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''Scream Bloody Gore'' is the bible of death metal. It was the reference for countless bands worldwide that started to play this fast, crushing and insane genre of music, everyone making it in their own way, helping the style to evolve and leaving several legendary releases. But this one has EVERYTHING. It's the base for all those bands who came later. It represents death metal sound in it's pure form, and every death metal fan worships this with devotion and pleasure. Let's start with the most notable elements of this masterpiece:
THE RIFFS! Is the essence of this album: An excellent selection of incredible riffs created by the master Chuck Schuldiner. ''Denial of Life'' has some of the best ones. For example, that thrashy intro, and then the explosive fast-paced riff where Chuck insanely screams: ''In your dreams, the pain is so real, Before the dead, you'll have to kneel..''. Epic moment indeed. Another nice riff, is this catchy line on ''Zombie Ritual'': ''Drifting from the living, joining with the dead, Zombie dwelling maggots, now infest your head''. As i said, is so catchy, yet intensely brutal and raw, because that is what this album is about, insane riffs, like the ultra-fast one in ''Baptized with blood'' when chuck starts singing, and also the solos... they are just decent, not too technical, but accurate and effective, they follow the standard soloing thrashy style of the mid-80s.
The bass is also an important element in this album. It was played by Chuck, and fortunately you can hear it as loud as the guitars, and it gives the music a really nice old-school, raw, brutal feeling. The drums give the songs a relentless energy, the patterns are very simple, making the standard blast-beats that were so frequent in 80s death and thrash metal, they were played by the amazing Chris Reifert, who later left the band to form his own band: Autopsy, legendary gods of death metal.
The vocals are a very special element on this album. Death metal didn't used the typical low-tone growling (Cannibal Corpse, Necrophagist) in 1987, but instead, Chuck sang like a fucking insane warrior of death metal. He is very versatile, mixing brutal mid-tone screams, with uncontrolled high-pitched ones, he sounds like a fucking demon! Sometimes it seems like he is really in pain while singing. The lyrics he sings are typical gore, mutilation, bloody lyrics, with some great lines, when you read them you think this guy has escaped from an asylum, for example, in ''Torn to Pieces'': ''Trying to escape they torture you by cutting off your cock''. Insane...
This is a legendary, underrated album, highly recommended for avid death metal fans. Every song has it's own personality and every time you listen to this is a full experience. Don't miss it.
I was introduced to Death via Symbolic and Human several years ago. I later found Individual Thought Patterns and The Sound of Perseverance and then this album, Scream Bloody Gore, which I considered a complete anomaly. SBG, as I will refer to it, was quickly put away and forgotten...
...until two weeks ago. Having bought tickets to see the new Death to All tour featuring the Human line-up playing songs from Human and prior, I figured it was time to truly dig in and listen to Leprosy, Spiritual Healing, and SBG for what they were worth. The short is SBG takes a couple songs to truly find its death metal stride, but once the gore train gets a-rolling, it becomes enjoyable.
I believe there were 2 issues standing in my way of enjoying SBG upon first listen. The first problem was that I wasn't taking the album in context. Jumping from Symbolic to SBG is a HUGE leap, one that will make SBG sound much worse than it actually is. The second problem was (and always will be) the first two songs, "Infernal Death" and "Zombie Ritual", but I'll get to that later.
For the time when this album came out, a period where serious death and black metal were first getting their shit together, SBG is well-developed and for the most part consistent. Death had a distinct and unique sound back in 1987, especially impressive when you consider how old many of the songs are. Chuck Schuldiner wanted a B-horror movie vibe band back in the day and he certainly achieved that on SBG. SBG feels evil, fast, raw, and slightly corny, just like any bad (or great, depending on your perspective) '80s horror movie.
I find that SBG is taken better as a whole, as many of the songs sound similar with little variation in the drumming and bass. The drums and bass are consistent, but nothing you'll remember tomorrow or the day after. If you came to SBG for the bass and drums, you're missing the point. If you're going to look at the individual songs, SBG gets off to a slow start. "Infernal Death" and "Zombie Ritual" are actually my least favorite songs on the album. They never seem to hit their stride, especially "Zombie..." which just doesn't ever realize its potential. But if you are able to get through these first two tracks (or skip them, like I do), the rest of SBG is significantly better. The choruses are fantastic, Chuck shrieks like a bat out of Hell, and you can even hear small hints of the incredible progressive band which Death would eventually become. Don't believe me? Take a listen to the intro of the album standout "Evil Dead". It sounds like something that could have been written for Individual Thought Patterns.
Scream Bloody Gore is a powerful statement of what Death once was. It's unapologetic, mean, and ends way too fast once it gets going. Well worth the listen.
Yep that's right peeps. This really is what set the bar as we know all today as death metal. I'll be blunt as fuck as say this is death metal's first work and not Possessed's Seven Churches. Without going into a random tangent, it simply does not sound like death metal. Simply put its just another thrash band that has a Slayer influence. Although I would say the name of the genre came from their track on the album. Well now that that's out of the way, let's get to the REAL reason I joined the death metal world in the first place.
I really didn't think anything was more extreme then Slayer during the time when I only listened to thrash metal back then, and also didn't think that no album was more extreme then Reign in Blood. Well this is the landmark album that did it in my opinion, and would later lead to other bands trying to overpower this album entitled, Scream Bloody Gore.
10 tracks that clock under at least 38 minutes. My my what music for my ears. I didn't know what to expect from this album really other then extreme metal or as we like to call it death metal. After listening to the first track entitled "Infernal Death", I was blown away and it exceeded my expectations tremendously. The spotlight was all towards the mastermind himself and the "Father of death metal", Chuck Schuldiner. The first of his kind in terms of growl, and screech like vocals. This guy truly was a visionary for what he had planned for the following years to come, and would be the cornerstone of death metal in general.
The sound of Scream Bloody Gore has a Slayer influence written all over this, but a bit more extreme. Its raw with no problems whatsoever as I'm listening to all these tracks. Everything flows through fine. Guitars are crunchy and have that downtune sound you'd expect to hear, bass is very noticeable. Drums can be a bit too overpowering at times, but that has no effect on the listening experience, and finally, the vocals obviously, compliment the albums sound very nicely; and it being the most prevalent thing about this album.
