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MacabreEternal

Death - The Sound Of Perseverance

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Albums grow on you for different reasons.  As an avid fan of most of Death's earlier releases I didn't find the same levels of entertainment in much of anything after Spiritual Healing.  Whilst I could more than see the talent and skill involved in the direction that Chuck was taking Death's sound, progressive elements of metal have only recently become of interest to me - over the last 12 months say - so for a number of years the majority of the bands later releases gathered some dust on my shelves.  I now find myself oddly in the reverse mindset where I prefer the later output to the initial three releases.  For me The Sound of Perseverance is the crowning glory in this more progressive style of death metal, largely because the whole thing just feels so natural and effortless.

Oddly for a death metal, there are lots of feel good vibes for me on this record.  The chords sound more open but the riffs are just as cutting as you would expect from one of the founding fathers of death metal.  Whilst obvious, the time changes are not intrusive and feel clean and polished.  Again these are traits i would not attribute to me gleaning enjoyment from in terms of my more extreme tastes but they work so well with the confidence and aptitude of Schuldiner, Hamm, Clendenin and Christy.

Death - The Sound of Perseverance

The band sound like they enjoyed making the record, such is the warm feel to proceedings.  They almost tease the listener during Story To Tell, with their stop/start playing leaving you wondering if the track is over or whether another time change is due.  There's an accessibility to proceedings that is reminiscent of almost rock music proportions, only Chuck's grim vocals and the chugging riff passages keep you of the understanding this is still a death metal record at its core.  The creepy atmospheric bass and guitar interlude during Flesh and The Power it Holds also adds the necessary levels of menace you'd expect.

In terms of criticisms I have two.  Firstly, the cover of Priest's Painkiller is both out of place in the greater context of the album and also not a very good cover either.  Secondly, the album is a tad too long with the cover on here.  In terms of flow it is all mapped out superbly as an album but it just falls at the end unfortunately.

4.5/5

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This one's a longtime favorite of mine, and Death's later stuff (Human onward) has always held the most appeal for me out of their discography. I find the songwriting to be less focused on TSOP than the previous albums, but the abstract and occasionally disjointed nature of it doesn't come off as a flaw to my ears - as you say, they have both the precision and the energy to pull it off. It gives the whole thing a bit of an epic quality. The album is also Chuck's best vocal performance IMO. Glad you're enjoying it.

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