Album re-issue’s are kind of hard to review as I’m not totally clear who the audience for the review would be. Generally, the album in question is either a classic or one saw limited distribution and enough demand has built up for the band or another label to issue it again. In most cases, there is usually an incentive for person’s who have previously purchased the album to do so again such as extra bonus tracks or possibly a live concert of some sort.
In the case of “Individual Thought Patterns” it is indeed a classic of the metal genre, but instead of just tacking on a couple of tracks or a live show, Relapse Records took it upon themselves to add a concert plus 14 tracks of demos that were recorded during the sessions!!! For hardcore fans who already own the cassette, CD and vinyl versions of this album, this is definitely an incentive to plunk down the $25 asking price for this version of the album.
For people who have never heard the album before and want to know whether or not it is worth it to purchase the album, I ask you: Are you fucking serious? Death pretty much single-handedly invented the genre of death metal and was a main influence on pretty much every extreme metal band to come after it. The importance of Death to the extreme metal scene in general cannot be overstated-without them death metal would not be the same as it is today.
Yeah, yeah, I can hear some of you say: I’ve been told that Venom and Celtic Frost are important to extreme metal too, and man did they sound dated!!! True, but Death is not. The production on the album is superb with the album sounding crystal clear, instead of muddy. The songs on this album are complex and jazzy and Chuck is at the top of his game with songs like “Overactive Imagination” absolute classics.
As for the bonus materials, the live concert from Germany that is included is excellent and show the band at the top of their game. The demo’s though are primarily only for the die-hards as casual listeners will have little to no interest in them.
Buy the album, even if you already own it and prepare to hear classic death metal.