Tour de Force



Last week brought the announcement of the Death to All Tour, on which surviving members of the legendary Death — specifically guitarists Paul Masvidal,  Shannon Hamm, and Bobby Koelble, drummers Gene Hoglan and Sean Reinert, and bassists Steve DiGiorgio and Scott Clendenin — will perform to raise awareness for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund , a charity that “provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.” Sounds like a great idea, but, of course, the question on the metal community’s collective mind was, “Who’s gonna handle vocals?” Because whomever it might be, he, she, or they would easily have the biggest shoes to fill — those of Chuck Schuldiner.

So it with no small amount of joy that I report that Charles Elliott, a member of two MetalSucks faves — Abysmal Dawn and Bereft (stream a new song here!) — has been announced as the first vocalist for the trek.

Elliott is a huge Death fan (I mean, who isn’t, right?) who seems to be approaching this endeavor from the right place — which is to say, one that is extremely humble and highly respectful of Schuldiner. In a statement that came with the announcement, he admits that “Even when they asked me to do it I was somewhat reluctant and suggested numerous other artists who I thought sounded more like Chuck and have been around longer, i.e. John Tardy, Martin Van Drunen, Luc Lemay, etc.,” and goes on to say that

“…I don’t pretend to be Chuck Schuldiner. I don’t sound exactly like him and I’m not trying to, even if he is an influence of mine. Chuck was a unique individual, as am I. What I am trying to do though is humbly pay tribute to a man and band that changed my life, while supporting his family and a charity I believe in.”

So there really should be no bad feelings here on the part of any fans who feel like no one can replace Schuldiner — ’cause no one is trying to replace Schuldiner.

I also think it’s really worth emphasizing that the press release specifically refers to Elliott as “the first vocalist” for the tour — which obviously implies there will be others. If they’re starting with someone as cool as Elliott, I really can’t wait to see who else they’ve lined up.

Here are the dates of the tour again, in case you need ’em:

June 22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
June 23 – West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
June 26 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
June 28 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
June 30 – Orlando, FL @ The Beacham


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