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Skagrind? That's a new one... - 94%

Mortuary_Mosh, April 8th, 2010

Despite all of the incestuos blending of various genres within "extreme music" during the past decade or so, the introduction of ska to the grindcore sound is a relatively new concept. Listening to their albums, any Skarp fan could see the possibility of this new sound emerging. Although they initially began their sonic endeavors as Choking Victim clones, their sound has evolved into a more crust/grindcore-oriented entity. They never were truly able to shake off their roots, however, and one can plainly hear ska riffs sparsely littered throughout their albums. It is in this way, I suppose, that they laid down the blueprint for a new genre: skagrind. Personally, I enjoy ska, crust and grindcore separately, so the blending of these genres was not too far-fetched in my opinion.

Leper's sound is very much akin to Skarp's in terms of their blending of genres, although Leper have brought many of the ska elements abandoned by Skarp to the forefront and it certainly makes for some interesting music.

The first thing that one notices about this album compared to Leper's previous effort is the dramatic increase in song length. The band seems to have matured in this aspect and have aimed to make an actual album instead of a collection of 35, 50-second-long songs. This is a definite plus in my opinion.

As far as instrumentation is concerned, the songs themselves contain tons of memorable, catchy riffs that will surely engrain themselves into your memory. Furthermore, the transitioning from ska to black metal riffing seems totally natural and gives this album a very organic, unique feel. The bass here is very prevalent, as it should be for any band that gives themselves the tag of 'crust'. It's super-distorted and really shines during the moments with ska riffs. The drumming is also very good, employing a variety of styles in order to keep to music going. Personally, the blast beats are my favorite aspect of the drums on this album. They're damn-near perfect and timed amazingly well.

In my opinion this second offering from this Canadian trio is very, very good. It is far superior to "Embarrassed to Be Human", which seemed immature by comparison. With this release, Leper seem to have fully realized, fleshed out, and found balance for each element of their sound. Allow me to stress, however, that the style in which this band plays is an acquired taste. Most metalheads will not enjoy this album for it's ska and punk/grind leanings and most punks won't enjoy this albums for it's black metal tendencies. If you're one who is eclectic in your music tastes, however, and enjoys all of the aforementioned genres, then you're bound to concur with my thoughts on this release.

If Leper have improved this much over one album, I have predictions that their next effort will be a definitive masterpiece of their genre, whatever you'd like to call it.

For fans of: Leftover Crack/Choking Victim, Iskra, Skarp, Nausea, Disrupt, etc, etc.