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Death - The Sound Of Perseverance (reissue)

the cat   (39 reviews)

Posted: 02/09/2011 | Comments: 10 | Rate:

While the SK readership, I should hope, has developed an appreciation of bands such as Cannibal Corpse or Entombed there was once a time when the first exposure to such things wouldn't have provoked the same reaction from each of us that it does today. That being said, should a unifying characteristic exist that could be applied to death metal, a notoriously unconventional and diverse type of brew, it might be that it's typically an acquired taste. Recently I was out for a ride with a friend of mine who was previously completely unaware of the Schuldiner-fronted phenomenon Death (and quite nearly death metal in general) when my car's CD player switched to The Sound of Perseverance I found myself reaching for the controls to find something a bit more, as it were, "middle of the road".

But my hand had stopped about half way as the offbeat drum rolls of "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" swelled to welcome the crash of the single note shred that launched the first song. In that instance it struck me that the "acquired taste" guideline I had set for death metal seemed almost draconian when applied to Death. Death, widely regarded and respected as being among the founding fathers of this strange and misunderstood genre. There's something in the DNA of this album, between the frenzied stop/start sequences, the pounding and perfectly syncopated rhythm section and the epic floods of unpredictable guitar work that demands attention, not just from a death metal connoisseur, but from anyone.

The Sound of Perseverance was Death's 7th and final studio album originally released in 1998, before frontman Chuck Schuldiner's tragic and untimely loss to his struggle with cancer. I consider this to be Death's magnum opus, and history has been very good to it. The scope of the album is enormous and every song ambitious, intensely technical but yet natural and effortless for the listener. Exploding with spellbinding and gigantic layers time and time again, this is not an album that lets up at any point. Death isn't a band that set out to be wildly progressive and jaw-droppingly heavy, they are a band who set out to write amazing tunes that just happened to be described as such.

The reissue introduces the artwork in a slightly new light (which I think was a step down truthfully) but more importantly deals with some sound issues on the original recording. A point of contention I’ve always had with this band was in the guitar tone department which I had originally considered thin and shrill received some attention as well. Everything in general feels a bit thicker here while various other levels throughout the album are a bit easier to take in as a whole. A deluxe edition exists with various other goodies and demo/live tracks.

At the end of the car ride, which also was about the end of the album, my friend had volunteered that she thought the album sounded "very real". If I had to filter my review down to 2 words, those are the two that I would go with. This album should be heard by anyone regardless of musical background which is why a reissue is so sorely needed. If you’re going to have one death metal album in your collection, make it this one.

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I have no legs!
27,235 Posts
I could filter it down to 1 word, perfection.
Anxiety Hangover
11,188 Posts
ill have to get this. favorite death album, and im interested to hear a thicker tone on chuck's guitar.
45,098 Posts
as much as i love this band and album, i cant see me rushing out to buy it again. however, it's good that they're in the "spotlight" again with the rerelease
45,098 Posts
also, good review but, id have thought it would have been more about the new features and album. still decent though
7,487 Posts
thanks dude
45,098 Posts
p.s. to forgive is to suffer is SUCH a perfect song!
Pulp Free
52,194 Posts
This record is phenominal and I think was the peak of Chuck's writing but when it comes to Death I always find myself going for their more raw, immature albums like Leprosy (my favorite), Human, and Spiritual Healing.
Old Head
38,817 Posts
love this album, will get. hope they reissue others.
I have no legs!
27,235 Posts
Originally posted by: WREN

This record is phenominal and I think was the peak of Chuck's writing but when it comes to Death I always find myself going for their more raw, immature albums like Leprosy (my favorite), Human, and Spiritual Healing.

Scream Bloody Gore
Spiritual Healing

is how I would most likely rank them. Top 4 are definite.
11,085 Posts
I'll put Spritual Healing and Scream Bloody Gore higher then Human and ITP.

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