View Full Version : Album Rankings- Death (unfinished)

10-19-2009, 08:11 PM
Inspired by Maiden33's trek through Maiden's discography, I decided to take on a task I wanted to do, and listen to Death's discography to see how I really felt about them. None of these, mind you, are "bad albums." In fact I'd recommend all of them, but some are just better than others. So here is my ranking from least favorite to absolute favorite.

7. Leprosy

In comparison to the early days, I never liked this one as much as I liked SBG and for the longest time I could never figure out why. Today I finally realized the reason, this album is sprinkled with boring instrumental passages that don't really go anywhere. I realize riffs are a subjected matter, but there are certain sections meant to highlight a riff in its fast groove, and it just doesn't work because the riff seems boring or just "there." You would think I would like this album better than SBG, considering there's less songs and thus it's easier to get through, but no, this album stretches a little longer than it should. Of course there are some moments of brilliance, like Left To Die, Pull the Plug and the title track, but that brilliance just doesn't quite encompass the whole album.

6. The Sound of Perseverance

Do you hate Dream Theater? Then you'll probably hate this. It was weird, the previous Death album was a perfect blend of brilliant technical ability and brilliant songwriting, but this album an edge of favorability is given to technical ability. I mean Spirit Crusher and Scavenger of Human Sorrow are classics, but this is one of those albums where you remember the playing more than the songs. That being said if you have a boner for technical ability, then you will absolutely love this, as each members playing is at their absolute peak!

5. Individual Thought Patterns
Has some moments that absolutely slay, and some moments that are just there. The drumming is absolutely lethal with none other than Gene Hoglan going his first of two albums with Death! Though really, who else could follow Sean Reinert? Like Perseverance, the previous album to ITP blended songwriting and technical ability equally, whereas here songwriting takes an oh-so-marginal backseat to playing ability.

4. Spiritual Healing
Aside from the title track and maybe Living Monstrosity, there aren't really any popular classics or live staples here, which is a shame, because a lot of these songs are quite fun. It's absolutely a step up from it's predecessor, and it's just about as good SBG. And hey, Chuck gets political on our asses! My guess as to why this album is seen as the weakest is because it came out in 1990, a year where damn near all of the top tier bands were at the top of the game, and if you didn't deliver something just as good, you were going to be relegated to "forgotten" status. Of course Spiritual Healing isn't better than Coma of Souls or Painkiller, but that certainly doesn't mean it's terrible!

3. Scream Bloody Gore
Of course has some classic songs like Zombie Ritual and Evil Dead, and it's ludicrous to repeat (but you do it anyways just to be safe) that this album was the first of it's kind. However, the first wheel was kinda squarish. Some of the songs bleed together, and what doesn't help as that some songs start off the same way (see Mutilation and the title track). There's also the fact that unless you're an obsessed fan who has listened to this album a million times, or you are paying the strictest attention to the tracklisting (especially if you're the person who plays an album or playlist on shuffle), certain riffs will pop up and you won't know which songs they belong too. I found myself wondering "is this Torn To Pieces or Sacrificial" quite a few times on repeated listens.

2. Human
I used to hate this album because after 2 months of listening to it straight, I couldn't remember any of the riffs, but I could remember the choruses, and I used to think this was metal blasphemy. yea...ass backwards thinking. If there is any flaw with this album, it's that they use the same fast section over and over again, but this just might be the one time in my book when this is forgivable.

Plain and simple the finest collection of songs Chuck ever put out. Even the weakest songs on here (a tie between two songs) have something excellent in store, and they are merely "great" instead of "fucking excellent" the whole way through. A lot of fans complain that "this isn't death metal" and they're right! This is so called "traditional/power/heavy/old-school" metal being throwndown just as good, if not better than the NWOBHM did. If Chuck merely adjusted his vocal style to actual singing, this would have been hailed as an absolute masterpiece of metal. Something that was certainly needed in 1995, where everybody else either just sucked or was following a trend. This isn't just a brilliant album musically, but lyrically as well. Chuck touches on ideas of intolerance, nostalgia, personal struggles and so much more in ways that capture the heart. So often in music does lyrics take a backseat to music, or vice versa, but when both are executed with equal and majestic power, it becomes crystal clear why we do this shit as a culture. Plain and simple, this was Chuck's mission statement to the metal world, and it's a good goddamn thing he didn't die of cancer in 1994, or else we never would have heard this masterpiece. This is my favorite Death album.

10-19-2009, 08:53 PM
For some reason I've never been able to get into Symbolic. I bought the record the summer of 06, I think, but even after a few years nothing really sticks out at me except Crystal Mountain and the title track.

My list would probably be (from favorite to least):

Individual Thought Patterns
The Sound of Perseverance
Scream Bloody Gore
Spiritual Healing (never heard this one)

10-19-2009, 09:03 PM
As it turns out, this is the best Death album.


Who knew?


10-19-2009, 09:06 PM
I agree with you for the most part (especially on the Symbolic being #1 :rocker:), but I think my least favorite would be Individual/Spiritual (they are still both really good records). Overall I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Death, they are my favorite death metal band and have never released a bad record in my eyes.