Now my favorite track on this album is "Zombie Ritual" holy shit. If you want to find the best song on here, forget the rest listen to this one as it will instantly hook you on for a thrill ride mainly by the lyrics. I feel like this is a proper track to use or listen to when you're watching a horror or zombie movie. Wow what a track not to mention the most standout line from this song is obviously "zooooooombieeee....rituuALLLLL". Seriously stop what you're doing and listen to this song.
Problems I have with this album? Well first It can a bit boring after a while mainly due to no variety on the drums side. It seems like every song there seems to be a bit of the same pattern going on but its 1987 so thats alright. The main reason this doesn't get a perfect score is the fact that the track entitled "Torn to Pieces" sounds like a filler track, and its my least favorite on the album with it being average at best.
All in all this album was a huge inspiration to many death metal bands and I can see why. It has the complete package of what death metal sounds like today and any fan who loves a nice hybrid of thrash/death metal or just death metal in general will enjoy this. For those who just started listening to Death and finished listening to this album. I encourage you to listen to their whole discography, because just by listening to this album, and already listened to the entire discography, the band has hidden potential here that would later showcase themselves as true craftsman of the genre, and why they are truly a prime manifestation as being one of the best acts in the genre itself.
Scream Bloody Gore was my first death metal experience and I'm very thankful I chose to start here. For 1987 this was pretty fuckin' brutal. Its only rivals may have been Pleasure to Kill or Seven Churches for the time period (INRI, Schizophrenia, and Deathcrush had yet to be released), but this album was the exemplar of what a true death metal record should sound like.
Dissonant, minor riffs, bludgeoning drumming, and inhuman vocals. The duo of Chuck Schuldiner and Chris Reifert gel tightly and pull these songs off like it's their bread and butter. Chuck's guitar tone is a little low in the mix, but this is nothing to worry about. The crushing, ghastly sounds coming from his amp make you feel like Chuck split a few zombies' skulls before the take. The melodic minor solos he uses are spectacular. Although not very technical, Chuck's soloing is instantly recognizable due to his distinct choice of scales and not your everyday pentatonic leads you hear all too often. Reifert's drumming is pretty standard, relatively fast, but nothing jumps out at me as groundbreaking. The drums and vocals are the highest and most prominent in the mix. Chris keeps up very well with Chuck and adapts to the timing changes flawlessly (ex. Baptized in Blood), but there's no Hoglan-esque (Dark Angel) or Asheim-esque (Deicide) fills to be found here. The bass is surprisingly easy to hear on any selection on the lp. Listen to the triplet fills during the verses of Scream Bloody Gore. This is one spot on the album where the bass isn't just following the root notes. Also, the bass is easily heard during the chorus on Denial of Life and Evil Dead. As for the production, it's bass heavy with no treble. "Blunt" best describes the sound of the album. It's not pummeling like being lit up by a thermobaric warhead, but more like sticking your head in a meat grinder and flipping the "on" switch.
What really was a change for me listening to this album were the vocals and lyrics. Chuck's guttural roars create the image of a dismembered corpse screaming with festering abscesses in its throat. Pair that style with gory, grotesque lyrics and it's no wonder Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, and countless other death metal bands are influenced by this album. I'll admit sometimes I find myself laughing at some of the lyrics every now and then, hahaha. "Slabs of fat lay on the ground, ram an axe into your mound." or "Trying to escape, they torture you by" CUTTING OFF YOUR COCK!, but the best one is "Decapitated head, licking your cunt." LOL.
I always found those lines funny. Needless to say, I had never heard any vocals or lyrics like that when I had first listened to it and apparently neither did a lot of people back in 1987. Tales of torture, zombie rituals, sacrificing cunts (lol), and mutilation as if they were being told by the unsympathetic being that committed the act really sets the mood/atmosphere for the music and I think Chuck captures his perfectly on the album.
Now for the songs. Infernal Death I don't think is a strong opener for the album. The riffs and lyrics are nowhere near as menacing as on tracks like Mutilation or Zombie Ritual. It's weak compared to the following tracks, but optimistically it can only get better from here. It's virtually the only song on the album I would skip. Do yourself a favor and just get straight to Zombie Ritual. Holy shit.
The intro itself just sets the tone for this beast...eerie, twisted, unholy. One of the best tracks on the album, for sure. Lots of timing changes and riffs. DRINK FROM THE GOBLET, GOBLET OF GORE. Denial of Life was a popular live track from the early days (see Ultimate Revenge 2) and has a really catchy chorus. Sacrificial alternates between extremely slow verses and breakneck choruses. Always a fun listen miming the lyrics to this one (see above). Mutilation is completely unforgiving and never slows down. Just plain brutal. You won't have time to breathe until Regurgitated Guts starts.
Regurgitated Guts has a sick, twisted intro and verse pattern and is probably my favorite track on SBG. The verses consist of mid-paced thrash chugging, then out of nowhere go double-time on your ass. I think Chuck and Chris are the tightest on this track more than any song on the album. Baptized in Blood has tons of timing changes and is the highlight of Chris' playing on the album. Cool lyrics, too, might I add. Torn to Pieces, like Sacrificial, has the most brutal (and arguably funniest) lyrics on the album. The riffs are kind of generic on this track, but the chorus just takes it to another level of savagery. Evil Dead only has a handful of riffs, but the intro is cool because it's a minor interpretation of Sortilege's Amazone. The title track is just as brutal as any of the rest and actually showcases the bass a bit during the verses.
Although it may be tempting to skip, the bonus tracks on this album hold up to the rest of the others. Beyond the Unholy Grave is pretty damn fast and sounds almost like a Possessed song. Very recommended. Land of No Return is doomy as hell in the beginning and is a great way to round out this crazy gorefest.
If you crave a blunt, relentless, slaughter assault on your ears and are a veteran death metal listener or even new to death metal, this is the album for you. Newbies to death metal would be wise to start with this album. While it's not the best death metal album ever recorded, nor is it Chuck's magnum opus (that would come next year, in my opinion), it's a solid death metal output and I think sets the tone for death metal in years to come. This album will always hold a special place musically for me because it opened up the doorway to the realm of death metal and other forms of extreme metal I listen to today (CC, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Possessed, etc.). It all came from these 12 songs.
There is a certain fallacy in judgment that is often paraded out whenever an alleged classic album comes under the scrutinizing eyes of a younger generation. The old cliche of hindsight always being 20/20 need not bear much repetition in order for its obviousness to be proved out on this subject, as many will look at the archaic nature of an album and dismiss it as something that has either aged poorly, or is otherwise obsolete in light of newer accomplishments. One is often reminded of the overshadowing success of comedian Dennis Leary when compared with his predecessor Bill Hicks. Sure, the former brought out a nervous, pissed off, Irish chain-smoker on crack to make himself distinct from the low-key, intellectual, laid back chain-smoker from Texas, but in the end, the fact that the jokes were all but identical, the props automatically go to the one telling them 5 years prior, despite that he didn't live long enough to have a long winded movie career and television show.
Such is the scrutiny placed upon Death's auspiciously wicked debut "Scream Bloody Gore", an album that is sometimes saddled with the "glorified thrash metal" label and diminished in its significance in light of the exaggerated versions paraded out first by Cannibal Corpse, then by Cryptopsy and every other extreme death metal band to spring out of the mid 1990s. It's often conceded that the album was about as intense as 1987 could possibly have gotten, but it's just too old and rusty to really stand the test of time. Why bother with the mud covered foundation of a genre that was built by this outfit over 3 years of paying their dues in the Florida scene when there's a nifty new band in the mold of Fleshgod Apocalypse or Braindrill with its ridiculously fast blast beats, inhumanly technical guitar solos and very little of an actual song to be heard amid the chaos. One can only conclude that the price of the heavy exposure of Death after Chuck's untimely passing is that every fool gets their 2 cents in.
To put it bluntly, the album in question here is actually time appropriate for 1987 given the recent advent of the unholy trinity ("Reign In Blood", "Darkness Descends" and "Pleasure To Kill" respectively), save that most of these songs were written much earlier and Chuck Schuldiner's unusually intense and auspiciously toneless vocal style. The feel is generally one-dimensional, largely resembling the 3 albums in question, along with Possessed's "Seven Churches", a band that was admittedly a huge influence of Chuck's songwriting early on. It cooks at a rapid thrashing pace for about 90% of the time, while the other 10% manifest in earlier slow, doom-laden intros or mid-tempo sections that pop up within otherwise high octane songs. It's the sort of album that might wear thin after a few successive listens, but has incredible replay value after a break of a day or two.
Anyone who had been in Florida from 1984-86 and seen Death on tour could easily see this as being a sort of best of album compiled out of a pool of a little under 30 songs, but it listens like a very careful contemplated killer of an album. The pacing is very well realized, allowing for straight up cruisers like "Mutilation" and "Beyond The Unholy Grave" to trade blows with the more mixed numbers in "Zombie Ritual" and "Sacrifical", the latter of the two incorporating a very intricate mixture of doom and groove that paint a dark, haunting character to complement what is otherwise a straight linel exercise in brutality. The lyrical content fits in snugly with this all guts and occasional respites, covering all of the horrific scenes of gore and violence that could be contemplated for a slasher or zombie flick, yet with a novelty and level of intelligence that is generally lacking from what passes for this genre today.
Perhaps the greatest charm of this album is that while it seems to be predicting the chromatic, atonal character of latter offerings in this style, it doesn't venture too far from convention songwriting and manages to be catchy without losing its intensity. Particularly in the case of the melodic tendencies of "Evil Dead", a song that borders on being proto-melodeath, mainly because of its earlier conception than most of the other songs on here and the obvious influence it was likely taking from Venom and Celtic Frost, alongside the already emerging Possessed influences. Other songs have more of a creeping feel to them that hints at further Hellhammer/Celtic Frost influences still clinging on, particularly "Baptized In Blood" and the intro of "Infernal Death" which provide an archetype of what would be the slower side of death metal nowadays.
Far from being a mere SRB rocket that can be detached from the shuttle once its usefulness is over, this is an album that should be essential listening to any self-respecting fan of extreme metal, as well as the usual suspects who cling to their 80s thrash and religion. It's archaic nature robs nothing from its intensity, and it lacks the fairly annoying mechanistic tendencies of most modern bands, particularly that clicking bass drum sound, popping snare and over-processed guitar distortion. So pour yourself a tall chalice of human blood and chill with the scarlet and purple clad skeleton bishops of the deathly throne, because it doesn't get much better than this.
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.
When I heard about the debate over Possessed and Death’s debuts, which one was the first true death metal album? I think it’s easy, Death. Scream Bloody Gore is what death metal is to me. Guttural vocals, insane screams, fast riffs, fast drums, gore lyrics, and the whole horror image.
For death metal, 1987 is pretty much as early you can get when for full lengths. And even when you look back through demos, Mantas was playing death metal sine 82’ – 83’. So in my mind Chuck deserves the title of father of death metal. And with SBG he really set the standard. Although he expanded the genre even more with “Leprosy”, I still feel like this album is pure death metal.
The vocals really set the standard for death metal. Chuck had his own very unique style of singing. His vocals on this album are pretty guttural. Not Chris Barnes guttural but just deep. When you compare them to “Leprosy” they are much deeper and his screams are as if he is being stabbed to death. These vocals were before bands like Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse went really guttural.
The riffs on this album are heavy and fast. Not as technical as their later work but hey, this is primitive death metal. The production is raw. The guitars aren’t very heavy. There’s just not much distortion on them. You can take this as good or bad, I prefer more distortion when I listen to death metal but this is the very first death metal album so I understand. The bass is LOUD; you can hear it pretty much the whole album. The drums sounds good, the bass drum is loud and the snare never falls behind everything else.
One of the very few negative things I can say about this album is that there really isn’t that much variety in the drumming. Chris Reifert is a good drummer, and I don’t blame him for this problem on this album. There is a lot of thrash going on here. The drums are almost always playing fast. He does do some nice double bass every now and then but not enough to give it more of a change.
For being the first death metal album, “Scream Bloody Gore” is extremely good. It deserves its place in metal history and if you don’t own it, I feel bad for you.
Best tracks – “Scream Bloody Gore”, “Regurgitated Guts”, and “Sacrificial”
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.
There are many arguments to be made about which album was the first 'true death metal' effort. Many would say Possessed takes this title, and certainly a case could be made, depending on where you feel thrash ended and death began. I like to take the safe route: the first pure death metal album is Scream Bloody Gore, the debut from Florida's legendary Death. The thrash elements remain, of course, since all death metal is derived from that, but this is the well from which so much of modern brutality has sprung.
