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Symbolic (Remaster)
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$10.69+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on September 23, 2016
While not necessarily the first death metal band, Death were arguably the first "proper" death metal band, and perhaps the definitive band of death metal. Everything about Death is iconic within the world of extreme metal. The viciously heavy, low tuned, and chromatic guitars, the growling, rasping vocals, the gory lyrics (which later became introspective and philosophical), the pummeling blast beats, the heavy and disorienting bass. Death created a lasting legacy within not only death metal, but heavy metal in general. Many point to The Sound of Perseverance as their greatest album, but I respectively disagree. Death's 1995 crowning achievement, Symbolic, is their best album. It's the perfect blend of technicality and heaviness, while still maintaining their trademark death metal aspects. It's probably their most accessible album as well. Symbolic is a landmark technical death metal release.
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on October 2, 2016
Sounds of Perseverance is what drew me into death almost two decades ago. Then as I explored their back catalog, I discovered that Human and Leprosy were also pretty amazing. But the real icing on the cake is Symbolic. In a genre like this, it is hard sometimes to differentiate between one growling band and another as they bang away on the drums and shred guitar. But on Symbolic you hear the style, lyrical content and technique that is all this band's own, and which they built upon to make Sounds of Perseverance. Amazing band. I have this pretty solid theory they made the soundtrack to the NES game Castlevania part II. Youtube it, and tell me I'm lying.
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on June 26, 2014
Death's music is one of the best (if not, THE best) examples of Death Metal out there. Evolving (and actually pioneering) death metal and evolving into progressive death metal through it's brutal crusade of over 10 years, Death has left it's mark on metal, and will not soon be forgotten.

Symbolic, the second to the last album in Death's discography, is simply a must for any metal heads' collection. It's unapologetically brutal, extremely well performed, and full of face melting riffs. Add to that it's original, and now remastered!

That's right, I should mention this is the Remastered Version - you get the album, remixed and remastered, with 4 extra demo tracks made during the recording of the album. There's also liner notes, lyrics, and pictures of the band too.

I'm done reviewing, I could talk on and on about how great this album is, but you need to see it for yourself. You want metal? Click the order button already! You will not be disappointed!
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on November 9, 2012
Even though the band ceased to exist in 2001 following the death of frontman Chuck Schuldiner (who died from brain cancer), the sixth album from Floridian death metal icons Death, quite simply, never ceases to amaze. Surprisingly progressive, superbly catchy, and adherently groovy, "Symbolic" (which was originally released in 1995, and re-released with four demo tracks in 2008) is a very rare find in death metal because it is a positively air-guitar-able album. Schuldiner and Bobby Koelble both come-up with gob after gob of excellent, satisfying, and instinctively memorable riffs, technically-impressive leads, and dazzling solo runs. Meanwhile, bassists Kelly Conlon (who would later go on to join Monstrosity) and Steve DiGiorgio (who is also a proud member of Sadus and Autopsy) lay down some wicked bass lines, memorable grooves, and even toss in the odd solo or two. And the band is rounded out by another indisputably legendary musician, drummer Gene Hoglan, who is also in fine form, here. His drumming may be mainly centered around blasts and thrash beats, but he is nonetheless a very godly skinsman, and his top-notch talents -- i.e. blistering feet work and inhuman dexterity -- are proudly displayed all throughout these nine songs. Plus, but no matter how technical his playing may be, it is always air-drummer worthy. (It is easy to imagine Hoglan inspiring generations of fans across the globe to get behind a trapkit.)

Finally, as with the music, the vocals are confrontational, influential, and always very memorable. (For this effort, Chuck adopted a newfound low, deathly growl to go along with his signature black metal-esque rasps, one that he would go on to use in later releases such as 1999's swansong "Sound Of Perseverance.") Add consistently epic and mature songwriting/arrangements and an excellent production job (courtesy of Chuck) to the mix, and the end result is one of the clear-cut crown jewels on the death metal timeline. It is also easily one of the most influential pieces of music in the genre's history.

Death begin the title track with a very great and catchy, chugging, abrasively grinding main riff that snowballs into a blinding onslaught of blistering licks, interesting, beeping bass lines, and pummeling blast beats. Top it all off with a nice-and-long (and wailing) melodic guitar solo section, and the end result is a very addictive set opener. Next comes, "Zero Tolerance," which aside from featuring powerful, shout-worthy vocals and inspiring, rebellious lyrics, clearly takes a page out of the Judas Priest playbook, as it lets fly a bunch of excellent, mazy, winding solos and lovely, epic-sounding guitar harmonies. And a pounding doom metal riff is included in the chorus, too. "Empty Words" features an epic arrangement, opening on a quiet note, with docile strings and melodic hand percussion. The electric guitars eventually come screaming in, though, unleashing a handful of fiery, technical solos, and creating a muscular, airtight rhythm complete with thundering thrash beats/double bass drumming and persistent, grumbling bass lines. As a result, "Empty Words" may be a mostly melodic and first-and-foremost mid-tempo song, but it certainly does not lack any potency or heaviness.

