There are many different bands with the same name: 1) A death metal band from Florida, United States. 2) A punk rock band from Michigan, United States. http://www.deathfromdetroit.com/ 3) A horrorcore rapper from Louisiana, United States 4) A techno producer from Mainz, Germany. 1) Death was an influential death metal band founded by guitarist and singer Chuck Schuldiner (pronounced Schul-deener) in Orlando, Florida in 1983. They released several demos as Mantas before changing their name in 1984. Read more on Last.fm
Another epic album following 1991’s infamous “Human” album, and what a follow-up this is!
The lineup speaks for itself as Andy LaRocque (King Diamond), Steve Digiorgio (Sadus, Iced Earth, Autopsy, Testament) and Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel) join in to further assist Chuck Schuldiner in molding his already unique sense of power combined with melody and technique, which was already developing since ‘Spiritual Healing’ in the early 90’s.
The album kicks off with “Overactive Imagination”, and immediately one can notice the amount of POWER this lineup has to offer as Digiorgio’s ever so distinctive style clearly sets an amazing ‘technical mood’ to the sound mix, along with Gene’s ongoing mind-blowing attack, Chuck and Andy provide all the intelligent guitar riffs alongside some pretty ‘schizophrenic’ progressive fillings, just enough to give Chuck room to burst his vocal energy in form of wisdom-like-lyrics, even in a more powerful angry way than Death’s previous albums.
PEOPLE OF THE EARTH BEWARE! (Andy LaRocque is here!) “In Human Form” is the 2nd song of the album and it’s simply a time bomb, it just keeps accumulating this energy from the moment it starts, until Chuck screams “ready to attack’ to signal Andy’s first solo of the song: complete destruction.
Another energy buildup begins and is helped by Chuck’s only solo in the song, which is enough since his solos deliver anger, feelings and yet a valid support for the current mood of the song. Andy’s 2nd and last solo of the song (strangely comes after Chuck ‘challenges’ him by saying ‘show me what you are, a waste of life”) rises up to the challenge once again!
“Jealousy” is simply epic. From the lovely weird riff to Digiorgio’s soulful slides (which moves you as he slides down the fretboard) to Chuck’s ever so unique vocal attack and the solos laid down in just the right parts of the song. The song also contains an angry death riff, which will instantly send headbang instructions to the mind (it did make me frown as well). The song keeps the listener in various moods as the main opening riff is introduced after Andy’s perfect mix of shredding and feelings.
I am indeed jealous for I wasn’t around to witness this lineup live O.o
“Trapped In A Corner’ is another all time favorite of mine: It starts off as Andy and Chuck play an interesting intro, melodic and progressive and yet again, shows the improved musical mentality of Death (Chuck). The headbanging riff soon crashes down and is followed by a moment to let this crazy fellow named Steve have some fun of his own, which leads to an heavy oriental thing leaded by Gene’s beat and Chuck’s public announcement “In time you will find yourself trapped in a corner, These four words my friend, I promise you will not forget” directed to those who lie, control, dominate people and destroy their dreams. After that it’s a minute’s worth of amazing memorable solos by both guitarists as they lead their way to the main part and chorus of the song.
“Nothing is Everything’ is owned by Steve Digiorgio (‘In another world very far away’) from beginning to end, with major contribution from Gene who also set his presence in the song. The song accelerates into the tight and fast solo by Chuck which also provides the passionate vocals through the entire song, which is truly symbolic in lyrics and which mainly represents those whose lives always revolves on nothing.
After 5 songs, one would think that Chuck would run out of ideas… but he surely knows how to channel energy in an album. And that’s why the 6th song is “Mentally Blind”, one of the most anger-driven songs of the album, lyrics and vocals wise. The band did experiment a lot during the song, as Gene threw some hard kicks and Steve complemented with his sticky slides. Chuck used some extensive synthesizers during the song, to give that epic feeling which he succeeds in.
“Individual Thought Patterns’ is another great song of this masterpiece. Lots of headbanging parts on this one for sure ; Gene and Steve’s great collaboration have made this song tastefully odd accompanied by Chuck’s solo in the mid of the song. Being the title song, it surely represents the album’s overall message :
“Followers to the leaders of mass hypnotic corruption
that live their lives only to criticize”
Death show that they are not followers in their genre nor leaders, they just play Metal to play Metal, competition excluded.
“Destiny” starts with an acoustic intro which is absolutely calming/epic (its well mixed as well). The song just forces the listener into spastic moves, this kind of songs ain’t right to headbang on, since the body cannot simply contain the energy and just needs to move (no moshing required). Every band member contributes effectively in making the song interesting, from Steve’s fills to Chuck’s vocal attack to the solos and the drumming, it all comes together in this magnificent song. In my opinion, it’s one of the most interesting songs to listen to, and to read, for Chuck shows his philosophical inspiration in the lyrics and writes them purely from the heart.
“Out of Touch” is yet another epic one on this record (ain’t them all ?!?). Synthesizers are used at the beginning and it does add some shine to this already polished masterpiece. This song contains it all, starting from its slow tempo which then evolves to a fast thrashy one, to the ‘weird’ innovative parts to the absolutely lovely solos to the yet again oriental inspired beat by Gene after the solo in the mid. This is Death.
The final song is one of their 2 official videos, and it’s probably the most known ‘popular’ song of this album, “The Philosopher”, starts with the infamous tapped intro by Chuck and then starts with a tough riff with vocals and leads to the oh so powerful chorus. Steve gets to play a lick after that (i think he plays it with a single finger/banging his head /high-fiving people!) and soon after enjoys some infectious fretless slides and gets to solo again and again at the end of the song (the song actually fades out for a minute!). Gene also lays down his sickening beats in the course of the song. A classic song for Death and it still grows on people with time.
One of my all-time favorites. A classic masterpiece for ages to come.