Death - _The Sound of Perseverance_
(Nuclear Blast, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (
I can't say this is Death's best album, because I haven't yet picked up their first three releases. However, I don't care what the worshippers of _Human_ say, this is my favorite Death album of the last four. Roughly speaking, it combines some of the slower, more calculated riffing of _Symbolic_ with, in places, the technical speed of _Individual Thought Patterns_ and also contains a liberal dose of _Human_ quality writing for good measure. However, it is a very individual creation and excels in all the right places. Great thrashings, technical solos, memorable choruses and clear vocals are the order of the day. Though very well done, I don't think the closing "Painkiller" cover is a great way to end the album, but it is a small weakness. Chuck has also chosen to play around, once again, with some almost syncopated, technical and, in places, jazzy sections. The beginning of first track "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" is an example of such a section and one could easily cite other parts of this song or others. Death don't, as they did to an extent on _ITP_, make their music too technical, as the slow, simple chorus of "Spirit Crusher" beautifully emphasizes, but at the same time they do not abandon fast technical playing, as you could argue _Symbolic_ did. _The Sound of Perseverance_ is nearly an hour long with only eight songs and a cover, but, oddly enough, the length does not make the album dragging, though it does make the songs far more multi-dimensional than, for example, the new Cannibal Corpse. Death never were, and never tried to be, the most brutal of the death metal crowd, but _TSOP_ reinforces and newly legitimizes their reputation as one of the finest.
(article published 9/1/1998)
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