Death - Individual Thought Patterns

Immense progressive extremity from late genius

What Death frontman Chuck
Schuldiner would have
achieved had he not
succumbed to a brain tumour
in 2001 is impossible to say
but, given that we’re now in
an era when prog-metal
bands such as Dream Theater
and Mastodon can headline
the world’s biggest stages
without a hit single or
significant airplay, it’s
reasonable to assume that he
would have found a certain
degree of success.

His band’s trajectory was
rapid and impressive, evolving
from primitive (but ace)
goredeath roots to clean,
complex prog in barely more
than a decade. Death’s 1993
album, Individual Thought
Patterns, continues the
expansion of the Florida
quartet’s sound after its
predecessor, Human – itself
the most obvious starting
point for Schuldiner’s
departure from straight
extreme metal.

This reissue has been
remixed (not a major selling
point, as there’s hardly any
audible improvement because
the original was pretty clear
anyway) and two bonus discs
have been appended, one of
previously unreleased demos
and riff tracks (unavailable at
press time) and a splendid
live album from a 1993
German show. The last of
these reveals how relentless
Death could be on stage,
even in their most advanced,
experimental stages: the grisly
Zombie Ritual is particularly
mesmerising, as is its polar
opposite, the refined single
The Philosopher.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Relapse | RR 71712 (3-CD)

Reviewed by Joel McIver
<< Back to Issue 397