Scream Bloody Gore is actually the work of only two musicians, the immortal Chuck Schuldiner performing all guitars, bass and vocals, and Chris Reifert (Autopsy, etc) behind the kit. It's a lot more primal than what you'd expect if you jumped on the Death-wagon during the years of Human, Individual Thought Patterns, or Symbolic. Despite what music theory dorks will tell you, the first three albums are the best of Death, because they were able to compose creepy, memorable music that really flaunted the...er...'virtues' of the form: evil sounding rhythms, brutal vocals, and excellent musicianship, without falling off the deep end.
"Zombie Ritual" is easily the most recognizable track from the album, with its evil intro rhythm and flawless bloodflow of gory bludgeoning riffs, but there are many moments that glisten with with the sanguine discharge of its victims. "Denial of Life" has killer bridge and chorus riffing, a thrashing that is both creepy and happy. "Regurgitated Guts" is a hostile riffing beast, and "Baptized in Blood" has some excellent, maddening leads over the driving thrust of its rhythms. "Torn to Pieces" is another maniacal murder anthem that stands out on the album. The rest of the tracks are good, and this is still an album I can listen to all in one sitting, though a few lack that something 'extra'.
As for the downside, the lyrics here really blow, loaded with crappy rhyme schemes and disturbed imagery that a middle schooler might draw in his notebook when he's pissed off at the teacher. You won't find any of the pseudo-psychological, 'mature' tripe of the band's later work here. Just blood, guts, and loathing. But you can only get so much mileage out of:
'Watch you bleed to death
Gasping for last breath
Choking on your blood
I shit onto your guts'
Alas, thousands of death metal bands would use this simpler brand of lyrics for decades (pick a Mortician record at random, and read the lyrics), so despite my distaste, they were still an influential aspect of the record. The mix of Scream Bloody Gore is burly and raw, I think it remains intense and unforgiving and another reason I miss the standards of the 80s. As cult and important as the record is, I honestly favor its followup Leprosy, which is loaded from front to back with insanely great riffing. But this grandfather of death metal is still superior to about 99% of the genre's output since 1987.
Highlights: Zombie Ritual, Denial of Life, Regurgitated Guts, Torn to Pieces, Evil Dead
Chuck Schuldiner was a musical genius and visionary who was throughout his career was always trying to push the boundaries of music. With Death he helped to define the Death Metal genre and then, on later albums, extend its limits by bringing increasing amounts of progressive influence into the equation. Death’s first album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been called the archetypal Death Metal album. Some think it should be called the first Death metal album whilst others say that title belongs to Possessed’s Seven Churches. One thing that no one can deny though is that Scream Bloody Gore was an extremely important album that has influenced many generations of metal heads.
Schuldiner was always changing around the line-up for Death in order to be able to make the best record possible. Although this meant that Deaths line-up was not stable Schuldiner seems to have picked the right people for the job as the musicianship on the albums always sounds great. On this album Schuldiner plays guitar and bass, as well as doing vocals. To play drums Schuldiner recruited Chris Reifert (now famous for his work in Autopsy/Abscess).
The guitar work on this album is very thrashy but slightly heavier. Schuldiner has two main guitar playing speeds which he uses throughout the album which are fast and very fast but the album does have a few slightly slower sections, mainly on the choruses of songs. The riffs are mostly simplistic but they are memorable and will stick in your head for ages. The solos are also great; they’re not insanely fast but give Schuldiner a chance to show off his guitar skills and technicality (something he would expand on in later albums). The guitar work is driven along by Reifert’s drumming. There’s nothing special in the drum area but a nod must be given to Reifert for being able to keep his drumming up for the duration of the songs and for being able to keep up with Schuldiner two speeds.
Most of the lyrics on the album are mostly your standard Death Metal fare, although of course back then there was no standard Death Metal, with zombies, blood, gore, death and pain all making an appearance although the lyrics on Denial Of Life do seem to have slightly more depth to them. Most of the vocals on the album are mid – pitch screams which Schuldiner delivers with precision. On most songs the lyrics aren’t even necessary as the sounds coming out of Schuldiner’s mouth do the job perfectly.
The only real problem I have with this album is, that like so much death metal, after the great memorable riff, the light-speed drumming and guitar work kicks in and then that’s all there is in the song until the solo. Although not great this is forgivable though as most of the songs on the album do have catchy riffs, great solos and at some points do even slow down for some more mid-paced guitar.
The album was recorded in LA at the Music Grinder studios. Although not the cleanest production ever I have no problems with the sound on the album at all as most of the time you can hear everything that is going on. The producer was Randy Burns (did he produce Megadeth’s Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? album) and he does a great job at getting the most out of both Schuldiner and Reifert.
Every song in this album is a classic but the standout tracks for me are Infernal Death and Zombie ritual for the sick opening riffs and the excellent Baptized in Blood for its great chorus.
Overall, this is a great album with some great songs on it. Later on in his career Schuldiner went more progressive but the early Death albums, even if more simple, can still match, if not exceed the greatness of the later albums. If you like Death Metal at all you should definitely buy this album.
Scream Bloody Gore is the first album by one of the very first Death Metal bands EVER. Death. Death Metal. The Grandfathers. The God Fathers. the Makers, of Death Metal. Well, as the first album by Death that I had ever heard, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know if it was going to be deep, screamy, low, gurgly, I didn't know if it was going to have terrible guitar tone, inaudible drums and bass, or disgusting production. Well, when I flipped the switch on this album, I could not believe my ears.
The first thing that you hear is possibly the most sinister intro I have ever heard, I speak of course, of the opener, "Infernal Death". Right away, when all the instruments kick in, you have to notice two things, 1) that the production is incredible. Out of all the classic Death Metal-ers, this has got to be top-fucking-notch, and 2) (Possibly my favorite part of the whole album) The bass is fucking amazing. It's the perfect volume, tone, and heaviness. It's audible! Even THAT is unexpected, let alone being so good you find yourself saying "I need to hear that bass line" instead of "I have to listen to that guitar solo". That's another thing right there too. The guitar solos! There are numerous guitar solos throughout the entire album. And no, not the cheap, crappy ones that beg for listening, like Lamb Of God's solos, but good quality, unique solos that you miss in Death Metal nowadays. Also, with this album you have a LOT of variety, there are slow starters that break into heinous drum beats and thick guitar leads. "Zombie Ritual" is the perfect example. There are songs that start off very melodic and graceful, and then just break you in half. Listen to "Evil Dead" for an example. What I'm basically trying to say is that the variety is key with this album. It's glaring. You'll find yourself listening to the whole album so many times, and never getting bored of it. It's the all-you-can-eat Death Metal album.
