Individual Thought Patterns
Review by Death8699 on July 2, 2019.
Death was founded by "Evil Chuck" Shuldiner (RIP) back in 1983. The musicianship was consistently evolving from solely death metal releases that turned into a more progressive songwriting approach. "Evil Chuck" chose one of Death's best lineups for this album. His previous songwriting reflected a more brutally oriented form of death metal. This became aloof because on here the songwriting reigned totally from a musical aspect. The lineup featured Chuck Schuldiner on vocals/guitars, Andy LaRoche on guitars, Steve Digiorgio on bass and Gene Hoglan on drums.
It seemed as though this release fell more under the melodic death metal genre. Even though Chuck's vocals were still hoarse, they were still incredibly easy to understand. With this in effect, the throat quality meshed well with the heavy D-tuned guitar riffs. The music was amazingly well concocted. Each track showed such an intelligent portrayal of guitar, leads and drumming. Rhythms were much more musical which really stuck with the listener.
This album contained a much more mature songwriting style than the 3 previous releases. Each guitar riff was entirely unique and innovative. Chuck came up with a whole litany of imaginative songs that were totally captivating. The heavy tremolo picked guitar worked well together alongside the throat outputs. Pretty much all of the songs contain a heavy and distorted guitar though there was an introduction acoustic piece. It was merely more of a segue into a heavier song entitled "Destiny."
It seemed that Chuck was focused on sounding more musical because the majority of guitar parts here show a broader more introspective litany of songwriting. It featured Death's more creative side. The tempos for each song were not explosively fast because the melodic guitar dominated throughout this entire release. Another interesting aspect here is that the bass guitar was wholly audible. This was something that was lacking in prior Death releases. A pretty unique aspect to make note of was that DiGiorgio played a fretless bass guitar.
All of the tracks are noteworthy. Some more so than others. I'd have to say that "Trapped In A Corner", "Nothing Is Everything" and "Destiny" were the most appealing songs out of this entire album. The reason was because they seemed to be more technical than the others. It's easy though to grow a liking to this whole album since it was part of Death's most unique outputs. Way more so than their first 3 releases. Many listeners may've held a similar conclusion.
Andy LaRoche's leads were more advanced than Chuck's. His playing was more technical in this department. The sound quality could've been better though Scott Burns did a good job with the mixing. The bass guitar was loud enough so that you could hear it alongside the guitars. Just the audio for the guitars could've been louder. They didn't drown the rest of the instruments out. The drums by Hoglan were right on cue with the riffs. Plus, they were easier to hear than on previous releases.
Lyrically speaking, Chuck's focus was more on a spiritual aspect for Death. They were entirely original and well thought out. The track "Destiny" gives the listener an idea as to what direction this album portrayed as far as the words go. Death's first 3 releases especially their first focused more on gore. This was a more immature aspect of Death's lyric writing. But this release reflected an incredibly more intelligent approach. No covers here. All of the tracks are originals.
This album was anger fortified though the songs showed a brilliant skill of song/lyric writing by "Evil Chuck." The rhythms reflected an intriguing approach which wasn't as prevalent on the 3 previous releases. The sound quality could've been better but all 40 plus minutes of this album was wholly intriguing, original and imaginative. It remains to be one of my personal favorite releases from Death. Such an inspiration that carried with it a legacy regarding the influence Death's impression had on the metal community.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Review by Allan on March 5, 2002.
Five albums after their beginning, Death put out one of the nicest gems of the scene and their career. With the dismissal of guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert, and the addition of drummer Gene Hoglan and guitarist Andy LaRocque, Death was much better off. Hoglan is an amazing drummer. Even better, how about adding one of the greatest metal bassists of all time to help him with the rhythm section? Thank god that Steve Digiorgio stayed with the band for another album, but sadly he left after this. "Individual Thought Patterns" shows Death at a period that is many fans favorite.
With "Individual Thought Patterns", the riffs are better written, they’re more memorable, the vocals have improved once again, the drums are awesome, the bass is unbelievable, and the completed product is outstanding. The band moves through each and every track never hitting a single weak spot or anything that seems out of place. Every track has a life of its own, and doesn’t sound confuse the listener into thinking they already heard the track. While not exactly creating a new sound for the band, what Death has done is refine their sound and continue to progress into a more progressive style of death metal. They do a damn fine job of it too!
Bottom Line: If you like Death, this album is a necessity. If you like death metal at all, you need this album. This is one of the best albums that Chuck and Co. ever put out, and it deserves a hearty welcome into ones collection.
Rating: 10 out of 10