Review Summary: Massively overshadowed by the albums that would follow it, this is a solid dose of death metal with a heavy thrash influence, but nothing more.
Death's Scream Bloody Gore stands out as one of the most important releases in the metal world of the 1980's, widely being hailed as the true birth of death metal, strongly building upon the foundations laid down by Possessed, Kreator and Dark Angel. The raw, brash sounds of this album perfectly echo the torture of the victims of the slasher flicks the lyrics are hugely inspired by, creating a solid wall of heavy, fast paced music that serves as the debut for one of the finest extreme metal bands ever to have existed. Everything about this album pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in society during its day, but is not one that has aged all too well, and appears to be an album that one would have had to being alive around its release to really get a measure of the significance of the album.
What Was Good About Scream Bloody Gore
The guitar work for starters is really well done. Whilst not being as accomplished as the perfection found on The Sound Of Perseverance or Symbolic, the riffs here are still of an extremely high caliber, with Chuck showcasing his rawest and most purely speed-based collection that he ever wrote here. The riffs to Zombie Ritual and Torn To Pieces are some of the better ones on here, with Zombie Ritual also standing out as the best song here and rightly considered one of their best releases. The lyrics, whilst not being as good nor as insightful as Chuck would go on to write are of a high standard, being very gore horror movie inspired and are sickening enough, although not going to the extremities that bands such as Cannibal Corpse would later go to. Chuck's vocals are powerful enough, being the first real death growl that the music industry had ever heard, pushing the boundaries of extreme thrash even further and sounding extremely well done.
What Wasn't So Good About Scream Bloody Gore
Whilst nothing about this album is terrible per se there is a lot that is not quite as good as the album's legacy would indicate. For starters the drumming is an issue that really needed addressing, and something that would not really be improved upon until Spiritual Healing. On here it is primarily the standard thrash beat, showing off the band's that influenced this album very heavily. Also, some songs are not quite as good as others with some of the riffs to Baptized In Blood clearly showing that the band was not quite as accomplished as they would later be. The album overall feels a lot more primitive and half-formed than their other releases, and Leprosy shows this up in every single area, with this album just being too clearly speed oriented for the genius song writing of later releases to seep through.
This album, overall, is a great release that is too significant to just ignore. However, for those going into this expecting an album to the same degree of brilliance as Human, Symbolic or the other two of their final four releases, expect to be disappointed. The band still had a few creases that needed ironing out, and Leprosy would show how much improvement could be made over such a short space of time.