Of course, with all the good things about an album, you have to pick out the problems, as that's what reviews are for. I'd have to say, that my only complaints are that the drums are turned down too much, and that the vocals are not loud enough. Nothing wrong with the music or vocals musically or vocally, just the fact that the drums and vocals are turned down a little bit too much. I gotta take off 5% for Vocals, and 5% for drums. Everything else about the album is amazing. Pick it up, it'll grow some hair on your balls.
I am not a great fan of death metal. Having been fed on the melodic chops of bands like Purple, Dio and Maiden since birth, I will always tend towards the romantic (in the traditional sense) side of metal. It's in my genes.
Yet so is Motörhead, from whence the object of our consideration today is really descended. Oh, sure, one can make a case for Possessed or Slayer as the godfathers of death metal - though this record itself is a very, very primal form of it, much closer to thrash than, say, Nile or Cryptopsy - but at the end of the day it is always the runaway speedster ethos of Lemmy's hellraisers which underscores most of the death metal aesthetic. And for this reason I can embrace the Dadaist sympathies of the movement while decrying its gorier excesses.
I also like to think that I recognize genius when I see it, and I've seen it in very few places as brightly as Mr. Chuck Schuldiner, rest his non-existent soul. One could wax poetic on the influence Chuck had on all metal after him, and, while I do tend to hold that Seven Churches is just as responsible for death metal as the band which lent its name to the genre, there is no denying that he nearly single-handedly crafted the main thematic elements which would serve hundreds of inferior bands well in the years to come.
And nowhere is this more evident than on this release, Scream Bloody Gore. True, this is primitive, nearly tribal in its execution, but all the elements for gory and glory success are already present and a-fucking-counted for. From the opening riffage of the lead-off track "Infernal Death" to Chuck's first infernal bellow, one can already detect the sheer intensity behind this slab of meaty death. The first song breaks down almost immediately into a cacophony of excellent drumming as provided by Chris Reifert, but what really matters here are the meaty riffs --
and oh, are there riffs! The first song alone tears up the ground while it plants you in it, hammering you with blow after skull-crushing blow, before descending into a whirlwind solo of the sort Kerry King can only fantasize about. And this all in the first track!
To be honest, I'm not particularly good at distinguishing between death metal songs. A riff here, a riff there - what's the difference? This is especially true of Schuldiner's Satanic spawn in the grindcore scene. But this record is different: ever riff here is quite distinct from every other, and we occasionally glimpse bits of melody, such as in the lead-up to "Zombie Ritual". There's not a lot of it, but it's here.
The truth of the matter that nothing here is particularly speedy, at least as far as today's metal goes; this is simple brutality, intended to do nothing more than hammer you down spiritually before reconstructing you with rage and saliva. And it works, particularly on "Baptized in Blood" and "Evil Dead", two of the best pure death metal cuts ever hacked out of the body of music. One can sense the fury with which Schuldinir delivers his opus, underscored to perfection by his throaty, visceral vocals.
This is not the best death metal album, unlike what some past reviewers have suggested. Yes, the lyrics are juvenile to the point of insipidity (although they're perfectly sensible in light of the death metal aesthetic, and are more discernible here than in some other death metal records). And, yes, Morbid Angel were always superior to Schuldiner's best efforts. Nevertheless, Scream Bloody Gore is vital to the movement and to metal in general, and it's accessible(!) enough that even the novice death metalhead shouldn't be scared off by the raw symphony of hate portrayed here.
If political correctness, feminism, or traditional American values are your thing, stay clear. If, however, you have other philosophical sympathies, then explore...
After a short but very important ( for death metal ) period with the band Mantas, Chuck “Evil” Schuldiner formed a new band. The name is a symbol of the music created by his guitar and the band: Death. After having released few demos that captured the attention of lots of fans in the underground, they finally released the first album, Scream Bloody Gore. This is the first step of a legend.
The violence in this album has made history…each and every song is a classic, never forgotten by those who love true death metal.
In that period the most famous extreme metal band was surely Possessed, and “Evil” Chuck said more than once that his way of screaming was heavily influenced by Becerra. So Chuck decided to answer musically to that great band, playing something that was surely extreme, but also new. Let me explain: while Possessed inspired a lot of black metal bands for their look and their lyrics, Death can be considered the creators of death/gore metal. Their lyrics are something brutal, about splatters, zombies, mutilations. Horror themes are essential for Chuck in this period and the music is directly influenced by those visions of blood, gore and death.
The cover shows four skeleton priests drinking probably blood in the chalices, while behind them grows a bunch of bones. Musically, this album is still heavily influenced by brutal thrash metal of that period, but the violence here is brought to another level, a higher one. Chuck's screams are unique and from now on they are a trademark of this band. His way of screaming is so sick that in the beginning of Land Of No Return song is just incredible. Every song is quite simple, musically, but extremely “catchy” thanks to brutally screamed refrains.
Every song in my humble opinion is a classic of death metal. DEATH METAL. No fucking influences in this album…here Death are yet “pure” and distant from technical parts, almost progressive that they would have experimented in the near future. These songs are usually quite short and the speed is always high, except for the beginning of few ones. “Infernal Death” is a good example of that: in the beginning is slow and rotten with Chuck that screams DIEEE!!! After the holocaust is unleashed with fast guitars solos, drums-train and evil atmosphere.
The intros to “Zombie Ritual” and “Evil Death” (here we can see the influence of horror movies in death metal) are something fantastic…the guitars draw a landscape of eternal horror. AWESOME.
Usually refrains are perfectly fixed in the guitars patterns to create a badass melody, something you can remember and scream any time you want…the riffs are fast and brutal and the one in “Denial Of Life” is incredible. “Sacrificial Death” alternates fast parts to slow ones in pure decomposition atmosphere, that surely inspired Obituary's song structure. The beginning to “Baptized In Blood” is awesome with a great scream, while the song contains one of the fastest parts in the album.
“Torn To Pieces” is still very influenced by thrash metal in the slow parts and with “Beyond The Unholy Grave” it's like listening to Slayer’s Show No Mercy on speed…I could keep on describing a lot of things about this death masterpiece, but I can’t. Folks, if you want brutality and history of a genre all together, take this album and they will bring you to the land of no return.
