DEATH — The Sound of Perseverance

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DEATH - The Sound of Perseverance cover
4.41 | 117 ratings | 7 reviews
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Album · 1998

Tracklist

1. Scavenger of Human Sorrow (6:54)
2. Bite the Pain (4:29)
3. Spirit Crusher (6:44)
4. Story to Tell (6:34)
5. Flesh and the Power It Holds (8:25)
6. Voice of the Soul (3:42)
7. To Forgive Is to Suffer (5:55)
8. A Moment of Clarity (7:22)
9. Painkiller (6:03)

Total Time: 56:13

Line-up/Musicians

- Chuck Schuldiner / Guitar, Vocals
- Richard Christy / Drums
- Scott Clendenin / Bass
- Shannon Hamm / Guitar

About this release

Full-length, Nuclear Blast
August 31st, 1998

Produced by Jim Morris & Chuck Schuldiner at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, FL.
Enigneered, mixed and mastered by Jim Morris

Artwork by Travis Smith
Band photo by Alex McKnight
Logo redesigned by Strain
Art direction & design by Gabe Mera & Maria Abril

Interesting note: Some of the song names on The Sound of Perseverance were
originally going to appear on the first Control Denied album. When Death was
signed on to Nuclear Blast, Chuck agreed to make one last Death album before
moving forward with Control Denied.

Rereleased with no changes by Nuclear Blast in 2001. Rereleased again by Nuclear
Blast as a 'Deluxe Edition' on 11/11/2005 with the Live in Cottbus DVD as a
bonus disc. "Painkiller" is not listed on the track listing on the deluxe
edition, but is in fact on the disc.

LP version limited to 400 copies on red vinyl
Japanese version released on Victor Entertainment

Thanks to UMUR, TheHeavyMetalCat for the updates

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DEATH THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE reviews

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UMUR
"The Sound of Perseverance" is the 7th full-length studio album by US, Florida based death metal act Death. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in August 1998. It was the last Death album released before frontman/guitarist Chuck Schuldiner´s untimely death in 2001, but not Schuldiner´s last recording as he had started a US power metal project in 1995 called Control Denied, who released their debut and sole full-length studio album "The Fragile Art of Existence" in 1999. There have been several lineup changes since the release of "Symbolic (1995)", and it´s actually only Schuldiner, who is left from the lineup who recorded that album. New in the lineup are Richard Christy (drums), Scott Clendenin (bass), and Shannon Hamm (guitars).

Stylistically "The Sound of Perseverance" is technical/progressive death metal, like the case has also been on the last three preceding album releases by the band. "The Sound of Perseverance" is probably the most progressive album in the band´s discography and most tracks on the 9 track, 56:13 minutes long album are relatively long. Most clocking in at around 6 minutes or more. The only exceptions being "Bite the Pain" and the instrumental "Voice of the Soul". So "The Sound of Perseverance" is compositionally a relatively complex release, although it´s still unmistakably the sound of post-1990 Death.

Schuldiner´s vocals have over the years gradually gone from an aggressive and relatively deep growl to a higher pitched sharp snarling type growling vocals. It has generally worked pretty well for him, but on "The Sound of Perseverance" he has taken it a bit over the top. His voice now sounds unnaturally high pitched, effect processed, and at times verging on the hysterical. To my ears it´s a slight issue, but it´s probably an aquired taste. The musicianship is as usual on a very high level. Fast fusion influenced precision drumming, sharp edged death/thrash riffs and well played solos, and a heavy bass. Especially new drummer Richard Christy needs a mention for putting his own personal touch on the material.

The material on the album is generally well written, although to my ears a bit more conscise songwriting (a little restraint) could have worked a bit better. On the other hand, the last three releases featured a very similar and rather formulaic songwriting approach (which isn´t necessarily a bad thing, as it worked perfectly on those releases), and maybe it was time for something new, and I have to give credit to Schuldiner for trying to avoid stagnation. The first part of the album (the first four tracks) is the strongest and tracks like "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", "Bite the Pain", and "Spirit Crusher" are of high quality, but the quality drops slightly from "Flesh and the Power It Holds" onwards. The remaining tracks on the album simply aren´t as catchy or memorable as the tracks opening the album, although they are still quality material. "The Sound of Perseverance" closes with a cover of "Painkiller" by Judas Priest, and while Death do the classic song a lot of justice and also apply their own touch and solos to the track, I still think "Painkiller" feels a bit off on the album. In my opinion in would have been better left for B-side on a single release.

