DEATH

Death Metal / Technical Death Metal • United States
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Death was an influential death metal band founded by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner in Orlando in 1983. They released several demos as Mantas before changing their name in 1984.

Death is widely considered one of the most influential bands in the genre. The band’s debut, "Scream Bloody Gore", has been described as “death metal’s first archetypal document,” and Schuldiner himself as the “father of death metal". However, Schuldiner dismissed such attributions in an interview with Metal-Rules.com, stating, “I don’t think I should take the credit for this death metal stuff. I’m just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band.”

As of 2008, Death has sold over 1.5 million albums worldwide, with 368,184 albums having been sold in the US alone (not counting sales prior to the Soundscan era), making them one of the top-selling death metal bands of all time. Their best-selling album, "Human",
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DEATH Discography

DEATH albums / top albums

DEATH Scream Bloody Gore album cover 3.33 | 69 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore
Death Metal 1987
DEATH Leprosy album cover 3.94 | 73 ratings
Leprosy
Death Metal 1988
DEATH Spiritual Healing album cover 3.80 | 67 ratings
Spiritual Healing
Death Metal 1990
DEATH Human album cover 4.19 | 120 ratings
Human
Technical Death Metal 1991
DEATH Individual Thought Patterns album cover 4.30 | 115 ratings
Individual Thought Patterns
Technical Death Metal 1993
DEATH Symbolic album cover 4.43 | 167 ratings
Symbolic
Technical Death Metal 1995
DEATH The Sound of Perseverance album cover 4.41 | 127 ratings
The Sound of Perseverance
Technical Death Metal 1998

DEATH EPs & splits

DEATH Ultimate Revenge 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Revenge 2
Death Metal 1989
DEATH Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance
Death Metal 2004

DEATH live albums

DEATH Live in L.A. (Death & Raw) album cover 4.38 | 12 ratings
Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
Technical Death Metal 2001
DEATH Live in Eindhoven '98 album cover 4.21 | 7 ratings
Live in Eindhoven '98
Technical Death Metal 2001
DEATH Vivus! album cover 3.00 | 4 ratings
Vivus!
Technical Death Metal 2012
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Montreal 06.22.1995 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Montreal 06.22.1995
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non​​:Analog - On​​:Stage Series - Chicago, IL 01.21.1988 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non​​:Analog - On​​:Stage Series - Chicago, IL 01.21.1988
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Tijuana 10.06.1990 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Tijuana 10.06.1990
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Showcase Theater, CA 07.14.1995 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Showcase Theater, CA 07.14.1995
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Live 1990, 1991 Unknown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Live 1990, 1991 Unknown
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Tampa, FL 02.10.1989 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Tampa, FL 02.10.1989
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Belgium 12.23.1991 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Belgium 12.23.1991
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Detroit, MI 1993 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - Detroit, MI 1993
Death Metal 2020
DEATH Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - New Rochelle, NY 12.03.1988 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Non:Analog - On:Stage Series - New Rochelle, NY 12.03.1988
Death Metal 2020

DEATH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DEATH Death by Metal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death by Metal
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Reign of Terror album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reign of Terror
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Live Tape #2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Tape #2
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Total Zombie Death (Live Tape #3) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Total Zombie Death (Live Tape #3)
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Live Tape #4 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Tape #4
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Infernal Live (Live tape #5) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Infernal Live (Live tape #5)
Death Metal 1984
DEATH Rehearsal tape #1 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #1
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #2
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #4 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #4
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #6 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #6
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #5 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #5
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Infernal Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Infernal Death
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Infernal Live (Live tape #6) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Infernal Live (Live tape #6)
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rigor Mortis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rigor Mortis
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #7 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #7
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #8 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #8
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #9 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #9
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #11 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #11
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Back from the Dead album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Back from the Dead
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #12 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #12
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Live tape #7 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live tape #7
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Live tape #8 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live tape #8
Death Metal 1985
DEATH Rehearsal tape #10 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #10
Death Metal 1986
DEATH Rehearsal tape #13 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rehearsal tape #13
Death Metal 1986
DEATH Mutilation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mutilation
Death Metal 1986
DEATH Scream Bloody Gore Aborted Sessions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Scream Bloody Gore Aborted Sessions
Death Metal 1986
DEATH Leprosy Demos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Leprosy Demos
Death Metal 1987

