More than a decade ago, Chuck Schuldiner together with congenial
spirits like Morbid Angel and Obituary, made the foundation for
the death metal scene in Florida. In the blossom period Death
turned out to be the most technically gifted band. While most
of the bands from the first hour seem to stand still Chuck is
, with his constantly changing line up, developing still.
The combination of all scorching
aggressiveness and musical skill got better on every album. A
positive impulse was the joining of power drummer Gene Hoglan
(ex-Dark Angel), some years ago. His dominant rolls give the Death
sound an extra dimension.
The story is continued again in
a positive direction on their newest release "Symbolic". Without
making any concessions to his old style, Chuck added new elements
that will gain a broader audience. The guitarist/vocalist still
drags the death grunt from out of his toes but articulates better
so the vocals will be a stumbling block for a smaller part of
Almost every song is dripping with
unadulterated aggression, maybe Chuck & Co. are playing off
some business troubles. For the changeover from Relativity to
Roadrunner wasn't plain sailing. The anger is wrapped in great
songs, abundantly blessed with super riffs, clear sounding solo's
an incidental acoustic guitar and the resourceful drumming of
It's quite an experience to hear
these two Grand Masters play together, better than ever before.
Besides that, the newcomers Bobby Koelble (guitar) and Kelly Conlon
(bass) don't stay behind a bit. Also a compliment for producer
Jim Morris. The sound is hard but clear. To accomplish this with
such dominant musicians is an achievement on its own.
Quoting single songs actually is
not relevant. The CD does not have one weak moment, get's better
every time and the more you play it. Mainly because the high level
of the songs reveal bit by bit.
Up 'till now, Symbolic, without
any doubt, is the best album of Death. Needless to say, Death
is one of the survivors of the genre. Essential !!!