Four String Thunder: RIP Scott Clendenin

I wrote about Scott Clendenin’s bass playing on Death’s The Sound of Perseverance around a year ago, and of how his playing captivated me. So I was pretty glum to hear about him dying last week at a relatively young age. He played bass on that single Death album, so I’m not going to try to write a biography of him, but what I do have to say is that his playing represents a kind of ideal for me, continued on from Cliff Burton, being both heavy and imaginative. Even having only first heard it ten years after picking up bass, I have found Clendenin’s approach to playing influential upon my own. The Sound Of Perseverance is one of the best heavy metal albums, featuring some of the best heavy metal bass playing, with the bass lines full of Clendenin’s own style.

RIP dude.

Bass Scythe

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4 thoughts on “Four String Thunder: RIP Scott Clendenin

  1. I loved his playing on The Sound of Perseverance as well. He also did the demo stuff for Control Denied, but not the actual album tracks. Fantastic player, and a real loss.

    About Cliff Burton though… to me, Roger Patterson, from Atheist was like the death metal analogue for him. He also passed at an early age.

    • Vishlicious – another band I’ve meant to check out but never have is Atheist, and although I’ve heard the name Roger Patterson it’s always been on the periphery, so I’ll try to give Atheist a good listen sometime soon. The Sound of Perseverance is great, one of those albums I hold up as a benchmark. I know all of Death’s albums have been rereleased relatively recently with extra demo recordings attached, so Control Denied will also have to go on the list. Thanks for the recommendation. How are your bass studies coming along?

      • If you enjoy Death, you’ll probably appreciate Atheist. Some of them played on Human and on Individual Thought Patterns, for Death. They were close with Chuck.

        My bass studies have not been going well for the past 6 weeks or so. Its because of work, mostly. The company I work for is small, and we’ve hit a hard patch. I’m in active talks with the owner about taking it over though, and I’m also in the midst of starting a tech support company, so its been REALLY stressful for me for weeks.

        Once the dust settles and if I’m still standing, I’m going to resume, but for now, I’ve had to put work and family first – although I’m trying to at least read music-related stuff during small breaks, like when I eat (like right now!).

      • I will definitely check out Atheist soon as I can. They sound like a hidden gem from what you say.

        I hope the hard work pays off soon! And all the worrying is met with success. And more bass playing time. I’m enjoying what you post actually – it’s obviously something you really read into. In turn, I recommend the bass playing of Dylan Desmond of Samothrace, who also plays (lead) bass for Bell Witch, when you get the time.

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