Death

Metallurgy

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Death

Spiritual Healing (Relapse)

The late Chuck Schuldiner may not have invented death metal, but with 1990's third strike Spiritual Healing, he gave the genre its mighty hammer of tempo changes, its bloody battle axe of thrash-derived riffs, and its severed head of social consciousness, all filtered through clean, dry production today's metal producers ought to hearken. Atop melodies grounded in metal classicism, his solos burn while remaining musical, and his roar stays surprisingly articulate, making SH more Master of Puppets than Morbid Angel. A cornerstone not only of extreme metal, but metal in general, this latest entry in Relapse's laudable catalog restoration expands onto a second disc of raw demos and work tapes. ****

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