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Death - Scream Bloody Gore CD (album) cover

SCREAM BLOODY GORE

Death

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The mid to late 1980s were a great time if you were into metal - especially at the more extreme end, as there were countless bands jumping on the Thrash/Speed metal bandwagon, and a significant proportion of these were cultivating unique styles.

This was a real hot-bed of invention, a time as exciting for metal as the 1960s were for music in general, and as progressive as the 1970s were... OK, I'm getting carried away now.

1987 was the year after "Master of Puppets" and Reign in Blood", two legendary landmarks in this genre that still tower over almost anything else at that time. We have to look to the more extreme end of this already extreme genre and investigate the music of Kreator to see where Death came from.

Fortunately, Chuck Schuldiner had a vision that stopped Death from being a Kreator tribute band, and the music of "Scream Bloody Gore" is brutal and primaeval enough to stand up to a band name that was really inevitable, given the desire of the genre to shock and hit hard.

Unfortunately, the lyrics are throwawy rubbish - childish droolings of someone out to shock, but armed with a Thesaurus (the expurgated version).

Fortunately, you cannot make the lyrics out at all, thanks to Chuck's "Death Growl" style of vocals, which suit the high-distortion muscular and brutal tritone-based riffs.

It's not Prog, but will be of great interest to anyone into Death (or related) metal, as this album is widely regarded to be the very first of the genre - and as such is highly progressive.

Yes... I'm going to do a track-by-track now... :O)

"Infernal Death" grants a hugely satisfying entry, with chunking riffs and pounding drums, perfectly met by an elongated "DIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!" from Chuck. Great comedy - I love it!

You get a few more of these, before the thrashy style starts - and what a monster riff it is. Chuck's vocals just suit the music perfectly, and the song winds around the "Boom- tsh-boom-tsh" drumm patterns with great ferocity. Chuck then snakes a slithery guitar lead in there, and a new riff is tossed in - based, I might add, on the earlier riffs. None of your tangential nonsense here - this is pure metal music carved from a single sinew.

The Egyptian-sounding twin-barrel lead intro to "Zombie Ritual" makes a coherent follow- on, and the doom-laden columns of riff that follow create an architectural wonder of the metal world, before suddenly dropping into a sandstorm that whips up a veritable fury. More columns of chords frame this perfectly, and a monster riff drives the chorus as, lo and behold, the riffage is developed in a progressive way before kicking back into the sandstorm of earlier.

The attention to detail in the construction is gut-instinct at its best, creating an edifice of rock so huge and mighty that make Black Sabbath seem like Pinky and Perky.

And you should hear the guitar solo...

The burn-out is marvellous - you get to hear Chuck belting out "Zombie... Ritual..." in a chilling Death scream. Stirring stuff indeed.

We then get slammed head-first into "Denial of Life" - see, the Egyptian theme is continued... Oh well. The mayhem simply never lets up - a masterful and perfectly developing set of riffs yet again welded together with an instincitve feel for how this new style of music should progress - and the technical abilities to pull it off.

All together for the chorus; "DENIALOFLIFE!!!".

And those brutal riffs are just the ticket - OK, they get a bit "Slayer" at times, but Death remarkably carved their own style in a market that seemed flooded with thrash/speed bands.

We get a little respite for the start of "Sacrificial", but this is only superficial - the riffs grow in intensity and the drums batter and pound the words in the vocals into blissful obscurity - you don't want to know... OK, just a bit:

"With chainsaw in hand, Your death I demand, Slicing through your fat, My awaited gore attack".

Sheer bloody poetry or what?

You should check the rest of the lyrics out - they make Cradle of Filth seem like quite pleasant gentlemen really...

Fortunately, the music more than makes up for it - and you can't hear the words anyway.

"Mutilation" doesn't really do anything new, but it is incredibly fast and brutal, and has a catchy chorus - all together now; "You must die in pain, You must die in pain, You must die in pain, You must die in pain, MUTILATION, MUTILATION, MUTILATION, MUTILATIAARRGHHH!!!"

"WOOOOAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!"

I love it - and there's another side to go!

Some of the best riffing is saved for side 2 - just when you thought it couldn't get any better. Huge slabs of brutal tritones feed into a fierce storm of thrashy mayhem, teasing passages of embryonic riffs changing their minds and feeding into more brutality before you've managed to catch up with the last change, but never going off at ridiculous tangents - always managing to stay, not exactly calm, but focussed through the maelstrom.

Throughout, the band maintain an impressive coherence and rarely lose the music completely - although that almost happens in "Baptized in Blood". This has the effect of showing a band right at the bleeding edge - an appropriate term here if ever there was one - and that is only a very good thing.

I still find it incredible that this was released 20 years ago - what has really happened in metal since then? The addition of time signatures that prove nothing but an ability to count like crazy, a renewed fixation with symphony orchestras and an obsession with precision in playing - that's about it.

There is sufficient precision in the playing on this debut from Death to portray the vision inherent in the music, and enough virtuosity to convey what the music needs to convey.

"Torn To Pieces" shows some great imagination in the riffing - and use of space in the music, unbelievably as it might seem for this genre. Again, the chorus is priceless; "Toooooooooorrrrrn!!!! To Pieceargh!!!", and the solo impeccable - like Kerry King but with real notes and melody.

And melody is another great surprise in this album - who would think that there would be such a thing in such brutal music?

As if by magic, sudden snippets of really great arcing curves of melodies shine through, and nowhere is this more apparent than "Evil Dead", one of my very favourite tracks on this album - a track that passes a few nods and winks to the Egyptian style of sound cultivated by Metallica in tracks like "Creeping Death" and "Call of Cthulu", but also combines it with a Slayer-like brutality, reminding me a little of "Altar of Sacrifice" or perhaps "Jesus Saves".

Again, I'm truly glad that you can't hear the lyrics to the title track, which closes the album. Not only are they utter dross, they are exceptionally sad for their disgusting content. I guess, if they'd been written a different way, or by Craig Raine, then they might be more acceptable - while Chuck's delivery is pefect, the content is unbearable trash that conceals an otherwise great vision.

Treat as an instrumental, in which the voice is but an instrument, and this is a hugely enjoyable album for what it is - and a real masterpiece.

Sadly, it's not Prog at all - but it IS enormously progressive.

Almost as progressive as Metallica...

So I'm giving it an honorary 4 stars.

Go on! Give it a try! It's supposed to be horrible ;0)

Report this review (#67390)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Although it's not considered by everyone to be the first death metal album, no one can deny the influence this album held (and still holds) in the world of death metal. At the time this came out, I can imagine what a lot of people must have been thinking.

"What the hell is this? This is just mindless noise and screaming. This isn't music!"

