It doesn't get much better than this: the best album of the best death metal band ever. The ironically titled 'The Sound of Perseverance' is Death's seventh - and possibly final - studio album. Death is a legendary name in metaldom. Formed in the early 80's by Chuck Schuldiner, they were one of the first death metal bands and have consistently produced top-quality albums with the help of a rotating cast of some of the most well-respected names in heavy metal. The only constant member is "Evil" Chuck. Most members usually stay on for only one or two albums; and they don't have to stay because Chuck writes all of the music, lyrics, plays lead guitar, and does the vocals.
Why is 'The Sound of Perseverance' the greatest Death album? It seems everything Chuck has been trying to achieve simply fell in place when this album was recorded. The songs are still heavy, fast, and brutal yet the precise, technical feel Chuck loves is still strongly in place. The production job is excellent - probably the best I've ever heard for any metal album. The album sounds very clear and polished, but doesn't have that over-polished almost pompous-sounding production that removes all of the rawness. To add to the rawness is Chuck's new harsher vocal styling. Gone are the cookie-monster vocals of 'Leprosy.' Enter the more modern, progressive soar-throat shrieks of the new death metal.
This album is also a little different from earlier Death albums in that the songs are a bit longer, almost epic-length, on account of the long stretches of guitar leads in the middle of each piece. If you don't count the cover of "Painkiller" and the short instrumental, the album contains seven songs averaging about 6:45 each.
Hopefully this masterpiece will not be the final call for Death. Chuck has put Death on the back burner for his experimental power metal band, Control Denied. Control Denied has basically the same members of Death as are on this album - and they sound exactly like Death with the exception of a new, high-pitched, operatic vocalist. After the Control Denied album was recorded Chuck was diagnosed with a rare form of brain-stem cancer, but has survived experimental surgery to remove the malignancy and he is now in recovery and working on another Control Denied album. Hopefully he will revive Death sometime soon, because Control Denied just doesn't do it for me.
Sound Quality: 100