Death, it was also a transformation from a rather primitive and raw death metal act to a more sophisticated (yet still brutal and raw) ditto. This is not technical death metal by any means though, and some of the transitions between sections are still a bit amaturish and abrupt, but it´s obvious that Schuldiner had grown as a composer/musician since the debut, but also that the rest of the lineup was relatively technically skilled.

The material on the 8 track, 38:51 minutes long album is generally well written and for the most part quite catchy for the genre. The riffs are brutal yet intelligent, the guitar solos delivered with fierce intensity, the rhythm section is solid, and the intelligible aggressive growling vocals are performed with passion and conviction. Highlights include the title track, "Pull the Plug", and "Open Casket", but "Leprosy" is a solid release through and through.

The sound production is raw and brutal, yet detailed, and suits the music perfectly. So "Leprosy" is in any way possible a step up from the debut, and overall a great quality release. It´s the perfect transition album between the old school death metal of "Scream Bloody Gore (1987)" and the more technically focused death metal of "Spiritual Healing (1990)". A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

DEATH Scream Bloody Gore

Album · 1987 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"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.

DEATH Spiritual Healing

Album · 1990 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Spiritual Healing" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US death metal act Death. The album was released through Combat Records in March 1990. Most of Death´s career featured constant lineup changes and this time around guitarist Rick Rozz has been replaced by James Murphy (Cancer, Disincarnate, Agent Steel, Obituary, Testament, Konkhra). The rest of the lineup who recorded "Leprosy (1988)" are still intact. This lineup was shortlived too though as James Murphy was soon on to his next project and drummer Bill Andrews and bassist Terry Butler had a serious disagreement with frontman/guitarist Chuck Schuldiner, which meant that the European part of the tour supporting "Spiritual Healing" (where they supported Kreator), was completed without Chuck Schuldiner. After that tour Chuck Schuldiner took control of the Death name again and Bill Andrews and Terry Butler left to play with Massacre on the now legendary "From Beyond (1991)" album along side former Death guitarist Rick Rozz and vocalist Kam Lee. The latter mentioned also had a short stint with Death in one of the early incarnations of the band.

The music on "Spiritual Healing" is more sophisticated and technically well played than the first two Death albums. The sound production by Scott Burns (& Death) is powerful, edgy, and actually slightly "warm" sounding. The addition of James Murphy provides the band with more opportunities, and they take full advantage of his great playing skills. His guitar solos on "Spiritual Healing" are absolutely brilliant. Chuck Schuldiner is a relatively great shredder too, but it´s definitely James Murphy who steals the show on this album. The rhythm section is tight, but personally I´ve always had an issue with Bill Andrews drumming, which I feel occasionally takes power out of the music instead of injecting power and driving the music forward like the best drummers do. It´s not a major issue though and it´s probably an aquired taste.

All 8 tracks on the album are well composed and memorable, but it´s "Living Monstrosity", "Altering the Future", and the 7:44 minutes long title track that stand strongest in my memory. Chuck Schuldiner´s now social critical/thought provoking lyrics (compared to his early blood´n´gore type lyrics) are a new feature in the music (although such topics were also touched upon on the predecessor) and another proof (besides the instrumental part of the music) that Chuck Schuldiner evolved rapidly as a composer (and a musician) in those years.

While "Spiritual Healing" is certainly an early example of death metal from Florida, it´s not as such an old school sounding death metal release to my ears. For that it´s way too technically focused and forward thinking. It´s one of the early forerunners of the more technical/progressive death metal albums that would be released in the early- to mid nineties even though I wouldn´t label the music on "Spiritual Healing" technical death metal by any means. But there is a sophistication here that was rarely heard in those days. Acts like Atheist and Morbid Angel maybe did something similar, but not many others. Of course only one year down the line the situation had changed completely, and more and more technically focused death metal releases came out. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved. Even for it´s seminal nature, "Spiritual Healing" isn´t a flawless release to my ears and a higher rating wouldn´t feel honest.

DEATH The Sound of Perseverance

Album · 1998 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
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

DEATH Individual Thought Patterns

Album · 1993 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
arcane-beautiful
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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