I'm a big fan of Death, believe me. I think "Symbolic" is one of the best American metal albums of all time (because we all know Americans can't make metal decently), and Chuck's incredible solos and overall technical ability are well-known even beyond death metal. He prefers melody and emotion over speed, which is VERY rare in the metal world. The saga of this immensely influential band began in '87 with their release of "Scream Bloody Gore", which is generally regarded as one of the first albums of its genre.
So, let's start screaming the bloody gory album. First track is "Infernal Death". The slow-paced, doomy intro is pretty interesting and Schuldiner's throaty chanting is also thrilling. But, sadly enough, after 40 seconds the track gets just retarded - both musically and lyrically. Chris Reifert's bombastic drumming is quite numb, he doesn't seem to know how to change that one and only pattern...every one of you knows how Dave Lombardo changes between jackhammer beats and groovy slicks fluently in Reign In Blood, right? No sign of that here. What's more, the snare drum sounds like water dropping on the cooker. DEATH METAL COOKING, I tell ya! Sad you couldn't get Gene on this one, Chuck.
"Zombie Ritual" begins with a very Middle-Eastern-style riff, already showing signs what Chuck is capable of in songwriting. Well, another 15 seconds and were looking at another piece of wasted potential. Without the nice intro, I'd still think it's "Infernal Death" going on, and intros alone don't make a good song.
"Denial Of Life" is boring from start to finish, as is "Sacrificial". The best riffing on this album is without doubt on "Mutilation", and "Regurgitated Guts" shows us that Chris finally uses some imagination in his drumming. "Baptized In Blood" is also structured very well and doesn't fall apart like the first four songs sadly do. Then we have "Torn To Pieces", which reminds me either from Infernal Death or Denial Of Life, or both of them, I don't even care because this track just sucks. Evil Dead is much better. It begins with a very nice, melodic intro and also includes the best solo on the album. "Scream Bloody Gore" acts as a decent closer to the album, and eases the pain caused by this (most of the time) horrible listening experience, because you'll know that it's finally going to end. I'd say the best tracks on this album are the live bonus tracks from album "Leprosy" on the re-release, but if we'll stick to the original one, Evil Dead is the winner.
Schuldiner's guttural screams are as good as ever, though. I'm sure most of the teenage fanboys of Bon Jovi shitted their pants back in the day after hearing this: just listen the sick, twisted scream at the beginning of "Baptized In Blood". The lyrics, quite frankly, are idiotic. Chris Barnes must've had a twenty-hour-long erection after reading those geezy lines on "Sacrificial":
no more lies"
Really, why say anything else? No more lies, that is. The lyrics on the whole album are so stupid it's hard to believe they're written by someone with English as his primary language (or someone older than 5). If I want "spooky" death metal, then I'll go for some Morbid Angel. If I want something more varied and progressive, then I'll go for Atheist, Nocturnus or - better still - the awesome Scandinavian death bands (Entombed excluded). This is nothing but a waste of time. The production is decent, although it couldâ€™ve been much heavier too. For those who like to hear bass lines loud and clear, youâ€™ll probably enjoy the sonic impact of this (although the bass lines are quite bland to say the least). Most of the time it actually seems that the drums and bass drown out the guitars completely, theyâ€™re almost dead up in the middle.
One of my friends said I would have a different outlook on this release if it was the first album from this Florida band, well IT IS! This was actually one of my very first "true" metal albums I bought when I was around 10 or 11, and man do I still get goose bumps when listening to those classics that changed my musical taste forever (Ahh, La Masquerade Infernale!) - or, at least, most of them. For this, I grew out of this after ten listens, maybe - and the last remains of any impressive moments on this album (if there were any at all) have gotten weaker ever since. Yeah, maybe it was brutal for my pre-teenage ears, and to those who lived to witness this back in '87, but I know much better albums from that era which are much faster, heavier and better executed (Schizophrenia anyone?). Hell, even Seven Churches (the TRUE genre template) is more listenable than this, and it came out two years before this. This album has done nothing to the genre but spawned millions of uber-retarded bands like Entombed and Deicide (or, worse still, Reifert's future band Autopsy. Uuurgh!). "Altars Of Madness" beats this one 15-0 on the first half of the game, seriously.
Let's sum up the pros and cons:
+ Chuck's vocals (although not as impressive as on later releases)
+ Songs "Mutilation", "Baptized In Blood" and "Evil Dead" are above average
- Lyrics (I can't stress this hard enough)
- Considerable lack of imagination in songwriting
Once in a while, I actually find this one from my CD player, wondering how the hell it made there in the first place. For all means, buy "Human" and any album that came after that, I'd suggest to start with Symbolic.
Introducing both Schuldiner as well as Reifert to the world makes 'Scream Bloody Gore' an important release already. The fact that Reifert left shortly after and his performance here is actually one of the sloppiest ones in his career, doesn't change that. Yes, a bit sloppy at times but his enthousiasm and energy really make up for it. Now mr Schuldiner himself was still in his fase of perfecting his style and skills and once again youthful enthusiasm does half the work here. Most riffs aren’t all too technical but some are catchy as hell and that's what counts.
On to the music. As said there are plenty of flaws to be found in the performance. The intensity however prevails. ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ offers some mighty powerful songs, filthy and brutal death metal, almost avant la lettre. 'Evil Dead' is by far the best song present (the oldiest song I later came to realise) and has a great eerie melodic intro before plunging into a really fast catchy tune with nothing less than some of the best riffs on the album. Another song containing some of the best riffs and breaks on the album is the titletrack, which was the newest song and already has a ‘Leprosy’-edge to it.
Other classics include the uptempo 'Mutilation' (great opening riff, superb chorus), ‘Zombie Ritual’ (melodic intro, uptempo thrasher, great midpaced chorus) and ‘Baptized in Blood’ (changes pace a lot, second best chorus on the album). Also worth mentioning are ‘Denial Of Life’ which has a great chorus that has been stuck in my mind since I first heard it and ‘Torn to Pieces’ with its grooving verses followed by a speedy chorus and a great solo. After years of playing the vinyl I was glad I bought the CD version because it had to two extra tracks from which ‘Beyond the Unholy Grave’ instantly became one of my favorites. After a great opening riff the song erupts into brutal death metal thrashing. After a catchy midpaced bridge a really superb chorus is the finishing touch to an already classic song.
