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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Milestone, 29 Nov 2006
This review is from: Leprosy (Audio CD)
Just when you thought metal couldn't get any heavier, Death went and released this. An unstoppable rumbling monster of an album with great tunes, and heavy, heavy guitars. Chuck was the ultimate Death Metal growler - one of very few who can sound truly evil, and yet still articulate every word.

The secret of the album's greatness lies not in its speed, but in the individuality of all its parts. Each instrument and each song has its own distinct character. As the genre had not yet been pushed to today's limits, there was no need to descend into a speed-induced mush or resort to clean vocals for melody. Many of todays bands would kill for a song like Pull the Plug.

Controlled and yet still extreme, this is an uncomplicated and almost innocent album of towering greatness. This is what really set the ball rolling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set The Standard For Death Metal, 24 Aug 2006
Craig McLaughlin (Preston, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leprosy (Audio CD)
This is Death's second studio album and was released in September 1988. It features metal god Chuck Schuldiner on lead guitar and lead vocals, Rick Rozz on guitar, Terry Butler on bass, and Bill Andrews on drums. Musically it was a more mature version of the brutal death metal found on their debut album "Scream Bloody Gore" as well as a better production. Lyrically it was more mature as well, dealing with many personal and world issues, as their debut was mainly influenced by horror movies.
The album kicks off with "Leprosy" a song about the horrible disease, and features great guitar riffing, brutal drumming, and incredible solos from Schuldiner and Rozz. Its sets the standard for the rest of the album. "Born Dead" is up next and is about the problem of world hunger in poorer third world countries, how its like if you're born into that particular society, you're born dead. Its a great brutal fast pounding number, one of the shorter ones on the album. "Forgotten Past" starts off with some great riffs and has some incredible solos at the middle, and lyrically is dealing with a murderer who seems to have blocked out his past, having gotten away with the killings, and one day is having all these flashbacks. "Left To Die" seems very personal, as its about the injustices soldiers have to face when they are sent to far off lands to fight. "Pull The Plug" for many is the highlight of the album, and it remained a constant in their live set through all of their career. It a song about a man lying in a coma, having his wishes gone unheard, while he hears plain as day everyone else's thoughts about what to do with him. "Open Casket" and "Primitive Ways" are more brutal unrelenting death metal masterpieces, and "Choke On It" is an awesome closer, featuring some more great solos between Schuldiner and Rozz. Its hard for me to write this as I just found out today of Chuck Schuldiner's passing after two years of fighting cancer. May his music live on in your hearts, as it always has, and hopefully it will inspire a new legion of guitar gods playing true metal. We will miss you Chuck!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stepping stone to greater things..., 19 Oct 2007
This review is from: Leprosy (Audio CD)
Death are the seminal death metal band.
Since their break up (and of course founding man and metal god Chuck Schuldiner's untimely death in 2001) Death have rightly been lorded as the metal band that gave so much to the global metal scene.
Leprosy was the 2nd rung on the ladder to aquiring that accolaide.
1988's Leprosy was a vast improvement on 87's 'Scream Bloody Gore' Debut.
Gone was the major thrashy overtones, borrowing heavily on Celtic Frost, Slayer and their ilk, and in came Schuldiner's own sound of slow opening breaks, deeper gargling vocals and drums that were seriously up in the mix.
Probably sporting one of the most easily recognisable pieces of sleeve art in the history of Death Metal, this album was all about aggression, but held back in the speed stakes, with repeated riffs and long protracted opening sections doing the job of keeping the listeners attention, and keeping them guessing as to when the faster stuff is gonna drop.
Some of the tracks on Leprosy have great hooks, that stick in your mind long after you've stopped spinning the disk. Good examples of this can be found on the title track, 'Left to Die', 'Pull the Plug' and 'Open Casket'.
Still "basic" in their construction, the songs on Leprosy are none the less (for the time) quite brutal, and were not written to go away and ponder over, unlike Schuldiners later and more cerebral works.
The lyrics are pretty juvenile:
" Conducting ceremonies to meet the ancient ones
While having an outer body experience
Celebrate the kill of the day
Then walk among the guts of the fallen prey"... (Primitive Ways).
All good stuff back in the day.
If there was one thing I would change, its the lack of change in tempo from song to song. All the tracks on the album run to roughly the same speed from beginning to end. A little slower track to break up the more fast-paced stuff would have been the icing on an already top quality cake.
Like I said, this album encouraged Schuldiner on to much bigger and better things, and for that alone we should be humbly greatful.
As for the album itself, its fun, slightly dated, but still essential listening.
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Leprosy by Death (Audio CD - 1999)
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