Finally ...Chuck had a real band !
DEATH's debut Scream Bloody Gore was not a band, but a 2-man operation ...but this time around with 1988's Leprosy, this was a band ...and way more than a mere band: but the world's first all-star deathmetal band !
Crunched history lesson: DEATH (then MANTAS) started in 1983 with singer-drummer Kam Lee, guitarist Rick Rozz and visionary mainman Chuck Schuldiner. In 85 shit hit the fan, Lee and Rozz goes on with MASSACRE while Chuck resets and records 1987's Scream Bloody Gore with to-be AUTOPSY drummer Chris Reifert. For touring purposes, he re-unites with Rozz, along newcomers drummer Bill Andrews and bassist Terry Butler ...both men will eventually abandon Chuck and regroup with Lee/Rozz's MASSACRE in 1991 after 1990's catastrophic Spiritual Healing touring cycle. Rozz had already been fired during the Leprosy tour.
...but let's rewind a bit, shall we.
The speedmetal frenzy of 1985-86 with: To Mega Therion, Reign In Blood, Pleasure To Kill, Darkness Descends and Rrröööaaarrr led many acts biting the dust and looking for something more evil and diabolical. The answer: slowing down and turning the vocals inside-out ...and here comes the musical genre now known as: Death-Metal !
While 1987's Scream Bloody Gore is the world's first official deathmetal album, the second release, Leprosy is the one that spear-headed the movement. The aggression is put to full overdrive and Leprosy makes POSSESSED's Seven Churches LP sounds like THE BEACH BOYS !
The hot production and unique guitar-tones are engineered by to-be studio guru Scott Burns at the to-be famous Morrisound Studios in Tampa. From blunt to barbaric, from fierce to fatal, from vicious to virulent ... Leprosy is the deathmetal album to be reckoned with. Maybe not in speed, has other acts would abound aplenty, but in the brutal department: Leprosy is THE one-stop shop !
The slaughter kicks-off with the heavy mid-paced deadly title-track, to the up-tempo "Born Dead" that reminds us that we'll all "starve and rot in agony", to "Left To Die" a track that leaves nothing to the imagination. On the B-side, "Open Casket" is as brutal as it can get, while "Choke On It" is another gem in the impressive DEATH catalog, that showcases hints of progressive elements, that would shape the band's future. The album also features "Pull The Plug" a sickening track that eventually became the focal point of the album, as well as, a set-list encore for many years.
By 1989, all the to-be top-players in the scene now had full-length albums out: there was OBITUARY, there was DEICIDE, there was MORBID ANGEL ...but it all started with DEATH ...the first word in Death-Metal !
LIVE 1988 in PHILLY
February 16, 1990 - 2020: 30 years of: Spiritual Healing.
DEATH 2.0 a leaner, cleaner, smarter DEATH. Turning-point between bloody brutal deathmetal and structured and intricate deathmetal. Step-one towards musical exploration and progressive exploration. Raw riffing and intelligent lyric-pattern, this is a high graded release in the to-be crowded scene. Deathmetal's answer to And Justice For All if you will. Welcome home James Murphy !
October 22, 1991 - 2021: 30 years of: Human.
Life after DEATH.
Progression and exploration, a new motto for DEATH's brain-child Chuck Schuldiner. From regurgitated guts and zombie rituals to cosmic seas filled with vacant planets, this updated band was now breaking away from the bloody horrors and clichés of deathmetal. A new outlook: positive deathmetal.
The drum-intro build-up of "Flattening Of Emotions" traps you into a corner and then all the elements of Mother Nature goes into full overdrive. Commanding bass, commanding guitars, commanding drums and commanding master Chuck makes a strong statement: this is us, now try and follow if you dare.
More speed infused with the gathering "Together As One", über-fast rolling bassdrums a now new standard in this new fusion, while "See Through Dreams" also send the BPM needle into the hot-zone. The musical explorations of "Cosmic Sea", a 4:28sec instrumental vision that once again, cuts ties with the brutality and instead, makes rooms for melodies, elaborate solos and jazz-patterns.
The MTV-video, a first for this band, with the progressive "Lack Of Comprehension" track might not get actual day-time broadcasting, but did find it's way into a million-viewing Beavis & Butt-Head episode. Not bad for a band with "Death" as their very own moniker.
A complete 45° in the genre Chuck created and the creation of a new sub-metal breed: progressive deathmetal. Welcome aboard SADUS bassist Steve DiGiorgio and CYNIC-members drummer Sean Reinert and guitarist Paul Masvidal, wich means, more mean-metal with more mean-melodies. Even some minor changes were applied to the band's logo ...a clear a sign of forwardness.
Remember that during that same calendar-year, other deathmetal units have also stepped-up in the melody-department, namely: Holland's PESTILENCE and the UK's CARCASS. This re-birth after death shall continue to bloom, with DEATH 2.0's 1993 free-style infused Individual Thought Patterns CD.
RIP Chuck Schuldiner (1967-2001)
RIP Sean Reinert (1971-2020)
Lack Of Comprehension = video
Human = full CD
At Morrisound Studios
Interview with Chuck in 1991
Live in Milwaukee in 1991
Référence croisée Helter Skelter:
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