Review: Individual Thought Patterns
Magazine: Metal Hammer / Italy
Written by: Luca Signorelli
Published: December 1999

With 'Individual Thought Patterns' Death reach the highest peak in their evolutionary bend in the most extremist metal. The next discs - above all the awesome 'The Sound Of Perseverance' - will be a genre apart (although death has a long tradition of bands that, one way or another, went off the beaten path). Left the beginning gore, Chuck deliberately and slowly created an entity which now seem more a reflection of his inner torment than a band devoted to the usual extreme metal obsessions. Other bands are flying high the physical decay flag (with interests after all a Calvinist and moralist flag). The pain Chuck cares about is the pain of mind. He already hinted at it - if not clearly supported - in 'Human'. But 'Individual Thought Patterns' is a revelation and (like almost all great records) a declaration of intentions. 'Overactive Imagination' is the first track, and here you can feel the torment of an imagination now lost in confused and dark mazes. The rest of titles (and lyrics) is exemplary: 'Trapped In A Corner', Nothing Is Everything', 'The Philosopher' (an unbelievable track) - decidedly, it's light years far away from usual American metal merchandise - not to talk about trendy stuff in 1993.

But Chuck succeeds in selling his vision, and well - Death's name is more and more among magazines' top ten. Of course this is due to Schuldiner, but for the new band line-up too. Beyond Andy LaRocque, we find on drums Gene Hoglan, already Dark Angel's mainman, and now regarded as metal's best drummer - or something around it. It's just Hoglan's drumming (and maybe his unmistakable golden ability) to give 'Individual' (in the highest peaks) something more that maybe was missing in previous records. This is his record too, and aren't few to note how in 'Individual' seem to be coincided some philosophical mood of 'Time Does Not Heal', Dark Angel's masterpiece. It's a shame Gene is a real vagabond (and he needs money regularly), because this collaboration was not repeated after 'Symbolic', although Chuck admitted many times his admiration for the enormous Hoglan…

Luca Signorelli


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Translated by VC/MM for EmptyWords-Published on January 14 2003