Death
Individual Thought Patterns


4.5
superb

Review

by YoYoMancuso USER (44 Reviews)
September 30th, 2012 | 72 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A death metal essential that only gets better with each listen.

The final four records by Floridian metal legends Death have long been hailed as masterpieces, impeccable collections of music essential to any lover of death metal, or extreme metal in general. Each of them have their own amazing qualities about them: Human represents the astronomic growth from just a death metal group into prog-metal masterminds, Symbolic features some of Chuck's most fantastic songwriting & lyrics, and The Sound of Perseverance is extremely technical. But of these final four records, Individual Thought Patterns is definitely the black sheep. Written in between the flourishes of genius that were Human and Symbolic, Chuck Schuldiner was once again in a tight situation. He was once again searching for a second guitarist and yet another drummer. After selecting Andy LaRocque to be his rhythm guitarist and the impeccable Gene Hoglan behind the kit, the band was all set to record their fifth album. However, with the pressure stacked against them after making such an amazing record, and getting used to the new band members, how were they going to create a sufficient follow-up? This was the last album of the final four that I listened to. As it is pretty much just an amalgam of Death's 80's sound and the sound they would use on their last two albums, I went into this purely expecting it to be a record of transition, and to be nowhere as good as Human or Symbolic.

Until I listened to it.
WOW.

The opening drum fill of "Overactive Imagination" hit me with such brute force that my jaw dropped from pure astonishment. The syncopated 9/8 riff was so freaking filthy and technical that I immediately asked myself, "How can this get any better?" Oh, but it does. Chuck is still a guitar wizard, and he still has the best quasi-thrash-sounding vocals in the genre. He can still solo his ass off, and he has surrounded himself with even BETTER musicians than he had before. As usual, Steve DiGiorgio is setting his bass guitar on fire with his nasty fills and terrific solos. The deep tones DiGiorgio uses are pure bliss (is that the right word to describe a DM bass line?) The twin guitar interplay of Schuldiner and LaRocque is impeccable, with the two of them almost making my brain explode with their fantastic solos on "Jealousy", the euphoric opening riff of "Trapped In A Corner" or the just plain epic guitar lines of "The Philosopher". The songs combine the crazy time switches and relentless instrumentation of their final years, but with the short track lengths and unadulterated rage of their early days. Schuldiner's lyrics were improving rapidly by the time the band recorded ITP: the title track and "The Philosopher" are two of the best songs ever penned under the Schuldiner name. Gene Hoglan is easily the best drummer the band ever had, pulling off lightning-fast double-bass rhythms and cascading tom rolls with ease, all while playing very well dynamically and not overpowering the sound too much. His opening fills on "Overactive Imagination" and "Mentally Blind" are especially mind-bending.

The production on this record is fantastic (although I do have a 320kbps rip of it: I don't know how the physical copy sounds). Every instrument is given a moment to shine, with the drums being crisp but extremely well-tuned, the guitars chugging and unrelenting although possessing an undeniable sense of melody & harmony, and almost funky bass work that is clear on every single song at one point or another. And thank goodness, Chuck's voice is actually clear. He does a great job articulating but lets the instruments do the talking (or rather, barking) when he needs to. Chuck will always have one of the most unique voices in death metal, despite his clueless detractors who say his voice isn't deep or growly enough. Since when was that a requirement? If every death metal vocalist did that, it would be a pretty derivative style.

Don't let the fact that it's lowest rated of the big 4 fool you. ITP is a nearly flawless gem that is too overlooked on the site (and by Death fans themselves) and in my opinion is every bit as good as The Sound of Perseverance, while falling just below their two essentials, Human and Symbolic. Buy (or pirate) this now, you won't regret it one bit.

4.5/5.

Recommended Tracks (asterisk signifies best song on the album):
Overactive Imagination
Jealousy
Trapped In A Corner
Mentally Blind
Individual Thought Patterns
The Philosopher*



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user ratings (1579)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

really wanted to do this album justice. Let me know what you guys think!

Hawks
September 29th 2012


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Favorite Death.

Favorite dm album in general actually.

greatlookingguy
September 29th 2012


594 Comments


best album ever

ThunderNeutral21
September 29th 2012


3864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool death review

but sadly i dont see the supposed greatness of this one, havent jammed in 4ever thou

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that's too bad Thunder, this is an incredible album. But thanks for the positive feedback

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012


19930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice job on the review man pos'd

Digging: Coldworld - Melancholie

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wait where is that? gimme like an entire sentence so i know where to check

Jruined
September 29th 2012


1300 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album rules. Nice review.

Digging: Scott Walker and Sunn O))) - Soused

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ah ok

Titan
September 29th 2012


5062 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good digs

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks bro

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012


16057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

enjoyed reading it, pos'd

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012


50568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet

hitman
September 29th 2012


774 Comments


didnt read but death review so pos'd blah blah

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks guys

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2012


4443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review, as usual. Album is great, I love the overall style of the album. The musicianship is very expansive and innovative. POS'd.

YoYoMancuso
September 29th 2012


11153 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

m/ hard Sonic


thanks Paper, and I agree with what you said about the instrumentation

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012


50568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bass on this thing is incredible


greatlookingguy
September 29th 2012


594 Comments


agreed, shame hes in shitty soen now

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 29th 2012


50568 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This definitely has the best production of the final 4



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