Records has decided to release the Death catalogue again makes a lot of sense.
There is so much in Schuldiner's work that younger metal fans can benefit from.
After all these years, there's still an abundance of value and power in those
Two years after the
phenomenal 'Human' (1991), Chuck Schuldiner was ready with a new Death release.
'Individual Thought Patterns' quite surprisingly featured King Diamond guitarist
Andy LaRocque along with drummer Gene Hoglan and bassist Steve Digiorgio. A
fantastic team around the young metal genius Schuldiner, one must say.
For guys like me, this is a chance to revisit not only the brilliant music that
was the result of Chuck's far too short life, but also to remember a time when
the world was a bit different from now. Yes, we had CD's, but most of the
collection was still vinyl or cassette tapes, there wasn't a zillion bands
promoting themselves on youtube or MySpace. No, you working hard and, if you
were lucky and/or talented enough, you got yourself a record deal.
Around the time of the release of 'Individual Thought Patterns', metal was
suffering after the fat years. Grunge and hip hop were slaying metal bands by
the thousands and the artistic expression in metal bands stagnated. Even death
metal had gone higher in the charts than anyone would have expected with bands
like Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse selling a fair bit especially in their
home country. Pantera and Metallica in particular had of course gone to a
different dimension altogether.
Death was one of those bands who ignored everything and just did their own thing
and kept their artistic integrity. As I'm listening to the remastered version of
'Individual Thought Patterns' (yes, you can tell that the sound has been
optimised), I recall the emotions I went through back then. I remember in a
sense being proud that one of 'my' bands did something like this. It would seem
like commercial suicide in a world where you had to sound like Soundgarden or
Nirvana to be this complex, to be this...well...good!
But they were. Amazing. Integrity all the way.
That said, although ITP was amazing, it for me was no equal to 'Human', and this
remains a fact until this day. It had and still has a harder time flowing
directly into my veins the way its predecessor did. That won't change the fact
that songs like Overactive Imagination and The Philosopher have gone into metal
history as some of the best tunes ever wrought.
The bonus disc doesn't contain instrumental demo versions of the songs like the
two previous rereleases did. A shame, in a way, because I've enjoyed those. The
live songs here are of course a nice way of remembering that Death was also a
live band and not just someone who hid away in the studio - and that little
errors could also appear here and there for the masters! The concluding
instrumental studio outtake, The Exorcist, is a fine addition to any Death fan's
New fans, it's safe to start here. Build your Death collection - it's a must!