The year is 1998; Death, the pioneers of death metal, released their last studio album. The Sound Of Perseverance is one of the most impressive metal albums I have ever heard. From the over-the-top drum intro of opener Scavenger Of Human Sorrow to the intense death screams in the finale - a cover of Judas Priest's Painkiller, each track is teeming with disgusting riffs, majestic leads, mind-bending changes, and percussive black magic. The Sound Of Perseverance should be held as the epitome for progressive death metal, meeting the perfect integration of technical skill and songwriting. At just the right moments things shift from elaborate and intricately composed layers into beautifully heavy, melodic refrains and breaks. Each song is a journey complete in and of itself - the album an omnibus of musical adventure.
I remember hearing it for the first time - my jaw just dropped. I was indeed familiar with Death's previous work, but something contained in this record went just that far beyond what they had done before, which was quite remarkable. Some feel that it was too polished and showboating - lacking the rawness and harshness of what death metal should be, but I feel that this was the album Schuldiner was meant to make. Though he continued creating music with Control Denied, The Sound Of Perseverance is his swan song and solidifies his legendary status in the metal world. I honestly don't know how this record could be any better, or could better represent what Chuck was all about. If you're into metal and have not heard this record, I highly recommend remedying that immediately.
Here's to an extremely talented and unique songwriter and musician. You'll never be forgotten, Chuck.