“Human,” a 1991 LP album by Death, a Florida-based album, came in at number 70 when Rolling Stone created a top 100 metal album countdown list. The group is known for helping in the launch of the death-metal subgenre. It was their grisly, unrelenting 1987 debut album “Scream Bloody Gore”. By the band did not stop there in terms of growth. Their bandleader, Chuck Schuldiner, had other things in his mind, bringing to life raw extremity.
In “Human,” the opening seconds draw a clear picture. The first track of the album “Flattering of Emotions” begins with a roof-lifting drum intro. The layering supple tom-tom rolls are heard over pounding double bass. The sound that comes out is like a tribal riff on Alex Van Halen’s famous “Hot for Teacher” introduction. This part captures the listener to wait around for the rest of the piece, which is quite captivating.
Like any good musician, you would be wondering who was behind the drums. Well, it was a young drummer called Sean Reinert. This was his first appearance on a studio LP. He was just 20 years old when the famous “Human” album was released. He was playing alongside guitarist Paul Masvidal, a bandmate in Cynic. They were signed into Death at the same time.
Reinert had a great influence on the team by helping Schuldiner achieve the best sensitivity to death metal. The drummer gave the white knuckle, bass-driven intensity any metal drummer would require in years. He took drumming to a whole new level with an incredible performance.
His stickwork on this project could only be likened to thrash landmarks like Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” and “And Justice for All” by Metallica. But he went the extra mile by placing on it just as jazzy finesse as you would expect from a reputable drummer. You will love the drummer’s ingenious grooves on “Suicide Machine” and “Secret Face.” That is not all, his delicate dub-like pulse at the intro of “Lack of Comprehension.”
And today, everyone knows that death-metal drumming can be the most demanding and harshest style on the planet. But there was a high level of subtlety and sophistication that Reinert brought to Death. It was a straight game-changer for the group, setting it high above the competition.
And even though he is dead not, Reinert’s work will continue living on. He was “not listening to the metal” when he worked on the Death record. He explains that his left-field method in the genre comes from “listening to the Chick Corea and all the fusion record.”
That is not all; the pure speed, which is still a fascination in the drumming arena, was not what he was looking for. On the DrumTalk YouTube video, he said that it’s not about how fast one plays but about delivering what is right for the music. Reinert was a truly innovative drummer who knew what to do with every piece of music he worked on. His influence will remain forever helpful.