I can't say this is Death's best album, because I haven't yet
picked up their first three releases. However, I don't care what
the worshippers of "Human" say, this is my favorite
Death album of the last four. Roughly speaking, it combines some
of the slower, more calculated riffing of "Symbolic"
with, in places, the technical speed of "Individual Thought
Patterns" and also contains a liberal dose of "Human"
quality writing for good measure. However, it is a very individual
creation and excels in all the right places. Great thrashings,
technical solos, memorable choruses and clear vocals are the order
of the day.
Though very well done, I don't think the closing "Painkiller"
cover is a great way to end the album, but it is a small weakness.
Chuck has also chosen to play around, once again, with some almost
syncopated, technical and, in places, jazzy sections. The beginning
of first track "Scavenger of Human Sorrow" is an example
of such a section and one could easily cite other parts of this
song or others. Death don't, as they did to an extent on "ITP",
make their music too technical, as the slow, simple chorus of
"Spirit Crusher" beautifully emphasizes, but at the
same time they do not abandon fast technical playing, as you could
argue "Symbolic" did.
"The Sound of Perseverance" is nearly an hour long with
only eight songs and a cover, but, oddly enough, the length does
not make the album dragging, though it does make the songs far
more multi-dimensional than, for example, the new Cannibal Corpse.
Death never were, and never tried to be, the most brutal of the
death metal crowd, but "TSOP" reinforces and newly legitimizes
their reputation as one of the finest.
9 out of 10