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Death - Scream Bloody Gore CD (album) cover

SCREAM BLOODY GORE

Death

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.92 | 139 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Scream Bloody Gore" is the debut full-length studio album by death metal act Death. The album was originally released through Combat Records in May 1987. "Scream Bloody Gore" was recorded at The Music Grinder in Los Angeles and produced by Randy Burns. The cover illustration was designed by Edward J. Repka who is also responsible for the cover albums for some of the releases by Megadeth (among others). The album lineup consists of Chuck Schuldiner on vocals, guitars, and bass, Chris Reinert (Autopsy, Abcess) on drums, and John Hand on rhythm guitar. Alledgedly John Hand didnīt play a note on the album though.

Death was founded in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner under the Mantas monicker. The early lineup featured future Massacre members Kam Lee (vocals, drums) and Rick Rozz (guitars). The band changed their name to Death in 1984 after releasing the "Death by Metal (1984)" demo, and released their second demo "Reign of Terror (1984)" under their new name. A third demo "Infernal Death" was released in early 1985 before lineup changes started to occur (not before releasing the "Rigor Mortis (1985)" demo), and Schuldiner opted to move to San Francisco, California and continue with the band there (the "Back from the Dead (1985)" demo was recorded during this period). That wasnīt a success though and he moved back to Florida. After an unsuccessful stint with Canadian thrash metal act Slaughter, he moved to San Francisco again, and met drummer Chris Reifert, with whom he recorded the "Mutilation (1986)" demo, which was the demo that secured them a deal with Combat Records. So the early history of Death is quite eventful but also rich with demo and rehearsal releases, and full of material which ended up on "Scream Bloody Gore" (a little over half of the tracks on the album were culled from the demos).

The music on the album is raw and quite simple death metal influenced by the most raw part of the 80s thrash metal scene and artists like Kreator, Possessed, and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. There arenīt many contemporary death metal studio albums from 1987 or before, and the few that exist (like "Season of the Dead (1987)" by Necrophagia, "Seven Churches (1985)" by Possessed, "Morbid Visions (1986)" by Sepultura, and the, at the time, unreleased "Abominations of Desolation (1986)" by Morbid Angel) are typically more raw and brutal thrash metal than actual death metal albums. To my ears "Scream Bloody Gore" is possibly the first album where the death metal elements overshadow the thrash metal ditto and in that sense it can be considered the first death metal release in history (which is of course always debatable).

The material on the 10 track, 37:51 minutes long album is generally well written and quite catchy with memorable vocal hooks and clear vers/chorus structures (the songwriting is slightly one-dimensional though). Thereīs relatively good rhythmic variation all things considered, the simple guitar/bass riffs are effective, and the intelligible aggressive growling works well too. The greatest asset is probably how organic and immediate it all sounds though, and the honest and authentic way the music is delivered. Despite the rawness of the recordings it is still abundantly clear that Schuldiner had a vision and the skills to pull it off.

The raw and simple music is complimented by an equally raw and brutal sound production, which suits the music perfectly. So upon conclusion "Scream Bloody Gore" is a well crafted album and for the time a very brutal one to boot. This particular incarnation of Death would be rather short lived, as Chuck Schuldiner opted to move back to Florida again, and as Chris Reinert decided to stay in California (he would later form Autopsy), a whole new lineup was assembled before recording the bandīs second full-length studio album "Leprosy (1988)". "Scream Bloody Gore" is a historically important metal album and while it does sound a bit dated today, and it could have been a bit more varied, itīs still a pretty good quality release considering the year of release and the genre of music being played. A 3 star (60%) rating isnīt all wrong.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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