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Setting the Stage
on 21 January 2002
This, Death's third album, and second with members of Massacre playing (Leprosy included all of Massacre except Kam Lee, who interestingly was a member of Mantas along with Chuck and Rozz, who played guitar on Leprosy but got kicked out before Spiritual Healing due to a "lack of progression", according to Chuck), and it marks a departure from the sick and gory lyrics of the past, and hinted towards the more technical affairs that would soon become synonymous with the band.
Drafted in for the departing Rozz is none other then session junkie James Murphy, fresh from falling out with Obituary, and having played on the wonderful "Cause Of Death" album. The best thing to note about this partnership is the fact that both of the guitarists were at about the same level technically at the time of the album, and both evolved exponentially afterwards. Although Murphy didn't stay on in the band, "Spiritual Healing" is the only Death record to contain decent soloing from both guitarists, and this marked it as something special.
The songs talk about some interesting topics of everyday life, that most people may not think about from day to day, like the effects on taking drugs while pregnant, whether aDeath Penalty is fair, Spiritual Healing of the Evangelistical kind, and other such philsophical and moral debates. The other major factors differing from Leprosy was that the songs had got even longer (the track "Leprosy" was 6 minutes, but "Spiritual Healing" lasts around 7), and it marks the first of many slight vocal changes from Chuck. His style becomes no less extreme, but attains more laudability compared to earlier offerings.
Overall, a release that showed that Death were capable of maturing past simple blood and gore, and that there was definately something big in their future....