Monday, 2 April 2012

DEATH - Scream Bloody Gore (1987)

01  Infernal Death
02  Zombie Ritual
03  Denial Of Life
04  Sacrificial
05  Mutilation
06  Regurgitated Guts
07  Baptized In Blood
08  Torn To Pieces
09  Evil Dead
10  Scream Bloody Gore
11  Beyond The Unholy Grave
12  Land Of No Return

Scream Bloody Gore is the debut album by American band Death, released in 1987 and considered “the first true death metal record”. Chuck Schuldiner plays bass, wrote all the songs on the album and provides vocals in addition to guitar for the album. Certain songs on the album were inspired by horror movies. For example, "Regurgitated Guts" was inspired by the film City of the Living Dead a.k.a. The Gates of Hell, "Beyond the Unholy Grave" was influenced by the movie The Beyond, and "Zombie Ritual" was inspired by Zombie, all of which were films directed by Italian director Lucio Fulci. The cover art, by Ed Repka is vibrant and memorable, you would almost think that this was a major label release but its not - being put out on Combat of all people (the same label that had Dark Angel.) Plus, in 1987, such a cover probably had the PMRC censorship goons scrambling to get the cogs of the American police state moving, lest our children see this and become Satanic, knife wielding maniacs....

Raw, unrepentent and unforgiving... and I can listen to it? In one's search for rich and complex metal, Death's "Scream Bloody Gore" fails to fulfill many of the requirements, but somehow it impresses. It is a bludgeoning, nihilistic ride to Hell for certain, but one that really needed time to seep into my mind. No longer can this album be impressive on account of its extremity, which has been far surpassed. But it does have an infuriating energy and attitude, from the frantic "Infernal Death" through the infectiously catchy "Zombie Ritual" to its firey conclusion at the title track. Song structures are simplistic and generic, in the vein of early black metal bands like Venom, but provide enough riff changes to hold things together well. It's not all out speeding brutality with the occasional slower passage here and there, with hints of almost groove like catchiness abound. The musicianship itself is very much full of life and enthusiasm, and shows promise, but not to the extent of predicting just how much Chuck Schuldiner would further himself as a musician (part of the beauty of listening to Death evolve). We also have here Chuck's vocals at their most frighteningly intense. The album as a whole is pleasingly dark, from the dank, murky cover artwork, to the nihilistic and gore ridden lyrical themes that would pervade the genre of death metal within the next couple of years.

Personally, I'd say this is an essential purchase (or listen, at the very least, you evil, thieving internet people you) for a death metal fan, or any extreme metal fan and probably of historical value for collectors of music in general.

1 comment:

  1. Scream Bloody Gore? Sounds like some of that devil music that the young people listen to these days. That stuff hurts my ears. Will you be reviewing any albums by The Carpenters or Sonny and Cher in the future?