DEATH — Human (review)

DEATH — Human album cover Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
ssmarcus
Here’s a (not so very) hot take: early Florida-based death metal is just thrash metal turnT up to 11. By the start of the 90’s, legacy thrash metal groups had matured their sound and songwriting, with records like Master of Puppets and Rust in Peace showcasing just how dynamic and colorful thrash metal could be. Even the mighty Slayer tempered their speed and fury on South of Heaven for the sake of their songwriting. In contrast, being the musical equivalent of Florida Man, Tampa based extreme metal groups instead doubled down on the speed, dissonance, and violent lyrical content of thrash resulting in music that, while maybe technically impressive in a number of respects, really just didn’t sound that good to anyone not solely interested in how edgy and extreme music could be.

However, Death’s fourth studio album Human definitely strikes me as one of the turning points for death metal songwriting. The music is not merely exaggerated shock value thrash but an expression of a unique, albeit still twisted, approach to melody and rhythm that would not only remain the hallmark of Death’s music going forward but also become the cornerstone of the nascent technical and progressive death metal sub-genres. On a personal level, while I can appreciate much of this record, I still maintain a strong preference for more Iron Maiden inspired melodic or groove-based death metal ala Carcass or Lamb of God respectively. As such, I can really give this album any higher a rating despite its historical importance.
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UMUR wrote:
8 months ago
But many (if not all) early US death metal releases feature many thrash metal traits...maybe saying it´s just thrash metal turned up to 11 is a Little too simple a description, but I think there is a Little truth to it. But yeah otherwise I agree that a Whole new genre was created in those years, with its own musical traits and elements.
Vim Fuego wrote:
8 months ago
I seriously disagree about early Floridan death metal just being thrash turned up to 11. The bands incorporated far different influences, which shows in their sounds.
UMUR wrote:
8 months ago
It´s a good review, although you and I come from two different Worlds when it comes to death metal :-)

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