Path to Perfection
The consolidated history of Death begins with ‘Scream Bloody Gore‘ (1987), a quite hard and forceful album in which Schuldiner recorded practically all the instruments, where he only had the help of his friend Chris Reifert on drums. This work shows the first glimpses of Chuck’s future death metal, with sounds similar to thrash but much more violent, carefully crafted, which was not very common at that time.
Later, in 1988, ‘Leprosy‘ was released, which marks a brief but unwanted return of Rick Rozz and also features the percussions of Bill Andrews. Schuldiner’s evolution was rapid and clear, and this album is an example of this, as it resulted in a much more elaborate work than its predecessor.
‘Spiritual Healing‘ from 1990 marks one of the first changes in Chuck’s mindset as he leaves out the letters gore and is more interested in the human side of life.
In some interviews, he admitted that he addressed the gore theme because of his immaturity. But later, he said that “the topics of daily life are more brutal than writing about demons ripping a person’s heart out. It was the reality that really made people identify and relate themselves to the music,” which led to a radical change in their lyrics.
Regarding the instrumental part, the sound of Death was already consolidated, with heavy and complex guitars that would be accompanied by powerful percussion. From here onwards, everything went up for the “Death sound,” with albums like “Human” (1991), “Individual Thought Patterns” (1993), “Symbolic” (1995), and “The Sound of Perseverance” (1998). These albums showcased Chuck’s musical maturity, particularly in songs like “Lack Of Comprehension,” “The Philosopher,” “Crystal Mountain,” “Spirit Crusher,” and “To Forgive Is To Suffer.”
The evolution reached a point where Chuck’s roots in jazz and progressive rock reflected in the creations of the last decade of the band. This period saw collaborations with great musicians such as Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Testament), Gene Hoglan (Testament, Strapping Young Lad), Paul Masvidal (Cynic, For Spoke), Andy La Rocque (King Diamond), and Ralph Santolla, among many others.