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 2.93 | 54 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
Death Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 3.78 | 58 ratings
Leprosy
Death Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 50 ratings
Spiritual Healing
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.25 | 92 ratings
Human
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.28 | 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 Spiritual Healing

Album · 1990 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Spiritual Healing is an awkward spot in the Death timeline; they hadn't quite abandoned their old, more straight-ahead death metal style here, but on the other hand hadn't entirely embraced the technical death metal direction they would latch onto on Human.

It's the more straight-ahead death metal numbers which suffer the most here, with the least progressive songs tending to be the least accomplished. This isn't just a style thing - the sections in question just aren't quite as good as, say, the material on Leprosy, and at points sound like polished-up rejected songs from Scream Bloody Gore. The album is saved by Chuck beginning his introduction of more technically intricate techniques into his performance and songwriting, the title track here perhaps being the best example of this.

Between this and the lyrical shift from overt shocking gore to more contemplative examinations of weightier issues, it's quite clear to me that this more technical, almost progressive material was where Chuck's heart was really at by this stage of the band's existence, his tastes having evolved away from the group's earlier style. Between that and the decision of the rest of the band to tour Europe without Chuck, it's no surprise that this lineup (a mildly tweaked version of the one that did Leprosy, with Rick Rozz gone and James Murphy in his place) didn't last, or that Chuck would switch to working with session musicians rather than running Death as a band project in future.

DEATH Leprosy

Album · 1988 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Death's debut was a decent blueprint for death metal but didn't have brilliant production; their second album would not only demonstrate that they had a few more technical chops than Screan Bloody Gore might have suggested, but also put the distinctive production style of Scott Burns on the map and made Morrisound in Florida the hub of the late 1980s/early 1990s US death metal explosion. With songs that incorporate a higher degree of technical capability without making technicality the sole focus and a production which teases out the hidden intricacies of the group's playing whilst retaining the fire and fury of the preceding album, it isn't a delicate or shy piece but it is an iconic one.

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.

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Metal Subgenres

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MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
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Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
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Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
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Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
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Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
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New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Torch of Our Final Night Black Metal
WOMAN IS THE EARTH
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Blot · Ilt · Taut Black Metal
EREB ALTOR
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Deathless March of the Unyielding Black Metal
DEATH FORTRESS
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Pale Dawn Black Metal
SUN WORSHIP
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Into the Vortex Black Metal
SUN WORSHIP
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