"Live in L.A.: Death & Raw" (Nuclear Blast; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

"Live In L.A." is solid evidence of what a great band Death really was. I knew of the band, of course, but this CD was my first concentrated exposure to their music. The band's energy and talent allowed them to do what they do best: rock like hell. 

There are no hidden agendas here; what you hear is what was went down. The CD's subtitle, "Death and Raw," says it all.

Alas, founding member and driving force of Death, Chuck Schuldiner, passed away, but other members of the band have dispersed throughout the metal community and the band's influence has touched untold numbers of up'n'coming rockers so the band is forever ingrained in the metal music.

"Live in L.A." has whet my appetite for more Death. I can't wait to hear more.

For more information, check out

"The Sound of Perseverance" (Nuclear Blast; 1998)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Chuck Schuldiner is considered by many to be father of death metal. With "The Sound Of Perseverance" Schuldiner and this latest incarnation of Death create a sonic blast of controlled chaos. Aside from a few tracks on compilation CDs that I have this was my first true introduction to Death. I like what I hear.

Death's dual guitar approach lends a great deal of flexibility in pushing the creative boundaries of the seemingly limited art form of death metal. However, Schuldiner and his cohorts are adept at crafting memorable riffs and songs. I particularly liked the fretboard gymnastics of "Bite The Pain" and the slow thrash, yet still avant garde grind of "Story To Tell." All the solos are played with dexterity and emotion - both Schuldiner and Hamm do a fantastic job creating wonderful lead lines that balance power and beauty.

Additionally, the drum tracks are very interesting. The drum tracks must have been recorded in a manner that allows for maximum flexibility in the recording process. The drum and percussion sounds cover a wide range of percussive tones - each new listen to the disc reveals subtleties in the drum tracks; it's obvious that a lot of thought and care went into the drum tracks.

I am not particularly enamored of Chuck's vocal style, but it is appropriate for the songs. However, the lyrics are phenomenal.  Schuldiner is very articulate in his expressions of anger, fear, hatred, loathing, and just about any other emotion that is a fair representation of being pissed off at somebody or something. But that's not all; there are traces of positive messages ("A Moment Of Clarity") that serve to allow the individual to be a pillar of strength rather than an external force as motivator - heavy stuff.

One of the things often said about Death is the fact that it is "trend-free metal"; I'd have to agree that Death is a throwback to the origins of death metal albeit with production values updated for the '90s and an unparalleled skill for songwriting. However, I have a bone to pick. Gentle reader, wouldn't you say that lately there is a trend for metal bands to do cover tunes? Death is no exception; Death cover the almighty Judas Priest's "Painkiller" to cap off this very good disc. 

"The Sound Of Perseverance" was produced by the legendary Jim Morris and the indomitable Chuck Schuldiner. 

Death: Chuck Schuldiner on guitar and vocals, Richard Christy on drums, Scott Clendenin on bass, and Shannon Hamm on guitar. 

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:27 -0400.