"The Sound of Perseverance" features a powerful, detailed, and professional sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, and upon conclusion it is another high quality release by Death. Personally I feel Death peaked with "Symbolic (1995)" and "The Sound of Perseverance" aren´t exactly on par with that release, and that some of the more progressive moments on the album don´t always work that well or fit that well with the rest of the given song. Still a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.
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
Warthur
Death's final album was supposedly a contractural obligation piece - something knocked off so that Chuck Schneider could satisfy his label and move on with his new Control Denied project. Sadly, of course, fate had other plans in store - so it's a good thing the band didn't let the high standards of their later, technically-inclined albums slip at the final hurdle. A particular highlight is the concluding cover of Judas Priest's Painkiller, in which the musical delivery matches the fury of the original and Chuck's absolutely unrestrained vocals actually beat Rob Halford at his own game. Though it was never planned as being the band's final album, at least Death ended on a high note - a Halford-esque wail, specifically.
J-Man
Had it not been for his untimely passing in 2001, I have a feeling Chuck Schuldiner and Death would still be pushing the extreme metal envelope to the limit. After virtually inventing death metal in 1984, Chuck then turned the genre upside-down into a progressive and technical behemoth with a long string of more experimental albums. With Human, Death began incorporating progressive and jazz-influenced sections into their music, and from there onward Chuck Schuldiner kept widening the scope of death metal. Three years after the essential Symbolic, Mr. Schuldiner proved he was far from running short on ideas with The Sound of Perseverance. What we have here is possibly the most progressive and technically-demanding album Death ever released, and the end result is nothing short of amazing. As expected, Chuck's hand-picked cast of musicians is top-notch, the production is stellar, and (most of all) it's filled with enough killer riffs to keep you headbanging the entire time. What's even more impressive is that this isn't even my favorite Death album - that in itself proves what an excellent body of work Chuck Schuldiner has been involved in over the years. This isn't the best starting point for any Death newbie (that would be the legendary Symbolic), but anyone who wants to call themselves a metal fan better make sure this finds its way into their collection.

The Sound of Perseverance almost completely defies categorization when it comes to genre tagging. You could call this a death metal album - but it's extremely uncomfortable among the likes of Morbid Angel and Deicide. You could call it prog metal - but it looks out of place among albums from Dream Theater and Fates Warning. Hell, progressive death metal is even inaccurate when you think of the other bands that pioneer that genre. Although firmly rooted in death metal, this is an incredibly unique album. You can't even find another like it in Death's own discography. The music here is highly-technical and filled with constant tempo changes, time signature shifts, and complex rhythm patterns. In one sense this album is very similar to Atheist's Unquestionable Presence, but even that's a bit of a stretch. Chuck Schuldiner was a visionary who reinvented himself with each new album and seldom tried to sound like any other band.

From the beginning of Richard Christy's opening to "Scavenger of Human Sorrow", you know you're in for a real treat. Opening the album up with some of the most powerful metal riffs in existence, Chuck continues the album in a similar fashion. After the highly technical, almost sinister, "Bite the Pain", Chuck Schuldiner delivers an amazing vocal performance in "Spirit Crusher". Although every song can be regarded as excellent (pardon maybe the cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller"), my favorite has to be "Flesh and the Power it Holds". Scott Clendenin's bass playing on this track is spectacular, not to mention Richard Christy's technical acrobatics and the guitar mastery from Evil Chuck and Shannon Hamm. "Voice of the Soul" is possibly the softest song Death has ever performed. It begins as a light acoustic guitar bit, before a killer electric guitar solo dominates the rest of the piece. This is a truly beautiful song that harkens back to the early New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The next two tracks serve as two more killer slabs of technical metal, before closing the album off with their cover of Judas Priest's iconic "Painkiller".

