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Artist of the day: Death

Death is a band well-known to anyone familiar with the history of Florida metal. Founded in Orlando by Chuck Schuldiner in 1983, the group bridged the gap between classic metal groups like Nasty Savage and artists like Morbid Angel, Deicide and Obituary, who made famous Florida's reputation for extreme death metal.

"Death was influencing the Tampa death metal scene with these killer demo tapes that Chuck was making - always faster, heavier and darker," former Death bassist Terry Butler once told tbt*. Those demos were traded around the globe, and in 1987, Death's debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, was hailed as a landmark album. It has been called "the first true death metal record."

Death's lineup rotated constantly over the years, with dozens of members of Florida's incestuous death metal scene revolving around Schuldiner until his death in 2001, following a bout with brain cancer. But Death, in a manner of speaking, did not die. This summer, a handful of former Death musicians calling themselves "Death To All" are touring the country performing songs by the band, celebrating Schuldiner's music and raising awareness for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which aids musicians diagnosed with disabling illnesses.

On June 30, the Death To All tour will hit the Beacham Theatre in Orlando for what will no doubt be a nostalgic show. Performing will be drummers Gene Hoglan and Sean Reinart; bassists Steve DiGiorgio and Scott Clendinin; guitarists Paul Masvidal, Shannon Hamm and Bobby Koelble; and vocalists Steffen Kummerer of Obscura and Charles Elliott of Abysmal Dawn and Bereft. Some surprise guests will appear in each city - members of Testament, The Damned, Cattle Decapitation and The Black Dahlia Murder are among the list of potential guests. So far, all we know about the Orlando gig is to expect an appearance by fellow Florida death metallers Athiest.

"This is not a 'reunion' but a show of respect for someone who gave his life to music, a founding father of a genre," the band has stated.

Tickets to the June 30 show are $28-$40. Click here for details.