Review: Symbolic
Magazine: Metal Hammer & Grind Zone / Italy
Written by: Stefano Longhi
Published: summer 1995


Here we are! Death metal gods are back! DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, DISMEMBER and UNLEASHED parade on GRIND ZONE's forestage, and backstage ANATHEMA, STORM, ABSU and FESTER are getting ready. Here they are! Applauses for everybody… or almost!

The opening of this month couldn't be dedicated to others but them, the two death metal giants that long since divided audiences and critics: DEATH and MORBID ANGEL. About the first ones, the critics agree, the audience lately is snubbing them a bit too much…What DEATH have achieved with the sixth album 'Symbolic,' the technical and song-writing level reached by 'Evil' Chuck and co., is simply sensational. So much so that they make me think what could happen some day if DEATH decided to do the heavy-progressive experience… Bands like FATES WARNING and DREAM THEATER should be worrying and, very probably, make room for a new 'primadonna'! But, as ours don't seem wanting to get more 'commercial', enjoy this amazing and rare example of 18 carat death metal!

It begins with 'Symbolic' and it seems as if the sound has become more compact, sharper: Chuck's vocals on one hand have lost the guttural side that characterized it for years, on the other hand gained more aggression and ferocity. Gene Hoglan's drumming is super-intricate and unpredictable as ever and the new entries, Kelly Conlon on bass and Bobby Koelble on guitar, don't make me regret the absence of the former musicians. The next tracks underline how DEATH have saved their trademark, though leaving room for new arrangements with a more stressed harmony ('Crystal Mountain' is the most shining example). In 'Symbolic' there are no defects, everything seems to have been perfectly done …Will this one be the right one that the large audience, after having praised SEPULTURA and PANTERA, will notice?

VOTE: 6 / 6


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Translated by VC/MM for EmptyWords-Published on June 8 2003