|Bobby Koelble||Guitar||ex-member - 1995 |
|Kelly Conlon||Bass||Fires Of Babylon, Infinity Minus One, Sargon, Temple of Blood, Wynterborne, Pessimist, ex-Monstrosity||ex-member - 1995 |
|Gene Hoglan||Drums||Brendon Small, Metalocalypse Dethklok, Mechanism, Meldrum, Memorain, Pitch Black Forecast, Zimmers Hole||ex-member - 1993-1995 |
|Steve DiGiorgio||Bass||Anatomy Of I, Charred Walls Of The Damned, Ephel Duath, Futures End, Johnny Newman, Memorain, Sadus, Sy||ex-member - 1991-1993 |
|Andy Larocque||Guitar||King Diamond, X-World/5, ex-Illwill, ex-E.F. Band||ex-member - 1993 |
|James Murphy||Guitar||Disincarnate, James Murphy, ex-Explorers Club, ex-Konkhra, ex-Obituary, ex-Testament, ex-Agent Steel, e||ex-member - 1990 |
|Paul Masvidal||Guitar||Cynic, ex-Portal, ex-Seaweed, ex-Gordian Knot, Æon Spoke, ex-Master||ex-member - 1990-1992 |
|Chris Reifert||Drums||Autopsy, ex-Abscess, ex-Doomed, ex-The Ravenous, ex-Burnt Offering||ex-member - 1986-1987 |
|Terry Butler||Bass||Denial Fiend, Massacre, Obituary, ex-Six Feet Under, ex-Obliterhate||ex-member - 1987-1990 |
|Kam Lee||Drums, Back vocals||Bone Gnawer, Broken Gravestones, Grave Wax, The Grotesquery, The Skeletal, ex-Mantas, ex-Denial Fiend, ex-[1[Massacre]||ex-member - 1984-1985 |
|Rick Rozz||Guitar||Massacre, ex-Mantas, M Inc., ex-Death Before Dying, ex-Thatcher, ex-Hidden Force||ex-member - 1984-1985, 1987-1989 |
Exactly what does it take to be a pioneer? For some, it can simply be the result of releasing one, maybe two, influential records, never to be heard from again. For others, however, it is an ongoing endeavor which continues long after the initial wound is made on life's jugular. Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, Chuck Schuldiner, first set the heavy metal underground aflame in the early 80's with his seminal metal outfit, Death, a band that has achieved unparalleled status as one of the genre's most respected and influential acts. Despite the early acclaim and attention, Chuck had no interest in resting on his laurels and the musical prowess and originality he had already become known for were pushed further and further, consistently remaining ahead of the times. And now, in 1998, having seen fourteen years and six albums of setting new standards for metal, Schuldiner has proven yet again with no room for debate, that his reputation as a pioneer is no fluke.
Death's history dates back to 1983 when Chuck formed Mantas together with a couple of high school friends and started gaining much notoriety within the underground tape trading circuit. Soon after the band's name was changed to Death and several more self-released tapes followed. It was the blistering 3-track Mutilation demo that drew Combat Records' attention and Death was subsequently inked to the label. The debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, surfaced in '87 and has since then become a metal classic. Even now it is impossible to get through a live Death performance without hearing the crowd chant for incredible songs like "Zombie Ritual". The following year saw the release of their second album, Leprosy. Though certainly not lacking ferocity in any manner, Leprosy contained material which was much bolder and musically adventurous, foreshadowing progression to come. Over the course of the band's next four albums (Spiritual Healing - 1990, Human - 1991, Individual Thought Patterns - 1993 and Symbolic - 1995, through Roadrunner), the musical and lyrical boundaries continued to expand while the gap between brutality
, progression and tradition started to close. It was at this time, primarily around Human, that Schuldiner had truly captured Death's essence and distinctive style; a style that major publications like Guitar World (ranked amongst the top 100 most important guitarists in rock), Bass Player and Modern Drummer have stood up to recognize. Death's rabid fan base is in no way confined to The United States, though. Their headlining tours have dominated world-wide for many years now, touching upon mainland Europe, Japan, South America, etc...
After the release of Symbolic, for the first time in Chuck's adult life he was free of any/all contractual obligations with record labels. It was truly a new beginning; a time for decisions to be made and doors to be opened. At that time a bold choice was made to write music for another metal project Chuck had wanted to pursue appropriately named Control Denied. The musical direction in C.D. was even more melodic than Death and most notably, Chuck was not the vocalist. Instead a more traditional style (ala Iron Maiden
, Queensryche, Nevermore
) was incorporated. After an album's worth of material was laid to tape Chuck surprised the metal masses again by announcing that he was putting C.D. on hold so he could complete a new Death album, which he had started working on right around the time Symbolic was released. Schuldiner explains, "Timing is everything when it comes to music. I was feeling music bubbling to the surface that was unmistakably Death and the fans have always been so supportive of what I have done, it just felt right. It was time to seek out a new recording contract for the band. I haven't given Control Denied up and I plan to release material in the future, but only after everything with the new Death album is done."
Having always been about high standards, both musically and professionally, for the new album, The Sound Of Perseverance, Chuck sought out the best, feeling and knowing that this is to be the most important release in his 14 year career. Shannon Hamm and Scott Clendenin (both from Control Denied) were recruited first and soon after Richard Christy (dubbed at Holland's Dynamo Festival by many as "the most amazing drummer to come along in the last decade") was added to complete the strongest Death line-up to date. A demo was recorded in Chuck's home studio and solicited to labels worldwide before a logical choice was made to sign with Nuclear Blast Records. Finally Chuck had found a home with a label that would embrace what Death was about and support what the band has to offer to the growth of metal music. Returning to Tampa's Morrisound Studios The Sound Of Perseverance was recorded in April/May 1998 with producer/engineer extraordinaire, Jim Morris, who also produced Symbolic.
"The title is my statement to the people that are constantly being victimized by musical trends and let down by a few leading metal bands," explains Chuck. So remember, for some being a pioneer is an ongoing endeavor; one that continues on long after their mark has been made.