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  • Spiritual Healing was a good album.Having said that,Death’s fourth album Human is light years ahead of Spiritual Healing and Leprosy lyrically and technically.Human is what got me to love Death,and show me that there was more to metal than generic satanism.Though Death isn’t my favorite band,Human is one of my favorite metal albums owing largely to its focused drumwork,dynamic guitar and intelligent lyrical content.Songs like Lack
    Of Comprehension and the beautifully prog flavored Cosmic Sea offer up a depth of not only technicality but also emotion.Human expanded my musical and intellectual horizons and showed me that metal could indeed endeavor to be more than escapist fantasy.For fans of this subculture,prog rock or hardcore devotees,there’s always something ripe for the picking in this masterpiece.Thank you Chuck for the inspiration and emotion.I’ll never forget what you gave to me.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Some may be turned off by the pounding double bass, detuned guitar riffs, and of course, the growling/screaming vocals, but I love every second of this album. Chuck Shuldiner and Death have developed so much since the days of “Scream Bloody Gore”. While SBG had simple riffs and gross lyrics, this album features much more technical and progressive songwriting and excellent lyrics. Mind you, it’s still heavy as hell, and unbelievably fast. Chuck Shuldiner was truly an outstanding guitarist. The riffs he wrote for this album are amazingly melodic and precise, yet complicated and very fast. His solos are fluent and melodic. The musicians accompanying him were the best he had worked with up until this point. Sean Reinert and Paul Masividal from Cynic joined on guitar and drums. If you’re familiar with Cynic, you should know they’re amazing. If you’re not, you can trust me on that one. Steve DiGiorgio is a bass god, who has worked with Sadus, Iced Earth and others. He plays those incredibly fast riffs with his fingers. Whoa!Chuck’s songwriting took a more progressive and technical turn here, but it’s still very much a straight Death Metal sound. “Flattening of Emotions” is about the best song ever, with it’s incredibly fast double bass and awesome trade-offs between Chuck and Paul during the solo. It’s also filled with Chuck’s powerful growl/yell, which has always made him my favorite death metal vocalist. The album’s fault, if it has one, is that it’s not that diverse. I don’t mind though, when the material is this good. “Suicide Machine”, “Together As One” “See Through Dreams” and “Secret of Face” are all stand-outs as well, which feature excellent riffing and amazing guitar solos. “Lack of Comprehension” is an awesome song too, with it’s awesome jazzy opening. “Cosmic Sea” is an instrumental with some extremely fluent soloing. It’s damn close to impossible to play those patterns as clean and fast as either Chuck or Paul plays them on this song.So, in short, this is more than another death metal album. Aside from their first few albums, Death has always had a more unique and innovative sound than most other death metal bands. In my opinion, Chuck also writes much more intelligent, thought out, and realistic lyrics. The average person can relate to many of Chuck’s later lyrics. If you’re interested in technical metal or death metal, you can’t go wrong with this album. Unless you’re turned off by the things mentioned in the first sentence of this review. I probably repeated myself a lot in this review, but oh well. The album’s just so damn good. Also recommended: Death – Symbolic, The Sound of Perserverance.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • None of the reviews that I have seen on this page to date make any mention of Sean Reinert, the drummer on this album, so I felt I should write something. He is one of the best drummers in the scene, and deserves some recognition. For me, a review of Human that does not mention the drumming misses the point. For people obsessed with speed alone, his performance is the fastest I have ever heard. A decent standard for a “fast” beat would be something like Slayer’s “Angel of Death”, which clocks in at about 210 beats per minute (BPM). It is impressive because the feet are doing 16th notes of this on the bass drums, which makes the section sound quite intense. On Human, however, most of the songs clock in between 230 and 240 BPM. He maintains this performance for a majority of the CD as well….But suppose we ignore this. Sean himself seems to know that musicianship is more than speed alone. A lot of drummers in the scene have speed, but their playing sounds very angular and predictable. Sean brings in the influences like Vinnie Colaiuta and Stewart Copeland to give the music a less predictable feel. His ability to syncopate and turn the beat around keeps this CD interesting, and he has a great rhythmic vocabulary. Any drummer caught in a rut looking for someone to inspire them should check this out.