Review Summary: Death was a great band before being known as "Death", this original demo is a must listen for any fan!
Death, we all face it, some fear it, but metal heads around the world can tell you how much they love the band. When you hear the term "Death Metal", you have to think of the band Death and of the insane vocals and guitar riffs of Chuck Schuldiner. His vocals would grab anyone listening in and screams a "F**K YOU" right in your face, many enjoyed it, others didn't. It was a very sad day when Chuck passed, metal fans were shocked all over the globe. Even though Death has been long gone, their chaotic songs and album releases will be known through the ages.
Before Death became.....Death, they went under the name "Mantas", releasing three rehearsal tapes along with a live tape. By 1984, Mantas became known as "Death"....their result, 1984's "Death By Metal". This was their first album released under their new name. The original album was released with 5 songs which were titled, "Legions of Doom, Mantas, Death by Metal, Evil Dead "(live version) and "Power of Darkness" that was added later, that was released September 7th. By October of 1984 Chuck had lost the tapes to the original demo, causing them to release a re-recording of the same album with just two songs, "Evil Dead" and "Power of Darkness".
Any fan of Death can tell you the chaos they deliver and the hatred of their lyrics. Death by Metal is a very heavy, very fast album with a lot of Thrash elements. With two guitars by Chuck Schuldiner and Rick Rozz, every demo is full of heavy riffs and shredding solos over the rhythm. Chuck's vocals really kill this album, his screams can be heard over everything. Every song starts straight into heavy guitar and after a riff is a drum fill by Kam Lee. DBM has a different sound, because it's underground with cheap recording, it sounds more like an old Slayer record but, adding Chuck just makes it so much heavier.
The original album comes on a casset tape, I have not heard anything about it being released on cd. The cover of the tape is pure black, I mean BLACK...(take that Spinal Tap), with a white inverted cross, skulls laying on the bottom and the Death logo with Death by Metal written on the side. On the inside, a picture of the band with looks what to be a song list, hand-written by the band. The demos on here are great, any Death fan must listen. They stick it to those new bands starting as a "new band, we'll be the best some day" and prove it's about the music and not fame.
Death by Metal is very short, five songs consisting of about three minutes in each brings the total time to about thirteen minutes. Every recording is done straight through, no stops or dubs...just raw, underground recordings. It is something to check out and to follow as they first started out. How great the album is there are some cons along with pros. Pros being, these are all unheard demos, it shows how a band can work with just a recorder and a live version of "Evil Dead" was added on the demo. The cons being, it was released before they were well known, the demos are very rough, vocals are hard to hear at times due to multiple volume changes and because they recorded this demo more than once, it's hard to find all the songs.
Despite the cons, I would recommend this tape to Death, or metal fans. All songs can be found on Youtube.com under "Mantas"
-Death by Metal
-Legions of Doom