DEATH re-issues & compilations

DEATH Fate: The Best of Death album cover 1.78 | 5 ratings
Fate: The Best of Death
Death Metal 1992
DEATH Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death
Death Metal 1999
DEATH Victims of Death - The Best of Decade of Chaos album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Victims of Death - The Best of Decade of Chaos
Death Metal 1999
DEATH Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance II
Death Metal 2004
DEATH Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance / Zero Tolerance II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Chuck Schuldiner: Zero Tolerance / Zero Tolerance II
Death Metal 2005

DEATH singles (0)

DEATH movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ultimate Revenge 2
Death Metal 1989
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in L.A. (Death & Raw)
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Eindhoven '98
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Cottbus '98
Death Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Japan
Technical Death Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death by Metal
Death Metal 2018

DEATH Reviews

DEATH The Sound of Perseverance

Album · 1998 · Technical Death Metal
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After “Symbolic,” Chuck Schuldiner decided to disband DEATH in favor of forming a progressive power metal band called Control Denied and spent a great deal of energy finding the right lineup and began to work on material for the debut album but once the trajectory was launched there was a sudden demand for a new DEATH album and when all was said and done Schuldiner opted to kick the Control Denied project down the road a bit longer and craft DEATH’s seventh and final album THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE. Guitarist Shannon Hamm and newbie drummer Richard Christy who were scouted out for the Control Denied project were included in this final DEATH lineup and along with bassist Scott Clendenin, Schuldiner unleashed his most ambitious album yet, one that was more technical, more progressive, more melodic and best of all more ferocious with Schuldiner’s vocal shrieks entering true realm of demonic splendor.

While the majority of the lineup was picked up to craft a power metal album, not a death metal album, the overall compositional style of THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE comes across very much as a power death metal hybrid only with some of the most progressive twists and turns in the entire DEATH canon. One of the advantages of having a completely different lineup is that each album exudes a completely different stylistic approach yet Schuldiner’s distinct songwriting prowess accompanied by his classic death shrieks and guitar playing remained the constant and although a totally new cast of musicians can be a hindrance, the new to the scene members on THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE were more than up to the task and performed like seasoned veterans despite never been in any significant bands prior. At an hour’s length DEATH’s final swan song focused on melodic death metal hooks, stampeding guitar bombast and hairpin turns which contrasted tempos, dynamics and moods without losing a beat much less the emotional rawness.

At just over 56 minutes with nine tracks, THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE achieved the unthinkable and reached the perfection of its predecessor “Symbolic” but took things even further into the world of experimentation with not only more technically infused chops but even featured the all instrumental “Voice Of The Soul” which used acoustic guitars as the backbone with melodic electric guitar soloing over it. Schuldiner’s voice took on a higher pitch which allowed his vocals to sound a bit more like Rob Halford made all the more evident by the closing cover tune of Judas Priest's “Painkiller” which surprisingly not only worked well as a tag on to the final DEATH album but also signified the passing of the baton from the death metal world to the progressive world of power metal. While faithful to the original, the track featured a complete reworking of the guitar solos which is perhaps the only small part of the album that i don’t find perfect but hardly disturbing enough to impact the overall perfection of this magnificent metal masterpiece.

THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE is truly one of those perfect albums from beginning to end that i can put on replay and never grow tired of. Everything DEATH had inculcated into its sound on the six albums prior expands horizons on this final chapter with an intensity that shows the truth resilience of Schuldiner’s metal god status. Right from the very first double-bass kick pedal drumming of “Scavenger Of Human Sorrow,” the new DEATH delivered a uniform intensity throughout the album which allowed each chug-festing track to excel at maximum decibelage in a fast and furious sonic attack that allowed each musician to deliver a cacophonous roar of metal excellence. This more intense nature of the album necessitated the acoustic intermission “Voice Of The Soul” to allow a moment of catching your breath in order to unleash the second dose of caustic ramping metal madness that closes the final chapter of the DEATH universe with a major bang. Of the latter tracks which excludes the “Painkiller” cover, the notable “A Moment Of Clarity” cranks out a near 7 1/2 minute running time with some of the most progressive elements on the entire album.

