Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Perrenial Quest

Death metal started when kids in the late eighties heard thrash and wanted to make it more aggressive. A few years before, a band called Possessed, probably the first proto-death metal band, burst onto the Californian scene, Dead Kennedy shirts all torn, and blew thrash away before it had even picked up steam.

Raw, fast songs, with throaty vocals were the name of the game and Possessed's first album, Seven Churches, is a cult classic and considered by most as the first Death metal album.

Then came Death. While Possessed might have anticipated the genre, Death made it their own. Fronted by Chuck Schuldiner, with a whole heap of session musicians, Death fucking slayed. From their first album Scream Bloody Gore, to their last, The Sound of Perseverance, they were consistently interesting, dynamic and heavy as fuck.

This is one of my favourite songs of all time:

In 2001, Chuck Schuldiner died of brain cancer. Generally speaking, I'm not one for idols or heroes, especially musicians. But Chuck, indirectly, changed my life. Death metal would not be the same without him and, without death metal, i know i would have a different outlook on thing. For better or for worse, thems the facts. His music, which was perhaps one of my first experiences of a borderline transcendental experience, had inspired millions of people across the world. As evidence listen to the solo about six and half minutes in. This is no heavy metal cock show. This is something else.

I'm the first to scoff at sentiments like this. It's kinda odd to see them written down by me. I guess it stems from wanting the unknown guys to be known. We hear about Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Hendrix, hell, even Kurt Cobain as having moved people. Well, Chuck moved me, more than any dude who plays a fucking guitar ever has.

Fucking, get into it.

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