The impact of Chuck Schuldiner and his legacy with Death on extreme metal cannot be underestimated. Albums like Spiritual Healing (1990), Human (1991), Individual Thought Patterns (1993) and Symbolic (1995) are downright classics. He was instrumental in taking death metal to the next level by his technical excellence and his willingness to push the creative envelope time and time again. This brings me to The Sound Of Perseverance, the last studio album by Death, or the re-issue by Relapse Records to be exact.
This version of The Sound Of Perseverance features updated cover art, by original artist Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Nevermore), remastered versions of all the original tracks, including a splendid rendition of Judas Priest’s Painkiller and a number of different demo versions of ‘A Moment Of Clarity’,’ Bite The Pain’, ‘Scavenger Of Human Sorrow’ along with several other tracks. That’s the real treat on this album, because it documents the development of those songs all the way from the demo stage right through to the final version that made it onto the album.
The question still remains though, what is the value of this edition when you happen to own the original version of the album. The truth is, not much I’m afraid. Sound wise there’s nothing wrong with the original version of The Sound Of Perseverance and the updated artwork isn’t a real improvement either. The addition of several demo versions is a nice gesture, but it doesn’t make me run to the shop to purchase a copy.
In all fairness this re-issue of The Sound Of Perseverance isn’t the cheap cash grabber most re-issues tend to be. Its value lays in the fact that most of the song material has aged really well and it’s a great way to introduce a new generation of kids to the brilliant music of Chuck Schuldiner and Death. However, for people who own the original version this release is basically old news.