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Death - Leprosy CD (album) cover

LEPROSY

Death

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.75 | 108 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
3 stars Whether it's Relayer or Love Beach, I can at least apply some sort of positive acknowledgement towards album covers that reflect the contents of the music within, which was certainly useful back in the days before the internet. I look at a cover sleeve like Leprosy and immediately deduce that, contained in this release, there will be no song titles such as "Girl, I Need To Give You All My Lovin'" or "Disco Chicken".

This is pure, unabashed pre-grindcore influenced old-school death metal. Somewhat drop-tuned, and not even a typical horror film ambient piece to initiate the onslaught. Musically it's more ambitious than the band's debut, brandishing more riffs and tempo changes, along with lyrical subject matter that still stays true to the group's namesake, but less reliant on comical gore and occult themes which adorned Scream Bloody Gore. Of course, upping the difficulty factor concerning the rhythms by no means warrants Leprosy as a progressive release, as this stuff is still very much a product of its time, anchored in brutal thrash with hoarse, throaty growls wailing away over the riffage. Chuck was already beginning to excel regarding his guitar skills, but due to the limitations regarding the rest of the performers, his playing is tempered to simply pumping out the meanest chord progressions possible along with occasional tasteful guitar solos.

The production actually never bothered me way back when I first bought this release, yet revisiting it recently, the complaints critics charge towards the drum sound ring true to my ears, which is actually annoying since it never irked me before. But yeah, that snare is stupidly loud and brash to the point where it draws away from everything else to a certain extent.

As for the songs themselves, the title track is still a clear winner of utter nastiness boasting hellish riffs and an unmercifully grim subject matter. "Pull The Plug" and "Open Casket" are other doozies that retain the fun regarding the over-the-top song title shouts of Scream Bloody Gore, but as a whole, what Leprosy gains in maturity, loses in the sheer catchiness department. Their debut was a hilarious speed-fest, and about as prog as Rocket To Russia. Leprosy tempers the lunacy, but doesn't quite replace it with any 'wow' moments musically, although it was a logical step in the development of Chuck's prowess. I enjoy it, but mainly for a few killer tracks.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |

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