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Flashback Album Review: Death - Scream Bloody Gore
There is one band who has such an impact and influence in extreme metal. From vocals, to guitar playing, to guitar tone and speed, one band had changed the game in metal and that band was Death.
Death’s 1987 debut, Scream Bloody Gore, on Combat Records, brought a new level to metal. Along with Possessed and their debut album Seven Churches, Death’s debut is a lot different sound than what Death would became famous for. This album is more old-school death metal, or I guess at the time of the release, proto-death metal. With vocalist and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner handling most of the music with playing guitar and bass with Chris Reifert playing drums, this record is just a 37-minute journey of thrash and death that is relentless and barely, and I mean BARELY, gives your neck a break from headbanging through every track.
Opening track “Infernal Death”, just from the opening riff, immediately gives you an old school death metal vibe. The vocals are on point, starting the track off with three different vocal deliveries of “DIE”, showcasing how low and high he can hit and this record is just getting started. This record definitely sets the stage for the thrashy death metal sound that this album Is going to bring, with an insane solo from Chuck that almost could fit on any essential 80’s thrash records from Metallica or Exodus.
The second track “Zombie Ritual” showcases Chris Reifert and his drum parts hitting so hard in the mix and pounding through the track and matches Chuck’s drive and playing. With “Denial of Life” again showcasing the vocal range that the late Chuck Schuldiner gave in his music. You can hear and feel the anger and force his vocals delivered and knowing that his vocals would be a trademark of the death metal sound.
“Sacrificial” finally gives you a short break from the thrashing thinking that, just maybe, they will be doing a slower track, but no, right after the intro, BOOM, right back into the thrashy speed for the chorus and then back to slowing down, almost Obituary-esque.
My personal favorite track “Torn To Pieces”, I love that opening riff guitar tone, immediately reminds me of the sound Pantera would make famous on Cowboys From Hell. The snare hits so hard in the mix with a driving punch that just makes you want to bang your head along with it, and again the gutturals and screams are so good on this track that it’s the standout track for me on this record.
Death has made its mark in metal and this album is a masterpiece in extreme metal. Its impact can be heard in many of the iconic death metal bands you hear today, the thrashier sound can almost be linked to the early stages of crust punk and grindcore, and when Death metal would begin morphing into a progressive/technical death metal sound, they would inspire the likes of Gorguts and Beyond Creation. A genre defining record from one of the forefathers of death metal. Even though Chuck sadly passed away in 2001 from brain cancer, his legacy will live on in this record and any of the amazing albums he made with Death as well as his side project Control Denied. This is a must, and I repeat, MUST have for any metalhead.
1) Infernal Death (2:54)
2) Zombie Ritual (4:35)
3) Denial of Life (3:38)
4) Sacrificial (3:43)
5) Mutilation (3:30)
6) Regurgitated Guts (3:47)
7) Baptized in Blood (4:32)
8) Torn To Pieces (3:38)
9) Evil Dead (3:02)
10) Scream Bloody Gore (4:35)
SCORE: 10 / 10
RELEASED: 05 / 25 / 1987
LABEL: Combat Records
FANS OF THIS ALBUM SHOULD CHECK OUT:
Morbid Angel "Altars of Madness"
Possessed "Seven Churches"