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Death - Individual Thought Patterns CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.17 | 335 ratings

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4 stars I'm surprised at the relatively low overall rating for this one as I think it's actually stronger than Human, but oh well, time to help that along a bit. Gotta give 4 stars here, but it's more 4.5. As is the custom with most DEATH albums, there is a new line-up of musicians present on almost every album, with a few people who do manage stay on for a second album. Steve DiGiorgio is one, this time really letting us hear his great talent as a bassist with the improved production here. Chuck's recording line-up includes the curious choice of KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy La Rocque, who manages to fit into the DEATH framework so comfortably you almost can't tell it's him. But he gets to indulge and really bring out his unique lead guitar tone effectively. Gene Hoglan of DARK ANGEL, DEVIN TOWNSEND and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD (the list goes on and on...) fame lends his services on the kit and proves to be more than worthy to take up the position from Sean Reinert solidifying his reputation as a versatile and powerful drummer and completely in touch with the DEATH sound.

This excellent group of musicians sets down Chuck's songs perfectly, and the feel is still extreme but not as death metal oriented I feel. If you could pinpoint it, it feels more like a more extreme technical thrash melding with death metal songwriting by this point. Although I guess that doesn't quite explain it fully as it's different from a lot of thrash but it smooths out the really brutal death metal elements while still maintaining a very aggressive feel if that makes sense. There's also more of an attempt to squeeze atmosphere in the dynamic changes and an even more melodic approach to the songs which develops the DEATH sound even further in a progressive direction. For once, the most well known track on the album is my favourite. The Philosopher sums up for me the evolution of death very well, sporting both melodic and complex sections along with crushingly heavy parts that show Chuck as a songwriter who does what he feels fits rather than trying to squeeze too much into a small amount of time. Favourite tracks on a DEATH album are hard to pick, but if I were to choose a "best of the rest" aside from the Philosopher, Trapped in a Corner along with the title track and Out of Touch with its powerful atmospheric guitar intro wins me over. It's always nice to hear that with only guitars, bass and drums such a feeling can be created that makes immerses you in the music and almost takes you away to another place. It's as if you are truly able to get inside the wonderful mind of the creator.

DEATH was a band for which progression was the key to their identity, and each album up to this point has been distinctly different while still staying under the banner of extreme metal. I feel that giving out too many 5 stars would result in confusion as to what is their best achievement, which I feel is Chuck's next release, so this one fits comfortably at 4.5 stars, but still eclipses the previous album. This is recommended after listening to Symbolic, which is I think the album which best defines the band.

Xanadu97 | 4/5 |


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