- Death (band)
Infobox musical artist
Name = Death
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Orlando,
Florida, United States
Death metal Technical death metal[ [http://www.thehighhat.com/PopsClicks/007/deathmetal_freeman.html "The Man-Machine Will Rock You: The Existential Paradox of Technical Death Metal", The High Hat, issue 9 (Fall 2007)] ] [ [http://www.bnrmetal.com/v2/bandpage.php?ID=Deat BNR Metal Pages] ] [ [http://www.emptywords.org/playmates.htm "The simple technique behind a technical death metal band", Aardschok, November 1998] ] Progressive metal
Years_active = 1983–2001
Label = Combat, Relativity, Roadrunner,
URL = [http://www.emptywords.org www.emptywords.org]
Past_members = Last known lineup:
Chuck Schuldiner Shannon Hamm Scott Clendenin Richard Christy
(See: full listing)
Death was an influential American
death metalband founded in 1983 by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner, considered a "pioneering death metal vocalist/guitarist". [ [http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1451543/20011218/death.jhtml Mancini, R. "Death Frontman Chuck Schuldiner Dies"] , MTV.com, December 18, 2001 (accessed August 7, 2008)] The band split up after Schuldiner's death in 2001.
Death is considered one of the most influential groups in death metal. The band's debut,
Scream Bloody Gore, has been described as "death metal's first archetypal document". [ [http://wc08.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:3iftxqe5ld6e~T1 Allmusic.com] Death Biography] One music biographer has referred to Schuldiner as the "father of death metal" ["ibid"] while another has claimed that Schuldiner is "readily acknowledged as the true founder of the U.S. death metal scene". [ [http://www.emptywords.org/RIP_postITP.htm Sutherland, J. "Death: the Blueprint for Modern Metal"] , RIP magazine (accessed August 8, 2008)] Music biographer Garry Sharpe-Young considers Death "a genre breaking band...centred upon frontman Chuck Schuldiner" and that the band "would become one of the prime instigators of the Death Metal movement". [ [http://www.rockdetector.com/artist,2325.sm;jsessionid=EE0D5D7000EAE2389FDAFAF8F69A46B2 Sharpe-Young, G. "Death", Rock Detector: the World's Biggest Rock Music Database] , (accessed August 8, 2008)]
However, Schuldiner dismissed such attributions by stating, in an interview with Metal-Rules.com, "I don’t think I should take the credits for this death metal stuff. I’m just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band". [ [http://www.metal-rules.com/interviews/chuck.htm Renda, P. "Chuck Schuldiner: The pain of a genius"] , Metal Rules, (accessed August 5, 2008)]
Early history (1983–1987)
Founded in 1983 by
Chuck Schuldinerunder the original name of Mantas in Orlando, Death were among the more widely known, early pioneers of the death metal sound along with California's thrashers Possessed. In the late 80s, the band was both a part of and integral in defining the death metalscene which gained international recognition with the release of albums by a number of area acts.
Kam Lee(Barney Lee), and Rick Rozz(Frederick DeLillo), Schuldiner started to compose songs that were released on several rehearsal tapes in 1984. These tapes, along with the " Death by Metal" demo, circulated through the tape trader world, quickly establishing the band's name. In 1984, Schuldiner dissolved Mantas and quickly started a new band under the name Death. Its members included the same Rick Rozz and Kam Lee. Another demo was released, called "Reign of Terror."
In 1985, after the "Infernal Death" tape was recorded and released, Schuldiner fired Lee and Rozz in favour of Repulsion's bassist and guitarist, Scott Carlson and Matt Olivio, respectively. However, a drummer could not be found; consequently the band dissolved again. Schuldiner moved to
San Franciscoand recruited DRI drummer Eric Brecht, but he was not happy with this incarnation of Death and moved back to Florida without a band. There, in 1986, Schuldiner got an invitation from early Canadian thrash band Slaughter to play on their album, which he accepted, moving to Canada. This only lasted two weeks, however, as he found the situation not to his liking. He returned to Florida, then moved quickly to San Francisco again, where he joined with Chris Reifert. They recorded the "Mutilation" demo, which led to a deal with Combat Records, owned by Important Distribution (later becoming Relativity), that enabled them to record the first LP.
Scream Bloody Gore" was released in 1987. Schuldiner briefly had a second guitar player, John Hand, but Hand did not appear on the album (though his photo did). By this time Schuldiner moved back to Florida, leaving Chris Reifert behind. There, Schuldiner teamed up with former bandmate Rick Rozz and two members of Rozz's band Massacre, Terry Butlerand Bill Andrews.
