Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Chuck Schuldiner, who passed away at age 34 from a brain tumor.
Schuldiner's memory has been kept alive by the metal community over the years, and this year, NPR has compiled a series of essays from members of the metal world on their favorite Death tracks, and what they mean to the individuals.
You can read the full piece here, and check out a few excerpts below.
Paul Masvidal (Cynic/Death): "It's difficult trying to articulate what it is about this instrumental Death song off Human — essentially arranged and written in the studio — that speaks to me. It doesn't have Chuck's voice in the literal sense, but it contains all the vital harmonic, melodic and rhythmic components that branded Death's sound. But it also has something else. It's reaching for truth, and it holds a majestic beauty that gave Death's songs their greatest potency. What I'm remembering is the beginner mind approach in which this song took shape in the studio. It was driven by instinct and spontaneous creative freedom. Our collective energies united and we swam into the 'Cosmic Sea,' trusting we wouldn't need a life raft. Chuck's story was liberated without words. 'Cosmic Sea' is a journey straight into the heart of Death and, for me, an auditory memory of what an old friend felt like at his best.
Steffen Kummerer (Obscura):"Flesh and the Power it Holds" was one of the first tracks I discovered of Death and actually the first song I was able to play on guitar. Pretty good choice, great songwriting and fantastic riffs that itches under your skin. While the whole last album is a classic, the earlier material such as Human got me and since the first listen I have been a fan. "Flesh and the Power it Holds" is a pretty long song, but it never gets boring; it keeps you listening from the first to the last note. Still one of my all time favorites.