10-19-2009, 09:32 PM
As it turns out, this is the best Death album.


Who knew?


an eye for an eye.:hmm:

10-19-2009, 09:40 PM
My favorite is still The Sound of Perserverance. I used to like Dream Theater, but grew out of it, but my point is that it's a much better written album than you give it credit.

10-19-2009, 09:43 PM
The Sound of Perseverance is awesome. :mad:

But, you're right about Symbolic being the best. ...Or second best compare to Sound... I've never quite made up my mind. :bliss:

10-21-2009, 01:58 PM
As it turns out, this is the best Death album.


Who knew?


:rocker: :rocker: :rocker: :rocker: :rocker:

I already made that joke in another thread though :nutkick:

10-22-2009, 04:05 AM
Scream Bloody Gore will always be my favorite Death album. The recent re-release with bonus tracks solidified that slot for eternity to me. I would agree that Leprosy (while having some great tracks) is their worst album.

Many bands have had a Sophmore Jinx as they call it in sports mainly due to the 1st cd being a collection of songs written over years and the 2nd being written while touring or what not.

I'd probably rate Spiratual Healing higher since it was such a step up from Leprosy when it 1st came out. James Murphy and Chuck together for the 1st time was classic!

10-22-2009, 05:36 AM
I would also agree that Scream Bloody Gore is my fave Death Album. Every song is just brutal as hell and really awesome [as is most of Death's material].

10-22-2009, 06:27 AM
I gotta jump in here. I was waiting until I had a chance to listen to all of these again and form my own ranking before commenting, but all the recent slamming of Leprosy is going to pre-empt all that.

First of all, I'll go ahead and admit my bias now - I grew up on SBG and Leprosy. That being said, even though I am somewhat biased, I cannot fathom the statement that Leprosy is their "worst" album. :eek: Its most major shortcoming is that it ends too quickly - it is shamefully short. But in a way, that is really a compliment to the content that is there - in other words, to me, every song is just so damn good that the party is over with too quickly and I am left just wanting more.

Every song on that album is heavy and brutal as hell. There is not a boring moment on it. Every album after that - bar none - has at least one moment or two where Death kinda gets off the brutal track and into the overly progressive stuff just a little too much to the point that my attention tends to wane. Now this isn't saying I don't like progressive metal. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I love bands like Mastodon and Burst, and especially Cynic, which is not only very proggy but also composed of former members of Death. It's just that the proggy stuff can sometimes get a bit esoteric and uninteresting if the band playing / writing it isn't careful.

Leprosy, on the other hand, is Death before they went this route, and it is just pure brutal perfection for eight short tracks. Every song is a Death classic. I mean, "Pull the Plug", "Open Casket", "Choke on It"? C'mon! These are some of the best of the best (not only in terms of Death, but in terms of death metal overall, and heavy music in general)! The title track (and thus the album) opens with one of the best death metal screams in musical fucking history. That one was and is a timeless classic for all eternity (RIP Chuck). He never quite equaled that again (except maybe at ~3:12 in "Left to Die").

Also, the Leprosy album - perhaps due to its timing more than anything else, but still - was and is a genre-defining moment in death metal. Period. You'd really be hard-pressed to find somebody that disagrees with that statement, I think. The lyrical content and musical style exhibited there set the stage for, and were imitated by, so many other death metal acts that came afterward, that it's not even funny. Thus, I have to say, Leprosy in its own way just oozes merit, and there is just no way it belongs at the bottom of the heap of Death's albums. Just no way. You don't have to place it on the top, but it certainly doesn't belong on the bottom, either. At least that's my opinion.

[/rant] :D

EDIT: Oh, and Chuck's vocals on Leprosy are among the best they ever were as well. I don't like his vocal style as much on some of the later stuff.

10-22-2009, 01:13 PM
EDIT: Oh, and Chuck's vocals on Leprosy are among the best they ever were as well. I don't like his vocal style as much on some of the later stuff.

Really? I'm pretty much in love with the singing on The Sound of Perseverance.

10-22-2009, 01:26 PM
Really? I'm pretty much in love with the singing on The Sound of Perseverance.

Yeah, not for me. I guess it's a matter of taste (like so many other things that far too many people on here consider as "fact" :rolleyes:). I just grew up on the deeper timbre of Chuck's earlier vocals, and to me, the later albums almost "don't sound like Chuck" (although they obviously are). I will give you this - the production value of the albums generally got better as time progressed - so the vocals do "pop" more. There's something to be said, though - I think - for having a little bit of gravel in the production for certain types of metal (case in point - bigtime - is Carcass). For Necrophagist or Origin, on the other hand, that's the last thing you want. It just depends on what the artist is trying to accomplish.

10-22-2009, 02:36 PM
I like Symbolic best too, followed by The Sound of Perseverance, Human, SBG, Leprosy, and the others. All are primo.

10-22-2009, 02:38 PM
I like Symbolic best too, followed by The Sound of Perseverance, Human, SBG, Leprosy, and the others. All are primo.

lol surgical

10-22-2009, 02:40 PM
lol surgical

Surgery With Soul :shred: