DeathOrchestra – Symphony of Death

DeathOrchestra – Symphony of Death
Reviewed: December 2020
Released: 2020, Bandcamp
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Metal bands partnering with symphonic orchestras isn’t a new phenomenon. Metallica made it socially acceptable ages ago, and everyone from Accept to Dimmu Borgir to Paradise Lost has done the same in recent years. Had Chuck Schuldiner survived his bout with brain cancer and the mighty Death persisted, it’s not entirely implausible that we might have heard just such a collaboration. But fate is a mothereffer and Chuck has long since left this mortal coil. However, that hasn’t stopped Russian death metallers Buicide from teaming with the Olympic Symphonic Orchestra from honoring Death’s legacy in a one of a kind and gut wrenchingly emotional collaboration – DeathOrchestra and their SYMPHONY OF DEATH.

Leaning heavily on Death’s latter output, SYMPHONY OF DEATH is a beautiful reimagining of the musical legacy that Chuck Schuldiner created and stewarded. Opening with the subdued “Voice of the Soul” is a bold choice, but it speaks volumes in setting the stage for the integration of epic orchestral instrumentation and Buicide’s traditional metal approach. Violins and electric guitars collide in escalating harmonies that soon break into the classic “Crystal Mountain”. Horns and strings trade the roles of vocals and lead guitars while Buicide tends to anchor the rhythms and contrasting melodies.

“Scavenger of Human Sorrow” stands out for sure as its original format was intentionally complicated and works remarkably well in this setting, but I immediately gravitated to “PULL THE PLUG.” Hearing Rick Rozz’s dive bar whammy solo swapped with dirty jazz horns is certainly something to behold. Which if there’s a downside to SYMPHONY OF DEATH it’s that it largely ignores the earlier Death catalog. Tunes like “Spiritual Healing” or anything off HUMAN could’ve surely translated into this kind of orchestrated format, but that’s a small nit to pick.

The production and sonic quality of the performances on SYMPHONY OF DEATH are top notch, and the accompanying live videos (YouTube it) create even more energy. DeathOrchestra will likely resonate more with Schuldiner devotees, but still succeeds at delivering a powerful intersection of death metal and traditional classical orchestration.


Track List:
1. Voice of the Soul
2. Crystal Mountain
3. Zero Tolerance
4. Scavenger of Human Sorrow
5. Spirit Crusher
6. Destiny
7. Pull the Plug


Sergey Kuznetsov – Guitar
Anton Ryzhev – Guitar
Kirill Kotov – Bass
Roman Gubarik – Drums
Olympic Symphony Orchestra


, ,