Review: The Sound of Perseverance
Magazine: Short Wave Warfare / USA
Written by: Dave Adelson
Published: 1998

Death is absolutely one of my favorite bands of all time, so naturally I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this album. I remember being pretty upset about Chuck breaking up the band and how happy I was to hear they were back together. When I look at my favorite bands, Death, Neurosis, Emperor, King Diamond and others, I realize that the reason these bands are my favorites is because they don't sound like anybody else. They make their own path and as a result create music that is totally recognizable as their own. Here we have a band that has successfully combined the brutal aspects of death metal and thrash with more traditional elements and melody, in essence creating the truest form of heavy metal possible in 1998.

From the opening moments of Scavenger of Human Sorrow it is obvious that you are listening to Death and as usual Chuck's musicianship is unmatched. The riffs are very melodic, yet not in the Swedish sense, as they retain the aspects of aggression that we've come to expect from Death. A few more traditional metal riffs have made their way into the choruses of such songs as Spirit Crusher or the lead riff in Bite the Pain, but by no means has Death turned into some Helloween wannabe band. These parts fit right in with the songs and bring some new elements to the already indestructible arsenal of Death riffs on display. Voice of the Soul is a brilliant instrumental combining acoustic guitars and amazing electric solos in a way that only Death could pull off.

Produced by Chuck Schuldiner and Jim Morris at the famed Morrisound Studios, they did a perfect job of bringing out every instrument to it's fullest. The guitars are right up front, but the bass sound is totally clear as well, though I believe Scott Clendenin is not playing a fretless bass, which gives the music that more traditional feel. The drumming is top-notch easily matching Gene Hoglan's work on previous Death recordings. Chuck's vocals sound slightly more high pitched than in the past, but are as intense as they've ever been. An excellent cover of the Priest classic Painkiller closes the album in perfect metal fashion.

Now signed to Nuclear Blast, Death may finally be on a label that understands what they're trying to do and this will only help with their cause of bringing more respect and maturity to the world of metal. Death will long be looked at as innovators in the extreme music underground and their legacy will be evident in metal for a long time to come. There is no form of truer heavy metal in existence right now then Death.


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EmptyWords-Published on May 13 2004