Death
Human


5.0
classic

Review

by Greg Wood USER (20 Reviews)
August 28th, 2009 | 90 replies | 6,969 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A masterpiece within the genre, Human is as close to death metal perfection as you can get.

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Every musical genre has an archetype; one or several bands that set the rules for every subsequent band in the genre to follow. Death’s first record, Scream Bloody Gore, is considered an archetypal album of the death metal genre, with it’s gory lyrics, fast riffs, and brutal growls courtesy of frontman Chuck Schuldiner. It set the formula for which future bands, such as Cannibal Corpse, could easily follow, and at the same time helped create a stereotype for the genre. It’s rare, however, for an archetypal band to re-invent the wheel that they helped create in the first place, but with 1991’s Human, Death did just that.

Focusing more on technicality than brutality, Human showcases the band at their peak, with the strongest of their many ever-changing line-ups. Each member is at the top of their game on this album, with all four putting out flawless performances. Indeed, it’s hard to find fault with any part of the instrumentation on the album, whether it’s the technical riffs of Suicide Machine and Secret Face, the bass solo on instrumental Cosmic Sea, or the opening drum fills to Flattening of Emotions and Together As One. The band adapt and improve on the progressive elements seen on their previous album, Spiritual Healing, without ever coming across as overly technical and pretentious, or needing to extend the songs longer than required.

It isn’t just the musicianship that progressed either, Chuck’s lyrics became more insightful, focusing on social issues such as euthanasia (Suicide Machine), blindness (See Through Dreams), equality (Together As One), and deceit (Secret Face). What’s impressive is that these issues are tackled with sensitivity and thought, never once glamourising or ridiculing the subjects. It’s obvious that he believed in the importance of these issues and wasn’t just trying to sound intellectual; his incredibly powerful harsh vocals prove this. Chuck had one of the most unique voices in extreme metal: not quite a growl, not quite a scream, he shrieks out the lyrics with a level of passion and determination rarely seen elsewhere, before or since then.

If Human has one flaw then it’s the mixing of Steve DiGiorgio’s bass, since most of the time it gets overpowered by the rest of the band; it’s a shame because, like the rest of the band, he puts in an incredible performance with some amazing fills and solos. Of course the short length of the album might also be a drawback for some, but I personally believe it’s perfect the way it is. The songs never drag on too long, each track is as fresh and unique as the last, and not a moment is wasted with pointless filler. I’d rather listen to eight fantastic tracks than fifteen mediocre ones any day.

Human is Death’s magnum opus, the major turning point in their career where they went beyond the capabilities of the genre and showed that they weren’t content with following the formula they helped create. Technical yet crushing, aggressive yet intricate, short yet immense; this is thirty-five minutes of near perfect death metal which remains a classic to this day.

R.I.P - Chuck Schuldiner (1967 – 2001)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
August 28th 2009



12571 Comments


This is an incredible review. I pos'd

Zip
August 29th 2009



5312 Comments


good review, never listened to any death

shindip
August 29th 2009



3536 Comments


I cant find this anywhere, but I really need to hear it.

Piglet
August 29th 2009



4653 Comments


not surprised Greg did a review for this.

Metalplayer2020
August 29th 2009



58 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Finally got this a couple days ago, and haven't stopped listening yet.
Chuck really was on a different level.

Lunarfall
August 29th 2009



3179 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album is extremely good

ManRunsOverBus
August 29th 2009



45 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't listened to this album in quite some time.Certainly a formidable line up of musicians for this particular incarnation of Death.

Really good review review, I must listen to this again.

Greggers
August 29th 2009



2375 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"not surprised Greg did a review for this."

I didn't realise my love of this album was that well known :P

FadeToBlack
August 29th 2009



10913 Comments


crazy props for reviewing this. it's probably in my top 5 favourite albums ever

good review, never listened to any death
lol

Piglet
August 29th 2009



4653 Comments


I didn't realise my love of this album was that well known :P

I always knew you loved Death

LepreCon
August 29th 2009



3853 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My favourite Death album. Technical but not pure wankery

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

Piglet
August 29th 2009



4653 Comments


didn't the singer commit suicide or something?

FadeToBlack
August 29th 2009



10913 Comments


I really hope you're joking

he died from his second bout with brain cancer, though technically it was pneumonia which killed him

LepreCon
August 29th 2009



3853 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

He died of brain cancer dude

Piglet
August 29th 2009



4653 Comments


oh lol, my mistake

FadeToBlack
August 29th 2009



10913 Comments


which retard gave this a 1?

edit: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/profile.php?name=cobain94
he gave Crimson a 1 too lol

LepreCon
August 29th 2009



3853 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

troll

KILL
August 29th 2009



71167 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

awesome review my friend! such a ridiculously good album

Digging: David Axelrod - Song of Innocence

FadeToBlack
August 29th 2009



10913 Comments


Best song = Flattening Of Emotions/Suicide Machine/Lack Of Comprehension
Least Best Song = Secret Face

Seek and Destroy
August 29th 2009



62 Comments


God I do love me some Death



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