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The Perfect Intermediate Album - 100%

Anus_Canis, February 21st, 2021

I can't believe this is going to be the fiftieth album I have reviewed. I originally thought of reviewing Suffocation's Effigy of the Forgotten, Testament's Legacy, or Smut's (the heavy metal one) Blood, Smut and Tears for my fiftieth album to review, but after viewing a list I made of the albums I thought of reviewing and remembering that I wanted to review Death's Leprosy for a long-ass time, I ended up choosing to review that instead. Death's Leprosy is a perfect intermediate between Scream Bloody Gore and Spiritual Healing and was the perfect way for Death to start on the path to progressivism.

This album really is something else entirely, both musically and lyrically. Although it isn't as progressive as Spiritual Healing, it is progressive compared to Scream Bloody Gore. The musicianship specifically was stepped up a notch from the previous LP and is overall more exciting and stimulating to me. Although Chuck Schuldiner already sounded like an absolute beast on the previous LP, his vocal performance is amped up a notch, with "Left to Die" and "Pull the Plug" being his best (in my opinion). Throughout the album, he sounds as if he were having his body dismembered piece by piece, especially when he emits high-pitched shrieks, but particularly in "Left to Die". As for Chuck Schuldiner's and Rick Rozz's guitar work, it completely dominates the album by shredding ass. Although I love every riff throughout the album, my favorite ones appear in "Pull the Plug"; I love the varying speeds of the riffs appearing throughout the track, flawlessly showcasing Chuck's and Rick's ability to integrate time signature changes. Bill Andrew's drum work is ridiculously fast and animalistic, perhaps more so than on Spiritual Healing. Like Chuck Schuldiner and Rick Rozz with their respective instruments, Bill perfectly demonstrates his ability to integrate time signature changes, particularly in "Pull the Plug" (I may mention this track a lot, but that's because it's masterfully composed). Finally, as for Chuck Schuldiner's basslines (this mothertrucker does everything, doesn't he), they are thick and punchy AF, with "Pull the Plug" and "Choke on It" showcasing this best since this is where the bass is most dominant. Overall, the musicianship is impeccable, with almost no other Death album I've listened to surpassing it. I could literally find nothing to complain about no matter how hard I tried.

Next, the lyrics are intensely pessimistic, with lyrics about leprosy (as both the title track and the album name would suggest), death, hopelessness, suicide, and even cannibalism (particularly in "Primitive Ways"). Although the lyrical themes aren't as progressive as the ones in Spiritual Healing, they are still wonderfully written and interesting nonetheless. I also love how catchy they were, especially when mixed with the fast and animalistic music itself. One of my favorite examples of this can be found in the chorus of "Born Dead" in which the lyrics perfectly complement the riffs and drums. Another one of my favorite examples of this can be found in the pre-chorus and chorus of "Pull the Plug" (ok, the point here is that I love the shit out of this track)...

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope, why don't you...

Pull the plug?
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don't want to live this way

They complement the mid-paced riffs so well in that track. I could honestly go on all night about the lyrics and how catchy they were when mixed with the music, but I won't add too much more about that (since that would take too damn long) except for one more example that can be found in the chorus of "Leprosy". They're so well-written and catchy that I am instantly drawn to the track...

Leprosy will take control and bring you to your death
No chance of a normal life to live just like the rest
Leprosy will spread with time, your body soon to change
Appearance becomes hideous a sight too much to take

The atmosphere of the album, just as I expected, is crushing and punitive due to its overwhelming speed and brutality. The riffs sound sinister and evil, perfectly conveying the hopelessness and despair presented in the lyrics. As for the bass and the drums, they amplify the intensity of both the guitars and the lyrical themes. The overall sound of the album makes me think of a mix between the sound from Scream Bloody Gore and the sound from Spiritual Healing since it sounds similar to both albums. It has both the animosity of the preceding album and the awesome time signature changes and well-written lyrics of the following album. This album serves as a perfect intermediate between Scream Bloody Gore and Spiritual Healing, perhaps even more so than Metallica's Ride the Lightning. Overall, the atmosphere of the album is crushing and punitive, perfectly mixing the animosity of the previous album with the awesome time signature changes and well-written lyrics of the following album.

To summarize, Death's Leprosy is a perfect intermediate between Scream Bloody Gore and Spiritual Healing, making it the perfect way for Death to start on the path to progressivism. The musicianship from each member is impeccable, with Chuck Schuldiner kicking ass no matter what he's doing, and Rick Rozz and Bill Andrews kicking ass along with him. The lyrics are well-written and pessimistic, and although the lyrical themes aren't as progressive as the ones in Spiritual Healing, they're still interesting nonetheless. The atmosphere of the album is crushing and punitive due to the overwhelming speed and brutality of the music; it mixes the animosity of the previous album with the time signature changes and the well-written lyrics of the following album. Moreover, I strongly recommend this album since it kicks a ridiculous amount of ass. If anyone reading this hasn't listened to this album, I encourage you to do so since this is an essential death metal masterpiece.

Although I would recommend every track on the album, the tracks I recommend the most are "Leprosy", "Left to Die", "Pull the Plug" (this one especially), and "Open Casket".