Saturday, 5 April 2014

CD Review: Individual Thought Patterns, by Death (1993)

Despite overhauling half of the band membership, the fifth studio album from Death continues the trend established on 1991's Human. Individual Thought Patterns features robust melodic death metal with jazz shadings played at a pace of controlled franticism.

And although the attention span remains short, and just one track survives beyond the 4:30 mark, there is now a clearer direction to most of the songs, a welcome cohesiveness that helps to give the music better structure.

Chuck Schuldiner leads from the front again, his truncated, spit-it-out-in-two-word-increments vocals evoking a general anger at whateverness. Schuldiner's songwriting is now more curious about the potential for strong and slower melodic themes to stitch together the music, both Overactive Imagination and Nothing Is Everything benefitting greatly from bewitching spells of lyricism.

The more jazzy elements don't work as well, title track Individual Thought Patterns tripping over itself with scattered and repetitive convolutions.

In support, Gene Hoglan is the fourth drummer to feature on the band's first five albums, and he bangs away to good effect, providing able support and texture to Schuldiner's complex structures. Andy LaRocque takes a break from King Diamond and suddenly provides Death with a potent one-two punch on the guitar front, the band's harmonies noticeably richer.

Individual Thought Patterns is an appropriate summary of Death's catalogue, the title and the contents encompassing both the innovation that the band never stopped pursuing, and the philosophy of cramming many disparate ideas into every track, for better or for worse.


Chuck Schuldiner - Guitar, Vocals
Andy LaRocque - Guitar
Steve DiGiorgio - Bass
Gene Hoglan - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Overactive Imagination - 9
2. In Human Form - 7
3. Jealousy - 7
4. Trapped In A Corner - 7
5. Nothing Is Everything - 9
6. Mentally Blind - 7
7. Individual Thought Patterns - 6
8. Destiny - 7
9. Out Of Touch - 7
10. The Philosopher - 7

Average: 7.30

Produced by Scott Burns and Chuck Schuldiner.
Engineered by Scott Burns.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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