After introducing one of the best lineups in the history of metal with Human, Chuck Schuldiner managed to find an equally excellent (and, in some cases, even better) lineup with each following release. I especially have to give a nod in Richard Christy's direction - man, he is one hell of a drummer. Whether or not he's up there with Sean Reinert and Gene Hoglan is up for debate, but it's hard to critique his mind-blowing drumming on The Sound of Perseverance. Scott Clendenin handles bass duties on this album and does a terrific job as well. Death was one of the few extreme metal bands that utilized the bass significantly - you'll even find some bass solos on The Sound of Perseverance. Shannon Hamm takes care of half of the guitar playing here, and certainly gets the job done well. This album is filled with highly demanding guitar sections, and Hamm delivers them with ease. And of course, you have "Evil Chuck" Schuldiner handling the vocals and guitar. He was simply a spectacular musician in all regards; there's no other way of putting it. A lot of people will criticize his higher-pitched vocals on this album, but I personally love them. It's definitely an acquired taste, though.

The original album consisted of 9 songs and a 56:13 playing time, but the 2011 Relapse reissue features 10 bonus demo-tracks. As I write this, I only have the digital version, which benefits from new artwork, a remastered sound, and the aforementioned bonus tracks. The physical edition supposedly contains a repackaged layout, which I'm confident most Death fanboys will want to get their hands on. The 10 bonus tracks on the Relapse Reissue are all demo tracks of songs that would later be on The Sound of Perseverance. As such, the bonus material is largely non-essential and only for the die-hard fans. It's interesting to listen to some of these demos, but I'd take the album cuts over these demos any day of the week. If you already own The Sound of Perseverance, the Relapse Reissue isn't really an essential purchase unless you're a collector of sorts. For newbies, this is worth picking up since it's probably the easiest version to find of this album nowadays.

The production of The Sound of Perseverance was one of the best in extreme metal, and the remastered version shines an entirely new light on this factor. Jim Morris & Chuck Schuldiner created a sound here that was raw and unpolished, but extremely effective and powerful. I like the sound of Symbolic a bit more, but the production of this album is still amazing nonetheless.

The Sound of Perseverance is an album that every self-respecting metal fan owns, and the new Relapse Reissue gives a good reason for anyone who doesn't own it to finally give this masterpiece a shot. I would've originally given this album a 4.5 star rating, and the bonus material isn't noteworthy enough to make me think twice about that score. Unfortunately, this album would end up being the last Death album before Chuck lost his battle with brain stem cancer in 2001. So as a swansong to the possibly the greatest metal band of all time, The Sound of Perseverance does its job, and does it pretty damn well at that. Rest in peace, Evil Chuck... the metal world misses you!
The Angry Scotsman
This is my 2nd favorite Death album. This is the epitome of a progressive death metal album. While it still has the heaviness, riffs, double bass, blast beats, and wild guitar solos of death metal, it also has long songs often with several riffs throughout, varied tempos and time signatures, and even an instrumental song.

While I do not think this is best overall Death lineup, "The Sound of Perseverance" has the best guitar duo of them all. Chuck Schuldiner and Shannon Hamm make some great riffs, dual harmonies, and solos on every song. Even when one is soloing the other lays down some great rhythm. The two are perfect together on this album.

The bass is good, quite good actually, but does not compare to Steve of prior albums. Also, filling the shoes of Gene Hoglan is no small task, but new drummer Richard Christy does so magnificently. While not as intense overall as Gene, his drumming may be more technical and really blows my mind when I hear it. I certainly can not play along with it!

Scavenger of Human Sorrow: This song begins with with a drum intro in a crazy time signature, (as of now I can not think what). There is a slower musical interlude, that displays some technical guitar and drum work before going back into a thrash riff. Also on this song you will hear some great drum fills! The solos, while still metal, are quite melodic and progressive. Also you will Chucks new vocals. While he has started using a higher pitched screaming, on this album his "death growl" is pretty much gone and replaced with a higher pitched shrieking, VERY emotional.

Bite the Pain: This one starts with a great dual guitar intro, and continues on with technical yet fast riffs, tempo and time signature changes and melodic guitar solos. During the solos you will hear some great drumming!

Spirit Crusher: Has a great bass intro and overall is a slower paced song. It displays some great technicality and has a great ending.

Story to Tell: Has a groovy start then right into some emotional guitar solos. A pretty slow song, with lots of soloing and technical prowess. After the solos is a stop and go section. Also, you can hear some of the best bass on this song.

Flesh and the Power it Holds: My favorite song on the album. It starts with an unusual guitar riff, and there are some great harmonies and dual playing between Chuck and Shannon, (not to mention some killer bass). The song has it all: slow riffs, holds, a technical part in the middle followed by a crazy high speed riff and double bass drumming. This song has some of my favorite guitar solos of all time. While they are shredding there is a beautiful, and trippy, under layer of bass.