Keep in mind, not many people had tried this style of music at the time this was released, so of course many people thought it was arbitrary and needless musical masturbation. I imagine many parents at the time feared for their child's little ears upon reading the lyrics to songs like "Scream Bloody Gore" and "Mutilation" due to the fact that they are very gory and repulsive. I'm sure that many parents were concerned that their kids would turn into rampant murderers from being influenced by this new "evil" music which happened to be growing steadily among teenagers at the time. To back up the malevolent lyrics is some pretty intense music.

Death metal was born from thrash; so naturally, you'll hear plenty of thrashy elements similar to Slayer, Venom, and other bands like them. There is a lot of fast and steady drumming, which sounds sonically dense and deep on the tonal level. The frantic barrage of drums adds to the violent and unstoppable rage that this album possesses. Bone breaking guitars give the music the heavier edge it needs to help differentiate it from your standard thrash. Clearly, this is Death's most primitive and unbridled album - lyrically and musically.

Along with the drum assault comes the gritty and spiky sounding guitars of Chuck Schuldiner. The screaming guitars are rather sharp in tone and calling the overall sound "ugly" would be a compliment. The introductions of each and every song is fairly interesting, which makes it easy to grab the listeners attention and pull them into the storm of insanity that follows. While the slabs of rhythm are busy crushing your bones, the brittle and dark leads emerge from the dark and hold you down by the neck with a rusty knife. The bass is easily heard in the mix while it attacks the empty spots left behind by the drums and guitars.

Chuck's vocals are nice and harsh, sounding similar to Jeff Becerra from Possessed. You have got to love the lung collapsing screams in "Infernal Death" especially the guttural and shrieking "DIE!!!!". You want some monstrous growls straight out of Hell? Well, here you have them. This album is an entire reign of death and brutality packed into one little disc.

One can debate over whether or not Death was the first death metal band. Although Possessed released Seven Churches first, they both formed around the same time. However, Death stands over Possessed with it's twenty some demos before they actually released an album, which is evidencing that Death probably could have released a full-length first. Even though Death came second, their first full-length tunes are much more memorable, powerful, and gruesome than that of Possessed. If you are at all a fan of death metal you have no excuse for not owning this. I believe that without this album, Extreme/Death Metal would not be where it is today. That is also one of the reasons why I give this album a SOLID 8 out of 10 points, regardless if it is overrated, specially because this is a prog site and normally should earn 3 stars because of that, but this album is PROGRESSIVE, not musically, but in a HISTORICAL aspect for a genre called Death Metal. Any album that can be reviewed here should deserve a review about the quality of the music, not how proggy it is. Otherwise please don't add such albums anymore.

Album rating: 8/10 points = 82 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Report this review (#75501)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
King of Loss
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I could not disagree with the two reviews listed above. Death's debut album is everything a Prog fan fears. The "lock-up" technique, the guttural screams, ranging guitars and loud bass define this album very much. Think the typical Death Metal album, but not as brutal as your Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Suffocation. This was actually where Death Metal originated from, so this should be the ultimate Death Metaller's wet dream, except this site is not called Death Metal Archives, but rather Progarchives, so I am going to look at it from the Progressive side of music.

1. Death- What a name! NOT PROG

2. The lack of variation - Typical Death Metal, makes Neal Morse's lyrics look more variant.

3. The awful vocals- How can Progressive music be this terrible? Chuck Schuldiner's voice is no Mikael Akerfeldt and does not have the dynamics of his guttural growls. It is misused and not used properly.

4. The LAME crunching guitar rhythmns- Awful, does not try to apply melody to anything.

5. Again, I repeat, this is Progarchives, not Death Metal archives. If you want to regain your sanity and open your eyes to Melodic Metal. Listen to bands like Blind Guardian, Dream Theater, or even the Melodic Death Metal band, At the Gates.

6. For a Death Metal fan this is must have, but we are not on a Metal site, so I'm bound to give this album an unflattering shake of the head.

Report this review (#82186)
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars An album that is progressive but not prog. No, their is nothing in the "typical" progressive sense, but creating an entire new genre certainly is something different, something progressive. Maybe some may consider it regressive, but regardless, it has a purpose here.

The production is awful, which actually serves the album better. What you get here is mostly what people think about when the word "Death Metal" comes up. Lots of distortion, drum blasts, and heavy low sounds. This album defined an entire genre, and although the rest of that genre more or less does not belong here, Death does, for truly creating something unique.

I can't say that the album is particularly enjoyable at all. It gets old and tiresome quickly, especially for those who are not as apt to "death" vocals as I am. Some interesting riffs here and there, but lacking in the dynamics department. And RIP Chuck, thank you for your rather interesting approach to music.

Report this review (#85595)
Posted Thursday, August 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
JJLehto
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Death's debut album. This was the start of death metal, an influential album no doubt. While I shutter at the thought of giving any Death album a 2 star rating, I must given the context of this site. This is a must for fans, but not for prog listeners. This is not a progressive album. It is, without doubt a solid death metal album. Lots of death grunts, with straight up gore lyrics. The guitar work is fast, the drumming is intense (although the continual blast beats tend to get boring after a while). There is the bass, which is loud and "stringy" and I really like the way it sounds.

Zombie Ritual is my favorite song on this album. It has a cool egyptianesque beginning when soon your thrown into tremolo picking, relentless blast beats, and Chucks's growling vocals. Then there is a slower section, with double bass drums and very loud bass. It picks up to death metal, with non stop intensity and a crazy guitar solo.

Again, this is an important album for death metal. Like with all genres, a few bands contributed to its sound and it is tough to pinpoint where it began, but for all intents and purposes Death was the creator of the genre. Again, a must for thrash/death metal fans but a defenite stay away for proggers.

Report this review (#88177)
Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars To start, this album is not prog at all. But since it is on PA, i will review it. Death was one of those american bands from the mid 80's who wanted to shock the rock/metal scene. And with this album, they sure do!

The guitar has way too much distortion, and the not-so-good production doesn't make it much better. The lyrics are very brutal, and is about hell, torture, killing people, death etc... and are sung in death metal growls. Before purchasing this, i must warn you, Chuck is no Mikael Åkerfeldt. He sings brutal without any melody, and his growls are miles behind the cookie-monster Åkerfeldt.

The best songs here are "Denial of Life", "Scream Bloody Gore" & "Zombie Ritual". And of course, there is songs that are not very good, like "Sacrificial" with has disgusting lyrics. The most melodic/proggy moment here must be the intro to "Evil Dead". Too bad the rest of the song isn't like that at all.

Why i like this album, is because it's sheer brutality and evil-ness, if there is such a word. I would rate this 1/5 on a prog scale, but i rate it 3.5/5 anyway. Underrated by the people on PA!

