Death - The Sound Of Perseverance
This is probably the most anticipated of all of Relapse's recent spate of classic reissues (they are also repackaging a couple of records by Stoner legends 16). "The Sound of Perseverance", the seventh and last record by Death, was released in 1996. This reissue offers that complete set, along with a slew of demos, artwork, and liner notes in a generous 2 disc set. A 3rd disc of unreleased material (mostly instrumental version of many of the songs on "Sounds") will be made available through iTunes and by mailorder through Relapse.
Given a fresh look, and with the benefit of some demos to allow entry into their production, many of these songs have a new power and depth to them; "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" leaps out at you as a reminder of its influence and durability as a classic black metal tune.
"Flesh and The Power It Holds," "Spirit Crusher," and, a personal favorite, "A Moment of Clarity" bristle with the guitar riffs of Shannon Hamm, which sometimes veer into 80s metal slickness but just as easily lose themselves in his signature chugging rhythms and icy quick solos.
Of the demos, "Bite the Pain" is actually better than the official release, while the eerie "Voice of the Soul" highlights a surprising melancholy. But don't expect bare-bones demos; most of these, even the seven (!?) of "A Moment of Clarity" are basically dry runs at the final versions rather than demos of songs slowly coming together. Still, this gives some insight into the band's creative process too, as ideas seem to have been worked out live before committing even the rough cuts to tape.
Death fans will flip over this massive reissue, and metal fans will enjoy the trip back in time when this black/sludge/crust/etc was all getting going. "The Sound of Perseverance" was in the midst of all the creative energy, a record that influenced and was influenced by the times.
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