Death
Scream Bloody Gore (Reissue)

In 1987 Death firmly put the stamp of the death metal genre on the map with the release of their debut Scream Bloody Gore album.  I received it on vinyl as a birthday gift that year and it is an album all us old bastards have memorized front to back.   Once again Relapse Records are handling what is the last remaster from Death, since all else has been reissued through Relapse, except for Symbolic. Roadrunner will not give the rights to Relapse on this, but Roadrunner did a killer remaster several years back, anyway.

This review is for the deluxe 3cd digipak reissue. The source material is presented in the original recording format and combat cd release of 12 songs, with “Beyond the Unholy Grave” and “Land of No Return” rounding out the full version of the album, not the 10 tracks released on vinyl in 1987.

The material has been carefully remastered from the source tapes by Alan Douches once again.  Rhythms are heavier sounding and the album is louder. Everything sounds better, but the original charm has not been messed with, it’s just better sounding. The opening of “Infernal Death” now will collapse your streets and cause 20 mile sinkholes. Chuck’s opening vocals when he growls die several times will come through your speakers in a way like it’s never before been heard. Scream Bloody Gore was slapped together under some rushed circumstances due to Chuck really not having a lineup. The actual recording lineup is Chuck on vocals, guitar and bass.  Chris Reifert played drums in this and while he was asked to be a permanent death member felt like his heart was with Autopsy, a band he was forming at the time and who are still putting out great records today.

Scream Bloody Gore was recorded in LA and had such a great guitar sound. This album is pure death metal 110% and to this day is the blueprint of what makes a great death metal album. Not one filler track, catchy songs with a memorable factor that  death would continue on their other records, but most importantly reminds the listener Death is the best death metal band that has ever existed, without a doubt.  Ferocious, angry, heavy but also retaining melody. Chuck throwing in above average guitar solos and growling as if he means to pull your soul from your body. He was a musical genius due to his songwriting skills. Just listen to “Zombie Ritual” or the title track for proof of his mastery of how the riffs gel with the instruments and vocals. Extraordinary.  And as stated the remaster makes this all sound crushing.

With Relapse having all source material and live archives at their disposal I am once again perplexed as to the handling of discs 2 and 3. Once again it’s demos from before the Scream Bloody Gore sessions.  Do you really want to hear unfinished or unpolished versions of Scream Bloody Gore songs over and over?  Ok, spread it on 1 bonus disc, but not 2, again. Really I’ve heard discs 2 and 3 once and have no desire to listen to them again.  They’ve been remastered, but who gives a crap, they were early versions of the songs. Relapse could have made one of the bonus discs a live cd from that era or how about throwing in a live DVD from that time period. The material is out there. They dropped the ball, again.

The layout across the digipak and booklet is great. Lyrics, liners, pictures. All exceptionally done, I just wish it was not another drop the ball reissue with just throwing in all the demo stuff, it blows.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 12th, 2016

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