One of the most influential death metal bands of all time, Death was the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Chuck Schuldiner. Even with constantly changing lineups Death released several outstanding albums. Schuldiner tragically died in 2001. The band's career lasted from their debut in 1987 with their final studio album being released in 1998. In addition to Death, Schuldiner's band Control Denied also released an album in 1999. Here are my picks for Death's five best studio albums.
1. Human (1991)
It was a tough choice, but I went with Human as the best Death album. When it comes to death metal, it simply doesn't get much better than this. Death is one of the most influential bands in the history of the genre, and Human is a classic. They were hitting on all cylinders with great musicianship, improved songwriting, insightful lyrics and an excellent vocal performance from Chuck Schuldiner. This is an essential album if you're a fan of death metal.
For Symbolic, guitarist Andy LaRocque and bassist Steve DiGiorgio were gone, replaced with Bobby Koelbe and Kelly Conlon. Chuck Schuldiner's songwriting continued to improve, and the band's combination of technical skill and willingness to experiment and push the musical envelope made for a brilliant album that still stands the test of time. I also named it the Best Heavy Metal Album Of 1995.
Individual Thought Patterns continued the band's run of outstanding albums. There were a couple of lineup changes, as King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque and Dark Angel drummer Gene Hoglan joined the band. Their presence made for a more technically proficient and little less raw sounding album. There are some great guitar solos, and Hoglan is one of the best drummers in the business. Chuck Schuldiner's vocals weren't quite as strong as on Human, but overall it's still a great album.
This is a pioneering CD in the death metal genre. Even though it isn't as good as some of their later work, Death helped pave the way for a lot of extreme bands. Scream Bloody Gore is raw and brutal with all the trappings of what would become death metal. If you're a fan of death metal, you need to own this album to hear what it sounded like at the beginning.
Death's final studio album was The Sound Of Perseverance. The lineup included guitarist Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin, drummer Richard Christy and of course, Chuck Schuldiner. It's an album that's melodic and emotional, but with plenty of brutality and intensity. The musicianship on this album was among their best, and it wraps up with a pretty good cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller."