Death - Spiritual Healing

The vocals, rhythms, lyrics, leads, and production are all solid on this release. It falls more on the death metal genre not progressive even though Chuck said that Death would always be a growing band. That they were, but during this era death metal was pretty much invented by the man. Death's first 3 albums are their heaviest. "Scream Bloody Gore" and "Leprosy" were more brutal, but the production quality wasn't as good. "Spiritual Healing" is definitely a vintage album way ahead of it's time.

I'd say that even though a lot of the guitar construction was really basic with chords thick featuring heavy distortion, Chuck created riffs that were tremolo picked, chords fitting the vocals as well as their content, and solos by the man plus James Murphy in the lead department also brilliantly executes his efforts. The lyrical content was more thought out than the first 2 Death albums. But "Leprosy" has some good songs with really memorable lyrics especially for the song "Pull the Plug".

Chuck was still developing on his leads while James Murphy was more melodic during his featuring tremolo picking galore, sweeps amazingly played out, and arpeggios fluent entirely. I think that it was a wise move to have this album remastered to really get the most out of it and recognizing that way back in 1990, the production quality wasn't as good obviously plus Death was still getting established with their sound just different lineups with each succeeding record.

Chuck worked with some really amazing guitar players and James Murphy here on "Spiritual Healing" is an example of a man that was wicked in the lead department. He also suffers with brain cancer like Chuck and that is why there is Sweet Relief Foundation for musicians that are without medical insurance. Back on the topic of "Spiritual Healing" as an album, Chuck had really deep throat which fit the guitar chords and progressions quite well. A lot of people feel that this is Death's best release ever. To me "Human" is, but it's still debatable.

Way ahead of his time, Chuck started focusing heavily on lyrics that make people think like say "I've never thought of this, or you know, maybe he's right about this" as being an open topic to words that are well thought out. "Scream Bloody Gore" didn't have that mentality because Chuck was still trying to develop as a musician. I think that he really hit top notch on this album. The riffs are so well constructed and Death's sound was getting more and more recognized by the death metal community.

Bands like Deicide, Obituary, et al did not have lyrics nearly as good as on "Spiritual Healing" or the next succeeding albums. Deicide of course had such nonsense with Satanic words which are not hard to write about. "Spiritual Healing" I'd say crushed Deicide's debut because the rhythms, leads, vocals, and overall musicianship was not lacking at all because of Chuck's genius. He really wanted death metal to feature music and lyrics that take time to construct and be become unforgettable.

"Living Monsrosity" is probably my favorite track on the whole album but all of the songs are noteworthy and amazingly well put together. There are many instances of melodic riffs alongside the thick chord progressions. Tempos always changing, scales/finger tapping as a part of a lot of songs with the deep throat Chuck used which fit so well with the music. Lead trade offs by Chuck and James were also a highlight. James focused on more melodic leads while Chuck initiated more faster tremolo picking whizzing through the fretboard.

If you are a death metal fan, do not leave "Spiritual Healing" out of your collection. It simply is a genius like release that features originality, great musicianship by all band members, and an overall kick ass album musically, lyrically, and technically. Such a great band that was way ahead of its time as I've said previously and Chuck explored many avenues in the songwriting plus the lyrical content. This is when Death I think was founded because it had so many variations plus totally brutal throat which I think fit the music the most.

1. Living Monstrosity
2. Altering The Future
3. Defensive Personalities
4. Within The Mind
5. Spiritual Healing
6. Low Life
7. Genetic Reconstruction
8. Killing Spree
Combat Records
Reviewer: Death8699
Jan 10, 2013
Next review: Death - Human

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