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Cheppy
06-14-2009, 11:52 AM
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a45/77717/chuckschuldiner.jpg

An all-time great guitar player, songwriter/structurer & one of the most siginificant figures in the annals of metal, Chuck Schuldiner was the founder, leader & the one & only constant in the legendary metal entity Death. He was a musical genius and visionary who throughout his career was always trying to push the boundaries of music. With Death he helped to define the Death Metal genre and then, on later albums, extend its limits by bringing increasing amounts of progressive influence into the equation. His untimely passing due to brain cancer on December 31, 2001 was one of the saddest & most severe blows to the metal community. But this thread isn't about how he died, it's about all the great music he created that undoubtedly will provide inspiration & enjoyment for generations to come. I'll cover each of his full length efforts, give a brief overview & provide a sample track representing that particular album. Let's start with the seminal Scream Bloody Gore.

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While Venom preceded it many fans & music journalists consider 1987's Scream Bloody Gore to be the main catalyst in creating the sub-genre known as Death Metal. (a sub-genre that chuck would later distance himself from) Like one would expect from a first album, it lacks the virtuoso musicianship of his later efforts. But while it lacks refinement it's laden with meaty hooks & still packs a hell of a punch. A raw, trailblazing, metal classic.

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Like Scream Bloody Gore, one could describe Leprosy as raw. It is unadulterated, dirty, unfiltered, and yet at the same time pure, heavy, and domineering. The attitude is the most prevalent thing here, even when the songwriting isn't particularly strong. Listen to the latter half of Left to Die, the double bass just obliterates everything in front of it. It's this intensity and focus that brings this album above other early death metal acts, and further cements Death's reputation for being one of the most consistently great bands in metal history. Notice how insane they were live:

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Spiritual Healing meshed the unprovoked whirlwind of brooding ferocity found throughout the band’s first two records with a newfound sense of mechanics and stunning, albeit few and far between, bursts of antipodean melody, often occurring during guitar solos and brief guitar-driven interludes. It's basically the most polished form of the early brutality Death brought with its two previous efforts. There's also a change in lyrical content here. Instead of songs about fantastical horror film type situations & murder, tracks cover such things as encouraging people to believe in themselves to perservere through the obstacles that one encounters in life and social issues like the effects of drug abuse. There are only 8 tracks but they all slay. A great album that relatively speaking was the calm before the storm that would be Death's next, breakthrough album.

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Released in 1991, Human represented Phase 2 of Chuck's musical progression & what a progression this album was & is. Speaking for myself, when I picked up a copy back in 1991 & first gave it a listen it was a shock to my system. This was not the Scream Bloody Gore,/Leprosy Death I knew. This was an insanely heavy, super fast & super technical monster of a metal band which were inifinitely more complex while also having some of the most intelligently beautiful lyrics ever written. And I instantly fell in love with its lightning death metal speed & progressive tendencies. A complete overhaul of the band lineup was made by Chuck for this album. From here on out he wouldn't have full-time band members but instead recruited studio musicans. The most notable of which for this album is Sean Reinert whose "all over the place in a precise manner" drum work is nothing short of incredible. Human is a bonafide metal masterpiece & in my mind the first instance where the band became a metal genre unto itself.

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Some artists get lost in technicality and have no clear direction of where they’re going with the music, but that doesn’t happen here. Chuck proved on this release that he is and was one of the greatest metal guitarist of all time, and also one of the best death metal vocalists of all time. Many of the riffs he plays on these songs would be difficult for the average person to play none the less perform and sing at the same time. It's quite obvious that Chuck had training on the guitar not based around the metal or rock genre listening to the way he's able to make certain scales work so damn well with the music. One thing that jumps out is the bass guitar. It's way more prevalent here than on any of the previous albums & its presence is seamless within the music. Other things of note are that Andy Larocque (king diamond) came aboard on this album & it's also the first of Gene Hoglan's (one of metal's greatest drummers) two album stay with Death.

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1995's Symbolic is akin to Spiritual Healing in that album being the most polished form of Death's early brutality, this album is Death's most fully realized progressive effort. Songs are heavy & fast as all hell while also having sections of an almost delicate beauty that seamlessly work with one another. (crystal mountain is a prime example) No easy feat that. I could go on & on showering this album with praise. Instead I'll post two tracks instead of one & say that, for my money, this is Chuck's magnum opus.

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Death's 7th & final album, The Sound Of Perserverance is probably my least favorite Death effort but that's not really a knock considering there isn't a stinker in the lot. The virtuoso musicianship is here but unlike Symbolic it feels a little (just a little) masturbatory to me. In short, the songwriting kinda takes a back seat to technical showmanship on this album. I like Chuck's vocal approach more on all his previous works too. Even so, it has loads of catchy riffs & Spirit Crusher rules. (the man reinvents how to say "crussshhheeerrrr!")

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Control Denied was a side project of Chuck's & The Fragile Art Of Existence is the last album he recorded before his passing. He gave up vocal duties to Tim Aymar who has a more classic metal vocal style (ala halford & dickinson) & it fits just fine with Chuck's signature, progressive, virtuoso guitar work. I actually like this more than The Sound Of Perserverance. The man had alot more music left in him.

