What does it mean, ontologically and narratively, when the seeming finality of death disappears from our stories? What does it mean when our stories and our characters, unlike our lives, refuse to come to an end?
Amid a hail of gunfire, the player-character crumples to the ground, defeated, that is, before a loading screen pops to revive her. At least, that's how most action games represent death. In Tomb Raider, I've seen Lara Croft stabbed through the neck, had her head split open on a coral reef, seen her torn apart by wolves.
Spiritual Healing hacked and exploited gaps in the boundaries of death metal. It was brutal and toxic, yet replete with unorthodox, cleaner shadings. On this reissue, it sounds as visceral and vital as the day it was originally released.