Release Date: 1991
Genres: Death Metal/Black Metal, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal
Number Of Tracks: 8
"Human" started to break Death to a wider audience, after Chuck Schuldiner nearly disbanded the group.
slayerific, on december 18, 2007 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: "This is much more than a record to me; it's a statement, it revenge" - Chuck Schuldiner, Human linear notes. Following a betrayal by former bandmates Terry Butler and Bill Andrews, Chuck had something to prove. They had toured Europe as "Death" without him and continually insulted him in the press. Even after Chuck fired them, the two rejoined Massacre with ex-Death members Kam Lee and Rick Rozz, and continually insulted Chuck in the press saying Chuck was "washed up" etc etc. In response Chuck recruited a few friends and unleashed what would be the best death metal album of all time. For the album Chuck recruited Cynic guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal and Cynic drummer Sean Reinert. Rounding out the lineup was legendary Sadus bassist Steve DiGiorgio. Of course with such a talented lineup you are just bound to have a bad ass album right? Reinert's playing is truly incredible especially his double bass playing, great drumming can be found on every album track, showing that he would be Death's first virtuoso drummer. Masvidal ain't no slouch either his rhythm playing is solid and on the few chances he gets to solo he lets it rip; listen to his solo on Vacant Planets if you don't believe me. Unfortunately with this being an extreme metal album, the bass is pretty low in the mix, which is a shame because it's DiGiorgio playing. Ironically the only bass solo is actually played by Scott Carino, who would be Death's touring bassist (read in the linear notes it's says Carino contributed to the song). Finally we have "Evil" Chuck himself, playing guitar, handling vocals, and writing all the songs. On this album Chuck takes the band in a real progressive direction, using odd time signatures and technical playing. The production is raw, giving the album a great sound that I just love. The sound of those guitars and double bass speeding along sounds so heavy, max volume is defintley recomended when listening to this. The riffs are some of Death's heaviest ever, like the intro riff in "Together As One" or the riff in the chorus of "Lack of Comprehension." At the same time there are some great melodic moments like the one at about 1:40 of "Flattening of Emotions" or the "Together as One" solo. All in all this album sounds great, some seriously heavy riffs with the occasional melodic moment thrown in makes for a great sounding album. // 10
Lyrics: On this album Chuck really starts to blossom as a lyricist. He focuses more on human emotions and feelings and actions, but fear not because this is not an album of love songs. In "Lack of Comprehension" Chuck attacks people who blame others for their own problems with lyrics like "An excuse to cover up weaknesses that lie within/Lies/Laying your guilt and pain/On people that had no part/in the molding of a life That creates its destruction/Lies." Chuck also talks about not taking life for granted in "See Through Dreams" with these lyrics "Close your eyes and imagine to be without/What we take for granted every time we open eyes." Something Chuck would know all to well about. Anyway this album is filled with great lyrics, the kind that make Chris Barnes and Glen Bentons' lyrics sound like the writings on a 15 year old who just got into death metal. // 10
Overall Impression: So did Chuck get his revenge with this album? Well if you consider making the greatest death metal album in history revenge than yeah he did. My only complaint is that Chuck didn't let Paul Masvidal and Steve DiGiogio show off enough on this album. As we all know DiGiorgio would really get to show his stuff off on the next Death album ITP, and soon Cynic would release an album called "Focus" on which Mavidal and Reinert would get to display their talent. Still this album would be the perfect combination of a great lineup, great song writing, and raw production that would make the album sound great, this album is a true landmark in death metal history. // 10
unregistered, on september 26, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Twenty years after its original release, this groundbreaking metal masterpiece finally gets a full revamp. Every unexpected twist and turn, every screaming shred solo, every blast beat and cymbal smash, and every thudding bass line all assault the auricles like never before. The album is the same, musically, as it ever was: incredible technical musicianship with a slight melodic touch, jaw-dropping sudden stops and tempo changes, and reverberating mid-pitched growls, fairly intelligible. Sonically, however, it's a whole new beast: bass blasted up more than a few notches, drums louder, heavier, and more well-defined than ever, and surprise sounds virtually inaudible on the original recording, such as the backwards overlay of the words "manipulating destiny" in "Suicide Machine".
