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Infernal madness. - 86%

hells_unicorn, December 26th, 2011

Chuck Schuldiner's mad excursions into the realm of darkness and gore brought forth some rather wild creations in 1984, but by 1985 it was clear the ante was being upped, particularly when accounting for the emergence of a newer, nastier thrash metal style coming about in Germany and the first full length death metal release in "Seven Churches". Some might assume it criminal that it took a label another 2 years to give Death its shot at a professional recording job, but even on their own they were a massive force to be reckoned with, especially when accounting for the fit of blazing fury that is "Infernal Death".

The best analogy that could be made between where this demo stands in contrast to that of "Reign Of Terror" is that of "Night Of The Living Dead" versus "Dawn Of The Dead". Both have extravagant elements of horror and intrigue, but the latter has a much more developed and stylized character to it that's a bit easier to grab onto. While the principle influence here is still based in the thrash metal genre, the speed and chaos factor has increased, and along with it the dynamic elements of the vocals at the helm. Chuck goes through a frenetic array of deed grunts and high pitched screams that are reminiscent of a dialogue between an enraged ghoul and his victim, while the music channels the picture of zombies sprinting, a more recent phenomenon of latter day zombie movies that was unheard of during the film genre's beginnings.

The first two songs on here will ring familiar to anyone who has already experienced "Scream Bloody Gore", and apart from a slightly higher pitched vocal job and a bit more fuzz in the production, both bring about that same creepy doom intro leading into a crazed thrashing frenzy. But the lone exclusive song that didn't make onto further releases in "Archangel" is the real highlight, featuring a very technical mix of guitar and bass lines that is a bit closer to what was being played with during Death's transitional album "Spiritual Healing", but interpreted through the darkened mysticism of mid 80s death metal rather than the progressive tendencies of said album. It actually proves to be even more chaotic than the other two once it gets going, and is arguably a cut above anything that Possessed ever put together.

This is definitely among the more accessible offerings of Death's demo era, and an absolute keeper for any rabid fan of Possessed or pre-"Altars Of Madness" era Morbid Angel. It sits on a fairly comfortable niche between two styles that began all but joined at the hip, but with the coming of the later 80s onslaught of hardcore infused outfits like Napalm Death and Carcass, would be severed and given time to grow and mature on their own. Or to put it more plainly, this is death metal for thrash metal fans.

Oh this is special! - 83%

MorbidAtheist666, June 21st, 2004

This Death demo definitely has a really raw sound to it. This is the only Death demo I've listened to so far. Infernal Death is the only Death demo I have found so far and I like it. Yeah, the production maybe shitty, but what do you expect? I expected this to be better, but I'm satisfied with what's on it. This is still a really heavy demo.

On the songs Infernal Death and Baptized in Blood, they sound really good. I'm glad Chuck made them sound better on Scream Bloody Gore. It's interesting to listen to what those two songs sounded like before Scream Bloody Gore. The two songs don't sound as brutal as they do on Scream Bloody Gore. They sound somewhat light compared to what's on Death's debut album.

Kam Lee's vocals are OK. I'm not too crazy about them. They sort of sound annoying for a while when you listen to this demo. The vocals could of been a lot better on this demo.

I really like the guitar sound in it. Chuck Schuldiner does an awesome job with the guitar. It may not be the best sounding guitar sound in the world, but I happen to like it a lot. I really love the beginning solo of Archangel. The song also features a lot of cool riffs as well. It's a shame that this song didn't appear on Scream Bloody Gore or other Death releases.

As for the drumming, I like it a lot as well. It sounds OK, like the vocals. The drumming is fast and brutal. I really think he could of put more effort into the drumming to make this demo really sound excellent. The drums drown out the guitar on this demo recording, but that's OK. It's just a demo. Demos aren't really supposed to sound perfect.

If you're a diehard fan of Death, check out this demo. It is worth listening to. If you want to hear what the songs Infernal Death and Baptized in Blood sound like before SBG, find this demo right away!

Nothing special - 47%

stickyshooZ, June 21st, 2004

Well, this certainly is a very raw and heavy hitting demo. The production is piss poor and the drums often dominate the music with annoyingly loud blast beats. The drumming is simplistic, but fairly fast for it's time. Actually, whom am I kidding? The drumming gives me a fucking headache, because the snare is much too loud and often (like I said before) dominates the overall sound.

The guitar sound, as well as the playing, is top notch. A passionate performance is to be expected from Chuck Schuldiner, who would come to be one of the most inspirational figures in death metal. Chuck's guitar is very distorted, crunchy and fairly muddy, but it gets the job done. The solos stand out a lot, even with the overbearing and headache inducing drums. I can't tell if there is a bass guitar at work, because the drumming dominates everything!