"Sacred Serenity" features a similarly epic arrangement. It begins sounding almost like a cut of pure progressive rock, with a funky, Primus-esque slapped bass part and bouncy drum beat in the intro. And again, the guitars come ripping on through with impressive, pyrotechnic soloing, and hooky, head-bangable riffing. A dreary, soft string breakdown is included later on, but this song is mostly highlighted by its excellent, epically complex soloing and deft, technical bass work throughout. "Sacred Serenity" is also of note for the way it builds and gains momentum off of itself. "1,000 Eyes" augments its machine-gun riffage with booming, bottom-heavy bass lines, and a rhythmic, galloping drum beat. Things occasionally downshift to adopt some more mid-tempo chugging, but most of the song is blistering. "Without Judgement" is backed by industrial-strength chug and churn guitar slices, and is anchored by more exceptional bass work -- including very steady, grumbling bass grooves and a short but sweet bass solo. There are a few down-tempo melodic parts (with soaring guitar harmonies and high-flying melodic solos); but they only help to add punch and delicious contrast to the fast, thrashy parts.

Following that comes something that just might be the best death metal song ever. (It is at least one of the best, and that's for certain.) Its name is "Crystal Mountain" -- need I say more?! Well, OK, no review would be complete without mentioning the gobs of eargasmic soloing, impeccable cymbal rides (cheers, Gene!), extremely catchy vocals and memorable lyrics, and awesome, flowing outro found here. Here, the band lay deliciously melodic leads on top of equally-as-tasty Spanish/acoustic guitars, and do so to unforgettable effect. Then, Death offset "C.M.," which is the album's most melodic and progressive cut, with "Misanthrope," which is a breakneck, and fairly devastating barrage of aggressive tempos, blazing guitars, and skull-splitting drum slamming. (Hoglan sure does not skimp on the blasts, here.) Finally, the set wraps up with another terrifically epic piece in "Perennial Quest," a sprawling, near eight-and-a-half minute long set closer. Most of it is relatively restrained, and it even features occasional slow and melodic breakdowns (the acoustic breakdown near the end is just plain gorgeous!). And only occasionally does the song erupt into a blast of propulsive, thrashing, blast beat-aided speed metal, thus making the arrangements brilliantly dynamic. Plus, another shred-tastic, vertigo-inducing solo section is included, as well. Needless to say, it is one excellent way to end an already fantastic album.

Progressive death metal, death-thrash, melodic death metal -- throw out the categories, because "Symbolic" is THE ultimate DM album. Even seventeen years after it was initially released, it remains the crowning achievement for each band member involved in the making of it, and one of the most essential pieces of music that a metalhead can buy!
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on June 30, 2017
Words just can't describe Symbolic. The sound quality on the Amazon version is pretty good too, really thrilled. Lots of sounds coming through you can't hear on the Youtube version. Way better than the version I used to have on Cassette too.
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on March 27, 2014
Death is one of my favorite bands, and even though I'm being somewhat biased about this, the remastered version of symbolic left me speechless. Not only does it include the remastered album, but it also includes a little back history about the band, extra tracks (as in the demo version of symbolic), as well as some extra pictures. If you claim to be a metal head and you don't have any of death's albums in your arsenal, then I suggest getting some now.
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on August 21, 2017
One of my all time favorite metal albums! If you call yourself a metal head and haven't heard his album, pick it up now. I bought the vinyl, and to my surprise I received the limited edition white vinyl pressing! I was so beyond excited. What a great purchase! Get it while it's still white!
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on December 4, 2014
Finally we have a great reissue of one of the best metal albums of the 90's and of all time. Word really don't do this album or band justice, so I'll just stick to this vinyl reissue. Issued by Metal Blade on 180 gram white vinyl, limited to only 1500 copies. This version sounds absolutely phenomenal! I had the 2007/09 Cargo Records version which sounded VERY quiet and both copies I went through were warped! This is definitely the way to go if you want a great sounding version of this masterpiece. Get it before it's gone!
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on August 12, 2017
One of the best death metal albums of all time. From the best death metal band ever! The white vinyl makes it even better!!
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on March 14, 2002
Unreal....Completely unreal!!!

This is one incredible release from Chuck and the Death boys. I think this is by far their finest hour. The production is flawless, and the music??.....This is just pure genius!!!

"Symbolic" has the coolest riffs, and the most melodic guitar solos I've ever heard from Death. It's one of those releases that you can NEVER get tired of listening to. Everytime I listen to this I like it more and more....The melodic guitars are just incredible!!!

This isn't like any other Death release yoy may have heard in previous years. It's without question my favorite Death release, and I've got them all...

One thing that I love about "Symbolic", is the flow it has. It's not one of those ALL OUT SPEED oriented Death Metal releases that so many other bands try and display. It's got some fast parts, but as a whole, it's steady, straight ahead, in your face METAL. It's got a killer groove, and back-bone to it, and I think that's what makes this so much more enjoyable.

Chuck and Death have really outdone themselves with this release. It's undeniably one of the "BEST DEATH METAL RELEASES OF ALL TIME". I can't make you buy this, but if there were only one Death CD I could recommend, this would be the one.....

~MJ~
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