Former DEATH members James Murphy (guitar) and Terry Butler (bass) will perform the band's classic third album, "Spiritual Healing", in its entirety at two shows in Florida. The December 11 and December 12 concerts at the Brass Mug in Tampa — where Murphy and Butler will be joined by drummer Gus Rios (ex-MALEVOLENT CREATION, DIVINE EMPIRE) and guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey (EXHUMED, GRUESOME) — will coincide with the 20th anniversary of the passing of DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner.
Butler discussed the upcoming performances during an appearance on a new episode of "The Jasta Show", the video podcast hosted by HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[Former DEATH drummer] Bill Andrews was totally on board to do this, and he wanted to really do it. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic — he's in Japan; he's been living there for 20-plus years — the rules in Japan and so forth, and also his passport needs to be renewed, and it's so backlogged that he can't do it. But he was really torn up about it. But he's moving back to Florida. And he wants to get back into the scene and do some drumming."
He continued: "[Bill] actually started MASSACRE — him and Allen West. But he played on [DEATH's] 'Leprosy', he played on 'Spiritual Healing', he played on [MASSACRE's] 'From Beyond', he played on the 'Inhuman Condition' EP. He's just been out of the scene for a long time, but he wants to get back in."
As for what fans can expect from the Brass Mug concerts, Butler said: "We're gonna do 'Spiritual Healing' in its entirety. And we're gonna play three or four extra songs from the 'Scream Bloody Gore'/'Leprosy' era. The band that is opening is called SYMBOLIC. It's [former DEATH guitarist] Bobby Koelble, some of the guys from [the DEATH tribute band] DTA [DEATH TO ALL], and they're gonna play the DEATH stuff after 'Spiritual'. So it should be two great shows. And it's the first time me and James have been together on stage since 1990."
Originally released in 1990, "Spiritual Healing" marked a new turn in the DEATH discography, one which ushered in cleaner production, a new level of boundary pushing musicianship and songwriting skills that were previously unimaginable from a metal band. "Spiritual Healing" sets the standard for riffs, insane time changes and, of course, Schuldiner's masterful guitar solos. Reissued in 2012 as a double CD housed in super deluxe packaging featuring brand new liner notes from Murphy and Butler, Chuck's sister Beth Schuldiner and VOLBEAT frontman Michael Poulsen, Disc 1 featured a completely new remaster of the original album and Disc 2 contained 16 previously unreleased rehearsal, outtakes and studio instrumentals.
In addition to the two-disc edition, a limited-edition (2000 machine-numbered copies) triple-CD digipak was made available exclusively from Relapse.com. The third CD featured a never-before-released live set recorded in 1990 featuring the "Spiritual Healing" DEATH lineup. An iTunes deluxe edition was also released containing five additional previously unreleased pre-"Human" rehearsal tracks not available on either of the CD versions.
Schuldiner died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.
In recent years, DEATH's storied catalog has undergone a meticulous reissue campaign via Relapse Records.
Relapse released the first-ever fully authorized DEATH tab book, featuring 21 classic songs tabbed out for guitar from the band's entire discography. The book, which includes traditional notation as well as tablature, also comes with a digital download of all tracks.