Report this review (#102572)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Scream Bloody Gore is an album that almost single-handedly defined a genre. While Death may have been beaten to the death metal punch by Possessed, home to future Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde, Schuldiner's outfit has had much more of an impact on the sub- genre. The debut finds Chuck assisted only by drummer Chris Reinert. The songs are about the farthest thing you can get from prog, they are raw blasts of noise dealing with B-movie gore and creatures. This album is quite addictive, and fans of death metal must own this album. However, die-hard proggies will likely use this album as well as the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks to start a campfire.

Bottom line, from a prog standpoint, this gets two stars. From a metal standpoint, this is a classic that fans of Opeth and Meshuggah should easily fall in love with.

Grade: D+

Report this review (#105472)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars INFERNAL DEATH!!!

Sonic assault!!! Chuck... You're lackin' me a lot. Only that I don't love your music wher you were alive. Yes... But the words fly, the written remains it. "Scream Bloody Gore" is a new nuclear assault, an iconoclaust assault of Odin and Satan!!! The born of Death Metal is here!!! Oh, yes... Man! But sure this isn't a Prog Metal album. Remain the sensation of an extreme great album, like little albums are. Other words for this album in a Prog site are waste.. This isn't a Metal site. But one album is great... Death Metal, Folk, Grunge, Prog... Is great independently from the classifications.

Report this review (#140481)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
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 didn´t 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 wasn´t 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 aren´t 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). There´s 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 band´s 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, it´s still a pretty good quality release considering the year of release and the genre of music being played. A 3 star (60%) rating isn´t all wrong.

Report this review (#146478)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This album is important in music... Here a genre was born: Death Metal.

Ok, we have some precedent bands, like Celtic Frost and Venom... But the definition of the genre came with this album, both musically and lyrically. The death metal here is really primitive, and far from the aspects that would make this band a legend in extreme music, and also in the prog world... Here you will find not the complexitiy of later albums of the 90's like "Symbolic" and "The Sound of Perseverance". Only true and not too elaborated death metal...

So if you are not a death metal fan, you will find nothing intersting here... Maybe you should try later albums. But I wish to say some words about Chuck Schuldiner... What a great musical mind, and what a deep loss for the music. The cancer took his life some years ago... But his legacy is still here. He gave the name to a genre... And he made the first album of this kind. That's not easy to find... And years later, he made this genre grow, and redefinited it, making it really brilliant... A great mind, of course.

Conclusion: only for death metal fans... If you are not in this kind of music, you can easily avoid this album. Because you will not find anything interesting here... This album is really far from the prog world.

My personal rating: ***

ProgArchives rating: **

Report this review (#147770)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very difficult album to review here, as it will be an entirely different experience for two types of listeners. It is good for a metal listener to hear an album that is of great historical significance as well as containing many memorable songs, but bad for a prog listener who will hear nothing remotely progressive or even anything that would indicate where the band would be in several years' time. Chuck Schuldiner delivered a good early death metal album, and was one of the first full lengths of this genre released. It may not be as smart and musically engaging as later DEATH albums would be, but I still find songs like Zombie Ritual hard to resist. Scream Bloody Gore generally follows the extreme thrash path of POSSESSED while taking it ever closer to what we know associate as the chief defining factors of death metal. It genuinely helped push the boundaries of heavy music, and is apparently vastly musically superior to the DEATH demos that preceeded it. It is still overwhelmingly raw and unrepentant but there's nothing as sloppy and underdeveloped as you'd find on say SODOM's In the Sign of Evil E.P.

The biggest test left is getting past the lyrics which tell simple b-movie tales of gore and death, which while pushing it a bit for 1987 is a bit of a metal cliché nowadays. It gets a bit packed with filler as it nears the end, but picks up with better cuts as it comes to a close. I can't find too much else to say about it in the context of a prog website, but it is an enjoyable although disappointing album for those familiar with later DEATH albums. 2 stars in the context of the website, 3 as a personal score.

Report this review (#148322)
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
Petrovsk Mizinski
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars At a time when many people wanted to get away from the excesses of Glam metal/rock culture and the surrounding pop music scene, there was a developing extreme metal scene, consisting of these subgenres of heavy metal: black metal, thrash metal and death metal.

Thrash metal was definitely already in full swing by 1987, with several major regional scenes across the world. It was a style characterized by it's aggressive feel, fast tempos, percussive riffing style (for the most part played in the lower registers of the guitar/bass) with many riffs played in staccato (for those not aware of the term, particularly in the thrash context it refers to the short stabbing rhythm notes) and often palm muted too. One was the Bay Area scene, consisting of bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Blind Illusion, Exodus, Testament, Slayer et al. By 1987, the punk influence in thrash metal was far less apparent, with many Bay Area bands featuring greater technicality than ever before and hints of progressive rock influences creeping in as well. With many Bay Area thrash guitarists having been taught by local virtuoso Joe Satriani, it's no surprise the Bay Area scene was known as perhaps the most technical of the thrash scene. The Brazilian thrash scene brought along a style somewhat closer to death metal than the Bay Area scene, along with the Teutonic (originating in Germany) scene which heavily influenced the black metal and death metal genres. The German band Kreator were already playing a thrash metal style which heavily bridged the gap between thrash and death metal, with notable Bay Area band Slayer also playing a big role in the development of death metal. While the East Coast scene was fairly popular, the more melodic and usually less technical style had less of an impact on death metal.

One may ask why I give this short history lesson. My answer is, in order to understand where death metal came from, one must have a an understanding of thrash metal, a genre which death metal would derive many of it's musical traits from.

Chuck Shuldiner had already released a demo with the band Mantas (which would change it's name to Death later on) in 1983, and in the following years more demos were released. The first Death album reared it's head in 1987, with all guitar, bass and vocals parts played by Chuck Schuldiner, all songs by Chuck, and drums provided courtesy of Chris Reifert. It was essentially, a creation by Chuck Schudiner, a man with an incredible vision and genius, a man hellbent on creating something different, a man with the hunger to do something new and exciting.

The harsh death metal growling/screaming vocal style Chuck unleashed on this album, does well to hide the fact the lyrics, are far from being great. But don't forgot this was 1987, when death metal was still a young genre, and at the time, lyrics of death, gore and violence was against what was the norm, and it's no mean feat to be able to do that.

Infernal Death starts out with a heavy, chunky riff, accompanied by the harsh screaming/growl DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! from Chuck's throat. Simultaneously evil and comical. Then comes the intense thrashy/death riff, which powers the song along with a thundering force along with the slamming drumming from Reifert. Chuck provides the listener with a rapid fire, fairly technical solo in for good measure too, and the rest of the song continues, with the same rhythm, with a few changes in the riffing.

Zombie Ritual opens with a Phrygian Dominant lead (the scale which creates what some call an Egyptian sound) and like Infernal Death, the opening section of the song is relatively slow in tempo. It kicks into a heavy, fast paced deathy riff. The song progresses in a sense, with the noticeable and relatively frequent evolution/changes in riffage and drum patterns. The guitar solo, like the previous track's, is fast and furious, no more and certainly no less.

Denial Of Life starts off full force almost straight away, quickly building into a series of pummeling riffs and evolving riffs. I noticed the solo on Denial of Life seems to stand out a bit more than the solo on Zombie Ritual, perhaps a little more melodic sounding.

Sacrificial to my ears, has more of a evolutionary feel than the first two songs, with changing drum patterns, noticeable progression and change in the riffing, and points of building intensity. The solo tears your head off with intense, blazing alternate picked lines that could rip a hole in a steel wall if you converted the sound into a thing of more physical nature (weird description I know, but that's what it made me feel!). I love that solo.

Mutilation is not vastly different. But it's sure as hell brutal to the core, and has a heck of a chorus to match. You must die in pain, you must die in pain, you must die in pain, you must die in pain, Mutilation! (repeat Mutilation several times). Who ever thought brutal and catchy would go in the same sentence in 1987? It seems Chuck had the unique vision to do so.

If you were thinking perhaps the album might let up, you were wrong. Absolutely completely, utterly wrong. It just gets more brutal! The riffs crush even more and the lyrical content is just as brutal. Some very inventive riffing on Baptized in Blood and And Torn To Pieces and a crazy chaotic solo in Torn To Pieces too, but always in control, such is the virtuosity of Chuck in his guitar playing.

Evil Dead caught me by surprise by the melodic and rather nice opening lead and was a slight break from the rather insane onslaught. Scream Blood Gore has some seriously evil riffage, and with all it's intensity and power, makes for a absolute killer closer to the album.

Overall, it has a surprising amount of melodic elements to the riffing (but maybe not melodic in a way that most non metallers understand) in edition to the unparalleled brutality of the riffs, no doubt powered along with a helping of tritone based riffs.

Lyrically, anyone that gets offended, is probably taking it too seriously. Just as you can portray extreme in a film context purely as art, it's the same thing here, and is really just fantasy and it really is best to approach the lyrical themes here like that, something not to be taken to heart or too seriously. Anyone should know it's about the music first and foremost, and the guys are in it for that and not for the violent/gore aspect. To me, the lyrics are silly and importantly, fun as well. They are too ridiculous to be taken seriously, and it should be seen that way. Some people get a laugh out of this sort of thing, because they know it's just fantasy lyrics that have no bearing to how they really perceive violence. For Chuck's venture into something well against what was perceived as normal lyrics, I have nothing but praise for that.

Musically, it may not be progressive rock really. What it was though, was not only a capable display of virtuosity, but an album with progressive ideals i.e it's nor prog, but it's truly progressive.

It would go on to change the face of metal to come, and will continue to do so.

Report this review (#181289)
Posted Monday, September 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The In The Court of the Crimson King of death metal. Well, not exactly, but it is still damn important for death metal

As far as progressive rock or progressive metal goes, this album should not be here. However, since Death later albums easily can be classified as extreme progressive metal, their initial albums must also be added to the archives. Although there are some considerable controversy about which album is the true (or should i say tr00?) kickoff of death metal, it is undoubted that it was Death that defined most of its characteristics, such as thematics, types of vocals and instrumentation, fast tempo and its aggressive nature.

So, because Scream Bloody Gore almost single handed defines an entire genre of music it is conceived by death metal fans as a quintessential masterpiece of the genre and i should agree with them, knowing the importance of this album. However, Prog Archives is a PROGRESSIVE ROCK site and it would be quite unfair to rate this album as a masterpiece of progressive rock, what leaves me the four star grade as the best option to satisfy me (this albums truly needs a nice grade) and the site (its Prog Archives and not Metal Archives). After all, behind the galore of riffs, senseless gory lyrics and Chuck's raw (but meaningful) guttural vocals lies a great album that deserves the respect it should have, even in a progressive rock site, as the founding stone of death metal and extreme progressive metal.

Report this review (#184233)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Listeting to Scream Bloody Gore is a sentimental journey to me. I'm not finding excellent technical riffs on here or even good production. But in 1987 Death were truly solid metal band and pioneer of really heavy and groundbreaking music. This is probably the first true death metal album cos it's heavier and much more morbid than first Possessed release. Songs like Zombie Ritual, Evil Dead or Scream Bloody Gore are very good. In fact all of them sound pretty much the same maybe with exeption of Evil Dead (intro to this song is more in classical heavy metal style) and Zombie Ritual which is more complex than others (and also catchy as for death metal tune). Even liking next Death albums more than this one I still appreciate this first effort. Maybe not a must but if you are 'historical metal guy' you should know this. Birth of a tension;)
Report this review (#215152)
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars If this is the first ever death metal album or not is a matter of debate. The fact is that this album contains most of what we today would define as the death metal scene.

The music is pretty lightweight and melodic compared to the outputs from heavyweights like Suffocation, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. The music on Scream Bloody Gore is also pretty simple with a typical verse-refrain-verse-refrain-guitarsolo-verse setup. Not unlike the blueprint from the pop/rock scene in other words. In essence; this is a pop album, only beefed up with some added brutality. Not to mention the pretty crude "shocking" art-work.

In short; this album is twenty-two years old and it has been left behind in a time-warp. It is still a pretty charming album. But quality wise, it is decent and nothing more. It is a typical two stars album.

2 stars

Report this review (#248424)
Posted Friday, November 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars One of the Most Important Albums in Death Metal, But Far From the Best!

When you're talking about death metal, a discussion doesn't go very long without mentioning the classic Scream Bloody Gore from Death. This is the album that is often credited for "creating" death metal. While there is an ongoing argument as to what is the first death metal album, Scream Bloody Gore is undeniably a landmark in the genre.

At this point, Death was fronted by Chuck Schuldiner (as they always were) and it featured Chris Reifert on drums. This album is filled with a level of harshness and brutality that had never been met before. For that reason alone, this album is praised by metalheads worldwide. I am a dedicated fan of the death metal genre, but for some reason this album never did anything for me. The playing is emotionless and cold, the production qualities are awful, and the music is often directionless.

This is not because I dislike Chuck Schuldiner's compositions, either. Death's last four albums are some of the highest quality technical metal albums I've ever heard! Unfortunately, the primitive death metal practiced on this album is nothing compared to their later works. This album won't hold any interest to progressive rock fans, either. Chuck's later efforts will appeal to the traditional prog metal fan, but this album is only for those of you into death metal.

