Though DEATH is taken into account to be probably the most necessary and influential dying steel acts of all time, the Florida-based band didn’t launch its debut album, “Scream Bloody Gore”, till 1987 — two years after the arrival of “Seven Church buildings” by California’s POSSESSED, whose bassist/vocalist, Jeff Becerra, is credited by some with initially creating the time period “dying steel” in 1983.
In a brand new interview with the “That Metallic Interview” podcast, Kam Lee, who was a member of an early model of DEATH in addition to the pre-DEATH band MANTAS alongside guitarist/vocalist Chuck Schuldiner and guitarist Rick Rozz, weighed in on the unending debate on who can lay declare to being the primary “true” dying steel band: DEATH or POSSESSED. He stated partially (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I will admit this, and I will say this straight out, ‘trigger I do know there’s an argument on a regular basis, who was first — was it DEATH or was it POSSESSED? Effectively, I’ll let you know POSSESSED was first, and I’ll let you know why. As a result of Chuck heard what Jeff was doing and Chuck wished to emulate Jeff. I used to be there — I used to be there to start with.
“There was instances once we had been dwelling right here in Florida earlier than Chuck moved to California, and Chuck and I each began off as tapetraders again within the day,” Kam continued. “And I keep in mind, should you return to earlier than we had been DEATH, we had been known as MANTAS. Should you take a look at a few of the hand-drawn logos of MANTAS, the MANTAS brand, there’s the brand with the satan’s tail on it, on the ‘M’. That is fully stolen from the unique POSSESSED brand, the satan’s tail.
“I will say this now, ‘trigger [former DEATH manager] Eric Greif is handed, he is deceased, however that is stuff that he did not need me to inform folks,” Lee added. “That is why I used to be denied ever being interviewed for the DEATH film, the DEATH documentary [‘Death By Metal’]. They denied me, as a result of they did not need me to say these sure issues, as a result of how are you gonna promote a documentary about DEATH if I come on and inform all people, ‘Nah, that is probably not the way it was’? In order that they did not need me on there — they completely refused to speak to me on there. They did not need me to return up and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was the one which drew the DEATH brand, not Chuck.’ They did not need me to inform all people I am the one which created that. And so they did not need me to inform all people, ‘Oh, properly, Chuck ripped off POSSESSED.’ They wished to promote it like Chuck created it, as a result of they had been promoting a product. And should you’ve received anyone come and say, ‘Effectively, that is not precisely how that product works.’ Type of just like the [fast food chicken restaurant chain] KFC. I am sorry, but it surely wasn’t [KFC founder] Colonel Sanders that got here up with a particular recipe; another man got here up with it. In order that’s actually what it was.”
Becerra instructed Antihero in 2017 that Schuldiner cited POSSESSED as a “major affect” in “numerous” journal interviews. However though DEATH was impressed by POSSESSED, “they ran with it and went in their very own course and created their very own vibe,” Jeff stated. “To go a step additional: Chuck used [’80s death/thrash producer] Randy Burns, who did ‘Seven Church buildings’ to do ‘Scream Bloody Gore’, his first album. He additionally did a canopy of [POSSESSED‘s] ‘The Exorcist’.”
Again in 2008, Lee was toying round with the thought of re-recording a few of the earliest classics from DEATH and MANTAS with numerous visitor musicians. On the time, he wrote in a social media publish: “Prefer it or not… I am as a lot part of that historical past as Chuck was, and I would not suppose to do something to down play his involvement in these songs. The straightforward reality is that many of the songs on MANTAS/DEATH‘s ‘Dying by Metallic’ demo ’83/’84, DEATH‘s ‘Reign of Terror’ demo ’84 and DEATH‘s ‘Infernal Dying’ demo ’85 — and plenty of rehersal tapes launched throughout this time — we’re each lyrically written be me, and sung by me. Sure, each Chuck and Rick wrote the guitar riffs, however I wrote the drum patterns to those songs and the lyrics to most of those tracks. That is the straightforward reality to it!”