Review: DeathOrchestra ‘Symphony Of Death’

We all know this years been a shitter right? Well sometimes you just need that special surprise… you know like when you stick on an old pair of jeans and find a tenner in the pocket, automatically your gonna have a great day! Well this year we needed this by the bucket load and it came for me in the form of an email from The Shaman. And inside this wonderful email was the surprise of a lifetime…one of my all time favourite bands music being honoured with a full fucking orchestra….that band being none other than Floridian death metal godfathers Death… Hot Diggity Damn!

DeathOrchestra ‘Symphony Of Death’

Phew, let me take a breath and calm down a second, you need details. So this is an honorary performance in tribute to Death, performed by Russian death metallers Buicide and the Olympic Symphony Orchestra on one special night back in 2019. Performed for an audience (weird right?) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and this recording has now been released independently for us all to enjoy.

From 1987 to 1998, Death consistently blew the minds of just about every metal head on the globe with records very dear to my heart like Leprosy and Human. The technical wizardry from a plethora of stunning musicians who feature on these records (Steve Digiorgio, James Murphy, Sean Reinert, Paul Masvidal, Gene Hoglan and Bobby Koelble to name but a few) are accompanied by wonderful song writing and emotive vocals from the late great Chuck Schuldiner, who is undoubtedly the finest to ever grace the genre he helped to create. I don’t think there’s a death metal, or indeed extreme metal band/record out there that hasn’t been touched, or influenced in some way, by the group.

cheers to Buicide and the Olympic Symphony Orchestra for etching some of the most important music in my life into eternity with this special performance….

First things first, live records… they’re an opinion splitter, a bit like spam fritters, you either love them or loathe them. Personally, if it’s produced well, and the performance is good, then I have a lot of time for a live record. I’m pleased to say that this is excellently produced and sounds great. It had to as-well, it would be a travesty to produce something as cool as this and half arsed the production, especially with tracks as sacrosanct as these. All the instrumentation is clear, polished and you can hear each individual piece of mastery from Chuck and Co played by Russian band Buicide. What’s cool as well is that I wasn’t actually aware of them, but they’re a really proficient technical death metal band that I will be for sure checking out more of in the future.

It’s important to state, this is a fully instrumental performance celebrating wonderful technical ability that Death were renowned for, would I have liked vocals? Sure… but I’m a greedy fucker and I’m just glad this was made. The performance is seven tracks long and features a pretty good pick of the groups discography, if a little heavy on The Sound Of Perseverance which accounts for three of its tracks. Unfortunately, there is no tribute to classic records like Spiritual Healing and Scream Bloody Gore but one of my all time favourites Pull The Plug from Leprosy does get the treatment and it’s fantastic. Would I have liked a track from each album…sure BUT its Death played by tech death metallers Buicide with a full orchestra!

So while you’re all blathering on about Metallica releasing S&M2 I say ‘Who the Fuck Cares?’ That’s right Lar’s Ulrich…. I went there! S&M more like B&M (that’s a bargain basement store to our none UK readers)! Death is here reimagined with their own S&M and it fucking kills! Jokes aside, I have nothing against S&M, but I’m just totally stoked to have heard this. I actually have to admit that it’s not perfect, the track list could have been better and the vocals are missing, but the bias Death fan in me doesn’t care. So, cheers to Buicide and the Olympic Symphony Orchestra for etching some of the most important music in my life into eternity with this special performance.

Label: Independent
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Matt Alexander