Individual Thought Patterns album cover
Individual Thought Patterns

Death

1993
Relativity

On Death’s fifth album, founder Chuck Schuldiner revamped the lineup again; only bassist Steve DiGiorgio remained from 1991’s Human, joined by second guitarist Andy LaRocque of Mercyful Fate frontman King Diamond’s solo band, and drummer Gene Hoglan. Individual Thought Patterns is a harder, less fusion-y album than Human, but Schuldiner’s and LaRocque’s leads and solos, bolstered by DiGiorgio’s liquid fretless bass and Hoglan’s ultra-precise drumming (his nickname is ”The Atomic Clock”), are lyrical and mind-warpingly progtastic. The songs can seem like collections of riffs, piling complexity on complexity for its own sake, but taken as a whole the album is a brilliant and thrilling journey through one man’s unceasing artistic evolution.

Phil Freeman

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