Live In L.A. (Death & Raw)
posted on 12/2001
Where exactly the core of ones soul derives could be speculated, but the actual make-up is not an exact science. What factors create ones being, ones personality, ones values, and ones expectations. Will forever be a mystery. Precisely how it should be. Therefore creating individualism, uniqueness, and the acute qualities that decipher your own personality from every other fuck out there.
Who you are and what you stand for had to come from somewhere. Where exactly, who can fucking tell. To actually step back and contemplate your own internal make-up. Is to quite possibly evaluate your own heroes/influences. It has to be a combination of what you respect, who you respect and what kind of person you want to be. The roads you have traveled and the faces you have encountered. Ultimately after all these factors are taken into consideration the actual, "born-to" ideals along with those influences could be the final philosophy in which you live your life.
The Sound of
As I found myself sorting through my own emotions of Chuck's death, I knew that it would be no easy task to describe the impact that his music actually had on me. I will openly admit these feeling were amplified ten fold upon his death. If I were to explain Chuck's music if he were still alive things would be different. The intensity of his constitution would still be the same but not analyzed as tenaciously as they are now. It comes down to the age-old saying "you don't know how good you have it until it is gone".
After a full week of contemplation, my explanation of what Chuck Schuldiner's music meant to me comes down to this. A part of who I am is accredited to a one, Chuck Schuldiner and the music he created. I in no way state that his virtue is what I am completely made of. But a fraction of Chuck Schuldiner is inscribed in my ultimate make-up.
I could explain every nuance in great detail of why this came to be. Every incredible moment that I have had at the hands of a genius.
I take comfort in the fact that I will always have my Death and Control Denied discs sitting in the collection to comfort the loss of an absolute visionary. Beyond that I really have nothing left more to say.
posted on 12/2001
After so many have written so much pertaining to Chuck Schuldiner and his Florida based band Death, utilizing adjective after adjective to describe him and his music in numerous and endless ways, what more can be said that hasn't been said already? It would probably not be beneficial to any and all true Chuck Schuldiner fans if I were to give a history on him or his music, due to the fact that you're more than likely familiar with the story already. To all of you that haven't had the opportunity to hear of either Chuck or his music, all I have to say is you are missing out on something special. If you've read any of my dissections in the past you will know I have stated that Chuck pioneered the genre of metal we know as "death". This is a fact, and he did so by forming his band Death. This is about all of Chuck's history that I plan on mentioning to you. I believe the most beneficial thing for me would be to share my history with the band Death with you. Hopefully after you have read this piece you will have gained something from it. What I have already gained from writing this dissection is immeasurable.
The year was 1996, and like everyone else in the world I was going through some rough and trying times. I don't have to tell most of you that one of the best medications for those times is music. Music is that bridge that leads you to places that are unimaginable in the real world. It's an escape that allows us to be free of the pain we all face from day to day. At that time in 96', a long time friend and I hooked up with a couple of musicians who later became two of my best friends and still are to this date. We formed a metal band and it was the beginning of a time in my life that helped heal some wounds and a time that will never be forgotten. During that musical phase in my life, I was really into the sounds of Pantera, Sepultura, Entombed, Slayer and the list goes on and on. These two new friends, Russ-Ale and Diabolic, turned me on to bands I didn't even know existed in the metal scene. They turned me on to many great albums that I didn't even know were available on the current metal market. One of those albums was Symbolic by Death.
Having been introduced to Death did for me what hearing The Beatles for the first time must have done for my father. I received a taped copy of Symbolic that had Coroner's Grin on the opposite side. I listened to that tape over and over again and never in my 11 years of listening to metal had I heard anything that moved me with such feeling. I had heard plenty of extreme metal in my day, but I had never heard any metal that contained a melodic/technical combination of this caliber. What even further blew my mind was the fact that Chuck played rhythm and lead guitar while singing at that same time (live anyway). And the singing, I had never heard anything so heavy yet so finely tuned, with lyrical concepts that touch on a state of genius. Anyone who has read the written words laid down by Chuck knows that he went to tremendous lengths to bring out the best in his lyrics. Symbolic contains some of the best lyrics written up to it's release in 1995 and still to this day. Chuck made sure every Death track contained the full package by always surrounding himself with the best musicians he could find. It was a wise choice, always playing with topnotch musicians that is, because every Death track does contain all of the elements needed to be labeled as "Masterpiece Metal".
With all that being said, I will now get on to one of the main reasons I'm writing this. To try and do my best to dissect the final Death release that we will have the pleasure of hearing. Of course we will always have all of Chucks' works to choose from, but this is the last release my friends and the thought of it saddens me beyond words. The Sound Of Perseverance proved to me to be the best work Chuck had done in my opinion. With Symbolic being my first taste, I undoubtedly made my way back to all of his previous works. All of his works are a reflection of what it takes to be a true musician. True musicians get better and stronger with each release. Thus, the reason The Sound Of Perseverance is my favorite. It was the result of the evolution of the Death sound over many albums and many years of hard work. I actually had the privilege to see this tour, and it was 12 nights before this "Whiskey A Go Go" gig that another great friend (Steve Post of the 90's thrash/power metal band Realm), and I saw Death at "The Rave" in Milwaukee, WI. The set was pretty much the same if not exactly the same as the one on Live In LA. The production on this disc does not do what I witnessed that night any justice, but any fan familiar with the Death catalogue is sure to hear the music played the way it should be. Sure there are mistakes here and there, but that's the beauty of it. There are no overdubs or repairs done to the recording and the feeling for me is one of gratefulness. It is Death live and in it's rawest state with no studio tricks.
During the show I was pretty much getting pushed up against the stage because I wanted to be in the front of the pack. I needed to witness this band firsthand; thus, the reason we traveled 5 hours or so from the Twin Cities to be there. After they performed the song Spirit Crusher, Chuck had thanked the crowd for their display of praise and enthusiasm. I then proceeded to yell up to him, "No Chuck, thank you!". He responded by turning around, looking at me and giving me the thumbs up. I will never forget that. When I called up Diabolic six days ago to check on the status of the nights' festivities, he told me the news of Chuck's loss in the battle for his life two days prior. I was speechless and pretty much wanted nothing more than to be off the phone. Once I made it so, I walked into my room and shed many tears for a good deal of time. Believe me when I tell you my friends, the same thing is happening to me right now at this point in my review. My heart goes out to Chuck's family and friends, for I lost my father to a similar form of brain cancer back in 1995. Chuck Schuldiner is to me what John Lennon was to my father. I am one of many who will miss him for the rest of my days. Chuck is gone, but his music will always be a part of my listening rotation until I reach my end.
Spiritual Healing (Reissue)
Individual Thought Patterns (Reissue)
The Sound of Perseverance (Reissue)