Calling Death founding guitarist/vocalist Chuck Schuldiner one of the most important figures in extreme metal seems almost a disservice to what he accomplished in his 3 decades on Earth. Tragically dying in 2001 at the all too short age of 34, Death’s 7 full-length albums (and Control Denied, too!) influenced genres as diverse as progressive death metal, tech-death, and of course, death metal itself.
20 years after the final Death album, The Sound Of Perseverance, we revisit a record that still maintains a strong sense of power and influence to this day.
To say this record is full of fun riffs and solos wouldn’t quite do it justice. While it’s hard to pick out a specific standout song, a solid candidate might be “Spirit Crusher”. A skilled presentation of what Death is all about, throwing highly impressive bass playing to the forefront of the track. The song also includes one of the best solos on any Death record, with highly intelligent lyrics that almost make you forget you’re listening to death metal at times. The next song, “Story To Tell”, also contains more fantastic riffs and from Schuldiner and guitarist Shannon Hamm.
It needs to be mentioned how unequivocally fantastic the closing cover of Judas Priest’s “Painkiller” is. Stretching Schuldiner’s vocal abilities way past their limit, the drumming of Richard Christy is also on point the whole way through, making it much more than just your average cover. “Voice Of The Soul” is snother highlight, being a purely instrumental song that incorporates acoustic guitars.
The final Death album shows off a musician in Schuldiner taken far, far too soon. While it’s debatable as to which Death album is the best (Human, Symbolic, and really all of them are strong candidates), one thing is for sure – The Sound Of Perseverance is a shockingly accessible and developed iconic metal record that should be heard by all fans of the genre.