Death
Symbolic


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (109 Reviews)
September 21st, 2012 | 1289 replies | 27,322 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An absolute f*cking pillar in the world of metal.

When done right, metal is more than just music, it’s a work of art. This is exactly how I feel about Death’s most consistent release, “Symbolic”. It’s certainly a pinnacle for the band, as well as the genre. The album's stellar production also makes the effort accessible for any metal head, whether they’ve heard death metal or not. Unfortunately, Death would only release one more album after this due to vocalist Chuck Schuldiner losing a battle with cancer in 2001. As tragic as it is, Schuldiner accomplished more in his time on earth than any metal musician could ever hope for.

“Symbolic” is so perfectly executed it’s nearly impossible to pick out the best songs. It opens with the impressive title track and Chuck’s vocals sound better than ever before. His voice is still harsh, but has a much crisper sound than before. My personal favorite song, ‘Sacred Serenity’ manages to be thrashy, infectious, and beautiful all at the same time. One reason every song is so great is due to balance. Not once throughout the 9 tracks does the album feel redundant, and each song blends together perfectly. Another reason is musicianship. Schuldiner lays down some of the most memorable riffs I’ve ever heard, but even the bass manages to stand out. Finally, “Symbolic” is a classic because of the experimentation on the record. Not that there’s an extreme amount of it but there’s just enough to keep the album sounding fresh. ‘Perennial Quest’ is a perfect example of the band retaining their signature sound, but also showing signs of progression.

If I have a complaint about this album, it’s that there are only nine songs. Then again, within those nine tracks are the most exciting vocals and guitar riffs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. We may have lost Chuck, but his legacy certainly lives on through albums like “Symbolic”; a true pillar for the genre and a shining example of how to craft the perfect metal record.



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user ratings (2422)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Brendan Schroer (3.5)
    A very solid metal release that serves as a fine penultimate chapter in Death's discograph...

    LaughingSkull (3)
    Crosses the line between complexity and pretentiousness...

    askingalexandriasuck (5)
    Chuck Schuldiner's swansong, a magnificent album loaded with great riffing and awesome son...

    necroscope86 (5)
    On "Symbolic" Death arguably hit their creative peak, with frequently changing tempos and ...

  • ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (5)
    Magic. Utter Magic....

    Andy H. B. (5)
    Death's Symbolic is one of the the crown jewels of all of death metal, combining the perfe...

    Steven Moore (4.5)
    Symbolic redefines the death metal genre, adding in proggressive elements making up a fant...

    Kit Brown (4)
    Yet another reason why Death's "Final Four" is probably the best stretch of death metal al...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shuyin
September 21st 2012


11602 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

m/

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

CaptainDooRight
September 21st 2012


29098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoa



Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

CaptainDooRight
September 21st 2012


29098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i pos'd



Shuyin
September 21st 2012


11602 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

one of the best death metal albums ever, no discussion there

RIP Chuck

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Not my best review, but just wanted to get this out there especially after the abomination of a reviw it received earlier.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

CaptainDooRight
September 21st 2012


29098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Abusing a portion of liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight


ViperAces
September 21st 2012


12428 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review, short and to the point.

KjSwantko
September 21st 2012


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Album thrashes vagina

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys.

I could spend weeks and weeks on this review trying to make it better, but it still won't do justice to Chuck and such a classic metal album. m/

KjSwantko
September 21st 2012


9277 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

RIP

KILL
September 21st 2012


71743 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cool

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I usually don't review more than one album a week.

But I have a review for 09/19, 09/20, and 09/21, lol. Hope you guys aren't getting sick of me ;)

ViralOblivion
September 21st 2012


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review man pos

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man. I'm surprised this doesn't have a neg yet cause I wrote it so fast.

You planning on writing any reviews viral?

evilford
September 21st 2012


22544 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Awesome review dude pos'd

Digging: Thormenthor - Abstract Divinity

Motiv3
September 21st 2012


8932 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

absolutely brilliant review.

Digging: Punch - They Don?t Have To Believe

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Ford/Motive, damn thanks guys glad you liked it.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


21041 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

didnt read but its a symbolic 5 review so pos

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

mindleviticus
September 21st 2012


8229 Comments


FUCK im going to postpone everything and listen to this

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 21st 2012


19740 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@mindleviticus, you never heard it?



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