Home > Music > Death – Scream Bloody Gore (1987)

Death – Scream Bloody Gore (1987)

It is a distinct possibility that one of death metal’s first albums is its happiest and most entertaining. Sure, we’ve got ultra-fast minor key riffs and violent lyrical material, but firstly, let’s just take a look at the cover. We’ve got skeletons… chillin’. CHILLIN’ I SAY! Look at them. They might be incapable of anything but smiling, but I assure you, were they able to not smile, they wouldn’t use such an ability.. In other news, they appear to be drinking human blood (I assume it’s human). However, more important than the album cover’s contents are its implications – this is an evil, depraved album, but one crafted specifically to be enjoyable, which makes this similar to, let’s say, Friday the 13th. The original. It manages what it attempts.

The production is REALLY good, in a raw way. I own the 2008 digipack, which doesn’t seem to change the sound too much, like limiting the hell out of it. Every instrument is audible, even the basslines if you listen to them. The guitars are very sharp and, suffice it to say, have a metal “crunch” to them. The sound is dirty and raw, but enough of the “dirt” is removed to reveal a core of chainsaws. Except instead of little teeth, we have big ass hammers leading to a ridiculous, but still incredibly painful beating.

Course, the sense of fun might not be intentional, considering that the two people recording – Chuck Schuldiner and Chris Reifert would very soon afterwards produce more “serious” albums (Leprosy, Spiritual Healing, Severed Survival, etc. are all less jovial and focus on the more serious and morbid aspects of death metal in their lyrics). It still makes the album better – would a song like “Infernal Death” or “Evil Dead” be nearly as good if the band took their lyrics seriously? Profundity was not the band’s intent at this point.

On the other hand, they take their music seriously. This is relatively primitive music, but it’s played with the requisite precision and thunder that the style demands. “Evil” Chuck is on full display, contributing screams and growls, but more notably chaotic, technical guitar solos with a few concessions to melody. Chris Reifert adds plenty of variety to his drumming, and even his basic beats are faster and more technical than his successor, Bill Andrews.

Arguably this was the end of an era for Death – they soon would write more “progressive” material – kind of a misnomer, since the song structures remained verse-chorus to the end. Not that they didn’t write good music (because they did), but the actual complexity of the songs remained low, even if the instrumentation became more ornate and grandiose.

Categories: Music

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