Voice of the Soul: This is an instrumental track, with no drums, and 3 guitars (including an acoustic). Words can not describe accurately this masterpiece. There is a wonderful acoustic guitar intro that continues playing through the whole song, even while the 2 electric guitars are playing away. The composition is just beautiful and the dual, (well triple) guitar work at 1:33 to 1:49 takes me to another place.

To Forgive is to Suffer: Starts with anther odd time signature drum intro and has some superb twin guitar riffs, backed up by great drumming. The solos are again wild, and the last 30 seconds are wonderful madness!

A Moment of Clarity: Starts like most of the others with varying riffs, twin guitar harmonies and technical breakdowns. There are the obligatory solos, which range from shred to melodic. Just before 4 more minutes the song shifts into a thrash riff that I just love. I think it is the combo of Chucks voice and interesting drum beat.

Painkiller: My least favorite song on the album. It is good, and I like it but it is just my least of the batch. A cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller" this song is great musically and has an interesting take on KK's and Glenn's solos but I actually do not like Chucks vocals. While I can feel the emotion and power he is putting into it, (and it sounds like he's going to the limit) it sounds forced. I give him kudos for trying, but I do not like it. Though near the end you can hear Chuck using clean vocals!

Overall, a superb album. A must for any metal, prog/tech metal fan! Every song is good and if it wasn't for the slightly weak cover song...this would be my favorite Death album. The perfect blend of progressiveness, technicality and of course amazing musicianship. An amazing way to go out, though as we know the end of Death came too soon... 5 stars

R.I.P. Chuck Father of Death Metal, amazing guitarist, musician, and human being
Stooge
Here we have the last studio album released by Death. With an overall impressive discography to live up to, this album holds its own.

Two key areas have stayed constant for the band from their previous album, the masterful Symbolic. Jim Morris returns as the producer, resulting in another top-notch release in terms of sound quality. Although the lineup has changed once again, bandleader Chuck Schuldiner always manages to surround himself with talent, adding guitarist Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin, and drummer Richard Christy this time around.

One main difference in this album has to do with Chuck’s vocals. They are significantly higher pitched than on other Death albums. In a way, I guess they lean a bit more towards black metal vocals. It’s would probably take a little adjusting to for some people, but since this was the first Death album I ever listened to, it’s not too big an obstacle. I will say that I do prefer his voice on the other Death albums of the 1990s.

This album is not short of great riffs. Some of my favorites include the intro to “Flesh And The Power It Holds”, the main guitar melody in “To Forgive Is To Suffer”, and pretty much any riff in “Spirit Crusher”. “Voice of the Soul” marks the first appearance of an instrumental track since “Cosmic Sea” on the Human album, and doesn’t disappoint as a nice melodic break in the middle of an otherwise crushingly heavy album. All the material is, for the most part, enjoyable (with “A Moment of Clarity” being of least interest). However, many of the tracks seem to run a bit longer than necessary. I’d say pretty much any song that runs over six minutes long (excluding the Judas Priest cover “Painkiller”) could be improved by taking out some of the repetitive sections.

This album was re-released a few years ago with a DVD performance of the band “Live at Cottbus” in 1998. It’s probably easier to find these days that the original version, but don’t lose any sleep if you don’t obtain the Deluxe Edition. There is around 50 minutes of concert footage, but it’s a bit on the raw side, and there is some higher quality stuff that you can buy instead.

The Sound of Perseverance is probably my least favorite of Death’s final four studio albums. However, it is still an excellent release and would look great in any metal fan’s collection!
Time Signature
Metal and the power it holds...

Genre: progressive (death) metal

Another testimony to the fact that Death were superior to most of their contemporary death metal colleagues, 'Sound of Perseverance' is yet another progressive death metal masterpiece. Although not as well produced soundwise as 'Symbolic' or 'Individual Thought Patterns' (well, some might appreciate its rougher and less polished sound), I think the musical quality is still up there. As with the previous three albums, "Sound of Perseverance" does not realle have any weak moments at all. And, while the level of technicality and quirkiness is relatively high, it is not so high that the album become inaccessible.

I'd reccomend it to fans of death metal and progressive metal alike.

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