Human (Death album)

Human is the fourth studio album by American death metal band Death, released on October 22, 1991, by Relativity Records. The album marked the beginning of a major stylistic change for Death, being more technically complex and progressive than the band's previous efforts. The lyrics are more introspective when compared to the gore-based lyrics of Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy or the social commentary on Spiritual Healing. This new style would continue to evolve on all following Death albums. This is the only album to feature Cynic members Paul Masvidal on guitars and Sean Reinert on drums, both only 20 at that time, and the first to feature bassist Steve DiGiorgio.

Human Album.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 22, 1991
StudioMorrisound Recording, Tampa, Florida
GenreTechnical death metal
ProducerScott Burns, Chuck Schuldiner
Death chronology
Spiritual Healing
Fate: The Best of Death

Bass player Steve DiGiorgio left after the recording of this album (though he would later return to record Individual Thought Patterns). He was replaced by Scott Carino, who toured with the band in 1991 and 1992. Carino also recorded additional bass overdub on "Cosmic Sea" after a couple of issues were discovered during the mixing stage. The rest of the song (including the bass solo) was recorded by DiGiorgio.

In 2011, Relapse Records and Perseverance Holdings Ltd. re-issued the album to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the original release. This edition was remixed by Jim Morris of Morrisound Recording Studios, includes bonus tracks,[1] and was authorized by Schuldiner intellectual property lawyer Eric Greif.[2] The reissue of Human was remixed, as Sony had lost the master tapes of Scott Burns' original mixes.[3]

Human was released to critical acclaim from music publications[4] and is seen as a pivotal release in the development of the technical death metal subgenre and on extreme metal in general. In 2017, Rolling Stone magazine placed the album as the 70th greatest metal album of all time.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating     [6]
AllMusic     [7]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[8]

Human is a highly influential extreme metal album, according to Jeff Wagner in his 2010 text on progressive metal, Mean Deviation. It is Death's best-selling album, having sold 100,000 copies in the United States by 1995.[10] It was ranked number 82 on the October 2006 issue of Guitar World magazine's list of the greatest 100 guitar albums of all time. A music video was made for the song "Lack of Comprehension", which received airplay on MTV.

As of 2008, Human had sold over 600,000 copies worldwide, with the U.S. Soundscan listed as 100,000 units.[1]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Chuck Schuldiner except where noted.

1."Flattening of Emotions"4:28
2."Suicide Machine"4:23
3."Together as One"4:10
4."Secret Face"4:39
5."Lack of Comprehension"3:43
6."See Through Dreams"4:39
7."Cosmic Sea" (instrumental)4:27
8."Vacant Planets"3:52
Total length:34:21
Japanese bonus track
9."God of Thunder" (Paul Stanley) (Kiss cover)4:00
2011 reissued Relapse Records version (bonus disc 1)
1."Flattening of Emotions" (basic instrumental studio tracks)4:54
2."Suicide Machine" (basic instrumental studio tracks)4:30
3."Together as One" (basic instrumental studio tracks)4:15
4."Secret Face" (basic instrumental studio tracks)2:02
5."Secret Face - Part 2" (basic instrumental studio tracks)2:44
6."Lack of Comprehension" (basic instrumental studio tracks)3:46
7."Felt Good" (studio snippet)0:14
8."See Through Dreams" (basic instrumental studio tracks)1:37
9."See Through Dreams - Part 2" (basic instrumental studio tracks)3:03
10."Vacant Planets" (basic instrumental studio tracks)3:59
11."Cosmic Sea" (basic instrumental studio tracks)2:13
12."Cosmic Sea - Part 2" (basic instrumental studio tracks)2:03
13."God of Thunder" (basic instrumental studio tracks)4:05
14."Flattening of Emotions" ("Human" demos)4:26
15."Lack of Comprehension" ("Human" demos)3:48
16."Suicide Machine" ("Human" demos)4:31
17."Together as One" ("Human" demos)4:10
18."See Through Dreams" ("Human" demos)4:08
19."Secret Face" ("Human" demos)4:48
20."Vacant Planets" ("Human" demos)3:59
Total length:71:15[11]
2011 reissued Relapse Records version (bonus disc 2)
1."See Through Dreams" (w/ Paul and Sean, Rehearsal January, 1991)4:32
2."See Through Dreams" (take 2, w/ Paul and Sean, Rehearsal January, 1991)4:34
3."Secret Face" (w/o Paul - 1/2 song, rehearsal January, 1991)2:52
4."Secret Face" (take 2, w/o Paul, rehearsal January, 1991)6:32
5."Secret Face" (riffs rehearsal January, 1991)3:47
6."Flattening of Emotions" (riffs rehearsal January, 1991)3:15
7."Lack of Comprehension" (riffs rehearsal January, 1991)2:43
8."Lack of Comprehension" (take 2, riffs rehearsal January, 1991)2:42
9."Cosmic Sea" (riffs w/ drum machine, rehearsal January, 1991)2:52
10."See Through Dreams" (rehearsal August, 1990)4:25
11."Suicide Machine" (rehearsal August, 1990)4:42
12."Together as One" (rehearsal August, 1990)4:27
13."Suicide Machine" (drum & bass tracks)4:25
14."Together as One" (drum & bass tracks)4:05
15."Secret Face" (drum & bass tracks)4:37
16."Lack of Comprehension" (drum & bass tracks)3:38
17."Vacant Planets" (drum & bass tracks)3:53
Total length:68:09


All information is taken from the CD liner notes of the original 1991 release and the 2011 reissue.[12][13]


Additional musicians

  • Scott Carino – additional bass (on "Cosmic Sea")
  • Bill Andrews – drums (August 1990 rehearsal)
  • Terry Butler – bass (August 1990 rehearsal)


  • Chuck Schuldiner – production
  • Scott Burns – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Michael Fuller – mastering (original release)
  • Jim Morris – remixing (2011 reissue)
  • Alan Douches – mastering (2011 reissue)
  • René Miville – artwork
  • Tim Hubbard – photography
  • David Bett – art direction
  • Jacob Speis – layout


  • "God of Thunder" was originally only on the Japanese version of the album but was later included on the 2011 Relapse reissue.
  • The track, "Cosmic Sea", is featured in the computer game Damage Incorporated.[14]
  • The band paid homage in the liner notes to Atheist bassist Roger Patterson, who was killed in an auto accident in February 1991.
  • The band's logo presents a change: compared to the three predecessors, it loses the drops of blood that flow downwards and the spider's web on the "D".


United States 100,000
Worldwide sales 600,000



Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1991 Heatseekers


  1. ^ a b News Archived 2011-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  2. ^ News. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  3. ^ Masvidal, Paul (2011). Human (CD liner notes). Relapse Records.
  4. ^ "Human (reissue)". Relapse Records. June 21, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  5. ^ "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. June 21, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Jervis, Marcus. "Death - Human Review". Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  7. ^ Huey, Steve. "Human - Death". AllMusic. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9.
  9. ^ Pratt, Greg (June 20, 2011). "Death - Human". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Larkin, C. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 1995, p. 1108
  11. ^ " Human:Death: MP3 Downloads". Amazon. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  12. ^ Human (booklet). Death. Relativity Records. 1991.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ Human (Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition) (booklet). Death. Relapse Records, Perseverance Holdings Ltd. 2011.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ "Damage Incorporated: Richard Rouse Under the Hot Lamps". Retrieved October 13, 2011.