Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Death - Symbolic

9/10

Symbolic isn't quite as strong as Individual Thought Patterns, but it's still pretty good. It suffers from a few overproduced echoey parts (could this be what the people at anus.com are referring to when they call later Death albums "commercial?), and a few sections which stick out as a little too simple for an album this technical (the very beginning of Zero Tolerance, for one). Also, the basslines aren't nearly as awesome since DiGiorgio left (although there are a few great moments), and some songs go on a little too long. There's also an acoustic part at the end of the otherwise-awesome Crystal Mountain that's just dumb.
However, this is still a very strong album. Some of the other songs that go on a while don't drag at all, and the soloing is never less than brilliant. The guitar solos are prominent without taking the songs over entirely (although most of them aren't particuarly scary and would sound just as at home on albums in other metal genres). Gene Hoglan also puts in another strong performance on the traps; there are lots of incredibly interesting drum fills, and even the more routine drum parts are played very well (unlike some other death metal drummers who just make CLANK CLANK CLANK sounds over and over again). Symbolic is a fine album that anyone who appreciates technical skill in death metal will love.

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