Review Summary: They ditch the lyrics about Bloody Gore, and move more towards their own Individual Thought Patterns
After a somewhat overrated start with Scream Bloody Gore, Death had already taken things up a notch with Leprosy, spawning the legendary Pull The Plug. After this, they really had a mission on their hands to improve some more, and so they make their attempt on Spiritual Healing. This is often considered to be the weakest Death album, and i really can not see for the life of me why anyone would say this.
Kicking things right off with the riff storm that is Living Monstrosity, we are reminded once more that Chuck Schuldiner is a master of the guitar, playing some fantastic riffs, and in come his trademark aggressive vocals. The real talking point for this song would be the infamous "she's a stupid bitch!" line that is sprayed out with utter hate towards the end of the song. An absolutely incredible song.
Next, we move into a rather slow, haunting intro to Altering The Future, showcasing the newfound studio effects on Chuck's voice with the fade-in to the vocals. This deals with an abortion, which marks a clear shift away from their sacrificial gore lyrics on the previous two albums, but it is not handled in a gay way. In fact, Chuck shows raw hatred on this song.
This leads into a point about this album. Death did not change their style to suit their change in lyrics. No, Death did not think "right, we are talking about abortion, we are gonna go ***ing soft". Did they ***! They instead went for the aggression that made them famous in the first place.
My favourite track from this album overall would probably be the title track. It opens with a nice riff, before breaking off into a much slower section. Soon, it speeds up a little, before it heads into full-speed ahead, heavy as ***, pure ***ing... well... Death. Death are an entity of their own, they need not use mere mortal words to be described. All the prayers in the world can't help you now, indeed!
The finest intro of the album comes on final track Killing Spree. This has some fantastic ascending and descending runs, before leading straight into one very pissed off Chuck Schuldiner. The slower riffs on this song are also some of the better ones on the album. However, the best part of this song is the echoing vocals at places. It is hard to hear, but if you listen it is there, and it makes this song all the better.
Now, i am by no means a die-hard Death fanboy, who proclaims all their stuff to be fantastic. In fact, i really have never had any love for Scream Bloody Gore or Individual Thought Patterns. However, this album is a magnificent one that, whilst not coming close to Human or The Sound Of Perseverance, it does a damn good job, and makes for a great listen every once in a while.