While this band lineup would go on create the only Control Denied album along with another ex-DEATH member Steve DiGiorgio and could possibly be considered a DEATH album in its own right, this was the official end of the line for the powerhouse metal monster that has only grown in magnitude as the decades elapsed. THE SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE is unblemished by nine ridiculously perfect tracks that deftly balance the technical aspects with the melodic hooks as well as providing just enough respite from the incessant brutality. This grande finale is also a testament to Schuldiner’s creative spirit as it seemed impossible to take the DEATH brand anywhere logically relevant past the perfection of “Symbolic” yet that’s exactly what Schuldiner did on this magical display of this second molten metal masterpiece in a row. Could DEATH have come back and delivered an equally unthinkable followup to this album? We’ll never know because shortly after the release of the Control Denied album Schuldiner would succumb to cancer only leaving a legendary metal god in the aftermath. All i can say is that if you have to go out on a high note, it couldn’t get much higher than this one.

DEATH Symbolic

Album · 1995 · Technical Death Metal
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In only a decade Chuck Schuldiner transmogrified his proto-death metal Mantas into the real deal by delivering the first fully agreed upon death metal album in the form of 1987’s “Scream Bloody Gore” with the more familiar moniker DEATH. However this was one artist who was never content to rest on his laurels and continued to evolve DEATH’s sound with each following album which subtly became more sophisticated and employed ever more experimental and technical aspects of progressive rock into his unique brand until it’s difficult to even consider DEATH a death metal band at all at least in the old school traditional sense.

By the time Schuldiner got to his sixth and most revered album, the band had gone through a ridiculous number of lineup changes but despite the rotating cast members each album continued to raise the bar closer to perfection. Well on SYMBOLIC that pinnacle of metal masterpiece material was finally achieved. This album featured two new members on the team. Guitarist Bobby Koelbe replaced Andy LaRoque and Kelly Conlon took over Steve Di Giorgio’s bass duties however unlike “Individual Thought Patterns,” SYMBOLIC featured a standard fretted bass instead of the fretless. While only Schuldiner and drummer Gene Hoglan remained from the previous album, the band at this point was a well-oiled machine capable of metal magic that has catapulted this album to the top of every “best of” metal list.

Virtually every aspect of SYMBOLIC is an improvement over what came before. Withe the very first heavy guitar riffs of the opening title track it’s clear that the band had reached the apex of excellence with dueling twin guitar attacks, fiery fueled compositions that exhibited more hairpin turns and diverse dynamics and best of all Schuldiner’s unique snarling vocal style that featured a wider range and more controlled precision unlike previous albums. Hoglan’s drumming dynamism took on new heights as well with precise technical chops infused with blitzkrieg speed attacks that showcased bouts of psychotic savagery. The album also featured stronger melodic sensibilities that kept DEATH uniquely in that happy place between the thrash metal world of Exodus, Forbidden, Overkill, Megadeath and the death metal 90s bands like Morbid Angel, Obituary and Autopsy.

While not the first tech death band DEATH nevertheless was in the forefront following Atheist, Cynic and Nocturnus. Having moved on from the shock and gore old school death metal themes a few albums back, SYMBOLIC featured more advanced lyrical themes that was instrumental in ushering in a new era of the more “mature” brand of death metal that explored more expansive themes and featured exhilarating changes of dynamics in the musical procession. This is basically where DEATH found the perfect balance of all the elements that had made the band stand out from its contemporaries. If that wasn’t enough SYMBOLIC also benefited from a better production and mixing job with each instrument finding its proper space to fully unleash its potential. The guitar sounds are perfectly placed and while the bass may not dominate, it provides an essential backdrop that allows the explosive drumming wizardry to stand out.

For the first time listener it may be a difficult task to understand what makes SYMBOLIC stand out amongst the previous albums. DEATH was not an in-yer-face kind of band that changed things drastically from album to album. The basic elements were pretty much retained and simply refined into a sleeker production. SYMBOLIC seems to be the point where all of the DEATH-isms simply aligned in the right places where chaos and melody intertwined, fiery virtuosity danced with traditional cyclical grooves and atmospheric dynamics such as clean guitar intros and off-kilter breaks offered a contrast to the incessant bombastic barrage of the twin guitar riffing and snarling growling vocal style of Schuldiner. Each track excelled in standing out from the rest and the album doesn’t offer one weak moment.

