Review Summary: “That was a million years ago -- who cares?”
There was a sickness that flowed through every rotting tape deck of every young, gore-loving teen in the 80s. Death’s influence fast-spread through innumerable overdubbed cassettes of thrashing death metal demos. Deep under the blistering Florida weather, Evil Chuck wailed in beer-soaked resplendence. There’s an insatiable will within me to feel the power of extreme metal’s birth. I consume old b-horror films nightly in the sweaty Australian heat listening to the likes of Autopsy, Impetigo, Possessed and Death wanting to understand that fire, that burning and adrenaline-pumping fuel that flowed through the US and world-over, turning impressionable teens into harbingers of the most chaotic and putrid filth ever created.
After the dissolution of the Death’s original line-up, Chuck Schuldiner met with the only other mind on the planet that could bring his decaying vision to life: Chris Reifert. Looking at them now in photos, they were thin, pimple-faced bags of bones that had visions in their head of death, brutal riffs and the passion for horror and gore that created what is possibly the most essential death metal recording ever put to tape. Together, Schuldiner and Reifert brought Scream Bloody Gore
to the world, the embodiment of pure, unrelenting death metal fury.
Hearing Reifert’s drumming on this release, it’s easy to see how it went on to define the groove that felt so prevalent and palpably sickening in Autopsy, and became a staple of grind like Impetigo, Carcass, Repulsion, Blood and Terrorizer (that is, of course, as well as the legendary Mick Harris of Napalm Death). It’s easy to dream of a world where Death followed down a gorier, faster path with their music, but Scream Bloody Gore
was the closest we ever got, and its unshakable influence holds true to this day. Schuldiner’s penchant for technical soloing and dynamic riffs that flurried between lightning-fast fingering and deep, pummelling rhythmics were enough to turn your stomach in tandem with the vomitous bass tone that he sported on this record. Though this early on even, you could still hear that desire he felt for larger than life compositions, especially on closing title track where the songwriting shines as the blood-curdling screams of Chuck Schuldiner burnt their imprint in every listener’s mind to create one of the most defining moments in death metal history with its chorus.
Scream Bloody Gore
does for me what only a handful of albums or musicians could do, it takes me back, gives me the ability to feel
the essence of the place that it was birthed, fuelled and pumped out like a fever-dream that nauseates and creates that lust for death metal, that passion for illness and the affliction of true, rotting death. Underneath those hot Tampa streets, the catacombs filled with blood.