DEATH - Human (Reissue)

April 20, 2017, 7 years ago


Nick Balazs

Rating: 9.5

review black death rarities death

DEATH - Human (Reissue)

Is Human the go-to Death album? Leprosy and Human are neck-in-neck for taking the top spot in Chuck Schuldiner’s unparalleled vision. But Human is the balancing point between the two phases of Death. The album shows a more technical side of the band, but still maintains the crunching, sink-your-teeth into riffing. Human also is a departure from the gore obsessed lyrics from the first three (though Spiritual Healing had glimpses of that too). In the linear notes, guitarist Paul Masvidal explains that after a night on the town, the guys saw blinking red lights on the side of the road with a wrecked motorcycle and the driver and passenger in states that made for a gruesome sight and it was that moment that manifested the urgent nature of the album and philosophical lyrics. 

On to the release itself, Relapse Records continues to do a wonderful job with these reissues, giving them the spruced up treatment they deserve. First reissued in 2011 on CD, Human is now on vinyl in various colors complete with an insert that opens up with lyrics, notes from Masvidal and producer Jim Morris from the 2011 reissue, and a digital download code. In 2011, Morris remixed Human and slightly updated the sound from the original 1991 release that featured Scott Burns as producer. Adorned on the front and back is a collage of pictures from the studio and also the handwritten lyrics from Chuck. The Death logo on the front cover is glossy and radiates a shine that reminds you of the greatness you’re listening too. It’s hard to believe this album was released in 1991! For all I know, it could have been yesterday. “Secret Face” has always been my favorite track, the stop-and-go rhythm that erupts into thrashing madness is picture perfect tech-death. As a bonus, a cover of KISS’ “God Of Thunder” is tacked onto the end. Chuck was a big KISS fan and if any KISS track could be made into a death metal song, it’s “God Of Thunder”.

Simply put, Human is timeless and masterful metal, regardless of genre. If you’re a vinyl collector/listener, don’t hesitate to pick this up!

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