Death – The Sound Of Perseverance

After pushing the envelope of death metal for many years with classic albums such as Human, Individual Thought Patterns and Symbolic, Chuck Schuldiner decided to pull the plug on his old band Death. He was simply sick and tired of being curtailed musically by the genre’s limitations, so he moved on to Control Denied. At the time no label was really interested in the new material, so he reformed Death again for just one more album. The other musicians involved were Shannon Hamm (guitars), Scott Clendenin (bass) and Richard Christy (drums). The Sound Of Perseverance was Death’s swansong.

Musically speaking The Sound Of Perseverance takes the technical and progressive edge of the Symbolic album a notch or two higher. Songs like Scavenger Of Human Sorrow, Bite The Pain, Spirit Crusher and Flesh And The Power It Holds are epic in scope and they are filled to the brim with complex riffs, technical breaks and ditto time changes, brilliant drumming and stunningly melodic leads and solos. Essentially a prog/techhead’s musical delight.

The overwhelming complexity and technicality of the album comes with a price though. It makes The Sound Of Perseverance a very exhausting listening experience. After hearing the initial five songs you get the feeling you’ve heard at least five albums worth of ideas condensed in just 30 minutes, because there is so much going on. That is perhaps the album’s Achilles’ heel.

The Sound Of Perseverance still has a fresh and vibrant production, making it a relevant record to this very day.Despite its flaws this is still a remarkable album by any standard. It’s a worthy end for such an illustrious band. RIP Chuck Schuldiner and Death!

written by Raymond Westland

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