Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
The Back of the Album Cover for Spiritual Healing
The Album "Spiritual Healing" as More Than Just a Standard Death Metal Album
“Spiritual Healing” is the third studio album by Florida based death metal band called Death. With the album Spiritual Healing in 1990, Chuck’s voice improves to a standard that makes him more understandable. When I wrote an article paying tribute to Chuck Schuldiner in July 2017 the United States had just celebrated another birthday and here we are at the end of August 2019 and I write about another one of the musical works that the band Death created. This band is definitely the finest American death metal band that ever existed. While bands such as Cannibal Corpse focus on aggression, speed, and lyrical concepts based on horror movies, Chuck Schuldiner’s band Death had riffs, creativity, melody, and lyrics about real life issues that really matter to humans.
Note: as this review gets updated we are at the end of May 2020 but the music of the band Death still lives on in the minds of fans that were alive to witness the musical genius of Chuck Schuldiner. It is hard to believe that it is almost 20 years since Chuck Schuldiner departed from this world.
Why the Band Death is the Finest American Death Metal Band Ever
This is quite a claim to make but I find it hard pressed not to give this band that much credit. The band does not focus on just heavy growls with lyrics that focus on Satanism or other grotesque lyrics such as the band Cannibal Corpse does. This band called Death really has lyrics that can make the listener really think about the most fundamental issues not just in the US but in the world. Spiritual Healing is a winner of an album and let us take this journey through this 1990 album that beats Slayer’s Seasons in the Abyss. Chuck’s vocal use of the words “spiritual healing” in the title track are followed by a brilliant mix of interludes and a guitar solo mixed in. If you have chosen to listen to Spiritual Healing, consider it an interesting and smart decision.
"Spiritual Healing" Song Only
Review of Spiritual Healing Continued
The first song called Living Monstrosity is about how a person’s life can turn out when they become addicted to drugs. Prolonged drug use leads to contorted bodies and bodies that become more susceptible to breakdowns, massive disease, and eventually death. I see a resemblance to the song See Through Dreams in one part of the song. The skilled, atmospheric guitar style that we would hear in 1991’s Human album is shown here. Around this time in the band’s career, Chuck began to explore many of life’s most fundamental issues such as abortion, whether to give birth, have children or not. As most of us know, life is never fair and it can sometimes be very cruel. Chuck also discusses about the kinds of people on this planet that are fake, and take advantage of others. That song is the one called Low Life. A low life is a person that will be like a blood sucking leech that will latch itself to others to get whatever they want. In life, there are both “good” and “bad” people. Living Monstrosity also addresses that cocaine addicts never really know what it means to love or hate but they only know about the pain that this drug causes.
The Significance of the Song Altering the Future
Altering the Future is a song that addresses the flaws of the US justice system as the insanity defense is used in court to get the accused person free. The song criticizes life itself because it seems like a life is created only to be destroyed later as those that are unemployed sometimes turn to a life of crime to make ends meet. Is this existence on Earth really that rough or as bad as the song makes it out to be? In 2018, I sense that life is what we make of it. Life is precious and fragile enough that it should not be willingly taken from a person.
Musical Style of Spiritual Healing and the Band Members That Play On It
With this third album, I get the sense that this band slowly started to drift away from the traditional death metal style of the first two albums and put more touches of melody into the songs. For the album Spiritual Healing, Terry Butler plays the bass while James Murphy, the former guitarist for Testament joins Chuck replacing Rick Rozz.
"Altering the Future"
Greatest US Born Heavy Metal Guitarist Among These
The Songs Within the Mind and Spiritual Healing
The 4th song called Within the Mind is about using the powers of our subconscious mind to create the changes and results that we want in our lives. Some of these decisions are made quickly while some decisions take time to be implemented. Chuck starts to bellow as he utters the words spiritual healing but it is not a yell or a grunt. The way that he does it can make his voice echo. Meanwhile, the impressive interludes we would hear on the next three albums is in this song, the title track.
Final Thoughts About the Album Spiritual Healing
But overall, "Spiritual Healing" is a weaker album than Leprosy. Is it really? That is tough to say now in 2018 as the song Genetic Reconstruction brings to light the tendency to want to control the population by selecting those that they think will breed the best offspring. Even so, Chuck Schuldiner and the band Death would release three excellent albums in a row from 1991 through 1995. They would show that they were the best death metal band in the United States throughout the 1990’s beating even the band Morbid Angel. Chuck Schuldiner should be put on a Top 10 list of best American metal guitarists of all time.
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© 2018 Ara Vahanian