Yes, of course a few classic demosongs were not included on the album. I had rather seen ‘Archangel’ instead of ‘Sacrifical’ for instance. For that matter, Death has really got an album full of unreleased songs from their demoperiod and I agree that some songs on ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ could have been replaced by better material. As said ‘Sacrificial’ is one of the weaker track. The doomy intro riff is rather lame and the chorus is quite weak compared to the rest of the songs. Second song to be one of the weaker ones is ‘Regurgitated Guts’. The main riff of the verses is pretty dull and the chorus can hardly be called a decent chorus at all. The middle section of the song increases pace after 2:41 minutes in a good way and the solo is quite good but both aren’t enough to save the song.
By the way, Does anyone know what else John Hand has done musically besides appreaing on this album cover?
SCREAM BLOODY GORE!!! Everybody argues exactly where Death Metal came from. Some believe that it began with Possessed's Debut album Seven Churches. Other's believe that Death metal came into play when Death released their debut album Scream Bloody Gore. Also, others believe that both of these albums are merely just thrash metal with death elements. Others say that it is just a form of early death metal. I believe that this is just early death, and I also believe that this album is really what created Death Metal. After all, when this album was released, death metal came into place.
Since I can reckon that this is not really a "tr00" Death Metal album, or what Death Metal is today, I still believe that it is Death metal, but just an early form of it, and the very first actual Death Metal album. I enjoy or appreciate Death Metal, but I do not whole-heartidly favor it. At least not "Modern" Death Metal. My favorite form of death metal is the early form of it. Then again, when I got into metal, I took a different direction into the more vintage sounds/forms of metal, including Early Death Metal.
This is (as said before) to be compared to Possessed Seven Churches. Though when listening to this album, Death does have Possessed influences including the brutality of Possessed, and more noticable, the vocals. What I think happend was Possessed released a Thrash Metal album with Death Metal influences while Death came along and smoothed it out and creating a more raw type sound to it which is without a doubt, an influential album.
Yes it is true that all the songs on the album sound alike, and it is very overrated (especially at first), but as it grows on you, you learn to love it. Since I am a fan of early death metal, this is my favorite CD that I have next to Wrath - Nothing To Fear, and Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings.
OVERALL: Do I reccommend this to metalheads? without a doubt. To Death Metal fans? Obviously, BUT do take into consideration that this is highly argued about to be a true death metal album or not. It is though however and without a doubt HIGHLY influential to Death Metal (if this is not a "tr00" death metal album) and I believe that without this album, Death Metal would not be where it is today. That is also one of the reasons why I give this album a SOLID 10 out of 10, regardless if it is overrated.
A 100 percentile rating. That is perfect, ladies and gentlemen. A 100% means there is not one flaw on this album, that means that there is not one mere second, or split second, of averageness, or imperfection. Every second of this album is sheer gory bliss. Scream Bloody Good is right. Death came into existance, thanks to Chuck Shuldiner (God bless him), in 1984. Although some claim that Possesed were, in fact, the first death metal band - I would beg to differ and say Death was the first brutal, pure death metal band. They had all the elements that death metal today has - deathlike riffs hammered out at a relentless pace, machine gun drumming, low, heavy bass and of course - the gutteral screams, grunts and screeches that sound as if a demon were cholking on his main course meal (a brain, of course). 'Scream Bloody Gore' is were everything began.
The fact that this is one of the first death metal albums ever, means that the genre has not fully developed yet, and influences from other genres of metal can be heard. Although it is quite developed, you do hear some thrash-tinged death licks in here, but nothing that would consider this thrash-death, or even thrash tinged death. It's only a few riffs that have a thrashy feel to them. The drums are relentless in their uncompromising pace, and sound almost like a horse galloping. One great thing about the drums on this album is that they aren't to tight, like most death metal drumming is today. It's very loose sounding, but extremley, extremley fast. Chuck Shuldiner was short a bassist, so along with lead guitars and vocals, he recorded the bass tracks as well. And he didn't cut back, either. The bass is well heard on this album, and very present. Great to know, since they didn't have a bassist - this only once again proves Shuldiners passion.
All of the tracks on this album shine. They are all slabs of pure death brutality and gory lyrics. But there are some tracks that absolutley shine, and two I would consider among the best death metal tunes ever. You have 'Infernal Death', with it's over the top riffage and Chuck Shuldiner's classic screeches. 'Zombie Ritual' has a harmonized Egyptian sounding riff, then bursts into death metal madness, with a catchy chorus and smoking solo. 'Mutilation' has an awesome main riff, is very catchy (especially when Chuck scream mutilation), and has once again, an awesome solo to boot. 'Denial of Life' is a multi tempo death number, but is a gory shred fest non the less. 'Evil Dead' has some of the coolest riff work ever, and definetly has the best intro of any metal song ever recorded. Which makes it the best song on the album. But honestly, all the tracks shine, respectfully, in their own right.
And with this album, Chuck Shuldiner and Co. create a whole new genre of metal, and a legacy. Death will go own to make more totally awesome and killer albums, such as 'Leprosy', 'Human' and many, many others - but this is the cream of the crop. This is Death at the most brutal, goriest, brilliant best.
If you consider yourself a metalhead, and don't own this album, you'r a joke.
What can I say? Death is the eptiome of the death metal genre. You would think their first album sounds sloppy and messed up, right? Well first off, this is Death's rawest album out of all of their albums. Their first full-length album is fucking killer. In my opinion, I think all death metal bands should have the production of this album. It has to sound have that rough and raw sound. The reverb on the album is really good. I love albums that use too much reverb. Many people may hate reverb, but I happen to love it very much. Too bad very few death metal or any band for that matter uses reverb. Reverb makes metal sound more heavier.
This has a lot of elements of thrash in it. Yes, death metal was spawned from thrash, so there are thrash metal influences found on here. I think after Slayer's Reign In Blood came out, it influenced a countless number of death metal bands, including Death. It is evident that Death was influenced by the infamous Slayer album. The songs are pretty damn fast and furious.
This was made before the spirtual lyrics were ever written for Death. This features some really gruesome and disgusting lyrics. It's all about gore, death, and violence. Chuck Schuldiner was called evil at some point in his career. Just read the lyrics for Evil Dead and Scream Bloody Gore. Those are some pretty evil lyrics. He was 19 going on 20 when this album was recorded. You can listen to his vocals on demos before this album and compare his vocals on SBG. He projects his voice better and it looks like he found himself vocally. He sounds similar to the dude who was in Possessed.
The guitars on here are really awesome. All of the riffs on this album rock. I really love the riffs on Infernal Death, Mutilation, and Scream Bloody Gore. Zombie Ritual has the most memorable riff. The opening riff kind of sounds Egyptian. Some of the other riffs sound similar on a couple of songs, but I can tell them all a part. There are a few melodic riffs in there too, but not that many.
Chuck is a good rhythm and lead guitarist. Although some of the solos sound pretty sketchy, I think it sounds fantastic. The solo for Mutilation is very good. This is the only album that has Chuck doing bass duties. He does a good job handling the bass parts on SBG. Chuck was even a talented guitarist during the SBG days, that's why he also did bass. He's no world renowned bassist, he just gets it done right. If you're a guitarist, then naturally I think you can do bass really well.
Chris Reifert is a brutal drummer. He does many of the same beats on several songs on SBG. He may not be the world's best metal drummer, but he can really make the drums sound brutal. He's a simple death metal drummer, I like that. Besides Chuck, it would of been cool if he was a permanent member of Death. He could of expanded his horizons if he stayed in Death. He's without a doubt one of my favorite Death drummers.
I can't really say for sure that it's the first true death metal album, but it is one of the first ones. This should be in every true death metalhead's collection. You don't know what you're missing if you don't own this. From the second I saw the album cover, I knew it was going to sound really vicious.
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 fuck 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.
This is where it all began. In 1987, Scream Bloody Gore was released. At the time many Death demos had been heard and this release was long-awaited to say the least. The production is minimal and there aren't too many fringes here, but this is one of the very first death metal albums ever released and influenced and inummerable amount of bands...and still continues to do so. The songs are all at lightning-speed tempos, and relentlessly heavy. Chuck Schuldiner's inhuman vocals are extremely deep, rough and...for the most part indecipherable...a vocal style that would influence countless bands. You'll be hard pressed to find melody here except for in a few of the short solo's. Chuck Schuldiner would end up to become one of the most technical and complex guitarists in extreme metal history, but at this point he was not quite the guitarist he would end up being...though it's obvious he was very original and had a very, very clear vision. Vision is the most important thing as musician and Chuck Schuldiner was oozing it. The lyrics are pretty much based on B-rate horror films...which I love so it kicks ass! With song titles like "Regurgitated Guts" and "Evil Dead" you can also expect some pretty gruesome and gory lyrics...and there is no shortage of that. Some lyrics on this album are similar to the kind of lyrics Cannibal Corpse would end up writing some years after this release. Take note that althought it says John Hand plays rhythm guitar on this album...this is not true. He joined the band shortly after this album was recorded and showed up on the record sleeve...however, Chuck dismissed him before so much as one gig. So officially, John Hand never played a single not with Death...live nor in the studio. Chuck Schuldiner does both guitars, bass and vocals! He's incredible. The only duty he didn't pick up was the drums. The re-released version contans two bonus tracks which are Land Of No Return and Beyond The Unholy Grave which were supposed to originally appear on the album, but were cut. If you order from here, you will get this version. I would say the stand out tracks here are Zombie Ritual (played at just about every live Death performance...ever), Evil Dead and Infernal Death. The whole album will have you flipping out and headbanging though...with a doubt. In closing, this is the start of the legacy of Chuck Schuldiner and Death. This genius would on to write the most meaningful, complex, technical and inspiring masterpieces ever in ulta-hard music. This album is very different than later releases such as Individual Thought Patterns and The Sound Of Perseverance, but you can definitely sense the musical mastermind Chuck Schuldiner would become listening to this album. God bless you, Chuck Schuldiner...you will never be forgotten. We love you...LET THE METAL FLOW!
Raw, unrepentent and unforgiving... and I can listen to it? In my search for rich and complex metal, Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" fails to fulfill many of my requirements, but somehow it impresses. It is a bludgeoning, nihilistic ride to Hell for certain, but one that really needed time to seep into my mind. No longer can this album be impressive on account of its extremity, which has been far surpassed. But it does have an infuriating energy and attitude, from the frantic "Infernal Death" through the infectiously catchy "Zombie Ritual" to its firey conclusion at the title track. Song structures are simplistic and generic, in the vein of early black metal bands like Venom, but provide enough riff changes to hold things together well. It's not all out speeding brutality with the occasional slower passage here and there, with hints of almost groove like catchiness abound. The musicmanship itself is very much full of life and enthusiasm, and shows promise, but not to the extent of predicting just how much Chuck Schuldiner would further himself as a musician (part of the beauty of listening to Death evolve). We also have here Chuck's vocals at their most frighteningly intense. The album as a whole is pleasingly dark, from the dank, murky cover artwork, to the nihilistic and gore ridden lyrical themes that would pervade the genre of death metal within the next couple of years. If you are new to death metal, this would be a very good place to begin your journey, but if you only want the most essential works, start at the "Human" album.
Death had been happily plugging away down in Florida since about 1984, and this album features 12 of the songs they had written to that point. The total number of songs they had is unknown, but it is at least 30 - some appeared on the numerous demos Death had put out (six, I believe, before Scream Bloody Gore was released, including two under the Mantas name), and also rehearsals and live bootlegs.
Most of those songs were brilliant slabs of brutality: awesome primordial death-thrash spawned from Slayer and Venom and Possessed and Slaughter, with the Chuck Schuldiner edge - and the songs here are a pretty good reflection of the old days, but not entirely perfect. There are some songs that could have been on here, and been given the decent production they deserve (most of the demos actually were decently produced, the problem lies more in their being hideously generated by the time you or I got to hear them!). Some of the stuff made it to the next album, Leprosy, but in general a lot never made it anywhere, as Chuck's songwriting styles changed and he decided to use newer material.
So pretty much, this can be viewed as a silly "best of" album: "Death: the demo years. Greatest hits. Or, a random selection, as the case may be." It's definitely worth getting, because it is a highly influential bit of death metal, but it should not be the end of your search, just the beginning - the old demos are worth hunting down, because there are quite a few gems there that are not found here. "Archangel" comes to mind... it's on one of the '85 demos, but I forget which.
Oh and what review of Scream Bloody Gore is complete without a tribute to one of the catchiest songs ever... ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!! ZOMBIE!!! RITUAL!!!