This was the first album I wanted to review when I first joined
"The Metal Observer", but I wasn't quite sure what perspective
to take it from. On my way to school today, I made sure to bring
it along with me, and as soon as "Voice Of The Soul"
came on, I felt inspired, so here I am, in school writing the
This is not an album full
of hard rocking metal anthems, this is not an album of pure brutality,
and this is not an album of blistering hatred. This is an album
self expression, and of hope in a world filled with people who
would deny it to you. It truly is "The Sound Of Perseverance".
I wouldn't claim that this
is the best (but, it is, of course, still incredible) line-up
that DEATH has ever had (consisting of Shannon Hamm on guitar,
Scott Clendenin on bass, Richard Christy on drums and of course,
Chuck Schuldiner; guitar and vocals) nor is it necessarily the
best executed DEATH album. It is, however, the most inspirational.
The album begins with "Scavenger Of Human Sorrow", which
immediately highlights the talent that the band possesses. From
this point on until the fifth song, each song is a powerful work
of self-expression, utilizing the wealth of talent in both musical
technique, and lyrical prowess.
However, the album peaks
when it reaches the sixth song; "Voice Of The Soul".
I feel extremely unqualified in attempting to describe this song,
but I will do my best. If there is one thing that I remember from
DEATH, and if there is one thing I ever take with me from music
in general, it will be this song, and the way it makes me feel.
The mix of the acoustic and the electric guitar, the soaring melodies,
instills a sense of hope and wonder in me unlike any other piece
of music can. The changes in dynamics express and instill a multitude
of emotions with the greatest of ease. The fact that the song
is an instrumental only makes it all the more impressive, as it
invokes all of these emotion and feelings without saying a single
The end of "Voice Of
The Soul" brings out my first of two criticisms about the
album, both of which are very minor. The criticism is that, as
good as "To Forgive Is To Suffer" is, it seems to be
too much of a departure from "Voice Of The Soul". Of
course, I'm not saying that DEATH should have attempted to create
another song that could have acted as a bridge between the two,
but perhaps closing the album with "Voice Of The Soul"
would have been a more fitting end. However, "To Forgive
Is To Suffer" is a great song in its own right, giving much
of the same feelings that the other heavy songs on the album do.
This is not to say that the album is becoming repetitive, or at
this point has nothing left to offer, but instead that the album
has a consistent flow to it. At this point in the album in fact,
DEATH offers some of the most interesting riffs of any song.
The following song, "A
Moment of Clarity", has some of the more interesting drum
work on the album, and is of course filled with involving guitar
riffs that encompass the listener into DEATH's world. The song
itself, while not as good as "Voice Of The Soul", would
still be a respectable end to the album. Unfortunately, there
is still one song left.
The final track on the album
is my second and final complaint about the CD. Although the cover
of JUDAS PRIEST's "Painkiller" is executed without flaw,
and in my opinion is better than the original, I feel that the
song does not belong on the album, but would have been better
suited for a collection of B-sides or something to that effect.
The inclusion of this song is an abrupt end to the flow and the
feeling that the album had, and unfortunately ends the album on
a kind of sour note, whereas it would have ended on a high one
had "A Moment Of Clarity" closed the album. However,
it does benefit from not being in the middle of the album, so
it can be taken on its own, and the first eight songs can be taken
together as the album.
Despite its minor flaws,
"The Sound Of Perseverance" will always be my favorite
of all the DEATH releases. The fact that it is not the most technical
album, or that it isn't the heaviest or anything to that effect
will never help to sway my opinion for the simple fact that that
this album is the most spellbinding, inspirational and beautiful.