Human (Deluxe reissue)
Style: Technical Death Metal
Release date: 21 June, 2011
Playing time: 33:22 + 70:00

By 1991, Chuck Schuldiner, at the tender age of 24, reached godlike status.

His band Death had already released three genre-defining albums with 'Scream Bloody Gore', 'Leprosy' and 'Spiritual Healing', but with 'Human' the band reached an entirely different level of technicality and song writing altogether.

To this day, although I have listened to this album a zillion times, 'Human' offers me something new every time I listen. I notice something new, a little break I never noticed before, an intonation I didn't get before, something Steve Digiorgio does in the background on the bass that failed my attention, and of course Sean Reinert's drumming never fails to amaze. And those riffs, ladies and gentlemen, those riffs will be among those riffs of greatness chiseled into the tomb stone of metal music when we're all dead and gone and our bones turned to dust.

Even if 'Individual Thought Patterns', 'Symbolic' and 'The Sound of Perseverance' were continuations of the path that Death took into technical death metal, 'Human' for me remains the greatest of those albums, encompassing all that made Chuck's music so unique and amazing. This masterpiece was built on a foundation of heavy metal, thrash and the death metal genre he himself was one of the progenitors of, and no one else quite cut it like Death. It blew my mind 20 years ago, and still does today.

The new deluxe reissue of 'Human' includes not only the rough demos of the album, but also instrumental studio versions of all the songs from the album. It's striking how well they live also without Chuck's vocal. I'd go as far as to claim that it even underlines the musicality of Chuck and the musicians he'd gathered around him. It sounds fantastic, no more, no less.

Do yourself the favour, if you haven't already done so, of listening to an album that changed the view of death metal and metal in general for many of us. If you know the album as I do, then do yourself the favour of having a re-listen. If any metal album is worth it, then it's definitely this one.

R.I.P. Chuck - brilliant, yet so utterly fragile as any other...human.


Disc 1
01. Flattening Of Emotions
02. Suicide Machine
03. Together As One
04. Secret Face
05. Lack Of Comprehension
06. See Through Dreams
07. Cosmic Sea
08. Vacant Planets
09. God Of Thunder (Bonus Track)

Disc 2
10. Flattening Of Emotions
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
11. Suicide Machine
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
12. Together As One
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
13. Secret Face
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
14. Secret Face - Part 2
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
15. Lack Of Comprehension
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
16. "Felt Good" - Studio Snippet
17. See Through Dreams
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
18. See Through Dreams - Part 2
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
19. Vacant Planets
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
20. Cosmic Sea
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
21. Cosmic Sea Part 2
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
22. God Of Thunder
 (Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks)
23. Flattening Of Emotions
 ("Human" Demos)
24. Lack Of Comprehension
 ("Human" Demos)
25. Suicide Machine
 ("Human" Demos)
26. Together As One
 ("Human" Demos)
27. See Through Dreams
 ("Human" Demos)
28. Secret Face
 (Instrumental - "Human" Demos)
29. Vacant Planets
 (Instrumental - "Human" Demos)

Label: Relapse Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 45/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 30 June, 2011