Death
Symbolic


4.5
superb

Review

by Steven Moore USER (24 Reviews)
February 11th, 2007 | 37 replies | 7,050 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Symbolic redefines the death metal genre, adding in proggressive elements making up a fantastic album.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

“The journey begins with curiosity and evolves into soul-felt questions, on the stones that we walk and choose to make our path, sometimes never knowing, other times knowing too much.”

Death is a band often credited as being the fathers of death metal. Reasons for this are obvious, Death's debut Scream Bloody Gore is widely considered the pillar of death metal. For at the time the album was what made up death metal; harsh vocals, heavy instruments, and violent lyrics were all part of the death metal sound. Since Deaths' debut the band have changed quite a bit.

Symbolic is a great example of how different Death really is now as appose to how they were. Softer sections and thoughtful lyrics are littered all throughout Symbolic, without ever abandoning the elements that make them death metal. Yes Symbolic while having progressed still features heavy riffs, appeasing solos, fast drumming and Chucks signature vocals. Thus making this album appealing to the regular fans of death metal, and opening windows to even more listeners, who may not be well versed in death metal.

The album opens up with the title track “Symbolic” showing right away what the whole album is about in nearly one song. Song structure usually consists of a heavy opening riff and some great fast moments. Later transcending into a fantastic solo, which often makes the song. Examples of great solos include “Sacred Serenity”, “1000 Eyes” and “Symbolic. Although these songs are merely examples nearly every song has an impressive solo. All together Chuck is a fantastic guitarist and surely one of the best in the death metal genre.

One major notable feature in Symbolicis the occasional soft section throughout songs. An example of this is found in “Crystal Mountain” where the musicians incorporate segments with slower paced clean guitars. Other songs take an entire piece of the song and slow it down for the solo, these sections give off and almost Rush like feel, which certainly shows the more progressive side of Death.

Vocally Symbolic is without a doubt Deaths finest moment. Chucks voice is much more comprehendible, which in turn shows off his great lyrics more. As far as his voice sounds Chuck is surely one of the most unique vocalists in Death Metal. His voice is like a fusion of screaming and growling, making the music even more exclusive.

Like I mentioned earlier the albums lyrics surpass just about any in the metal genre. For instance “Guilty until proven innocent, we condemn your soul and fate, never mind the possibilities, too busy for logic or to calculate.” exhibit the political charge included in some of their songs. Symbolic is Deaths finest lyrical moment, being very consistent throughout the entire album.

As far as the two backbones of the band are concerned Kelly Conlon and Gene Hogland get the job done. Gene is a very fine drummer and shows his skills on the skins all throughout the album. The song “1000 Eyes” demonstrates some great fast beats and double bass. Kelly does a fine job with the bass although he is not as skilled as former bassists Steve DiGiorgio. Kelly has some very nice bass fills throughout Symbolic and shows a great intro in “Sacred Serenity”.

This album exhibits to me what death metal should be. Death metal is often given a bad name by bland and repetitive bands. A lot of peoples’ impression on death metal has been hindered by these bands, but if you are looking for a new outlook on death metal Symbolic is just what you need. Symbolic manages to be accessible without being commercial or bland by any means. If you are looking to get into death metal or just would like to expand your death metal collection Symbolic is a fantastic album to pick up.

What I liked about Symbolic
+Great Musicianship
+Innovative riffs and solos
+Vocals sound better and are easier to understand
+Enjoyable progressive elements
+Accessible but not commercial
+Intelligent and thought provoking lyrics

What I did not like about Symbolic
-Rhythm section did not show off enough
-Harsh vocals may turn some listeners away

“Filtering out the bad that holds us back... take hold of what is true to your hunger, a hunger that will not go away Plans for tomorrow, they will remain.”



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user ratings (2383)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Angmar
February 12th 2007



2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

RIP Chuck and i hope this turned out well.

Apocalyptic Raids
February 12th 2007



810 Comments


Overrated.

Blindguardian
February 12th 2007



186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its not tbh

Killtacular
February 12th 2007



1314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is very close to being my favourite album, drumwise, for a metal album. Hell, it might even be the top. The drum work of Hoglan is nothing short of genius in every single song. But I guess he didn't show off enough, as it is. Which gets to my point: he didn't have to.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 12th 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is actually one of my least favourite death albums. I still love it.

Det_Nosnip
February 12th 2007



374 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's easily their best IMO.

I'm confused about the "rhythm section didn't show off enough" bit. Why should it show off? That isn't the point of music. As far as Gene went, this album is pretty much his best work, and he went nuts on several tracks...I mean, come on! Zero Tolerance? Crystal Mountain? Freaking ridiculous.

Stoo
February 12th 2007



34 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic Album.

Thor
February 12th 2007



10169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Overall you nailed it, but there's a few grammar issues here and there. For example, you should include commas in certain sentences and "Deaths" should be "Death's". It's just small stuff like that which will make you look a whole lot better. I'd be happy to edit it for you if you send me a copy or something.

Otherwise good work. I rather like this album, especially the title track and Crystal Mountain.

Angmar
February 12th 2007



2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

agreed those are probubly the 2 best songs, and ill edit a couple things thanks.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Death were 2389324876975875xbetter in the late 80's/early 90's, but this is still a good album.This Message Edited On 02.12.07

Angmar
February 12th 2007



2689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They were never bad i just preffer thier later work.

FR33L0RD
February 12th 2007



1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing Death Metal Album
Extremely Technical

Tyler
Emeritus
February 12th 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Death were 2389324876975875xbetter in the late 80's/early 90's, but this is still a good album.


You're basically comparing two totally different groups. Other than Chuck, the line-ups were all different, and his vocal style (and guitar style) changed on an almost per-album basis. I love both eras, depending on my mood.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 12th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Of the three I've heard, this was my favourite from Death. Individual Thought Patterns comes close though.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 12th 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what's the other?

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 12th 2007



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Eh, Spiritual Healing. Didn't like that one too much.

ScelusNefas
February 12th 2007



274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Even if the line up changed constanly, Chuck always compose all the stuff.
I prefer their later stuff too.

JordanS
February 12th 2007



319 Comments


I just went back and read one of your older reviews, you improved a ton. Really solid review, this is likely my favorite Death CD. Feels like its their most progressive, and Without Judgement is just awesome.

Killtacular
February 16th 2007



1314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I hate anything Death before Human. It just sounds so generic compared to the rest of it.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 16th 2007



7928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

How the fuck can a sound they invented be generic?

Read this

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?albumid=1100



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