Review Summary: You have to be mentally deaf not to like it.THE STORY OF DEATH, EPISODE V/VII - INDIVIDUAL THOUGHT PATTERNS:
In contrast to Death's former album, Individual Thought Patters doesn't suffer from lack of comparison - the exact opposite, Individual Thought Patterns suffers from excess of comparison. Its unfortunate position in Death's discography - between the incredible Human and the legendary Symbolic - make it seems much inferior. While I do in fact think that the album is not as good as the ones surrounding it, I still insist that it is one of the greatest Death Metal albums of all time. The album continues with much the same spirit of Human, but contains hints of more technical Symbolic nuances.
Much like the former Human, Individual Thought Patterns contains only short songs, none even reaching the five minute mark. This by no means makes the album seem incomplete, though, because of the many tempo breaks and interesting structures being used by Chuck Schuldiner. Thus, the entire album emerges as a never-ending riff fest, as there are barely even any gaps between the songs themselves.
While working out to this album, sleeping to this album or maybe just listening without fully paying attention, it's hard to even notice when the track changes. Both the combinations between the title track and Destiny, and In Human Form and Jealousy showcase this perfectly, as each pair merges to become a seven minute-long thrashing epics.
Another musical element being strongly used in Individual Thought Patterns is the extreme melodic emphasis. Chuck's brilliantly writes amazing duo-parts for him and Andy LaRocque, and of course Steve DiGiorgio amazing bass work doesn't hurt. Nothing Is Everything's chorus and Overactive Imagination's intro are probably few of the most melodic riffs Chuck had ever written.
In other songs, like Mentally Blind and Out Of Touch, Death prove again that keyboard in Death Metal can do wonders if played right. This increases the album epic levels to extreme extents.
Like many other Death work, Individual Thought Patterns is written and played masterfully, when Schuldiner once again writes all of the music and lyrics for the album.
Steve DiGiorgio, who also played the bass in Human, never fails to show why he is one of the greatest bassists of all time, and why Steve is a great name for a Metal bassist. He uses his bass more like as if it was a guitar, and thanks to the amazing production the bass sounds as clear as ever.
Gene Hoglan is also an important part of the personnel, as he is one of the greatest active Metal drummers there are, and he is a worthy contender to Human's Sean Reinert. He plays masterfully in this album, but he would shine even more on the next one, Symbolic.
The band's instrumental performance reaches its absolute peak at the very end of the album. The Philosopher is widely considered to be Death's greatest song, and despite that may not be in fact true, it is an unbelievably good track. With probably the closest thing here to a traditional structure, it's pretty obvious why this track is the fans favorite, but the track reaches its best part right around the end, where Chuck and Steve abuse their instruments and create one the most technical trade-offs you would ever hear.
Never mind the masterpieces that are Human and Symbolic, Individual Thought Patterns is an outstanding record, and it is not very far from Death's best. If you have only heard Symbolic and Human, consider this your next buy. If you haven’t heard any Death, though, focus on Death's next studio album, Symbolic.
- The Philosopher
- Overactive Imagination
- Trapped In A Corner
Individual Thought Patterns was released in June 15, 1993. The record label is Relativity and it is 38:46 minutes long.
All songs written by Chuck Schuldiner.
Chuck Schuldiner - Guitar, Vocals, Producer
Andy LaRocque - Guitar
Steve DiGiorgio - Fretless Bass
Gene Hoglan - Drums, Guitars on "The Exorcist"
Produced by Chuck Schuldiner and Scott Burns
Alan Douches - Remix