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is not only my favorite death metal album, this was my awakening!. this album changed my life forever. i’ve been a death’s fan for more than 12 years now, very much since they released spiritual healings and let me tell you by the time this got out i was incredibly impressed…..the album’s technicity is just completely something else. the musical writting and composition is so intelligent that even today ultratechnical metal bands use human as a source of inspiration and technicity. chuck’s lyric’s are probably some of the must imaginative and intellectual ever to be put down into music. his musical inventiva was layed down by a very emotional,spiritual, complex and versatil imagination…..that can only come from love and passion for music greatness. every song stands completely by it self, every shop is clockwork orange. the gathering of some of the must incredible individuals in music virtuosity ( steve digiorgio, sean reinart and paul masdival)make this album a hall of famer. i will always remember u chuck for everything you taught me, musically and spiritually. ……..your music will always be a source of inspiration, not only musically but personaly, god have you under his will be deeply miss and your albums depply overplayed by those who really appreciate true and intelligent heavy metal virtuosity. r.i.p.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Death was unquestionably one of the, and arguably the primary innovators of the death metal genre, but it was with this album that Death truly built their legacy as one of the greatest metal bands ever. This marked a new phase for Death, turning them from a band into essentially a Chuck Schulinder solo project, with every song on this album, and all future Death albums, being written by Chuck alone. This also marked the beginning of a series of releases of rare, extraordinary quality culminating in the release of the phenemenol Sound of Perseverance, which I consider to be the best Death album, and one of the few greatest albums ever recorded by anyone. If you haven’t heard any Death, that is perhaps a better place to start, but this fantastic release still belongs in any metal fans collection, and is probably my second favorite Death album.Though Death was initially a pure Death metal band, this release and all future Death releases are better described as progressive death-thrash, perhaps leaning a bit more towards the thrash side. It’s difficult to say why this is, other than to say that it feels more like thrash than death, to me anyway. Though it maintains much of the increased brutality of death metal, the riffs are very thrashy structurally, and they are always clean and crisp, not blurry and noisy as they tend to be in fast death metal. As a whole the riffs come a cross as a stylistic melding of those found in Reign in Blood and Beneath the Remains. Similarly, the drumming tends to be more thrashy, avoiding the blast-beat style drumming also common to death metal. Speaking of the drumming, Sean Reinert of Cynic is a fantastic drummer, though I prefer the later work of Gene Hoglan and Richard Christy. Sean doesn’t seem to have as much personality stylistically as do those 2. To his advantage, he is probably the most accomplished double bass drummer I’ve ever heard, with even more extensive use of them than the latter 2. He can do them incredibly fast, but still mixes up the tempos more than any drummer I’ve heard. The rhythm guitar work is excellent as well, some of the fastest and most technically accomplished work around. Chuck seems unable to write an uninteresting riff. The solos/leads are good, but not great, and not nearly as good as they’d become just one album later. They still have their moments, particularly on the instrumental Cosmic Sea and and Lack of Comprehension. The bass is, sadly, pretty much MIA except on the aforementoined Cosmic Sea, where he does a nice, if short solo. Chuck’s inimitable vocals fit the music very well, and he writes some thoughtful lyrics.The only real conceivable complaint against this album is that other than the relatively mellow instrumental it has little variety. The intensity rarely relents, and it tends to focus on the extremely fast tempos, though every track drops down to more mid-paced tempos at leat occasionally. However, though it lacks variety, it is very consistent, with the track quality ranging from very good to brilliant. The opener, Flattening of Emotions is probably my favorite track, and is the fastest and most unrelentingly intense track on the album, though it still has a very memorable chorus. The next track, Suicide Machine, is another standout. A bit slower, though it still knows when to kick it up to speed and its got another strong chorus. Lack of Comprehension is another speedy number, with some nice stuttering, jumpy riffs and short leads thrown in as well.(It also has the best solo on the album.) Anyway, enough about the individual tracks. They all rule.Thats really about all I got to say. Truly, a great metal album. Get it.

    Posted on January 31, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now