Review Summary: The line-up on Individual thought patterns is an uber death metal super group. This makes it one of the greatest death metal albums ever.
Individual Thought Patterns was a radically new approach to the death metal genre. Featuring a dream team of heavy metal gods, this could not have been pulled off by any other band. Andy LaRocque from King Diamond is one of the greatest neoclassical shredders in the world. Steve DiGiorgio with incredible fretless bass skills, and one of the longest resumes in the world of metal. Gene Hoglan is the atomic clock. And Chuck Shuldiner was one of the most brilliant, and revolutionary musicians of the late eighties, and nineties. All these amazing musicians on one album creates a memorable, and highly impressive sound.
The biggest step forward on this album is the guitar work. Instead of being fast simple chord progressions, and Chuck shuldiner, and Paul Masvidal slamming on their open low E-string the riffs have evolved into very melodic, often harmonized, and rhythmically diverse guitar parts. Chuck Shuldiner has adopted a more neoclassical, and memorable lead guitar style, as opposed to his previous egyptian sounding shredding from Leprosy, and Human. Andy LaRocques style is pretty much the same as it is in King Diamond. This is, in my opinion Chuck at his best.
As one would expect, Gene Hoglans drumming is fast, technical, and awesome. The odd time signatures, and syncopated rhythms that were absent from Dark Angel have not effected his playing quality at all. He is always precise, and on beat, something most drummers would do poorly at in these time signatures.
The bass is much more audible on this album than in most other death metal albums of the time. Many bands have bass parts that mimic the rhythm guitar parts too much, or they cut the bass out altogether. Steve DiGiorgio is given plenty of time to show off. The bass is always audible, and rarely mimics the rhythm guitar. The progressive nature of this album gives him the chance to show off his jazz back ground. This is the perfect metal album for bassists.
Individual thought patterns brought death metal to a new level of technique and musicianship, that most likely influenced the Swedish death metal scene that became more melodic, and progressive around this time. This is the perfect album for any guitarist, bassist, or drummer to own. By bringing together classical music, jazz, and death metal, Death took death metal to a new level of technique, and musicianship.
-Trapped in a Corner