In 1988, that lineup recorded "Leprosy". After much gigging in support of the album, including a quick and ill-planned tour of Europe, Rick Rozz was fired in 1989. After a tour of Mexico featuring guitarist
Paul Masvidal(later to re-emerge in the Death camp), a replacement was found in James Murphy, with whom the third album "Spiritual Healing" was recorded in Tampa in the summer of 1989. Murphy was sacked relatively quickly. By this time Schuldiner abandoned the "gore" lyrical theme for more social critique as Death's musical style progressed from a more brutal style of death metalto a more complex, progressive death metal. Additional melody was added to the band's sound as well as more varied timings and song structures.
In 1990, on the eve of a European tour, Schuldiner decided against traveling, claiming at the last minute that he felt the tour was not adequately organized (and citing the group's previous disorganized European tour in 1988). Andrews and Butler continued with the tour of Europe as 'Death' regardless and recruited roadies Walter Trachsler (guitar) and Louie Carrisalez (vocals) to replace Schuldiner, much to Schuldiner's shock and disgust. Schuldiner took legal action and Butler and Andrews were fired from the band.
Schuldiner abandoned the idea of a band set-up altogether and began working with session musicians only. Schuldiner hired
Steve DiGiorgioand recruited Sean Reinertand Paul Masvidalfrom underground Florida band Cynic. In 1991, Death released "Human", which is considered a more technical and progressive album than their previous works. "Human" was Death's best-selling album yet, receiving many accolades and some MTVplay for the group's first video, directed by David Bellino, for the track "Lack of Comprehension". Due to obligations with his primary band Sadus, DiGiorgio was forced to depart after the recording of "Human" and new bassist Skott Carino did Death's extensive world tour, from October 1991 until March 1992, in addition to appearing in the music videofor "Lack of Comprehension".
During this period of 1988-92, Death was managed by
Eric Greif, a rocky relationship that culminated in at least two lawsuits between Greif and Schuldiner. However, when interviewed by Thrash 'n Burn, Schuldiner was characteristically mellow about what the writer referred to as his "gruesome collaboration" with Greif: "We just came to the conclusion that it was stupid just fighting all the time, taking each other to court and all that stupid shit." [ [http://www.emptywords.org/Thrash'nBurn02-1992.htm "Keeping Death on the Roads!", Thrash 'n Burn, February 1992] ] After his final break from Greif, Schuldiner managed himself for the remainder of his career.
The final years (1993–2001)
In 1993, Reinert and Masvidal left the group to continue with Cynic, Schuldiner being unable to persuade them otherwise. Schuldiner replaced them with
drummer Gene Hoglanof the recently dissolved thrash metalband Dark Angel, and worked with guitarist Andy LaRocquefrom King Diamond for " Individual Thought Patterns". LaRocque being obligated to his band, Schuldiner hired a then-unknown Ralph Santollaas touring guitarist. Death was arguably at the peak of their commercial and popular culture success, and the video for the track "The Philosopher" even made it on to an episode of Beavis & Butt-headin 1994 (Beavis also parodies Schuldiner's vocals in a mock 'drive-thru' order of 'tacos, to go!' in death-metal style). Also in 1994, Death abandoned their eight year relationship with Relativity and signed with Roadrunner Records, their European distributor. For 1995's "Symbolic", Santolla and DiGiorgio were exchanged for underground Florida musicians Kelly Conlonand Bobby Koelble. For the Symbolic tour Brian Benson was brought in on bass (Conlon having left the band prior to the tour due to conflicts with Schuldiner).
After "Symbolic", Schuldiner dissolved the band and all ties with Roadrunner and began writing songs for
Control Denied. It was during this time that Schuldiner briefly worked with Florida studio guitarist James Hogan. Schuldiner was still contractually obligated to record an album under Nuclear Blastwith Death, and so he used several songs that were intended to be used for Control Denied, as several song titles on " The Sound of Perseverance" were originally Control Denied song titles (though, this is disputed, as Chuck himself denied using Control Denied songs as "filler" on the Death album)Fact|date=April 2008. He re-formed Death with Florida musicians Richard Christy, Shannon Hammand Scott Clendenin to record 1998's " The Sound of Perseverance" with his new label Nuclear Blast.
After the album and two supporting tours, Schuldiner dissolved Death to pursue
Control Deniedwith Christy and Hamm. Clendenin was dropped in favor of Steve DiGiorgio, who was once again available, and an underground power metalsinger named Tim Aymar. As Schuldiner finished Control Denied's debut album, he was diagnosed with brain cancer, forcing the band to scrap plans for a US and Canadian tour. As he worked on the second release, Schuldiner's condition improved, but the tumor left him in a weakened, vulnerable state. He contracted pneumoniaand was placed in the hospital. He was released and returned home where, one hour later, Schuldiner died on December 13, 2001.