SYMBOLIC remains as stunningly fresh sounding as it must have some quarter of a century ago when it first stunned the world with its brash new interpretation of the fairly new kid on the block in the metal universe. This sixth album by DEATH is simply one of the best tightrope acts of walking the line between the melodic world of extreme thrash metal and the grittier filth of death metal all the while adding technical wizardry that added a sense of highbrow sophistication. Despite SYMBOLIC’s status as metal masterpiece that always ranks high on classic metal albums lists, DEATH wasn’t exactly met with admiration by the masses as it was a little too ahead of the game. Due to tensions with Roadrunner Records, Schuldiner actually broke up DEATH after SYMBOLIC and focused on the clean vocal splinter band Control Denied but eventually returned to the studio to craft one last metal masterpiece under the DEATH moniker with “The Sound of Perseverance.” As far as the core sounds of DEATH go, most consider this the pinnacle of the band’s existence and i cannot find any arguments against that myself.

DEATH Individual Thought Patterns

Album · 1993 · Technical Death Metal
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By the early 90s death metal was in full extreme metal swing and wreaking havoc on the metal underground. Pioneering artist Chuck Schuldiner had incrementally participated in launching the entire scene and was fairly keen to keep a few steps ahead of the imitators however with four albums under his belt, the fifth album INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS in many ways seems to be the only spot in the DEATH canon where Schuldiner felt it was OK to rest on his laurels and let the pot simmer for awhile although album #5 is a bit heavier and more immediate than its predecessor.

This was yet another occasion for a lineup change with guitarist Andy LaRoque replacing Paul Masdival for a one album appearance and drummer Sean Reinert jumping ship to work on the Cynic project. He was replaced by Gene Hoglan from Dark Angel. Steve Di Giorgio stuck around to play bass but switched over to the fretless variety which gave INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS a bit more of a “techy” feel than DEATH’s previous releases. While still firmly perched in the extreme metal underground, the band released a video for “The Philospher” most famously appearing on Beavis & Butthead which found them ridiculed for the extreme nature of the vocal style which hadn’t quite caught on with mainstream metal fans stuck in the 80s.

For those not paying too close attention, INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS very much comes across as a business as usual followup to “Human” and in many ways it is just that. Sure the fretless bass and slightly amped up aggression set it apart in subtle ways but for the most part the progressive and technical challenges that emerged on the “Human” album remained firmly parked at a certain juncture on the DEATH highway and wouldn’t be fully realized until the following “Symbolic” and “The Sound of Perseverance” ended the exhilarating saga of the DEATH experience. Also while death metal had all but splintered off from its parent thrash roots, DEATH still managed to keep some of those thrashy elements alive and kicking thus making DEATH a unique act that continued to straddle both the thrash and death metal worlds while continuing to add more progressive boldness to its sound.

While perhaps a bit of a stop in the road, any given DEATH album juncture actually more than deserved an accompanying album or two and Schuldiner certainly could have milked it for more than he did but the fact that he was so restless and eager to progress to the next level is one of the primary reasons he is so revered by modern standards but of course having passed on at a young age in order to attain legendary status hasn’t been a hinderance either. INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS continues right where “Human” left off with the immediacy of in-yer-face death metal tracks that were succinct with atavistic thrash metal attributes. In other words, brilliant guitar riffing that builds passages and then hairpin turns into seemingly unrelated segments that in lesser hands would derail into oblivion but at this point Schuldiner was a master of navigating crazy time signatures changes, bold compositional passages without missing a beat.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS is that is sandwiched between two superior albums IMHO. The revolutionary advances of “Human” and the metal god perfection of “Symbolic” sort of make this one sound less dynamic than it really is. For me it takes some serious focus to ignore those other albums and simply concentrate on this one which when i do results in a most satisfying experience that while not living up to the standards of what came next or the wow factor of what came before, still resonates quite high in its own right. If you listen closely and attentively this one does present a slight advancement over “Human” although it’s a bit imperceptible upon first contact. The tracks are very similar in structure and the diverse dynamics that would be adopted later hadn’t quite manifested yet but for a solid kick ass early tech death metal album it doesn’t really get much better than this except for DEATH’s other albums. Seriously, no DEATH fan will find many faults with this although if you’re like me you won’t find it to be the absolute pinnacle of the band’s prowess either.

