Listen to DEATH's genre-defining album ‘Spiritual Healing’ in its remastered entirety here, via Relapse Records' SoundCloud. Originally released in 1990, ‘Spiritual Healing’ marked a new turn in the DEATH discography:
“One which ushered in cleaner production, a new level of boundary pushing musicianship and songwriting skills that were previously unimaginable from a metal band. ‘Spiritual Healing’ sets the standard for riffs, insane time changes and of course mainman Chuck Schuldiner's masterful guitar solos.”
Reissued as a double CD housed in a deluxe packaging featuring brand new liner notes from DEATH members guitarist James Murphy and bassist Terry Butler, Chuck Schuldiner's sister Beth Schuldiner and VOLBEAT's Michael Poulsen, disc one features a completely new remaster of the original album, while disc two contains 16 previously unreleased rehearsals, outtakes and studio instrumentals. Buy ‘Spiritual Healing’ here, from Relapse Records. Relapse Records, in partnership with Perseverance Holdings Ltd. and the Schuldiner family, has to date released remastered DEATH albums ‘Human’, ‘Individual Thought Patterns’, 'The Sound Of Perseverance' and live collection ‘Vivus!’:
DEATH was founded in 1983 (known then as “Mantas”) in Orlando, Florida by heavy metal icon, known to many as the founding father of death metal, Chuck Schuldiner. After creating a buzz in the metal underworld with their first demos, DEATH released their debut LP ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ in 1987 via Combat Records. By now legendary ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ is considered a genre template for death metal (“death metal's first archetypal document”):
“Boiled down to the most basic terms, this transition simply entailed propelling thrash metal's sheer speed and ferocious execution into further inaccessibility with the addition of gore-obsessed lyrics delivered via often indecipherably growled vocals. Needless to say, this unprecedented level of sonic hatred went down a storm with thousands upon thousands of angry teenagers across the world,” [explained Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
On 1988's ‘Leprosy’, Schuldiner enlisted guitarist Rick Rozz, bassist Terry Butler and drummer Bill Andrews. The album was recorded with, now legendary, death metal producer Scott Burns. Rozz left the band and was replaced by James Murphy before DEATH's next offering, 1990's ‘Spiritual Healing’. Turmoil between bandmembers that ensued, caused Schuldiner to turn to bassist Steve DiGiorgio, drummer Sean Reinert and guitarist Paul Masvidal before the release of 1991's album ‘Human’. Listen to the entire reissue here, via Relapse Record's BandCamp:
“This release, along with the even more commercially successful ‘Arise’ by Brazilians SEPULTURA, helped ensure that 1991 should go down as the absolute apex of death metal's world domination,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic, enthusiastically]
In 1993, Reinert and Masvidal left and were replaced with drummer Gene Hoglan and guitarist Andy LaRocque. That year's release, fifth album called ‘Individual Thought Patterns’, continued to expand on the technical, progressive style that began with ‘Human’. Again, the entire album is available for your listening pleasure here (BandCamp):
In 1994, DEATH left Relativity Media after eight years and signed with Roadrunner Records which acted as their European distributor until then. Their sixth album, 1995's ‘Symbolic’, benefited from Bobby Koelble on guitar and Kelly Conlon on bass.
“But come 1996,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic] “DEATH's chief architect was hungry for a creative outlet with which to express his more mainstream heavy metal songwriting, and citing his own voice as too limited for what he had in mind, Schuldiner shocked the heavy metal community by disbanding DEATH and announcing his plans for an entirely new band, to be named CONTROL DENIED.”
Entering into a licensing agreement with Nuclear Blast Records for both DEATH and his new project, Schuldiner recorded one final album with DEATH, 1998's ‘The Sound Of Perseverance’:
“Words cannot do this album enough justice. This is a truly glorious metal release, certainly DEATH's finest hour, and easily one of the top metal albums of all time. … This album delicately mixes the best aspects of past albums and takes them one step further. The album is more aggressive, more progressive, and certainly more melodic. … No “true” metal listener can ignore the fact that DEATH have carefully crafted the perfect album for the metal world, an album which draws from the creative pool of ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, and CYNIC, yet remains pure unadulterated DEATH,” [commented Jason Hundey, AllMusic – read more here]
‘The Sound Of Perseverance’ featured Shannon Hamm on guitars, Scott Clendenin on bass and Richard Christy on drums. Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with a malignant brain-stem tumor in early 2000. After a long battle, he succumbed to cancer in 2001, age 33.
“Throughout this long journey and drastic evolutionary curve, Chuck Schuldiner was the only constant, the effective mastermind behind DEATH's continually groundbreaking career, and his near-canonization at the time of his untimely passing only confirmed his unequaled stature at the top of rock's most uncompromising style,” [concluded Eduardo Rivadavia – read more here]