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Inconsistent Awesomeness - 95%

Anus_Canis, February 21st, 2021

Death's Individual Thought Patterns almost sounds like a rehash of Human, but with a little more melody and inconsistency (but in the best way imaginable). Listening to this album was an intriguing experience for me, although unfortunately, I was starting to get a little bored by the time I reached the title track. However, that didn't necessarily stop me from rating this album so highly since the sound is unique and comes together in a way that not even Human did. Individual Thought Patterns is a wonderfully inconsistent album, probably reflecting the individual thought patterns (pun intended, please don't kill me) of each member.

The album's atmosphere somewhat resembles that of Human, except it's more melodic and all over the place. The album figuratively bounces off the walls with somewhat sporadic drumming done by Gene Hoglan (who replaced Sean Reinert [R.I.P.]), unusual riffs composed by Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and Andy LaRocque (who replaced Paul Masvidal as a guest musician), and thick, bouncy ass basslines done by Steve DiGiorgio. Honestly, the first thought going into my head was "WTF!?" since I did not expect it to sound the way it did. It reminds me a little of Atheist's Elements since it sounds as unconventional and inconsistent as that album does, and coincidentally, this album came out about a month before Atheist's Elements did. Overall, the atmosphere somewhat resembles that of Human, but with more melody and sporadic elements.

As for the musicianship itself, it's as inconsistent as the atmosphere it produces. Gene Hoglan's drumming is all over the place; it's almost as if he didn't know what the hell he was doing half of the time, but he managed to pull it off tremendously well. I enjoyed his work on every track since he helps to spice up the album significantly. Steve DiGiorgio's basslines are as audible as Tony Choy's basslines throughout the first three Atheist albums; they completely dominate the album. They are thick and bouncy as hell (as mentioned previously) and, like Gene Hoglan's drums, help to spice up the album, with the best example of this (in my opinion) being found in "The Philosopher". Finally, Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and Andy LaRocque composed some of the most unusual riffs I have ever heard in a Death album, with the weirdest of these (in my opinion) being found at the opening of the title track. The guitar tone and riffs are as wonderfully inconsistent as everything else on the album, and I love it! They are also more melodic than on any of the previous albums, sounding not entirely unlike that of Atheist's Elements. The guitar solos are also more interesting than the ones present in Human since there is more life and substance to them, no wankery involved. Overall, the musicianship, although inconsistent, is well-executed and intriguing.

However, as much as I enjoyed the album, I have a few complaints. First, the overall enjoyment factor and the quality are lower than in the previous albums since it feels like Death was slowly becoming worse with every new release. So far, it is my least favorite Death album, although that would never stop me from revisiting it since the tracks are intriguing and unusual. Next, there is some wankery going on throughout the album because of the inconsistency of the band members, so in some places, it sounds all over the place in the negative sense. Fortunately, this doesn't too much away from the album's quality since I still think it's a well-made album. It just seemed as if the members had no idea what the hell they were doing while composing this album and ended up creating an accidental masterpiece as a result. Finally, Chuck Schuldiner's vocals don't do it for me since I find them comparatively underwhelming, although not as much so as his vocals in Human.

By and large, Death's Individual Thought Patterns sounds like a rehash of Human, but with a little more melody and inconsistency. The first thought I had going into my head during the listening experience was "WTF!?" since I had no idea that it would sound the way it did. It reminds me a little of Human and Atheist's Elements, except with just as much inconsistency. The overall musicianship is inconsistent but well-executed (perhaps by accident), with each member playing sporadically and figuratively bouncing off the walls. However, the overall enjoyment factor and quality are lower than in previous albums because of the wankery going on throughout the album and the comparatively underwhelming vocal performance done by Chuck Schuldiner. Moreover, despite not being perfect, this album is an accidental masterpiece with inconsistent awesomeness. Although I wouldn't recommend it as much as the previous albums, I still recommend it for those reading this review (assuming there are any).