Lyrically, this is Death's worst album by far. Their later albums (aside from Leprosy and partially Spiritual Healing) are focused on human relationships and problems in society, whereas this is just pure gore and violence. These lyrics are awful, and there's no denying it. Every song has something to do with killing people, blood, gore, guts, etc. There really is no lyrical message sent across, and it is disappointing.

The production quality is the worst part of this album, though. The music isn't great anyway, but it's almost unlistenable because of the production qualities. The guitar is muddy, the bass is borderline inaudible, those annoying 80's drums are present, and the vocals sound awful. Needless to say, it wasn't until later Death albums where the production quality was good. When you add on the fact that the songwriting is uninspired and lacking in dynamics, it makes for a rather poor album.

THE MUSIC:

"Infernal Death"- The first song opens up with a slow, but very heavy section. It goes into a fairly interesting mid-tempo riff, making for one of the better moments of the album. Soon it turns into just pure madness, with fast drumming and guitar riffing. The drumming is fairly irritating in this section, mostly due to the poor production quality. There is then a useless guitar solo, and back into more screaming. This song is decent.

"Zombie Ritual"- This starts with a decent enough riff with a good drum rhythm. Unfortunately, the song goes into a fast paced, unintelligent section like the last song. This has a good moment, but the faster sections just don't work here. The drumming is pretty boring during these parts, and the production qualities of this album can't handle the brutality. The chorus is very good and catchy, and there is some good playing from Chuck Schuldiner here. The lyrics are pretty laughable, though. Much of this album does seem like Chuck's trying to get as much violence as he can into one album, and this is no exception.

"Denial of Life"- This has a decent enough opening, like all of the other songs, but it soon turns into another really fast and pointless section with awful drumming. This is followed, however, by an excellent riff. The chorus is great as well, and this features some of the most memorable parts on the album (even though it's not flawless).

"Sacrificial"- This was originally called "Sacrificial C**t" (no, I'm not kidding). This title is actually said multiple times in the song, as well as some ridiculous things like "Choking on your blood, I sh*t on your guts". The music is actually much better than the original title and the lyrics sound, and this is filled with quality riffs. This won't hold much interest in fans of progressive rock, but this is a quality death metal song.

"Mutilation"- This song is stuck with the same flaw that kills most of the songs here. This is just fast noise, focused on brutality more than memorable riffs and rhythms. This song is one of my least favorites from the album, and I think it's a complete throwaway.

"Regurgitated Guts"- Despite the completely ridiculous title, this is a good death metal song. This has good riffs, unlike most of the other songs. The drums are irritating as ever, but at least the riffs are fairly enjoyable. The production is really muddy sounding, though.

"Baptized In Blood"- This starts out with a cool riff and a really high scream from Chuck Schuldiner. It turns into fast and brutal riffing with no real purpose. Chuck is just growling with noise at this point. The chorus is decent, but this is lacking in dynamics.

"Torn To Pieces"- This opens up with a good riff, but the growls are a little irritating. I've grown to enjoy his growling from Human-forward much more. Maybe the poor production qualities make his vocals sound so bad here, because they certainly make Chris Reifert's drumming sound terrible. Musically, this song is nothing special.

"Evil Dead"- This opens up with one of the only "awesome" sections on the album. A repeated guitar melody is excellent, and sounds similar to the NWOBHM bands. Unfortunately, this soon turns into the same fast and pointless riffing present in most of these songs. Honestly, it's really hard to differentiate most of these fast sections from one another. They all sound almost the same. This does have a good guitar solo, though.

"Scream Bloody Gore"- The title track has some cool moments, but much of this song is severely lacking in quality, memorable riffs. The outro is really excellent though, and is a great way to end the album. If more of the album were like that, I would be much happier with the end result.

Conclusion:

Scream Bloody Gore is a borderline disastrous debut album, honestly. I know that this is a landmark album in death metal, and I will not dispute that. However, its flaws in production, songwriting, and musicianship are undeniable. On a metal web site, this would probably be a confident 2.5. Since this has nothing to do with progressive rock, I will lower that to a 1.5. I will go up to a 2 star rating, since a 1 would be a little unfair. Still, this holds little interest for progressive rock fans, and they will have to go later in Death's discography to find any interest at all. If you're into death metal, this is a classic (if flawed) album.

2 stars.

Report this review (#260395)
Posted Monday, January 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Scream Bloody Gore is not a progressive death metal album, it was not meant to be. Scream Bloody Gore is, however, a fantastic representation of a budding and fantastic death metal scene. Later Death deserves the wonderful ratings that it gets and for good reason. Later Death is progressive, brilliant and quite frankly some of the best music around. Scream Bloody Gore is a wonderful album for anybody who likes death metal and anybody who likes Death as a band. The gutteral vocals are not a turn off for me nor should they be for anybody.

If I were to rate this as far as its progressiveness it would be low about 2 stars. If I was to rate it on a purely personal basis it would be an indefinite 5 stars.

Report this review (#276318)
Posted Sunday, April 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 'Scream Bloody Gore' - Death (4/10)

When participating in any discussion relating to death metal, it's hard to avoid a mention of this band, and their landmark debut album. Without a doubt, it is difficult to deny the impact that metal pioneers Death made with the release of 'Scream Bloody Gore,' but whether or not the album itself is 'good' or not is another matter. While a very historically significant album in the early days of the death metal style, 'Scream Bloody Gore' suffers from a multitude of severe issues in it's performance and songwriting; most of which would thankfully be improved to some extent by the time the second album 'Leprosy' came around.

While none of the early material of Death would reach the grandeur of later works like 'Human' or 'Symbolic,' the band had certainly found a unique sound for themselves this early on, especially considering the historical context of the album. Blistering guitars, screamed vocals, and furiously blastbeatten drum work defines what the sound of 'Scream Bloody Gore' is all about. On top of that; true to the title, 'Scream Bloody Gore' revolves around a multitude of different gory, violent themes that all fall under the same banner of b- grade, low brow but undeniably fun macabre. While the sound of the music certainly reflects these themes in it's primal approach and rawness, there is neither precise intensity or technicality to drive the album along well.

As with all Death albums that would follow, the spotlight is on the work of frontman Chuck Schuldiner, a man now revered as a godlike entity by metalheads around the globe. By today's standards, his guitar work and tone are nothing special, but his riffage is much faster and intense than what the typical metalhead of 1987 would have been exposed to. Despite being labelled 'death metal,' there is a very thrashy vibe on the album akin to that of Slayer, except with evidently more intense vocalwork.

