DEATH

Technical Death Metal / 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

DEATH Scream Bloody Gore album cover 3.32 | 65 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
Death Metal 1987
DEATH Leprosy album cover 3.93 | 69 ratings
Leprosy
Death Metal 1988
DEATH Spiritual Healing album cover 3.72 | 63 ratings
Spiritual Healing
Death Metal 1990
DEATH Human album cover 4.15 | 110 ratings
Human
Technical Death Metal 1991
DEATH Individual Thought Patterns album cover 4.29 | 105 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
Technical Death Metal 1993
DEATH Symbolic album cover 4.39 | 155 ratings
Symbolic
Technical Death Metal 1995
DEATH The Sound of Perseverance album cover 4.41 | 117 ratings
The Sound of Perseverance
Technical Death Metal 1998

DEATH EPs & splits

DEATH live albums

DEATH Live in L.A. (Death & Raw) album cover 4.32 | 11 ratings
Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
Technical Death Metal 2001
DEATH Live in Eindhoven '98 album cover 4.21 | 7 ratings
Live in Eindhoven '98
Technical Death Metal 2001
DEATH Vivus! album cover 2.86 | 3 ratings
Vivus!
Technical Death Metal 2012

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

DEATH re-issues & compilations

DEATH Fate: The Best of Death album cover 2.00 | 6 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
Technical Death Metal 2010

DEATH Reviews

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
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ssmarcus
Here’s a (not so very) hot take: early Florida-based death metal is just thrash metal turnT up to 11. By the start of the 90’s, legacy thrash metal groups had matured their sound and songwriting, with records like Master of Puppets and Rust in Peace showcasing just how dynamic and colorful thrash metal could be. Even the mighty Slayer tempered their speed and fury on South of Heaven for the sake of their songwriting. In contrast, being the musical equivalent of Florida Man, Tampa based extreme metal groups instead doubled down on the speed, dissonance, and violent lyrical content of thrash resulting in music that, while maybe technically impressive in a number of respects, really just didn’t sound that good to anyone not solely interested in how edgy and extreme music could be.

However, Death’s fourth studio album Human definitely strikes me as one of the turning points for death metal songwriting. The music is not merely exaggerated shock value thrash but an expression of a unique, albeit still twisted, approach to melody and rhythm that would not only remain the hallmark of Death’s music going forward but also become the cornerstone of the nascent technical and progressive death metal sub-genres. On a personal level, while I can appreciate much of this record, I still maintain a strong preference for more Iron Maiden inspired melodic or groove-based death metal ala Carcass or Lamb of God respectively. As such, I can really give this album any higher a rating despite its historical importance.

DEATH Leprosy

Album · 1988 · Death Metal
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SilentScream213
Death’s debut album was a very traditional and straightforward Death Metal release. There’s absolutely no shame in that, and since it was one of the first Death Metal albums ever, it was innovative despite being as straightforward as Death Metal goes. However, Chuck upped the ante on their sophomore Leprosy by adding a good amount of technicality and progressive elements to the songwriting. The lyrics are also better than the juvenile rubbish on the debut; still death and violence, but written much more effectively. Much like Ride the Lightning was to Kill ‘Em All, the songs here are much more mature and developed, each offering multiple passages, wild solos and a huge number of massive riffs. It’s also very consistent; some songs lean more towards the new technical direction than others, but every track is a killer.

It’s still classic OSDM most of the time, but the songwriting techniques in such an early stage for the genre are what laid the groundwork for Tech Death and Prog Death. This band was one of the first on the scene of Death Metal, but instead of remaining stagnant in that position, they continue to innovate and evolve the scene further.

DEATH Scream Bloody Gore

Album · 1987 · Death Metal
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SilentScream213
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.

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
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martindavey87
Okay this isn’t going to make me any friends... but this is my review and I can only share my honest opinion...

Yuck. What is this?

I was heavily into thrash metal in my early teens, and while I don’t sway very often towards the heavier and more aggressive side of metal these days, I still like many of the artists that I’m already a fan of. So here I am many, many years later, and it’s time to get stuck in with one of the main metal subgenres that has always eluded me; death metal. And what better place to start than one of the most revered and beloved bands of the genre? Death.