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I'll conclude with an interview that shows that not only was the man a genius musician, but also just a really cool, down to earth guy.

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Trend-Free Metal is a thing of beauty.

tony hipchest
06-15-2009, 06:49 PM
excellent.

he shouldve never went out the way he did. one of my all time favorite bands mixed in with the likes of jethro tull, misfits, kreator, wu tang and metallica (so thats saying alot).

back in 87 when scream bloody gore came out we didnt have internet, and my small town had only 1 place to buy music, and there were no periodicals with record reviews sold there. we simply browsed the "import" section (where all alternative/thrash/underground was kept) bought what looked or sounded cool, and made our own reviews.

that was the most brutal album i had ever heard. pretty much still is.

hard for me to pick a favorite (kinda like metallica). i can pick one or 2 i didnt like as much as the others that is pretty much in-line with your reviews.

gun to my head i probably go with leprosy (even though the 1st is and always will be an all time classic, along with spiritual healing).

i know the evil, growly, cookie monster voice was never a way to get on the radio, mtv, or become popular, but nobody epitomized "screaming bloody gore" quite like chuck did. RIP.

oh, and he definitely wailed on the guitar. (was just as good live as in person) and short of metallica, i say that about very few bands, especially those who play for speed and with that much energy.

Cheppy
06-15-2009, 07:27 PM
he shouldve never went out the way he did.

Ain't that the truth. Amy Winehouse can blast three 8 balls of coke a day & still keep on trucking yet a humble metal god gets struck down by cancer at the age of 34. It's just not fair.

back in 87 when scream bloody gore came out we didnt have internet, and my small town had only 1 place to buy music, and there were no periodicals with record reviews sold there. we simply browsed the "import" section (where all alternative/thrash/underground was kept) bought what looked or sounded cool, and made our own reviews.

How I miss those simpler times.


spiritual healing

For whatever reason that one is overlooked. The thing slays.

beth-chucks-sister
08-10-2009, 11:50 AM
Hi Cheppy,

Thanks for posting this. Your post looks like a professional web site! I have watched as few seconds of my Brother playing, but have avoided seeing him speak in interviews until today, on your thread. I was moved You're right; he was one of the good guys; very down to earth. We Will get his last music out; this I promise!

Thanks for the tribute and your words.
Sincerely,
Beth Schuldiner

KeiselPower99
08-10-2009, 01:53 PM
Wow. I must say I over looked them but they are damn good.

tony hipchest
08-10-2009, 08:08 PM
wow beth! i guess you found this thread doing an internet search.

first of all my heart goes out to your mother who lost a son at such a young age and i applaud her efforts to keep his music (and to some...legend) alive.

i posted this story elsewhere on this board, but i met chuck on april 4, 1990 which not only was my birthday, but the release date for their 3rd album.

he was behind the vending table selling t-shirts, tapes, stickers and posters of their new release. he gladly signed our ticket stubs and posed for a few photos. he was very cool and humbly accepted our praise of his music.

it was my first concert and mosh pit, plus i got to get up on stage right next to chuck and stage dive (and what a big ol swan dive it was).

its not much being that it was such a tiny gig, but at that moment i was on top of the world.

hopefully finding threads like these can bring a smile to you and your moms face.

:cheers:

(and again... great thread cheppy)

millwalldavey
08-10-2009, 09:17 PM
OPENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CASKETTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheppy
08-23-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi Cheppy,

Thanks for posting this. Your post looks like a professional web site! I have watched as few seconds of my Brother playing, but have avoided seeing him speak in interviews until today, on your thread. I was moved You're right; he was one of the good guys; very down to earth.

...... I'm kind of at a loss for words.......... It makes me happy beyond words that you took the time to read my tribute to your brother & watch one of his interviews for the first time after all these years. I've never met him myself but one doesn't need to have met him to know that your brother was the genuine article. A man who was influenced by what was in his heart, not what was trendy at the time. He touched so many lives in such a positive way (a legacy that is thriving to this very day) & for that alone he deserves to be celebrated.

My intentions for making this thread was to celebrate his life and accomplishments while also hoping that it would expose people to his music for the first time. Never in a million years did I think it would touch someone who was close to him. This tribute pleasing you is the highest compliment I can receive here. I'm both humbled and thankful for that.


Will get his last music out; this I promise!

The Fragile Art Of Existence still has me salivating for it. You rule Beth!

Also, isn't James Murphy working on a tribute album?

Thanks for the tribute and your words.
Sincerely,
Beth Schuldiner

Thank you for fighting the good fight for trying to get your brother's unreleased music to his fans. I'd like to extend my appreciation to your mom too.

Sincerely,

Neal Lynch

43Hitman
08-23-2009, 02:28 PM
Really great tribute Cheepy, I haven't seen that interview before, so it was cool to watch. Thanks. Chuck, just like Cliff(Burton) left this earth to early in my opinion.

Cheppy
08-26-2009, 04:49 PM
I'm still kinda blown away that Beth Schuldiner thanked me for this thread. Pretty profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfiltering awesome.

Pat O'Brien remembering Chuck:

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Interview of Chuck's nephew Chris (beth's son):

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Cheppy
10-29-2009, 01:00 AM
Listen to Death.