The big issue here lies with the songwriting itself. While there are a few tracks here such as the title track and 'Evil Dead' which still sound as great as they must have been years ago, alot of the tracks here the dynamic, melodic undertones and technicality that would be seen on some of the later Death masterpieces. What's left is a generally mucky, speed-driven and basic barrage that can certainly be appreciated for the influence it would have on the metal community, but as far as the listening experience itself goes, 'Scream Bloody Gore' doesn't impress. A classic that certainly hasn't aged well, this album rightfully deserves a place in the annals of history, but perhaps not a long-lived stay in a record player.

Report this review (#337691)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I don't know why Death's debut album is here on Progarchives. They didn't even have any progressive rock elements in their music until Human (or if your stretching it, Spiritual Healing). This album can best be described as a glorified demo tape, as they were much tighter with their second album Leprosy.

Death's Scream Bloody Gore is the first official death metal album, along with Possessed's Seven Churches and Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness. However, this album was released before Morbid Angel's debut and Possessed's album contained many elements of thrash in it. Chuck Shuldiner was the first to create a "wall of sound" and pure "brutality". When you listen to this album, you can definitely hear its influence on the genre of death metal. Crushing power chords, thick bass, pounding drums, blistering solos and gory lyrics dominate the album. Chuck does decide to become very melodic on the openings of the songs "Zombie Ritual" and "Evil Dead", but they both then delve into traditional death metal.

This is a very typical death metal album (even though it has the honor of being the first to do it). Unlike Human or Symbolic, it does not require mulple listens to understand. It is what it is, just pure unrelenting death metal. If that is what you like and/or are interested in hearing the genre's roots, it's worth a listen.

Report this review (#368966)
Posted Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Death is probably one of the most important metal bands ever, and "Scream Bloody Gore" is one of the reasons:released in 1987, this album is the first "official" death metal album, which makes it in a way a milestone. History aside, I knew I wasn't going to enjoy this much, and now I'm sure of it. "Scream Bloody Gore" is just a monotonous, very predictable album, I can assure you'll feel at least a little bit of disappointment.

Back in 1987, the great band Death was for a while a two man band; Chuck Schuldiner, who played all guitars, bass, and vocals, and Chris Reifert, who played drums. Also, John Hand in the album is credited for playing rhythm guitars, even though he isn't featured on any of the songs here, nor did he play in any live performances.

As I said before, this is considered the first death metal album ever, so don't expect anything spectacular or different;the production is rough and kind of lo-fi, the guitars are pretty thrashy sounding, as well as the fast tempo rhythms, and the vocals are always, like in every Death song, growled, even though in this first era for the band Chuck uses a more "normal", guttural style, while later, reaching maturity, he uses more high pitched vocal, and finally the lyrics are about zombies, killing, hell and similar stuff. All of the songs have this same style, and nothing really seems to change along the album, which is something I never like in a record. Another way to say it is that all the songs sound the same. I enjoyed a few songs, like the opener "Infernal Death", or "Evil Dead", but after those the other songs are just trying to be like those two, but fail in doing such.

I wasn't disappointed, I knew this wasn't going to be any good, to be fully honest, and if this is for some reason the only album you listened to by the band, please know that this is not nearly their most representative work. Of course, if you're a fan of the band or f death metal and you want to check their early stuff,or how death metal was in the very beginning, I won't stop you.

Report this review (#436452)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Here's one of those albums that snuck its way into the Prog Archives by default, in the sense that going by the definition of "prog rock", it's pretty far removed from the genre itself, including your basic progressive metal characteristics. It's straightforward speedy thrash rhythms structured in a verse/chorus format with ultra-catchy anthemic lyric shouts for the choruses (basically growling out the song title in deranged fashion). Just about every song here follows the same blueprint. Yet, it's also quite progressive in a sense, just not in a conventional manner. Playing "Regurgitated Guts" after Genesis' "Suppers Ready" might work for someone who needs severe therapy, but for the rest of prog listening fandom, this album's notoriety is strictly an important evolution for the metal genre alone.

This is thrash taken to extreme levels with a meaner, thicker sound than the norm for its time, downtuned just enough to add a heavier sense of brutality, and adolescent, enthusiastic gore lyrics that would have been quite shocking for their time if they were decipherable. This, of course, leads into probably the most memorable aspect of this album, being the vocals. Growling and grunting vocals didn't commence with this album, but they were, and still, pretty sick. Rather than gutteral inhuman grunts, here we have insanely hoarse growls and occasional screams that effectively capture an intense vibe of sheer rage and anguish. As a whole package, these elements create a unique mix, since the instrumentation, particularly concerning the guitars, is also well played, unlike many of the sloppier grindcore bands contributing monster growling for the starving masses.

Scream Bloody Gore is essentially an early death metal album before the grindcore influences, such as blastbeats and ultra low grunts, entered the genre and merged with the more technical and vicious thrash of bands like Possessed or early Sepultura. Although it's also the least technical of Death's output, I find it personally the most fun by far. There's something hilarious about singing along to "Zombie rituuaaaal!!!" that I don't get in their more musically accomplished later works. In fact, in this rare case, my enjoyment of the band seems to dwindle with each of their succesive efforts in spite of them becoming more and more progressive and skillful in execution. I'm not sure why that is since I do admire strong technicality, but Death's later material never grabbed me more than "wow, that part sounded cool" whereas this questionable release in terms of tastefulness and competence I play more often despite its repetitive nature that I admit gets tiresome after awhile. It's like certain film directors who are better at releasing entertaining shlock than trying to release something important, profound and deep. I suppose I just dig Death when they sang about, well, death.

Report this review (#753821)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Many people recommended me to try out some records of the legendary death metal band Death and I decided to start chronologically. During the last months and years I got more and more into progressive and twisted extreme metal music from underground black metal such as Putamen Insula over pagan metal stuff such as Pagan Flame to melodic death metal in the key of In Flames, experimental extreme metal such as the last effort of Morbid Angel or simply avant-garde extreme metal like UneXpect. I also like thrash metal and liked the last records of Anthrax, OverKill or Heathen as well as the classics from Loudness to Voivod.

But the Death's debut album really isn't my cup of tea. It's simply put ordinary death metal with a lot of thrash influences that remind me of Slayer or Venom. There is also a slight hardcore punk attitude within some of the tracks. The band shows some glimpses of their true talent as in the track "Sacrificial" that has some interesting slow breaks and a sharp but melodic guitar solo, the short atmospheric introduction of "Baptized In Blood" or the different kinds of screams and stunning guitar solos on "Torn To Pieces". The most interesting track on the record is probably "Evil Dead" with a great atmospheric opening, a dominant bass guitar and a simple but addicting riff. There is some light on this record but the shades are really predominant to me. That's why my final verdict is a little harsh as we don't have some dumb amateurs on here that don't know how to do a better job but some gifted musicians that lose their time and energy and lack of the creativity that could have been in here.

