Rating:
10
Death - Human
22 October 1991


Disc I
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 [Kiss cover] [Japanese bonus]

Disc II [2011 re-release bonus]
Human - Basic Instrumental Studio Tracks
01. Flattening Of Emotions
02. Suicide Machine
03. Together As One
04. Secret Face
05. Secret Face - Part 2
06. Lack Of Comprehension
07. Felt Good [studio snippet]
08. See Through Dreams
09. See Through Dreams - Part 2
10. Vacant Planets
11. Cosmic Sea
12. Cosmic Sea - Part 2
13. God Of Thunder [Kiss cover]
Human Demos - March 25, 1991
14. Flattening Of Emotion [demo]
15. Lack of Comprehension [demo]
16. Suicide Machine [demo]
17. Together As One [demo]
18. See Through Dreams [demo]
19. Secret Face [instrumental version] [demo]
20. Vacant Planets [instrumental version] [demo]


Human is one of only a handful of albums in the history of heavy metal that fundamentally altered the genre's future in ways possibly not even entirely imaginable. It's difficult to describe in words the exact impact this incredible slab of 90s death metal had, but I'll do my best.

Human can be taken as the mark in Death's career where the songwriting and overall composition really started to become more evolved, so to speak. Up until this point, Death had more or less been within the same style as a lot of early death metal bands (Obituary, Possessed, Morbid Angel, etc), albeit with the vocals being a tad less guttural. But Chuck, always a dedicated and talented musician prone to musical progression, then took it upon himself to bring in similar musicians who shared his virtuosity to accomplish the next step in his musical journey. Said musicians were Sean Reinert on drums and Paul Masvidal on guitar (both of future Cynic fame), as well as the almighty Steve DiGiorgio on bass. Armed with a new and highly talented lineup, Chuck set about writing the now-legendary Human.

As could be expected from a combination of such amazingly-talented musicians, Human has quite a stunning balance of sound to it. It's heavy as hell and wicked fast at points ("Suicide Machine," "Together As One," "Flattening Of Emotions"), and yet there are also some more relaxed, melodic moments, such as the intro to "Lack Of Comprehension," and the somewhat spacey feel to the instrumental "Cosmic Sea." This change in sound also yielded a change in the lyrics as well. Gone now were the violent, gory lyrics that Death had employed before and that many death metal bands at the time were still emulating, in place were lyrics more questioning of the nature of reality and critical of everyday life, a theme that would only further be embellished upon on Death's post-Human albums. This is important, because not only did it serve as a needle that separated Death from the rest of the death metal haystack at the time, but it also served as an inspiration to future death metal bands looking for something other than the cliché violence theme to take with their lyrics.

To put it simply, Human was probably the one album throughout all of death metal's history that helped the genre mature most, laying the foundation for technical death metal in the process. This was before Atheist's Elements, before Cynic's Focus, and far before all the widdly diddly sweep picking and near-constant blast beats of modern tech death. It is arguably the one album that Chuck will most be remembered for, and which served as the foundation that countless future tech death bands would build upon. And for that, it will truly stand the test of time.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Death
Album: Human


 


written by Apothecary | 28.03.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Yanko

Rating:
10
There it is the turning point in the career of Death. The most controversial album of the all - is it death metal, or is it thrash metal. Many people claim it is true death metal, but the only way they would convince me is play me the album, recorded on a low-fi MC, which has been re-recorded numerous times.

However, I call it thrash, because Chuck has never quite been a death metal vocalist, after all nobody calls Sepultura's "Chaos A.D." death metal, despite Max Cavalera's very convincing throat. One thing is sure, though, this is a back to the roots album with many of death metal's ingredients present on two or three songs, but not more. It is heavy, slow at moments and very metal. This is true metal in fact. The deep, thick sound is there and if it weren't for the fast and extremely technical performance of this inexhaustible source of guitar inspiration, flowing like a stream into his music and into the hearts, minds and souls of many musicians and fans for the coming times.

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published 15.09.2003 | Comments (21)



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Apothecary - 28.03.2012 at 15:50  
On a little side note, I know I gave this the same rating as the other guy, but I just felt that such a legendary album deserved a better review describing its impact for its time and not referring to it as thrash metal
I gave production a 9 because on Human the bass is a lot less audible than Individual Thought Patterns, but other than that it's a perfect album in my opinion
Sync - 28.03.2012 at 17:33  
Very nice review. Informative yet not boring or complicated with waffle.
Asunder - 28.03.2012 at 20:16  
Nice review. My favorite Death
The Galactican - 29.03.2012 at 03:17  
I can't count the number of times I've listened to this record over the years, and even had the good fortune to catch them live for this tour. Great review.
Apothecary - 29.03.2012 at 04:28  
Written by The Galactican on 29.03.2012 at 03:17

I can't count the number of times I've listened to this record over the years, and even had the good fortune to catch them live for this tour. Great review.

Damn man, I would give a kidney to have been able to see Death back in the day
Unhealer - 29.03.2012 at 04:51  
Written by Apothecary on 29.03.2012 at 04:28

Written by The Galactican on 29.03.2012 at 03:17

I can't count the number of times I've listened to this record over the years, and even had the good fortune to catch them live for this tour. Great review.

Damn man, I would give a kidney to have been able to see Death back in the day


Same here

Excellent album indeed. I enjoy several other Death releases more than this one, but the legacy is undeniable.
Apothecary - 29.03.2012 at 05:13  
Quote:
Quote:

Excellent album indeed. I enjoy several other Death releases more than this one, but the legacy is undeniable.

Yeah, personally Individual Thought Patterns is my favorite, but there's no denying that Human laid the groundwork for it.

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