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 2.90 | 54 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
Death Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.63 | 56 ratings
Leprosy
Death Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.53 | 49 ratings
Spiritual Healing
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 92 ratings
Human
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.30 | 89 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.46 | 135 ratings
Symbolic
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 4.32 | 98 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 Scream Bloody Gore

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

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Human" is the 4th full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Death. The album was released through Roadracer/Roadrunner Records in October 1991. Despite the the fact that there are only about 1,5 year between the release of "Spiritual Healing (1990)" and "Human", quite a few things happened in that time. Most notably almost the entire lineup has been changed since the predecessor and only lead vocalist/guitarist Chuck Schuldiner remains. Guitarist James Murphy left after recording "Spiritual Healing (1990)" (to briefly join Obituary and later Cancer) and drummer Bill Andrews and bassist Terry Butler had a serious disagreement with Schuldiner, which meant that the European part of the tour supporting "Spiritual Healing (1990)" (where they supported Kreator), was completed without Schuldiner. After that tour 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 (who had also played with Schuldiner in the past).

Schuldiner took the opportunity to hand pick exactly the musicians he thought could bring his music to the next level. His choices were bassist Steve DiGiorgio (active in Sadus at the time), drummer Sean Reifert, and guitarist Paul Masvidal. The latter two both from Cynic, who was an active demo band at this point and hadn´t yet released their groundbreaking debut full-length studio album "Focus (1993)".

The new blood in the lineup is heard right from the opening double pedal fade in of "Flattening of Emotions". While the "old" lineup certainly had it´s charm, the technical abilities of the new guys are through the roof. Reifert is nothing short of a brilliant drummer with a powerful technical drumming style. He plays fast, precise, and inventive for the time. His slight fusion influenced playing is adventurous, but not in a manner which takes power away from the music. Instead he understands exactly when to speed up, change rhythm patterns, or play more heavy, to ensure the greatest impact on the listener. Not enough praise can be given to him for his performance on "Human". DiGiorgio is quite an exceptional bassist too, and his fretless work is heard throughout the album. Masvidal compliments Schuldiner with his melodic and very well played guitar solos. Schuldiner himself is also at the top of his game on "Human" delivering fiercely aggressive growling vocals (fully intelligible), thought provoking lyrics, and his signature guitar leads.

All that wouldn´t have mattered much if the material wasn´t as well composed as it is here. The 8 tracks on the 34:01 minutes long album are all strong compositions, featuring memorable vocal/lyric/riff/rhythm hooks and while most tracks are relatively formulaic in structure, they are all distinct sounding and recognisable. The only track on "Human" which sets itself completely apart from the rest is the instrumental "Cosmic Sea", but it still works well in the overall flow of the album. "Human" is a very consistent album in terms of quality and style, and while I can´t help to mention "Flattening of Emotions" and "Lack of Comprehension" as some of the highlights (the band shot a promotional video for the latter), it´s not really fair to the rest of the material on the album, because all tracks are standout high quality material.

"Human" was recorded and mixed by Scott Burns at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida and produced by Scott Burns and Chuck Schuldiner. They´ve managed to create a very powerful sounding album, which is both raw, brutal, detailed, and sophisticated. Almost the same words which can be used to describe the music, so the material and the sound production go perfectly hand and hand. So upon conclusion "Human" is an outstanding death metal release, which strikes the perfect balance between old school brutality and technical adventurous playing. Paired with songwriting which features a rare sense for memorable hooks, "Human" is a high quality release through and through. A 5 star (100%) rating is deserved.

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
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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.

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