But most of the songs bore with similar approaches, exchangeable high speed riffs without emotions and mediocre vocals. The album feels long and is very hard to listen to from the beginning to the end. The lyrics are as superficial as the childish album title. Songs like the mediocre opener "Infernal Death" or the dumb "Mutilation" among many others only repeat other tracks on the same record and literally bore me to death, maybe that's the reason why the band called itself like this. Interesting passages of thirty seconds in many tracks are not enough to weight up the value of the songs that are generally around seven times as long as the promising passage.

Today, the death metal genre has so much diversity to offer and many excellent bands started and excelled in this genre such as my favourite's Therion and Amorphis for example. But this kind of music here is even quite closed minded and generic if we take into consideration the age of the record. At that time, many bands already experimented a lot with heavier music and developed more and more complex music. Death may be among the pioneers of their genre but even the first thrash records of Metallica or Loudness were already way more original than this soulless output. My final verdict can only be that this record is heavily overrated and not a good introduction to the works of the band.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on November 16th of the year 2011.

Report this review (#808895)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think most of the Prog Archives users are not into death metal. Even for me, death metal was the hardest metal genre to swallow. Well, death metal must be seen as a joke, a way to challenge the normal music listener and his common senses, making technical or hard listening music heavier than everything else. Bands like Death were jokers and made offensive lyrics before, but after earn due respect, the songwriting went progressive and technical than before, focusing the lyrics on philosophy and psychology. Even sounding poor at times, like the terrible death metal debut Scream Bloody Gore, the music was very intelligent and innovative at times. That's why you should listen carefully this album, to fully understand the meaning and goals of the band with this one. Of course, some death metal bands and most of the current death metal scene are taking serious the ridiculous "brutal" stuff and dark jokes. Sorry but I despise the "self-called evil in real life" bands.

This is one of the most influential albums into heavy heavy music. Death's debut was not a progressive album yet. But the power it holds is very important to the progressive bands after. Even for the death metal haters, this is a must listen and essential to the worldwide music: this is culture. The whole stuff was wrote by Chuck Schuldiner, the leader of the band, recording bass, guitars and vocals at Scream Bloody Gore. The first incarnation of the band, called Mantas, were not well accepted by the bands and local metal scenes around. Chuck's vocals were just too harsh for the current 80's metal, and general music. "The local situation was f* nearly impossible," Schuldiner later recalled. "A lot of people looked down upon us. We got a lot of sh* from the local band scene; all the bands from around (Orlando) thought we were pure sh*. We were noisy back then, but we were putting out brutal death metal, and it was too much for people to comprehend." The total lack of support from the neighbourhood drove them to break-up the band in late 1984. But Chuck didn't gave up, and started Death at Tampa - Florida.

The first "true" death metal album, Scream Bloody Gore, was finally released at 1987, after being recorded two times for the perfect capture of the moody and poor musical horror feeling, present before (not as music) in the b-movies and Romero's zombie works. Some of the songs were inspired by trash movies, like Regurgitated Guts, which was inspired by Gates of Hell a.k.a City of The Living Dead, Beyond the Unholy Grave by the movie The Beyond, and Zombie Ritual by Zombie, all films directed by the italian director Lucio Fulci.

Playing the album, you will first listen to a slow heavy riffage, nothing complicated, but but reaches the desired point: b-movie horror soundscape. Many people doesn't have fun watching ridiculous horror effects of the oldschool films, but I do, and if you did too, you will laugh and felt comfortable listening to Infernal Death b-music riffage. Chuck starts: DIIIIIEE. So after a few times the oldschool blast beating style, not so goddamn fast, like most of the later florida death metal acts, but just the way it should be in the pure death metal, many times evoked by early swedish death metal bands. The grinding guitars are funny enough.

So, the second track, Zombie Ritual, will probably catch you by the intro: it was my first death metal track, very nostalgic, as well as the best known Death song from the early period. The awesome exotic riff intro is followed by blast beats after few times, the same progressive formula of the previous track. But now the tempo changes to the pre-chorus, and changes again to the chorus. It's progressive, indeed, but not the kind of prog that Yes closed-minded fans will easily agree. After this, the blast beating drums strikes again. Oh, the lyrics are brutal, but you don't need to care, the worst part of the lyrics, at the very beggining, I would never understand without the booklet or internet.

Denial of Life starts out fast, and slow down after good riffs, to the chorus, and then back into different aggresive riffs. Constant rhythmic changes. It's a good pure death metal track. Sacrificial, the fourth track, is lirycally speaking, the murder track, that's horrible! The original title of the track was denied. Musically speaking, is a highlight. It's the progressive version of Infernal Death, but the main riffs are doom. Mutilation, the next step. Well, this is a death metal hymn. Not progressive. But this is de oldschool death metal formula. A definition of the "oldschool death metal" term. Angry bass, fast drums, grinding riffs and non- hightechnical guttural. Offensive lyrics, by the way ("I celebrate a faggot's death, human disgrace, Hanging your mangled corpse for display")

Regurgitated Guts beginning is very pleasent, weird guitar and time signature, falling into a formulatic horror lyrics and fast metal, with some technical habilities. Constant rhythmic changes again at Baptized In Blood. Well, if you liked the album until here, you will probably like this track too. I will highlight the guitar solo at Torn To Pieces, very funny and chromatic. My favorite song from the album is Evil Dead: the melodic doom intro is great! And the warcry chorus makes me shout together with Chuck. The Scream Bloody Gore self-titled track is the weak point, IMO. The bonus tracks are pretty cool.

More than relevant. Essential album to the music world.

Report this review (#993152)
Posted Sunday, July 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Before they became a prime mover behind death metal's shift into increasingly technical complex territory, Death pioneered the early genre's rough, thrashy, dirty style with albums like this debut, the culmination of a series of well- received demos. Several of the songs are inspired by the horror films of Lucio Fulci, and appropriately enough they're just as trashy and gorey as the material which inspired them. A product of a time before fancy Florida production chops gave death metal a more polished sound, this is an eruption from the underground which may turn off listeners whose main interest in Death lies in their later, more technical works. If, on the other hand, you appreciate the rougher side of the genre, it's a vital manifesto of that.
Report this review (#1555715)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars When it comes to metal music legends, the story of Chuck Shuldner's epic journey with his influential band DEATH has to be one of the most enduring as Schuldner is not only regarded as the godfather of the entire death metal subgenere but one of the most innovative musical influences in the entire metal genre period ( . ) with each album in his all too short career taking massive leaps of evolution over what came before. When it comes to the origins of death metal, the endless debate will surely revolve around who really created it and the answer will forever exist in the morbid murky nebulous annals of history and the idiosyncratic definitions of when and where the death metal sub actually split off from its parent thrash metal. I have developed my own take on this and instead of assigning a clearcut definition, i prefer to view it from a rather biological evolutionary perspective since musical developments occur in much the same manner as do animal and plant species. One species clearly could not exist without branching off of another and each slight differentiation may or may not constitute a relabeling of its characteristics and corresponding nomenclature.

