Death
Scream Bloody Gore


4.5
superb

Review

by Bartender EMERITUS
January 16th, 2005 | 809 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


Released 1987 on Combat/Under One Flag.
Re-released 1999 on Century Media, with 4 bonus tracks (Beyond the Unholy Grave, Land of No Return, and live versions of Open Casket and Choke On It).

Death is Chuck Schuldiner. Chuck Schuldiner is Death. Apologies for the tautologies, but the point needs to be made; whenever Chuck rounded up a new incarnation of Death to embark on an album, even the veritable technical metal dream team of Reinert, Masvidal and DiGiorgio, he was always the centre-point, the driving force of the band.

Chuck started Death in 1983 (under the name Mantas, changing to Death in '84), with the avowed intent of making music that was faster and heavier than ever before. Although he would later realise that such a credo was flawed (as it so restricted what he could do with his music - witness the creativity and progressive nature of later Death albums such as Human), much of Death's early material, including their multitude of demo and live tapes and this, was still written with it in mind.

Scream Bloody Gore isn't quite an all-ahead assault of speed, but it also isn't at all refined; it's primitive nature is easily apparent. It's without doubt a great album, but why? The riffs, while nowhere near bad, are fairly simplistic, the lyrics aren't really much of a cut above an "average" death metal band's (except that combined with Schuldiner's delivery they can be damn catchy), and to be honest, considering the leaps and bounds death metal has taken, with bands such as Cryptopsy, Gorguts and Lykathea Aflame, in the 17 years since it's release, even it's brutality now seems not so brutal. And yet it's a great album.

The problem here seems to be (at least it was for me) the same as it was when I first heard Kind of Blue; perspective, hindsight. When I first heard the beginning of So What, the piano leading into the bass line, I honestly thought it was nothing special - it sounded like any other random jazz I'd heard throughout my life. After a few days of listening to it, though, and catching myself wandering around humming and murmuring the basslines and horn solos, I came to realise why - that other random jazz I'd heard probably was Kind of Blue, or if not, then very heavily influenced by it, just because it was such an amazingly influential record.

Scream Bloody Gore suffers much the same problem - a modern listener hears, for example, the lyrics about zombies and blood rituals and thinks "pfft. Typical brutal death crap", when in fact, it's not following the convention at all - it's fucking well creating it. It's doing it first, writing history as it goes, so to speak, and there's something exciting about that in itself; it's also mostly doing it better than the slew of imitators who followed. Pestilence, for example, followed Death closely, and whilst Consuming Impulse is an excellent album (worthy of being a part of any serious death metal fan's collection), it still somewhat pales in comparison to early Death records (Scream Bloody Gore and what I've heard of Leprosy). Decapitated are still attempting to emulate them to this day, and yes, they're neatly technically proficient (and shockingly young), but they're also plainly boring; there's undeniably just a feeling you get listening to tracks like Sacrificial or Baptized in Blood that any amount of vanilla flavoured Decapitated-and-friends attempts can't give.

Quite apart from seniority and historical significance, it's a great album. In vocals, for one, Death win where many other bands fail - Chuck's only a young guy here, and he really gives it his all, screaming and yelling his heart out. The drumming is less simple that my initial description of the record's sound may have made it sound, and Reifert in himself is something of an underground legend, a part of many other bands, perhaps most notably Autopsy. The combination of early death metal, punk/thrash influenced riffs and a great vocal performance lead to tracks like Zombie Ritual being some of the catchiest death metal I've heard.

I'd personally say this is an essential purchase (or listen, at the very least, you evil, thieving internet people) for a death metal fan, or an extreme metal fan in general, and probably a good historical value disc for fans of music in general. Incidentally, the cover art's awesome. Four undead monks having a booze-up - classic.

Recommended track:
Take your pick, really; the album boils down to ten tracks of top-notch, kick-you-in-the-nuts death metal. Infernal Death, Zombie Ritual (which would be my two top picks) and Scream Bloody Gore are all good tracks to start off on. Evil Dead is, I think, the only song to have appeared on a demo tape prior to being recorded for this album, if that makes some difference for you.

4.5/5



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user ratings (1240)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
TableGuy (3.5)
Raw, evil, and fast, Scream Bloody Gore is a great album that primarily suffers from blatant repetit...

necroscope86 (5)
Death get just about everything right on their highly influential and fantastically written debut....

ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (3.5)
Massively overshadowed by the albums that would follow it, this is a solid dose of death metal with ...

Shachar Sagui (4.5)
Raw, fast and brutal, Death's debut is only the beautiful beginning of a perfect discography....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shadows
Moderator
November 15th 2004


2530 Comments


More excellent work. I'm assuming now that you did still want to do it, and i'm glad I didn't. This album really is amazing - but I don't think my version has those bonus tracks you speak of.

Maybe I'll at least be able to claim Symbolic some day.

EDIT: Alright, I understand now.

LordDargon
November 15th 2004


165 Comments


It's as it says - the site he's stolen the image from doesn't allow remote linking.

This album is really quite primitive, I think I prefer Seven Churches.

superpeer
November 15th 2004


257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great Review.

I have Leprosy and the sound of Perseverance. I prefer Leprosy out of those two, I've read that this is actually similar to Leprosy, only better. So, who knows? I might pick it up, someday.

Do you have the Original or Re-released version?

magicbus
November 15th 2004


12 Comments


That was a sweet review. I don't listen to much death metal, but I think I'll check this out. :thumb:

Dancin' Man
November 15th 2004


719 Comments


Great band and the songs I've heard off of this are great but this is possibly the worst album title ever.

Dark Hero
November 15th 2004


160 Comments


This is the only Death album I do not own so I must buy it but I can't find it anywhere. Great review also.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
November 15th 2004


106 Comments


Great review Bartender, this album owns.

LordDargon
November 15th 2004


165 Comments


[QUOTE=FastFingers]Great band and the songs I've heard off of this are great but this is possibly the worst album title ever.[/QUOTE]

I hope you're kidding, becuase the title is fu.cking CLASSIC.

Mekkalayakay
November 15th 2004


167 Comments


Death is one of those bands where even if there is just one Death album in the store, regardless of what it is, you can still pick it up because it will always be near flawless.

Bartender
Emeritus
November 15th 2004


826 Comments


[QUOTE=Superpeer]
Do you have the Original or Re-released version?[/QUOTE]

I've got the re-release, but I didn't bother reviewing the bonus tracks.

[QUOTE=Dark Hero]
This is the only Death album I do not own so I must buy it but I can't find it anywhere.[/QUOTE]

I bought mine from a Virgin megastore, if that helps.

[QUOTE=Dargon]
It's as it says - the site he's stolen the image from doesn't allow remote linking.

This album is really quite primitive, I think I prefer Seven Churches.[/QUOTE]

I haven't heard Seven Churches

Can no one else see the cover image?

manuscriptreplica
November 16th 2004


431 Comments


I can see it

Bartender
Emeritus
November 16th 2004


826 Comments


Alright then.

Tangy zizzle
November 16th 2004


253 Comments


Great review.

Not my favourite Death album. My rating = 3.8/5.

manuscriptreplica
November 16th 2004


431 Comments


Good review, Hoglan and Digiorgio owns Reinhart and Digiorgio :smoke:

Bartender
Emeritus
November 16th 2004


826 Comments


Debatable

Distorted Vision
November 16th 2004


184 Comments


But you can't beat the line up for Human, with Masdival as well as DiGiorgio.

superpeer
November 16th 2004


257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=Bartender]I've got the re-release, but I didn't bother reviewing the bonus tracks.

[/QUOTE]

Ah, so you have this whole 'Death-History' too? It's in the booklet of the re-released Leprosy too.

Stoic
November 16th 2004


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I own the whole death discography (official studio albums) and what I want to say is that the way this band has evolved is impressing. Each album is literally a step further. If you take one song off SBG and compare it with another off TSOP you'll end up thinking that we're talking about two completely different groups! In other words death are the best example of what we call "progressing without sucking".

I listen to SBG and wonder how the heck Chuck managed to completely change everything in a few years (Human). "When did it being? The change to come was undetectable"...I'm a huge fan of Death's late era but still I cannot overlook the importance of this album or fail to see that there's something genius glowing behind the simplistic but well structured riffage (still it doesnt justify the later progress)...

Your review is excellent although I expected a song by song review. I admire your writing ability

[QUOTE=BARTENDER] a modern listener hears, for example, the lyrics about zombies and blood rituals and thinks "pfft. Typical brutal death crap", when in fact, it's not following the convention at all - it's ****ing well creating it. [/QUOTE]

Well said! (along with seven churches of course)


DIEEEEEEEE, DIEEEEEEE, DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ...the intro (infernal death) is classic!

extreme_191
November 16th 2004


17 Comments


I only have Sound of Perserverance, but I'm now highly influenced to pick up whatever I come across. Excellant review!

I read Chuck died of brain cancer, I read it out of a mag that listed him as the 49th heaviest guitarist of all time, what a rip.

Anyways, can anyone suggest other Death bands with complex oriented guitar work? Thanks

manuscriptreplica
November 16th 2004


431 Comments


[QUOTE=MetalFan] In other words death are the best example of what we call "progressing without sucking". [/QUOTE]

Coroner?

RIP > Punishment for Decadence > No more Color > mental Vortex > Grin



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