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Death
Spiritual Healing Deluxe Edition
December 2012
Released: 2012, Relapse Records
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Infamousbutcher

Time for another killer remaster! Over the last 2 years Chuck Schuldiner’s former manager and intellectual property owner Eric Grief has been painstakingly remastering, remixing (in some cases), and digging out live performances and demos for special re-releases of the Death catalog that are available through Relapse Records. Now 1990’s SPIRITUAL HEALING has gotten the deluxe treatment! Metal fans rejoice! One of the best metal albums of all time has just gotten better and Eric pulled out all of the stops in the 3 disc deluxe edition. The re-release is available in 2 disc and 3 disc formats like HUMAN, INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS, and THE SOUND OF PERSERVERENCE.

Let’s go back to 1990 for a minute. Up to that point Chuck had pretty much invented the death metal genre with 1987’s SCREAM BLOODY GORE and then followed it up with the brutal LEPROSY in 1988. What to do now, continue on the brutal path or start to experiment? Chuck continued to develop as a guitarist and musician and began composing longer, more complex, intricate song structures that still unmistakably had the Death sound. At the same time, Death’s lineup became more solid as bassist Terry Butler (Massacre, Obituary) and drummer Bill Andrews (Massacre) stayed in the lineup after LEPROSY. Death was also strengthened by the presence of guitarist James Murphy (Obituary, Cancer, Disincarnate, Testament). SPIRITUAL HEALING isn’t as brutal as its 2 predecessors, but it is still death metal and more importantly it was the transition into progressive metal that Chuck would continue until his untimely death in 2001.

Disc 1 is a remaster of the original album, not a remix which I am very happy about. The album sounds exactly the same, just louder, clearer, and more distinct. It’s sounds marvelous, possibly the best remastered disc I have ever heard and I’ve heard a lot. The only difference on the album I noticed are Chuck’s long growls on “Within The Mind” sound slightly enhanced on the new version. To me, the first 6 tracks are just classic, timeless metal. The 7 minute centerpiece of the album, “Spiritual Healing” is just an amazing track with beauty and brutality. “Altering The Future” is my favorite on the album and “Low Life” just kicks ass. The final 2 tracks “Genetic Reconstruction” and “Killing Spree” aren’t quite on the same level as the other tracks, but they are still solid, quality Death songs. No filler here folks!

Disc 2 contains demos from the Spiritual Healing recordings. Sound quality is decent, some tracks have vocals and some do not. I like this kind of stuff because it gives you a window into how the album was recorded and how songs were developed. There are also several jams on this disc, some of which don’t sound anything like Death’s music but are an interesting listen nevertheless. Disc 3 has a live concert from the Spiritual Healing tour. Sound quality is rough and there is some distortion so it is best to listen to this at a medium volume. It’s very cool and the musicianship and Chuck’s vocals are quite impressive. I also enjoyed the stage banter. The end of the third disc includes rehearsals of songs that would appear on 1991’s HUMAN, very cool to hear these tracks in their infancy.

If you have read this far, do not pass go, do not collect $200, just go out and pick up a copy of this metal masterpiece!
Track Listing

Disc 1 Spiritual Healing:
1. Living Monstrosity
2. Altering The Future
3. Defensive Personalities
4. Within The Mind
5. Spiritual Healing
6. Low Life
7. Genetic Reconstruction
8. Killing Spree

Disc 2 Spiritual Healing Rehearsals:
1. Altering the Future
2. Defensive Personalities
3. Within The Mind
4. Within The Mind Take 2
5. Spiritual Healing
6. Killing Spree
Studio Instrumentals:
7. Defensive Personalities
8. Spiritual Healing
9. Within The Mind
Joke and Jam Tracks
10. Satanic Jam
11. Primus Jam
12. John & Qua Take 2
13. John & Qua Take 3
14. John & Qua Take 4
15. John & Qua Take 5
16. John & Qua Take 6

Disc 3 Live in New Rochelle, NY March 17, 1990
1. Living Monstrosity
2. Pull The Plug
3. Zombie Ritual
4. Spiritual Healing
5. Left To Die
6. Defensive Personalities
7. Genetic Reconstruction
8. Open Casket
9. Within The Mind
10. Leprosy
Pre-Huamn Rehearsals"
11. Suicide Machine
12. Together As One
13. See Through Dreams


Lineup

Chuck Schuldiner: Guitar, vocals
James Murphy: Guitar
Bill Andrews: Drums
Terry Butler: Bass

Concert Reviews

» Death and Hammerfall Invade North America

» Napalm Death, DeathBound, The Scourger - Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland

» No Mercy Festival - Moonspell / Napalm Death / Behemoth / Dew-Scented / Root / Hades Lab

» Dublin Death Patrol - The Underworld, Camden, London

» DeathBreath : Nosturi, Helsinki Finland

» The Haunted with Slow Death Factory at The Rock Copenhagen Denmark 2008

» Napalm Death,Warbringer and Suffocation at The Rock in Copenhagen, Denmark 2008

» London Deathfest inc. CRYPTOPSY and DECREPIT BIRTH - The Underworld, London

» Napalm Death, Misery Index, Final Harvest : Nosturi Helsinki Finland

» Napalm Death - Time Waits For No Slave European Tour 2009 at The Rock Copenhagen, Denmark

» NEVERMORE/Death Angel/Cauldron @ O2 Islington Academy – 18/05/10

» Cutting Edge Show @ Underworld, Tesseract, Subversion, Death Remains, Sanity Burns, Training Icarus

» Napalm Death with support act on European Tour 2011 at The Rock Copenhagen Denmark

» NAPALM DEATH @ Camden Underworld

» Five Finger Death Punch - Share The Welt Tour 2011

» Maryland Deathfest X - May 24 - 27, 2012

» DEATH ANGEL @ The Underworld, Camden

» Death to All Tour / Gorguts - June 28 2012 NYC

» Obituary / Broken Hope: Carnival of Death Tour, The Gramercy Theater, New York City Sept. 11, 2012

» Anthrax / Testament / Death Angel: House of Blues, Atlantic City: October 6, 2012

» Anthrax, Testament, Death Angel: September 21, 2012. Calgary, Alberta


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