In the case of death metal, there can be absolutely no doubt that the underpinnings of the sub originated with the English heavy metal pioneers Venom whose macabre and bantering din laced with the first vociferations of harsh shouted vocals would ultimately blossom into what would later be called extreme metal. In the beginning Venom was in a metal limbo or rather a somewhat embryonic extreme metal stage where thrash, black and death metal were all nestled within the very DNA of the caustic sonic waves that emerged from their baleful expressions of societal contempt and verbal vitriol wrapped up in distorted decibelage and breakneck speed outbursts. Out of this primordial cesspool sprang forth other early degenerates such as Celtic Frost, Slayer and Kreator as they began to diversify the intensity and focus of their bombastic approaches. These could be considered the proto- death metal bands that not only launched the nascent beginnings of the thrash scene but also were ultimately influential for the evil contorts of Bathory which would hatch the wretched spawn of black metal, death metal's evil twin.

The next phase in the development of death metal is undoubtedly the Bay Area's own Possessed who took Slayer's extreme speed and demonic gore to even greater extremities with lightning fast blitzkriegs of thundering riffing, bantering percussive drive and Jeff Becerra's guttural vocals, a style that to many, defines the very essence of the death metal sub entirely, however musically Possessed were very much still a thrash metal band as they hadn't quite taken that final step into low-tuned tremolo picking riffing accompanied by the double kick blastbeat drumming that utilized the ugliest aspects of minor keys, atonality and wicked chromatic chord progressions. They were still a few baby steps away from what we would call death metal today, but personally i find them to exist in that crucial phase 2 development of death metal much like a tadpole (which would be Venom and friends) would development limbs (the Possessed phase) but still not quite the frog that is free of its fully aquatic features and thus keeps it from being a full fledged amphibian, the completely liberated death metal stage.

Chuck Schuldner's DEATH is where that very amphibian phase of death metal finally came of age. Schuldner had been unleashing his sonic terror onto the world with his many demos (released under the moniker Mantas as well as DEATH) but these too were somewhere in the Possessed camp of proto-death with thrash leanings. Always the visionary even at the young tender age of seventeen, Schuldner set out to evolve his own brand of extreme metal into something even uglier, taking his primary metal influences of Possessed and Slayer to the next level. In the search for the musical talent to take him to this new level, Chuck had one helluva time finding anyone to fill these roles and after moving from his native Florida to the San Francisco Bay Area and then to Canada and then back to the Bay Area. After placing an ad or two, Schuldner finally found promise in the 17-year old drummer Chris Reifert but was unsatisfied with the music scene as nobody else fit the bill to fill the shoes of his new musical vision.

Undeterred, Schuldner opted to record his debut DEATH demo 'Mutilation' completely by himself with only Reifert along for the ride, therefore Schuldner performed all lead and rhythm guitars along with bass and vocals. Although John Hand had briefly joined the band, he didn't play on any recordings or participate in any live settings either. 'Mutilation' proved quite the hit on the underground cassette trading community and caught the attention of the fledgling extreme metal label Combat Records which enabled Schuldner and Reifert to record their full-length debut SCREAM BLOODY GORE. The process proved to be more trouble than expected as the album was recorded once in Florida and then by record company demand had to be re-recorded once more in California with Rnady Burns as the producer. While many tracks such as 'Infernal Death' and 'Baptized By Blood' had appeared on prior demos, half the tracks on SCREAM BLOODY GORE were completely new and therefore the album has an interesting range of primal to more sophisticated, albeit nowhere near as complex and crazy as DEATH would become with each subsequent release.

Point blank, SCREAM BLOODY GORE was a shout out to the metal universe that something new had emerged and that something was the equivalent to a nuclear bomb being dropped at a Bon Jovi concert turned horror movie where audience members' body parts rained o'er the blood stained lands. And so it was. Death metal was born on 25 May, 1987 as SCREAM BLOODY GORE made its debut to an unsuspecting public that while unheard by the masses has only gained its legendary status as the following decades ensued. Like many metal fans, i myself had only come to experience the magic of DEATH in a posthumous Chuck Schuldner reality. Despite being the DEATH album with the least finesse, there's a certain rawness and assured certainty in the powerful delivery that infuses the ethos of hardcore punk with the provident shock and awe for an entire branch of the metal universe to spiral off of. SCREAM BLOODY GORE has to be one of the most ferocious sonic attacks of all the 80s, taking the frenetic bantering of Slayer's 'Reign In Blood' and adding a sense of brutality and offensiveness never heard before. Much of the subject matter was inspired by horror movies such as 'City Of The Living Dead,' The Beyond' and 'Zombie' and Schuldner pummeled the senses with a sense of sonic horror hitherto unmatched.

When all is said and done, one can only bow down to the metal god that was Chuck Schuldner and pay reverence to his pivotal role in the great big bang of the death metal scene. Perhaps other acts such as Morbid Angel or Obituary would have eventually reached similar musical conclusions, but it was Chuck Schuldner who relentless strived to exercise extreme creativity that would ratchet every single album he touched into higher levels of musical expression in his ceaseless reach for the stars and beyond. While no one could ever conflate the magnanimous progressive achievements of albums such 'The Sound Of Perseverance' with DEATH's earliest offerings, there is also no denying that no one quite dished out the old death school charm like Schuldner did on SCREAM BLOODY GORE with not only its landmark old school death metal cover art but also with the pummeling guitar riffs, the frenetic skin punishing percussion or the grim growly gusto of Schuldner's vocal style.

While this debut may not be the my first album of choice for repeated listens out of the septet of DEATH's canon, it is clearly the one that deserves the most respect for paving the way for everything death metal related to follow and remains as enigmatic today as it must've sounded all those decades ago. THIS is truly one of those 'must hear before you die' sort of albums not only for its immortal legendary status of ushering in one of the most popular metal styles of the 90s but must be experienced for its punishing ear assaults that crank out one addictive mutilated groove after another. After recording SCREAM BLOODY GORE, Schuldner would move back to Florida leaving Reifert behind as he would opt to remain in California to create his own band Autopsy. And so the tradition of a new lineup for every album was born along with an entirely new subgenere that continues to evolve in a post- Schuldner world but still carries on his musical DNA in the tapestry of every fiber of the death metal universe.

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Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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