Death. First, they popularized death metal, then they evolved their sound into something increasingly complex, progressive, and mystifying. Albums like ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ are rough (but iconic), while masterpieces like ‘Human’ and ‘Symbolic’ are true showcases for the late Chuck Schuldiner’s musical genius. However, Death’s final album, ‘The Sound Of Perseverance’ is often held below the others–in my opinion, this is wrong, as the album is just as exceptional as the rest of their catalog.
The first thing you hear is the drums. Crazy, crazy, drums. They pop up throughout the album and wow every time. The same goes for the guitar work. Part of what makes this album so great is the musicianship. Not a single note is wasted. Every single section matters, and it’s only possible because the band is so tight.
Oh, and the bass. The bass sounds absolutely amazing.
One of the things I like the most about the album is how good it sounds. Finally, Death was mixed exceptionally well. You can hear all the instruments, the tones are great, and there is great balance throughout the recordings. Listen to ‘Voice Of The Soul’ and try to deny it’s a masterclass in the recording. The acoustic guitar is so full and beautiful, while the treble-y lead guitars are sharp, but not too harsh.
Another thing: the song writing.
Take the insane ‘Flesh And The Power It Holds,’ for starters. The intro builds so chromatically into the much more chaotic verse of the song. I just love the way you feel like you’re climbing. The band knows exactly what notes to play. This is also present on the opener ‘Scavenger Of Human Sorrow’ where we get great music along with some razor-sharp lyrics from Evil Chuck.
All around, ‘The Sound Of Perseverance,’ is a great album. It really is. The performances are terrific, the recording quality is the best in the entire Death discography, and the mixing is top notch. The songs are more abstract than they ever had been, but they don’t lose the sense of melody at all.
Give it another listen; trust me!