Death went out on a ringing note when it released the epic The Sound of Perseverance in 1998. Rather than churn out an orthodox death-metal album, Chuck Schuldiner and company crafted a wildly expansive listening experience that incorporated elements of progressive metal and European power metal. The band is way more melodic than before, but leaner and meaner, too. Schuldiner's vocals are equally innovative. He eschews guttural rage for a high-end screech that falls somewhere between Painkiller-era Rob Halford and the wraithlike black metal vocals then coming out of Norway.