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Death - Spiritual Healing (Two-Disc Reissue)

    Ehren H
    Senior Member

  • Death - Spiritual Healing (Two-Disc Reissue)

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    Released by Relapse Records
    Released on November 20th, 2012
    Purchase From Amazon

    Death is one of those bands that is near and dear to the hearts of extreme metal fans across the spectrum. Many for a long time have said they created death metal with their landmark 1987 record, Scream Bloody Gore, and while whether or not that was truly the "first" death metal album is debatable in many peoples' eyes; no one seems to dispute the fact that it is one of the most influential albums in the genre, and is an undeniable classic. They followed up that record with Leprosy, which showed them pushing the boundaries of their sound, becoming more technical and melodic. That album has longtime been my favorite of Death's output, but listening to this new remastered reissue of the classic 1990 record Spiritual Healing that Relapse have loving delivered to us, I think there might be a new contender for my favorite album from this legendary band.

    This two-disc special edition sounds absolutely phenomenal. It's still an in-your-face metal album, there's no doubt about that. It is Death, and it is death metal. However, they started pushing their boundaries even farther on this one when it came to songwriting. Lots of technical guitar work, creative time changes, and even some melody being brought into this piece. Of course I don't mean pop-melody, but it is definitely apparent that Chuck Schuldiner knew how to write a song, and he knew his instrument well. Every instrument can be heard clearly, even the bass work which is commonly buried and indecipherable in this genre of music comes through loud and clear. This album, and Death, have never sounded this good.

    Beyond the mind-blowingly amazing sounding remaster of the album, we also get tons of alternate takes, rehearsal tracks, and even some jam sessions. These bonus tracks don't sound anywhere near as good as the album, and frankly we shouldn't expect them to, but they sound awesome and show a versatility to this band not often heard by many. While most of us will spend most of our time with this disc listening to the album itself, these bonus tracks are a must hear for fans of the band. Some really amazing gems are in there.

    In addition to the two-disc edition I am reviewing, there is also a 3-Disc limited edition for sale exclusively through Relapse. It's limited to 2000 copies, and the third disc contains a live set from this album's lineup. I did not get this disc to review it, but it's Death. If the 2 discs I did get are any indicator, it's going to sound amazing. There is also an iTunes edition with 5 unreleased rehearsal tracks as a bonus.

    Relapse pulled out all the stops on this one, giving this 1990 classic the respect it completely deserves. People who are already fans of the band will definitely want to pick this up, because it truly has never sounded better. In addition to fans, this album being back in circulation can bring even more converts to Death fandom, ensuring that Schuldiner's music and memory lives on in new generations. The work Relapse put into this release is one big gory love letter to fans, and a fantastic way to honor one of the most influential bands of not only extreme metal, but metal in general. Seriously, you have no excuse to not buy this record once it streets. Go get it on November 20th.

    • VinceP
      yabba man
      VinceP commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice to see this get a review here. My personal favorite Death album, even if Chuck has said he didn't particularly care for it. Saw them twice on this tour back in 1990.
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