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
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Death continue pushing towards increasingly technical music here, and interestingly retain the more melodic style of riffs and leads found on Spiritual Healing. From the first song “Flattening of emotions,” we get some riffs that sound less like “hell infernal evil” and more like “humanity is suffering.” There’s real depth here, and daresay mood and emotion as well. I do believe Death was responsible for influencing melodeath on this and their previous album, which is why I prefer them to the straight OSDM “Leprosy.”

Schuldiner’s lyrics and vocals reach a more mature point, and his guitar playing is top class. The rest of the band, especially drummer Sean Reinert, really impress in managing to stand out next to Schuldiner here. The instrumental track is pretty weak in comparison to the rest, but the album still manages to be a masterpiece easily run through front to back. So many amazing riffs that are carried by a great depth in both the songwriting and themes.

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
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As one of the pioneering forces in wresting the nascent death metal scene out of the burgeoning 1980s thrash metal world, the aptly named DEATH led by the indefatigable Chuck Schuldiner was also in the forefront of advancing the genre into what would become tagged technical death metal although bands such as Atheist, Cynic, Nocturnus and Demilich released material earlier. Throughout Schuldiner’s all too brief career, he was a force to be reckoned with although he was never content on resting on laurels along. With every subsequent album Schuldiner raised the bar ever higher and even in the current era some three decades after he crafted some of the most influential metal albums in history, his works are still utterly unique and relevant.

After two albums of thrash infused death metal, DEATH began to drop hints of more intricate technicalities on “Spiritual Healing” but beginning with DEATH’s fourth album HUMAN, Schuldiner turned up the progressive and technicalities a few notches and hit a major home run as the album was and still remains DEATH’s most popular and biggest selling album. Another feature of DEATH was a constant rotating cast of musicians with HUMAN featuring a completely new lineup with only Schuldiner (guitars, vocals) as the common denominator throughout this amazing band’s death metal reign in the 1990s. On this fourth installment of the DEATH universe, in came Cynic guitarist Paul Masvidal, Sadus and Autopsy bassist Steve DiGiorgio and Cynic drummer Sean Reinert which explains the sudden explosive leap into the world of complex progressive death metal.

The original HUMAN album was explosive but only hit the 34-minute mark with future editions featuring the KISS cover “God of Thunder” and the 2011 Relapse Records reissue featuring an entire bonus disc of instrumental studio tracks and demos. HUMAN also debuted Schuldiner’s move aware from the gore-based lyrics that became the staple of old school death metal and focused on more complex themes that were introspective and intelligent. The technical leap was not only in the tighter virtuosic playing of the band with faster guitar solos, more intense riffing and a heightened role for the drum complexities but also in the compositional fortitude which featured more hairpin turns into a more diverse palette of moods and motifs including not only tempos but atmospheres and sound effects once again thanks to the Cynic members adding their expansive visionary methodologies to the mix.

Despite the leaps in technological prowess, Schuldiner didn’t abandon his core principles of writing fairly catchy riff-based thundering powerhouses of head banging wonder. With the basic structures of his pioneering death metal idiosyncrasies in tact, the DEATH 2.0 was simply a tighter fine-tuned beast that perfected all the elements that came before and added new twists and turns that wouldn’t come to full fruition until the albums “Symbolic” and “The Sound of Perseverance” a few short years down the road came out therefore HUMAN could rightfully be thought of as the next step in that transitory period where the scant technicalities of “Spiritual Healing” were allowed off the leash a bit more, actually a whole lot more. Generally the first side of HUMAN is more conservative with tracks like “Suicide Machine” resembling the old DEATH from the “Leprosy” and “Spiritual Healing” period whereas the second half introduces newer elements that would be developed even further on subsequent albums.

The quality of DEATH albums is more a case of relativity of the albums that surround any given release due to the fact that ANY particular DEATH album was of an extraordinary caliber above and beyond what most of the competition was churning out at the same time. HUMAN is clearly a step up from the three previous albums and loses none of the feisty charm that came with those albums but also hasn’t quite reached for the stars in terms of the progressive compositions nor the technical free-for-alls but given that ole Chucky was a master at keeping composiitons whole in their perfection no matter where they ranked on the prog-o-meter, all of the albums are equally riveting despite the technical wizardry or progressive maestrohood. For me this album is just shy of perfect but that’s only in comparison to what came later. As a stand alone experience there is no doubt that this is one of those essential near masterpiece metal albums of all ages and therefore is a mandatory album in any death metal fan’s collection.

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