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Death - Human CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 376 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The fourth Death album "Human" is a landmark album in extreme music. Mastermind Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and his technical excellent colleagues Paul Masdival (g.), Steve DiGiorgio (b.) and Sean Reinert (d.) crossed infernalic, brutal death metal with progressive elements 'til their hands were closely about to break. "Human" is not only a turning point in the history of Death but also a huge turning point in the world of the same titled metal sub-genre. Gone were the days as death metal must been played mainly fast. Death were about to reach new dimensions, digged with their scary, atmospheric noise deep inside the human soul until in the far distance visions of hell began to appear.

When I first listened to this album, I was a bit skeptical and more partial to Death's newer material than the older. However, after blasting loud on my player, I was stunned with awe. Then I realized why this album had received such high praise. This was a turning point for Chuck Schuldiner and Death. Human was Death's first effort to deliver speed, technicality, heaviness, and melody...and they succeeded!

It seems Chuck has matured with his lyrics, while his brutal death metal vocals remain the same. The guitar riffs aren't the most complex, but this is still a fairly large step for Death and they still manage to make unique tunes that actually sound good. The guitars have a raw and thick sound with a dosage of melody. Although Steve DiGiorgio is an awesome bassist his bass sounds like total crap in some parts of this album. Listen at around 0:24 into the song "Suicide Machine" and you hear what sounds like a rubber band, but it is supposed to be Steve's bass.

The drumming is rather burly sounding; nice and thick. Sean proves himself a worthy drummer as you listen to the dismal drums which take you into "Flattening of Emotions", as well as "Together As One". Paul shows that he can fill the shoes of metal guitar guru - James Murphy by playing his parts with obvious ease. It sure was nice for the members of Cynic to lend out their two best men. Yet again, Chuck shows that unless the line up is perfect, it doesn't fly.

Human starts of with "Flattening Of Emotions", which right off the bat tells you that you are in for a wild ride. The riffs here are awesome, and Chuck's vocals, as usual, never fail to impress me. A Death classic.

"Suicide Machine" continues right where Flattening Of Emotions left off: kicking your ass with brutal riffage. This song has even more cool riffage and a great vocal section highlighted by Steve DiGiorgio's bass playing. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, and with good reason.

The third song on the album, "Together As One", is very cool with a good lead part and an interesting percussive section. A good song, but it doesn't really stand out from the rest.

"Secret Face" is one of the best Death songs ever, plain and simple. It reminds a lot of Flattening Of Emotions, with even more brutal riffing and bass. Chuck gives a great performance here on vocals. Awesome.

"Lack Of Comprehension" is another one of the best Death songs of all time. EVEN MORE pure powerful riffs are heard here, with a great lead section and good drumming. This is a great song to give someone if they want a good example of intelligent but also pure death metal!

"See Through Dreams" is, in my opinion, where the album starts to get weaker. It is by no means a bad song, it's just not as good as the others. Still a reccomended listen, though.

"Cosmic Sea" is an instrumental, and a very good one at that. The album quickly recovers from See Through Dreams here, and also reveals that the band also has skill in the area of progressive rock/metal. A great piece!

"Vacant Planets", the album's finale, features more great lead work and some of Steve's best riffs on the album, along with some more trademark vocals by Schuldiner.

Most of the songs are fast, with the exception of the beautifully welded instrumental "Cosmic Sea", which sounds like Pink Floyd thrown through a shredding machine and more than makes up for lack of speed with carefully placed rhythm and humming melodies. There is even a quick little bass solo in this instrumental. This is a nice fresh listen - it contains expeditious speed, heaviness, with a nice dab of melody while keeping intelligent and unique lyrics in constant presence. Sad enough, music isn't made like this much these days. This is one of the album I own that I can listen to all the way through without the desire to skip any tracks.

At this point in time, this was a huge step of advancement in Death's existence. I would go as far to say that this album is a classic and should be owned by any and all (progressive) death metal lovers. The next album "Individual Thought Patterns" was the next step in the non-stoppable progression of DEATH metal.

Album rating: 9/10 points = 88 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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