Description, Sound and Style

Death's fifth album, Individual Thought Patterns, is widely regarded as some of the band's finest work. The sound of Individual Thought Patterns is very different from all other Death albums. Lead singer Chuck Schuldiner's characteristic "death grunt" vocal style had clearly reached its peak, and his skills as a guitarist are not to be scoffed at. The guitar solo in "Trapped In A Corner" is widely regarded as the best he ever played. The double bass drums work are some of the finest in his genre, around the level of what you could hear by Dave Lombardo (curious fact: The Death drummer Gene Hoglan and Lombardo pretty much developed their technique together, during Hoglan's time as a Slayer roadie -- but that's another story). In general, the instrumentals on Individual are fast and furious without ever becoming muddy, but where it really shines is the bass. The album's producer had apparently realized that having a bass player like Steve DiGiorgio around and turning the bass down to those inaudible levels all too typical for metal would make him candidate for the first against the wall when the revolution comes, so he didn't. DiGiorgio's smooth, flowing fretless bass lines work extraordinarily well as a contrast to the overall dark and heavily distorted guitar sound on the album. DiGiorgio has a reputation for never letting any music he's involved with get boring: When too little is going on, he'll throw in a two or three second bass solo to get things interesting. He does that very well indeed on this album. Fittingly, the last song ("The Philosopher", one of the two Death songs ever to have a music video made for it), ends with a slow fade-out while Schuldiner and DiGiorgio take turns playing solos.

The overall theme of the lyrics of the album generally deals with deception, abuse of power and extremism, completing what started with Human: Death was no longer a gore band.


  • Chuck Schuldiner (lead and rhythm guitars)
  • Andy LaRocque (lead and rhythm guitars)
  • Gene Hoglan (drums)
  • Steve DiGiorgio (bass)

The Individual Thought Patterns lineup was Death's first and only "all-stars" lineup, featuring the widely renowned Dark Angel and Testament (and later Strapping Young Lad and The Almighty Punchdrunk) drummer Gene Hoglan, King Diamond lead guitarist Andy LaRocque, and Sadus bass player Steve DiGiorgio. DiGiorgio had also performed on the preceding Death album Human, but his main claim to fame was how he brought the fretless bass into thrash metal through Sadus. The line-up broke up on friendly terms after the Individual Thought patterns world tour.


  1. Overactive Imagination
  2. In Human Form
  3. Jealousy
  4. Trapped In A Corner
  5. Nothing Is Everything
  6. Mentally Blind
  7. Individual Thought Patterns
  8. Destiny
  9. Out Of Touch
  10. The Philosopher

Release Information

1993, Relativity Records / Sony Music. Death left that label shortly after the release of Individual Thought Patterns.

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