deathFor most of the rest of the year, we are going to try and celebrate albums that are having cool anniversaries this year like a 10, 20 or even 30 year anniversary. So on March 21, 1995, iconic extreme metal band Death released their sixth studio album Symbolic via Roadrunner Records. For a very long time in the 80’s and part of the 90’s, Roadrunner Records was the place to be if you were in an extreme metal band. While Allmusic gave the album 3 stars out of five for a final grade, many have praised the album like the Record Collector who said the album was, “close to flawless as metal gets, and a testament to the drive and talent of the much-missed Schuldiner.” Metal-Rules ranked it as the 7TH greatest extreme metal record of all time and 58TH greatest heavy metal record of all time. Death is often credited as one of the biggest influences of the death metal genre and rightfully so. The band was made up of the late and great Chuck Schuldiner (Vocals & Guitar), Bobby Koelble (Guitar), Gene Hoglan (Drums), and Steve DiGiorgio (Fretless Bass). The album was produced by Jim Morris as well by Chuck Schuldiner.

1. Symbolic– The title track is up first and the track is straight up in your face metal that sounds a little like Slayer with a powerful vocalist, but it switches in a second to the those iconic fast paced beats out of nowhere. The track is about the loss of childhood and how life moves on. 4/5

2. Zero Tolerance– This is one of my favorite tracks on the album that talks about how there is zero tolerance in every religion for indifference. 4/5

1317539776_symbolic-back3. Empty Words– The track has a very eerie beginning that starts off with some clean guitars before they blast in monstrous metal riffage in a track that is all about you finding your own path in life. 4/5

4. Sacred Serenity– The track starts off with a great bass riff  and drum beat before the guitars come in with some awesome work in a track that could be about animals and how they run on instinct and not knowing their future or what lies ahead of them. There is some amazing guitar work in this song, very impressive. 4/5

5. 1000 Eyes– The song is hammering as it moves along to the balance between the fast paced thrash style and the heavy metal riffage in a track all about how we are constantly being watched by big brother. 4/5

6. Without Judgement– This track has everything from great metal riffs to some amazing bass playing in a track that is all about how we are always judging others and how it’s just in our nature. 4/5

Death CD7. Crystal Mountain– Hard charging riffs lead this track about Christianity which is a typical topic for a lot of bands, but the song has some pretty cool riffs. 4/5

8. Misanthrope– This one is a little on the faster side of things as the razor sharp riffs slice and dice their way through in another track that basically tells you to think on your own. 4/5

9. Perennial Quest– This is the last track on the record that talks about the one thing we all do and is look for our purpose in life. The music is amazing on this track, but the outro part of the song is where it’s at. 5/5

My Final Thoughts: I don’t see how Death is not talked about more in the metal world, these guys are amazing and they put out some amazing music. This album has some of the most amazing riffs and playing that is is so enjoyable to listen to. You wonder where music like this is these days. Anyways, I am going to give the album four stars out of five for a final grade.


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