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I'm Chris. I'm 22 years old and I'm into a large variety of music, from Metal in its many forms (mostly the extreme ones) to Goth and Postpunk, Reggae, Jazz, Prog, Techno, Ambient and Film Scores. This is where I rave about albums I really like, and other stuff.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Death - Individual Thought Patterns

Album review: Death - Individual Thought Patterns (Roadrunner, 1993)
Tech death/ speed metal

"Behind the eyes, is a place nobody will be able to touch
Containing thoughts, that cannot be taken away or replaced"

Time to discuss my other favourite Death album, the one constantly fighting "Human" for the top spot in my head. They're both completely different but to my mind represent the very best of Death's discography. Instead of further developing the sound of "Human", Chuck goes off on a new tangent while retaining some similar features. Yet another lineup change is the most obvious one: the Cynic guys are gone, but bass mastermind Steve DiGiorgio is still here (and you can hear him! Thank fuck!) along with Dark Angel drumming maniac Gene Hoglan and guitarist Andy Laroque of King Diamond. The whole vibe of the album is noticeably different: the production is noticeably thinner all around than "Human". That album's extensive passages of bass heavy mechanical grinding are replaced with much more thrashy and melodic playing (starting to become almost not death metal at this point). The songs themselves utilize a bit less repetition and their lengths are also somewhat trimmed down to reflect this. The tracks flow together in a very organic way and they are all highly memorable.

Chucks lyric's are as sharp and on point as ever, this album is full of some of the best ones he wrote IMO. The riffing is still pretty techy, but more speedy and melodic. Laroque's more flamboyant and blatantly melodic lead playing provides a great contrast to Schuldiner's classic Death style solos. Gene Hoglan is at once all over the place and tight as hell, really a worthy successor to Sean Reinert. Steve Digiorgio, after being criminally buried on the original version of "Human", is here given a huge deal more volume and you can hear his bass lines prancing alongside the guitars providing audacious counterpoint at many moments (the breakdown in the title track is a good example, it almost cracks me up from how wacky it is). His tone and playing should be the envy of every aspiring metal bassist, the guy is and always has been perhaps the greatest bass player in metal and a big inspiration in a genre where the instrument is often a bit neglected.

Overall while it shows Chuck's songwriting and music beginning to move away more obviously from the death metal of the previous albums, "Thought Patterns" shows even more progression from a band that never made the same album twice, even in the early days. And of course, this is the album that featured "The Philosopher", a favourite of all Death fans. Essential!

(A note on the recent remix/remaster by Relapse: Don't bother. They did an admirable job remixing "Human" but they completely screwed this one up and ruined the sound of the album completely. The mix sounds too mushy and all the reverb on the vocals and leads has been rather stupidly taken off. The only benefit is a full live show from 1993 on the 2nd disc, which is well worth checking out. On Spotify. For free.)

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