One of the more storied bands in metal, the band known simply
as Death is recognized as one of the most influential bands in
the field of death metal.
Their origins date back to 1983, with the first incarnation
of the band, then known as Mantus, featuring guitarists Chuck
Schuldiner and Rick Rozz along with drummer Kam Lee.
Lee and Rozz would leave to form
in 1985, though Rozz
would return, along with other ex-Massacre members, in 1987.
Schuldiner eventually moved to San Francisco and teamed up with
drummer Chris Reifert (who would later form
and it was this duo who recorded the legendary debut,
Scream Bloody Gore.
A raw, primitive affair, bearing quite a similarity to another
death metal pioneer in
Gore created quite a buzz at the
time, and the seeds of the infamous Floridian death metal scene
had thus been planted.
Schuldiner then moved back to Florida, hooked up with the
aforementioned Massacre members, and two more landmark albums,
Spiritual Healing, were released, with the band's
popularity steadily increasing.
In 1991, Schuldiner decided to take the band to another level.
With an all-new lineup, 1991's Human presented a different view
of death metal, mixing advanced technical musicianship with brutal
As influential as the early material was on early death metal bands,
Human and the later Death albums have proven equally influential
on a host of 90's technical death metal bands.
Now with regularly shifting lineups, Death
continued progressing in the technical death metal field until
1996, when Schuldiner decided on another change.
Dissatisfied with his own vocals, and desiring a less death metal
style, he disbanded the group and started the project later to
be known as
After some dabblings with that project, Schuldiner
decided to record one more album as Death, that being
The Sound Of Perseverance, after which he formally revived
In 1999 Chuck was diagnosed with a brainstem tumor, and he spent
much of the next two years battling cancer.
Though it was reported in 2001 that he might be improving,
eventually the disease took over, and sadly he passed away on
December 13, 2001.
Almostly universally reported as a truly nice guy, he will be missed
by all metal fans, but his legacy will live on.