Spirit Crusher

The Sound of Perseverance is the seventh and final studio album by American death metal band Death, released on September 15, 1998 by Nuclear Blast.[1] This is the only album to feature guitarist Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin and drummer Richard Christy.


The album, in particular, employs a style more akin to progressive metal than the earliest Death releases, although since Human and the albums following it, the band had been developing more toward this style. The average song length on this album is around six minutes. Also, it was a breakthrough album for drummer and later radio star Richard Christy, in the tradition of previous drummers like Gene Hoglan and Sean Reinert.

The album features “Voice of the Soul”, an instrumental track that contrasts with almost every other work of the band in its inclusion of softer guitars and lack of percussion. In an interview done in March 1999, Chuck Schuldiner stated that acoustic guitar driven Voice of the Soul was actually written during the Symbolic sessions.[2] Death has produced only two instrumentals (the other being the more electric guitar driven “Cosmic Sea” from Human). The album also featured a cover of Judas Priest’s “Painkiller”, which shows Schuldiner attempting a different, high-pitched style of death growl more reminiscent of Rob Halford’s original vocals and also singing for the first time with a clean voice through the end of the song. All the solos in the song are rewritten.

Some of the song names and music on The Sound of Perseverance were originally going to appear on the first Control Denied album, The Fragile Art of Existence. Schuldiner himself denied this in an interview with Metal Maniacs in 1998 by saying that none of his compositions for Control Denied had been used to fill space for a Death album.[3] Schuldiner implied that some Control Denied songs were used for The Sound of Perseverance in an interview with Scream Magazine in October 1999, when he stated that The Fragile Art of Existence“contains a lot of music I didn’t have in mind originally. Most of the material was completed in 1996-97.” [4] Also, Tim Aymar, in December 2010, confirmed that a few of the Control Denied songs had been, in his words, “‘Deathized’ and recorded on TSOP.”[5] When Death was signed on to Nuclear Blast, Schuldiner agreed to make one last Death album before moving forward with Control Denied.

“Spirit Crusher” was the single from this album. It featured a music video that was taken from their Live in Eindhoven performance.

Deluxe Editions

Nuclear Blast released a deluxe edition in December 2005. It contains the original album as well as the DVD Live in Cottbus ’98 and press pictures. It was also released as a DualDisc.[6]

Relapse Records released a second deluxe edition on February 15, 2011. The album was remastered and reissued in deluxe 2-CD and 3-CD formats, with the additional CDs containing unreleased demo material and a revised cover by original cover artist Travis Smith.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com [8]
Allmusic [1]
Sputnikmusic [9]
Chronicles of Chaos [10]
Metal Forces 10/10[11]

The Sound of Perseverance has received critical acclaim and is considered by fans and critics alike as one of Death’s greatest albums.[12] Jason Hundey of Allmusic gave the album a 4.5 star review and described it as “a truly glorious metal release, certainly Death’s finest hour, and easily one of the top metal albums of all time.” Chronicles Of Chaos reviewer Paul Schwarz said the album “excels in all the right places. Great thrashings, technical solos, memorable choruses and clear vocals are the order of the day.” He gave it 9/10 stars. About.com reviewed the 2011 reissue of the album and rated it 5 stars.

Track listing

All tracks written by Chuck Schuldiner, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. “Scavenger of Human Sorrow” 6:56
2. “Bite the Pain” 4:29
3. “Spirit Crusher” 6:47
4. “Story to Tell” 6:34
5. “Flesh and the Power It Holds” 8:26
6. “Voice of the Soul” (instrumental) 3:43
7. “To Forgive Is to Suffer” 5:55
8. “A Moment of Clarity” 7:25
9. “Painkiller” (Judas Priest cover) 6:02
Total length: 56:17
[show]2011 remastered version (bonus disc 1)
[show]2011 remastered version (bonus disc 2)


  • Chuck Schuldiner – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
  • Richard Christy – Drums
  • Shannon Hamm – Guitar
  • Scott Clendenin – Bass Guitar
Additional Musicians
  • Steve DiGiorgio – bass on 1997 and 1998 demos
  • Chris Williams – drums on 1996 demo
  • Paul Payne – vocals on 1996 demo
  • Shannon Hamm – vocals on 1996 demo
  • Chuck Schuldiner – producer
  • Jim Morris – producer, engineer, mixing, mastering
  • Travis Smith – artwork
  • Jay Speis – art direction, graphic design
  • Eric Greif – Legal & IP management
  • Alex McKnight – photography


Chart Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[13] 35
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[14] 93
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[15] 60


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Hundey, Jason. “The Sound of Perseverance – Death”. Allmusic. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  2. Jump up^ “Death”. Lamentations of the Flame Princess. March 1999. Accessed December 7, 2010.
  3. Jump up^ “Reincarnation”. Metal Maniacs. November 1998. Accessed February 4, 2012.
  4. Jump up^ “Control Denied”. Scream Magazine. October 1999. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  5. Jump up^ Tim Aymar Speaks Out, Empty Words, accessed December 7, 2010.
  6. Jump up^ “News > DEATH – Release Date Changed For The Sound of Perseverance Deluxe Edition”. Bravewords.com. Retrieved October 13,2011.
  7. Jump up^ Empty Words News Page, Empty Words, accessed December 14, 2010.
  8. Jump up^ Schalek, Dave. “Death – ‘The Sound Of Perseverance'”. About.com. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  9. Jump up^ Schroer, Brendan (April 14, 2010). “Death – The Sound of Perseverance”. Sputnikmusic. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  10. Jump up^ “CoC : Death – The Sound of Perseverance : Review”. Chroniclesofchaos.com. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  11. Jump up^ Arnold, Neil. “Death – The Sound Of Perseverance (Reissue)”. Metal Forces. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  12. Jump up^ “Death reviews, music, news”. Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  13. Jump up^ “Austriancharts.at – Death – The Sound of Perseverance” (in German). Hung Medien.
  14. Jump up^ “Dutchcharts.nl – Death – The Sound of Perseverance” (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  15. Jump up^ “Offiziellecharts.de – Death – The Sound of Perseverance” (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.

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