Enter the realm of the new "Human". "Flattening Of Emotions" is first, beginning, as always, with a jazzy drum solo gradually fading in from nothing, almost reminiscent of the swing band classic, "Sing, Sing, Sing". Then the triplets enter, chugging along in a gradual crescendo, all while the bass sings out its own counter melody, flowing, separate and distinct from that of that of the guitars. On the turn of a dime, the tempo changes. The riff becomes aggressive and violent. The drums amplify the rage. The bass, once again, distinguishes itself from the guitar insanity. Then the voice of Chuck: "Where is? The person? That could have been? Who what? Took over? When did the end begin?..." // 10
Lyrics: Deep and meaningful lyrics stand as an essential component of this record. The idea of actually putting thought into words, giving them life of their own, questioning the nature of existence and of others in existence, were all revolutionary concepts at the time. Back then, if you were in death metal, you either sang about blood and gore or unholy blasphemy. Chuck was a much needed breath of fresh air for death metal right when it was most needed.
Even by today's standards, the lyrics carry a surprising profundity for a metal record. For example:
from "Suicide Machine":
"When it comes to living
no one seems to care
when it comes to lashing out
those with power
will be there...
...how easy it is to deny
of someone else's
from "Secret Face":
"There is a mask
that covers up one's true intentions
that once removed they become very clear..."
from "See Through Dreams":
"Close your eyes
and imagine to be without
what we take
every time we open our eyes..."
I could cite several more examples, but you get the idea. // 10
Overall Impression: This work is, in my opinion, only surpassed by Death's final record, The Sound of Perseverance. The excellent remastering adds a whole new dimension its every aspect, from beginning to end. The music is abrupt and change ridden, yet there is somehow a logical flow in between pieces. Every song on this record is unique, creative, deep, and all together well-done. However the five that stand out to me the most are Flattening of Emotions, Suicide Machine, Lack of Comprehension (probably the most affected by the remastery), See Through Dreams, and Cosmic Sea.
That said, this album is not without its shortcomings. The music can at times seem like a string of riffs put together in random order with virtually no thought what'soever, and two weak tracks stand out in my mind as almost flops. One is "Vacant Planets". Granted, it's not altogether horrible, it just seems like Chuck ran out of steam when writing it. There's nothing particularly special about the song, and that might be a matter of perspective, i.e. it follows the brilliant instrumental "Cosmic Sea", which, unfollowed, could have made a perfect ending to fantastic album.
The other track I don't care much for is a KISS cover originally only available on the Japanese version of "Human". While Chuck's take on "God Of Thunder" is interesting, it is, for one thing, not nearly as good as the original (covers rarely are). For another, it seems somewhat out of place. I mean, after this insane rush of progressive and technical madness, to throw in a simple KISS cover seems a little odd to me.
In comparison to Death's later cover of Judas Priest's "Painkiller", "God Of Thunder" doesn't have nearly the gusto or guitar work in it. But what gets me the most is that Chuck was too insecure of his voice at this time in his career to actually sing this cover, unlike the aforementioned Priest. Although there is some hint of the original vocal melody in the chorus, it's 99% just Chuck's classic growl which is great, it's just not KISS cover material.
But, mediocre aspects aside, this album is mind-blowing. Anyone who calls himself a legitimate death metal fan and is unfamiliar with the album better hurry up and get the CD. And I do mean buy the CD. There's nothing like having a physical copy of heavy metal gold as your very own. Even if you have an older copy of "Human", I would recommend getting this reissue just for the new sonic dimensions, and maybe the KISS cover if your into that kind of bootleg stuff. Oh, and I almost forgot about the instrumental studio tracks available on the two- and three-disc versions of the reissue. That's pretty interesting stuff to listen to, for me anyway. It really shows how much hard work and preparation went into it all.
In short, this album owns, dominates, crushes, and consumes its competition. If I lost it, I would be very angry and would order a new copy off of Amazon or something. If it was stolen, I would be less angry, because I would know that someone, somewhere would be getting introduced to the glory of Death, Chuck, and the "Human" record.
