I’ve listened to Master of Puppets, Reign In Blood, The Number of The Beast, and Paranoid, but none of them seem to match Death’s last album, Sound of Perseverence. No other metal album seems to touch it for top-notch musicianship and lyrics.
The lineup is by far the best Chuck Schuldiner has ever assembled. With his fast, schizophrenic lead guitar and powerful, emotive lyrics, he puts on an amazing performance. Shannon Hamm does some great dual guitar work with him as well. Scott Clendenin is an excellent bassist, with several solo spots and he’s very audible as well. Richard Christy is incredible. Fast, insane, and lots of double bass are what he has to offer on this album, and the results are spectacular.
The lyrics, in my opinion, are Chuck’s best. The lyrics on Spirit Crusher, Flesh And The Power It Holds, and A Moment In Clarity all have a very compelling outlook on human life. Never have such topics been put in such a powerful and unforgiving way. Chuck Schuldiner was truly the Bob Dylan of heavy metal. Chuck’s lyrics were pure poetry in so many ways. It’s a shame we’ll never hear from him again.
My favorites are Spirit Crusher, Flesh And The Power It Holds, (Chuck’s best solo EVER), the beautiful instrumental Voices of The Soul, and the funny, catchy cover of Judas Priest’s Painkiller. Like people before have said, Chuck’s voice is very funny on this cover, as they sound like a cross between a black metal scream and the highest of operative power metal vocals. The result is hilarious, and only in the best way possible. Spirit has several main riffs in it which I myself find simply irresistible, and of course it’s not accompanied without a great guitar solo! Voices Of The Soul is a very pretty acoustic guitar piece with some wonderful electric arrangments my Chuck and Shannon as they trade off in ways that make it sound very atmpospheric. And the best song of all, Flesh and The Power It Holds. Great lyrics about the temptation of sex and beauty, with a very creepy and awesome opening riff which literally gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. And the guitar solo…. wow. This is the finest shredding I’ve ever heard Schuldiner pull off!! So fast, so crazy, so….. chaotic, and yet it doesn’t sound like random noise. Incredible….
I’ve found that the more I listen to Death’s music, the sadder and sadder I feel about Chuck’s death. He was a revolutionary man which put to shame such jokes like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide which like to put on the whole “look at me I’m so scary and cool” look. Chuck showed that intelligence and sophistication can be found in the most brutal and unforgiving metal. Truly one of the best lyricists and guitar players ever. His death was a tragedy for the world of music, and it’s terrible that few people around the globe have been able to experience the magic in his music.
RIP Chuck Schuldiner. Your legacy spans over a decade. Your memory spans an eternity. :’(