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Classic Review: Death - Leprosy

Label: Combat Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 38:51
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: October 16, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating

Rated 4.49/5 (89.88%) (81 Votes)

This was Death's second full-length album, the follow-up the widely worshipped "Scream Bloody Gore", and is really just a slightly more technical and better-produced continuation of that sound. This was before Death branched out and became more a progressive band, and also before the revolving-door policy kicked in and ensured that no two Death albums ever had the same lineup.

I really enjoy the first four Death albums way more than their later, more prog stuff. And while the musicianship here cannot match the likes of "Human", this is still a killer album. Some Death fans are not so keen on this album, and it generally has a poor rep among the band's following, but I like this disc a lot. No, Rick Rozz is not a tenth the guitar player that replacement James Murphy was (and is), and the songs are much simpler and more feral than on later works, but there is still a bashing, nasty Death metal band at work here, way before it became cliché. In a lot of ways Death's early CDs will not bear up to the later ones, but they are a lot more fun. How can you argue with the crowd-pleasing chorus of a song like "Pull The Plug", or a great main riff like "Open Casket"?

So while this is not Chuck's best work (that would probably be "Human" in my opinion) "Leprosy" is a very cool slab of brutal Death from the pioneering days of the style. This album may not be as gleefully gross and savage as "Scream Bloody Gore", nor as technical and melodic as "Human", but it is still a heavy, catchy classic of the genre.

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