The aftermath (2001-present)
The second Control Denied release has yet to be completed and is mired in a variety of odd legal problems involving its label, the musicians (who have publicly stated their desire to complete the album) and Schuldiner's mother. In 2004,
Hammerheart Recordsreleased a CD made up of old, pre-"Scream Bloody Gore" demos, along with partial demos of the unfinished album. This was issued under the name Chuck Schuldiner, not Death, but their markedly unfinished state and lack of vocals led few to pay attention, aided by Schuldiner's mother's pleas for fans to stay away from it.
Members of Death have dispersed all throughout the landscape of metal and popular music. Some, like
Gene Hoglanfrom Dark Angel and Andy LaRocquefrom King Diamond, already had made a name for themselves. Others went on to do so, like Sean Reinert, who formed the legendary Cynic with fellow Death member Paul Masvidal. Ironically, both of these pioneering death metal musicians have ended up in a progressive, ethereal rock band named Æon Spoke, laced with delicate guitars and Masvidal's soft croon. Richard Christywent on to gigs with Acheron and Iced Earthbefore joining The Howard Stern Show. Ralph Santollahas also played with Iced Earth, as well as Sebastian Bach, both of which were also stations for Steve DiGiorgio(he is still playing with Bach). While Santolla is now in Obituary and before this he was in Deicide. DiGiorgio also played for Testament and is still active with his original band Sadus. Bobby Koelble founded the Orlando rock-funk-Latin fusion group JunkieRush in 2000. James Murphywas also in Testament for a while, formed numerous projects such as Disincarnate(as well as stints with death metal bands Obituary and Cancer) and has made a name for himself. Murphy also has been stricken with cancer and, along with Deron Millerof CKY, is organizing a Death tribute albumto be released upon completion. Recently, Kam Leeformed the band Denial Fiend with Terry Butler.
", he cleaned up the logo taking out more intricate details and the "T" in the logo was swapped from an inverted Cross to a more regular looking "T", one reason being to quash any implication of religion. [ [http://aom.dead-inside.org/inter/death/index.htm Death, Alters of Metal Interviews] , (accessed August 26, 2008)]
Last known lineup
Rick Rozz- (1983–1985, 1987–1989)
* Matt Olivo - (1985)
* John Hand - (Never played anything live or on any album, but credited on Scream Bloody Gore [ [http://www.emptywords.org/BANDBorivojKrgin.htm Emptywords.org] Death biography ] ) (1987)
Paul Masvidal- (1989, 1991–1992)
* Albert Gonzalez - (1990)
* James Murphy - (1989)
Andy LaRocque- (1993)
Ralph Santolla- (1993)
* Craig Locicero - (1993)
* Bobby Koelble - (1995)
* Scott Carlson - (1985)
* Erik Meade - (1985)
Terry Butler- (1987–1990)
Steve DiGiorgio- (1986, 1991, 1993)
* Skott Carino - (1991–1992)
Kelly Conlon- (1995)
* Brian Benson - ("Symbolic" Tour)
Kam Lee- (1983–1985; also vocals)
* Eric Brecht - (1985)
Chris Reifert- (1986–1987)
* Bill Andrews - (1987–1990)
Sean Reinert- (1991–1992)
Gene Hoglan- (1993–1995)
Death by Metal" (demo as Mantas, 1983)
* "Live in Tampa" (demo, 1984)
* "Reign of Terror" (demo, 1984)
Live at Ruby's Pub" (live-demo, 1984)
Infernal Death" (demo, 1985)
* "Rigor Mortis" (demo, 1985)
* "Back from the Dead" (demo, 1985)
Infernal Live" (live-demo, 1985)
* "Mutilation" (demo, 1986)
Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)" (2001)
Live in Eindhoven" (2001)
* "Lack of Comprehension" (videoclip, 1991)
* "The Philosopher" (videoclip, 1993)
* "Live in Houston" (Bootleg,
* "Live in Florence" (
* "Live in Music Hall" (1998, Virus Cable TV)
* "Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)" (Official Live,
DVD/ VHS, 05.12.1998)
* "Live in Eindhoven" (Official Live,
DVD), 2001, Nuclear Blast)
* "Live in Japan" (
* "Live in Cottbus" (1998, Official Bootleg)
Control Denied- Second band of Chuck Schuldiner.
Voodoocult- A supergroup in which Chuck played guitar
* [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=11:hx6ompn39ffo Death at]
* [http://www.emptywords.org Memorial site for Chuck Schuldiner]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.