The undisputed (for some) fathers of Death Metal, Chuck Schuldiner, the man responsible for creating the movement saw his third incarnation of Death come together for Spiritual Healing. The beginning of Death’s evolution from the macabre to the more philosophical, Spiritual Healing is essential in the development of the band’s later career and not to mention one of the most important Death Metal records too!
Consisting of Schuldiner, Bill Andrews, Terry Butler and James Murphy, it was a fantastic combination of musicians. Two of which would both perform in Obituary at different stages, yet another archetypal Death Metal group. Slowly getting more complex, the nature of Death’s songwriting was beginning to become more intricate. Disposing of the thrashing ways of Scream Bloody Gore, Spiritual Healing is perhaps the missing link between the existential questioning of Human and ferocious Leprosy.
Featuring some of my all time favourite Death solos, James Murphy absolutely nails the melody on the tracks. Title track “Spiritual Healing” deals with the church and the blind believers that succumb to the unquestioning nature of religious ideology. “Altering The Future” again, takes a more political stance with the idea of abortion and questioning whether we as humans have the right to take a life. A debate which is still going on to this day.
Overall however the importance of Death’s Spiritual Healing is that it allowed for the band to begin this relentless exploratory idea. Already pioneering a new sound in Scream Bloody Gore, this was only the beginning of the impact that Death would have on the Metal world. If you’ve not heard the band before, I urge you to take the plunge. I did and what followed was a solid summer in a quest delving into everything the band had released in chronological order. An absolute classic in nineties Death Metal, Death shaped an entire sub culture of music that laid the foundations for bands we all know and love now and this was them just getting started.