But this? Nope! Not into it! I mean, the playing is incredibly intense and these guys are all incredibly proficient at their instruments, with pinpoint precision and accuracy, and there are a couple of decent riffs. But most of it is just way too fast and lacks any kind of melody. Ditto for the vocals. Angry, growly stuff, which is fine if you’re into that, but for me, I need some kind of melodic vocal line that I can sing along to!

Aw well. I tried, and I know I’ll get flayed alive for this review (metal fans can be so annoyingly passionate sometimes, it’s just a review, come on guys, chill!), but there we have it. I gave Death’s ‘Human’ multiple listens, and it’s just not growing on me. What can I say? I’m only human.

DEATH Spiritual Healing

Album · 1990 · Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Out of the seven DEATH studio albums that were released in the band’s fourteen year run (as DEATH) it’s this third one SPIRITUAL HEALING that gets cited most as the weakest of the pack and i can only imagine that the gawdawful cover art could possibly contribute to that more common than not opinion, however personally i really cannot understand exactly why this one has been singled out of the subsequent pack as the worst of the lot. As was notorious in the ever changing lineup, Chuck Schuldiner experienced a third guitarist on just as many albums this time with Rick Rozz being replaced by James Murphy (an unknown at the time but would go on to play in Obituary, Testament, Konkhra and Cancer). The worst artwork of the Eric Repka catalogue aside, SPIRITUAL HEALING musically speaking, continues the forward thinking march into incrementally increased progressiveness and less of the straight forward brutal rawness with a focus on more intellectually stimulating lyrical content.

Although the sub-genre of death metal began with 1987’s “Scream Bloody Gore,” the close ties to thrash metal were still at the forefront and while each following release took baby steps into a complete cutoff from its parent sub, SPIRITUAL HEALING still retains a heavy thrash riffing brutality augmented by a more sophisticated compositional approach but doesn’t quite reach the level of the true progressive nature of “Human” and beyond. Album #3 is very much a transitional album from death metal’s thrash laden birth pangs to the ever increasing technical sophistication displayed all throughout the 90s. As one decade ceded into another, Schuldiner too was laying the 80s version of the band to rest and slowly but surely ratcheting up the intensity that would culminate on 1998’s “The Sound Of Perseverance.” So what it adds up to is a slightly more melodic version of the first two albums that has slivers of the more technical touches such as Schuldiner and Murphy’s excellent dueling guitar soloing.

Lyrically Schuldiner was maturing rapidly as he left behind the blatant shock and awe subject matter of zombies, mutilation and gore and began to tackle the complexities of human society with a special interest in the most fucked up aspects including deformed babies from coke addicted mothers on “Living Monstrositiy,” abortion on “Altering The Future,” schizophrenia on “Defensive Personalities” as well as the expected evangelistic brainwashing punditry as evidenced on the gawdawful cover art. These types of themes would become increasingly more relevant and refined on the following “Human” release. While the insane time signature changes and labyrinthine song structures hadn’t quite blossomed completely, there are hints of the future with little snippets of frenetic time bending as well as sudden breaks that deviate from the expected “normalcy” of the previous albums.

One thing’s for sure and that i would bet nobody would deem SPIRITUAL HEALING as their favorite DEATH album of all time but that is not to say that this album deserves any of the bad reception that it has received. Schuldiner dishes out the expected punishing brutal riffs at intensively high speeds with his by then signature death growls and succeeds in whipping the rest of the band into shape so that the eight tracks are completely consistently tightly delivered with the bombast and as much caustic abrasiveness one could hope for in the fledgling metal sub-genre. Yeah, that album cover really has to go. I understand that it was meant for the album to evolve more into a psychological horror soundtrack rather the blood and guts themes of prior but something about the whole Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker theme on the cover just doesn’t work. Just for the record… there ARE NO BAD DEATH ALBUMS! This included. Another excellent slice of the early death metal years.

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