Fan Poll: Top 5 Death Albums Ranked, From Worst to Best | Revolver

Fan Poll: Top 5 Death Albums Ranked, From Worst to Best

See what beat out 'Symbolic' and 'The Sound of Perseverance'
Chuck Schuldiner 2013 McGann, Catherine McGann/Getty Images
photograph by Catherine McGann/Getty Images

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As numerous people wisely stated in their replies to this poll, there are no bad Death albums. The beloved Floridian group, fronted by "The Godfather of Death Metal" himself, Chuck Schuldiner, were objectively one the greatest metal bands of their kind (if not of all kinds), and although their career was cut tragically short when Schuldiner died in 2001, the band left behind an incredible legacy of genre-defining masterpieces. We asked you all to make the tough decision and choose your favorite of the bunch, and the five albums with the most votes are ranked accordingly below.

5. Individual Thought Patterns

Death's fifth album, 1993's Individual Thought Patterns, was a continuation of their hyper-technical side. One of their most ambitious records, the 10 songs on here are buttressed by Steve DiGiorgio's spectacular basslines and Schuldiner's increasingly virtuosic guitar playing, as showcased on its behemoth-of-a-closer, "The Philosopher."

4. Leprosy

The band's second album is everything a great metal sophomore record should be: darker, heavier and more creative. For this one, Schuldiner handed over lead guitar duties to Rick Rozz, added drummer Bill Andrews and enlisted Scott Burns to work the boards, which resulted in a phenomenal blend of sleek and gnarly death metal that still kicks ass today. 

3. Symbolic

Deep into their techy years, Death's 1996 record, Symbolic, also saved room for some of the group's most melodic songwriting to date. By the time of its release, death metal had already been taken to its ugliest extremes, so Schuldiner pulled back and injected some serious memorability into his riffs without sacrificing any of his defining athleticism.

2. The Sound of Perseverance 

It's rare that a band's final album is considered one of their best, but Death's 1998 opus is a goddamn triumph. The Sound of Perseverance combined everything the band excelled at — ripping solos, blistering technicality, catchy riffs and Schuldiner's most dynamic vocal deliveries — to create what's undoubtedly one of the greatest metal achievements of all time. What a way to go out. 

1. Human

This was an interesting choice, but Death's fans said their piece, and this time around, Human earned the No. 1 title. The band's fourth LP was the one where Schuldiner really began tinkering with technical death metal, as heard on tracks like "Lack of Comprehension" and "Flattening of Emotions," which up the dexterity without touching the dial for unfettered burliness. Human is a great fucking album. No doubt about it.