Stay metal, my friends. // 9
Mad_Fiddler13, on june 23, 2008 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Human, an extremely fast, angry, but intelligent record. Let's start with the band. On their last album, Spiritual Healing, James Murphy was featured. But this album is made by an extreme metal supergroup. The Rhythm section featuring the daunting drum maneuvers of none other than Sean Reinart. This man's drumming is some of the most brutal I've heard, and very fitting with the songs. With Steve DiGorgio laying down basslines, you would expect to hear much creative bass-shredding in there, but unfortunately, the bass is not very prominent. But the daring duo of death metal master Chuck Schuldiner and Cynic-fret wizard Paul Masvidal provide all the extreme riffs needed for a great album, even a jazzy intro in "Lack Of Comprehension." I would have liked to hear more Masvidal solos, though Chuck's solos are always incredible. Now, the production is very dark and dense, with an underlying evil feeling lurking in there. Very brutal. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are further progressing into Chuck's searching of the flaws of the human nature. His vocals are throat-bleeding, grinding yells. Even the patterns of the lyrics are great, brutal but catchy enough to scream along to. I prefer his vocals on this album to his later higher vocals. // 10
Overall Impression: This is overall an incredible album. One of the most dark and aggressive I've heard. But one thing, all the songs seem like they have the same structure, but with interludes once in a while. It could be better if they changed it up a bit, and mixed in more bass. I would definitely buy it again if it was lost. I recommend it to any fan of metal. // 9
ryan19, on february 04, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: For those of you who do not know, Chuck Schuldiner inspired millions of people. He inspired a metal movement; the movement known as death metal. Few have effected metal greatly like he did. Chuck Schuldiner is the guitarist and vocalist of Death which he formed in 1983. To this day Death are still very influential. The band went through a lot of lineup changes, but Chuck not only continued with his music, he also progressed as a musician. I have decided to write a review for this influential band and give my point of view on Death's 1991 effort, Human, which had a very strong lineup.Human is a rather short album with only 8 tracks, and the tracks themselves aren't that long either. Despite it's shortness, there is still plenty of time for the band to showcase their talent. The riffs in this album are technical, furious, heavy, and every other positive thing you can think of. The guitar sound is full of highs and lows but you can tell there isn't very much mids. This can be a good or bad thing because it is a personal preference. I would have liked there to be more mids. In my opinion it would have made the overall sound of the album fuller. The guitar still sounds good though. The bass isn't very loud like it was in the band's next album, Individual Thought Patterns. The drumming in this album is solid and quite technical, but not as technical as Symbolic or The Sound of Perseverance. The Sound of Perseverance had impressive drumming but the extreme technicality wasn't always needed. On Human the drumming is not overdone. The songs have a good vibe and the drums are still impressive. The songwriting is great and helps make Human excellent. Chuck's skillful songwriting as well as the band's improved musicianship is demonstrated on songs like the instrumental, Cosmic Sea. It has an awesome bass line about halfway through and there are some slower parts in the song which create different moods so this is definitely an atmospheric song. // 9
Lyrics: The vocals suited the power and furiousness of the riffs. The Flattening of Emotions captures this right from the start. Chuck Schuldiner's vocals are unique and difficult to explain. An aspect that I like about Death is you can usually understand what he is saying. His screams are just as powerful as the riffs and make the songs sound even more intense. The vocals aren't high-pitch or real low, yet they might take a bit of getting used to. I was quite impressed with Chuck's lyrics because they don't always revolve around death and gore like in earlier albums. Not that it was a bad thing but the lyrics are more mature now. // 9
Overall Impression: There are so many positive things about Human that to experience the genius of it you will have to actually listen to it. It is truly an excellent death metal album and is a must-have if you like this band, if you like death metal or even metal in general. It is one of Death's best albums. What lowered the score a little is the production and that it is a bit short but this is barely an issue because there is no filler. It has everything that you could want from Death: powerful and heavy riffs, impressive drumming, vocals that intensify the music, and great songwriting. // 9
SchuldinerDeath, on april 20, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ever since they formed in 1983, Death has had a unique sound that had a lasting impression on listeners. This album isn't any exception. I got this Album along with all other Death Albums for my fifteenth birthday. Human seemed to be my favorite. Death is very inspiring, they play with speed, precision, and amazing sound. After all, Chuck Schuldiner was the founder of the death metal genre. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on the album Human have everything to do with the lives of humans.
Flattening of Emotions: Human emotions are easily hurt.
Suicide Machine: Human thoughts and feelings
Together as One: Birth defects, in this case Chuck wrote about conjoined twins.
Secret Face: Everyone is two faced. And You know it.
Lack of Comprehension: the ignorance of some people can effect others
See Through Dreams: The dreams of humans and what effects they have
Cosmic Sea is a beautiful instrumental, listen to it.
Vacant Planets is the perfect album closer.
The lyrics fot the music (guitar, drums etc.) very well. I absolutely love the timing of this band. Chuck Schuldiner sings very well. He uses high-pitched death growls, and they fit the music. // 10
Overall Impression: Human, in my own opinion, blows every other death album out of the water. I think Sound of Perseverance maybe close to Human in terms of the technical riffs. My personal favorite off this album would be a draw between Suicide machine and Lack of Comprehension. This album has it's highlights and then it has it's flaws. Amazing music, lyrics, song structure, timing, singing and energy. However, the sound quality could be a bit better, that's the only thing. If it were stolen, I would not "go hunt the guy down and skin him and bla bla" it's $12.00, no big deal. I'd be mad and yes, of course I'd purchase another within a heart beat.
Overall, Human is one of the best metal albums I've ever heard. If you're looking to get into death, buy this album. // 9