DEATH – Spiritual Healing
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"...The opener 'Living Monstrosity' takes no prisoners as it slashes straight through the listener with a mighty and uncompromising drive. The subtlety comes later, starting at the solo section and after, as the Schuldiner machine delivers sophisticated retro death without sacrificing any of the heaviness. On the next track, "Evil Chuck" as he's affectionately called growls out a vicious "Altering the Future", and the riff that follows is simply delectable. As simple as it is subterranean. That's pure death metal, if one ever had doubts about how extreme this band could sound. And the main riff to this song perfectly encompasses what the band was about back then, in the good old days: progressive to be sure, yet twisted, as if depicting a writhing motion. Undeniably, Death earned and deserved that "Grim reaper" band logo back then with music this afflicted and black. And again, the next track supplies strongly crafted sections leading to a climactic chorus, featuring double vocal witch-like shrieks that might send shivers down the listener's spine. Music with purpose, and an artistic direction totally committed and defined.
The title-track opens with a characteristic Death tap-lead over suspended atmospheric power chords. The song is filled with yet again more of that winning formula: tremolo-picked riffs that give out a melodic first impression before taking that typical dark turn, and it is effective every time. If one focuses in closely, it's almost like the music reads the listener's mind, as the riff is happening, and grants precisely the "wrong turn" we're all waiting for. It's like a dopamine hit, or a quietly sadistic rictus the very composition is giving the gripped audience. A beautiful tap section appears midway through ("Spirituaaaaaal.... Healiiiiiing") with a most ominous choir ambiance backing and transporting the lead into a brief state of suspension. It's like we're back in 'Scream Bloody Gore' all over again with that heavy cavernous feeling, back in that covert art's scene with the undead ritual in the castle chamber.
The album doesn't just send its three best and abandon ship, as many records like to do. We're down to Track 6 here, 'Low Life', and the intensity has not let down, nor the originality on display. More groove and pure old school Death goodness to be found there, and an appreciable quality among others in this one is the choice to go for that ultra simplistic metal stomp around the middle. This shows off the band's ability to blend the more clinical riff precision with more obvious and plain power-chord bloated sections; a known sign of maturity. Next is Track 7: catch this one at the halfway mark right after the solo, as that slower killer melodic section soon starts, like emotional bliss in slow motion right in the middle of these infernal trenches... merely a buildup to the wretched main riff returning with a vengeance, led by Schuldiner's hateful low-to-high howl. It's like exaltation in this deep, dark realm in fantasy..."
- Annabel Courts, metal-archives.com
|Altering The Future
|Within The Mind