Being with the frizzy guitar doesn't exactly help. If there is a bass, it’s damn nearing impossible to hear it. Kam Lee's vocals are more of a grunt accompanied by the occasional growl when he's just singing normally, but at times he will do a brutal and blood curdling scream...which is the only highlight when it comes to his vocals. Really, the whole line up should have just been Chuck, as I think Kam Lee is rather worthless on this demo. The lyrics for the songs that appear on Scream Bloody Gore are different...not as cool as the SBG version, but I don’t really care about that too much.

Arch Angel doesn't appear on any future work, which is a bit disappointing. Even on a shitty demo like this, it sounds like it could have been promising if Chuck had polished it up a bit. Overall, the demo is worth hearing...but it's nothing to go ape shit over. However, I wasn't really expecting a lot to begin with. I am guessing that it's very rare in the present, but it's not worth looking for unless you are an extreme hardcore fan, or a collector.

Baptism of blood and fire - 99%

toofargone, April 9th, 2004

Death’s role as a pioneering metal band can’t be noted enough. Any early work by Death is no less holy to death metal than the Holy Grail is to the Church, and while death metal didn’t originate from Death’s “Infernal Death” demo (that honour belongs to Possessed and their early recordings, “Death Metal” and “Seven Churches”, which were heavily influenced by Hellhammer), it did inspire and spawn the creation of more death metal bands.
Epitomising adolescent horror, Death shocked with their inspired 1985 “Infernal Death” demo, a product of “Evil” Chuck Schuldiner’s B.C. Rich and Kam Lee’s outrageous for the time, screeching vocals.
Featuring sludgy riffs over thrashing drum beats, rolls and crashes, hatred filled satanic lyrics and screaming vocals that sounded like someone was being tortured, Death’s unique dark, moody and above all extremely heavy music worked wonders as they became legends of the underground tape trading scene.
From Lee’s sick screams of “Die! Die! Die!” at the beginning of “Infernal Death”, to the chaotic solo and furious speed of the legendary “Baptised In Blood”, to the bludgeoning riffs, beats and killer vocals of “Arch Angel”, Death were creating something unique that would result in the development of a metal genre that would raise the bar for extreme music.
Sure, the production and sound's shit, and Chuck seem to be too fast for Lee's drumming capabilities, but at time when this type of extremity was rare and both members teenagers, it'd be downright wrong to punish this demo on those stupid accounts.
So, to give this a score less than 99 is blasphemy, and punishable with eternal life in heaven. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?

Chuck Schuldiner, R.I.P.

Satan with acne problems - 52%

skolnick, February 15th, 2003

Oh...everything in this demo is just absolutely fantastic, except for, the production, the sound, the lack of mixture between the guitar and drums, the vocals, the cover...etc...
But, one thing does not suck...the songs are still infernal and those were the first Death songs, (a little bit after they changed their name from Mantas) that would enter in their debut years later...

Well...it's a demo, and it's too fucking short, but hey, it's DEATH, the only metal band capable of recording more than 12 demos without releasing an album (this deserved a Guinness book record!!!!)!!! So...there's really not much to say about it...

The line up had only Chuck "in middle puberty wanking maniac Satan worshiper" Schuldiner on voice and guitar, and another guy named Lee playing the drums. Well if you are used to listen to Chuck's vocals in albums like "Leprosy" and "Scream Bloody Gore", forget it...this is "got laid for the first time yesterday", aprox 17 years old Chuck Schuldiner... Imagine this little kid trying to imitate Satan speaking himself, multiply it by 10, and you'll have an idea of what Chuck was about...But, and for most incredible it may seems, he still managed to sound diabolic and evil.

The guitars are always one step in time in front of the drums, sounding like the drummer had difficulty in reach Chuck's speed...It's a very thin guitar sound and those drums must have been played only with a snare drum, a bass drum and two cymbals...

The songs here are:

"Infernal Death": Not bad at all, taking in consideration that the true death metal should sound like this, it's not that bad. Chuck sings ok, and plays in a competent role, but accelerating a little bit, eventually killing the drum sound...

"Baptized in Blood": A somewhat of a butcher...In this one Chuck goes at light speed, while the drummer goes at "sitting in a camel crossing the Sahara desert in the middle of day" speed. My god...only those precious riffs save it...

"Archangel": Fantastic and catchy riffs, but not managing to be in a higher level than the previous two...

This is a good item to get for Death fans...but this quality is awful, and sometimes even painful for your soul...you'll be luckier downloading it than trying to buy it...