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Album Review "Leprosy" by American Death Metal Band Death (1988)

Updated on April 3, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

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The Album Leprosy Still Shows the Greatness of Guitarist Chuck Schuldiner

The band’s second album called "Leprosy" released in 1988 is another fine example of a solid piece of death metal music and the album showed that Chuck was on his way to rising to the top of the death metal ranks. The track listing for Leprosy is as follows:

Leprosy Songs List

  1. Leprosy
  2. Born Dead
  3. Forgotten Past
  4. Left To Die
  5. Pull the Plug
  6. Open Casket
  7. Primitive Ways
  8. Choke On It

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The Song Leprosy Sets the Tone For the Album

Note: at first I used to include the review of the album Leprosy with Spiritual healing when I was paying tribute to Chuck Schuldiner but for now, this is only a review of the second studio album of one of the best Florida death metal bands ever.

The title track Leprosy starts slowly with the drums and guitar play setting the tone showing that Chuck and the band are ready to bring excitement to listeners’ ears. Even though the pounding drums show that the production is a bit raw and rough, that was how it was with many of these 1980’s albums. Leprosy is an affliction or disease which causes bones to decay, and the face of the person becomes so affected that it would not be a good thing to look at. Leprosy is a deadly disease as the song mentions. We have already discussed the influence of Chuck on the worldwide music scene as well as how he began his career. The extreme song titles of the first album may not be as prevalent on this album as the melodies in the first song give way to some more heaviness. Even the drumming for 1988 standards is pretty good! Yes, Leprosy was released over 30 years ago, but the drumming is solid for that time.

The Song Born Dead is One of the Early Highlights

The next song called Born Dead makes reference to the fact humans are born into this world only to die eventually. About one minute and eleven seconds into the song comes one of the best interludes written in the history of the death metal genre as the bass guitar can clearly be heard. It creates nothing short of an awesome listening experience and it is proof that Schuldiner in his early 20’s at the time was destined to become a household name in the genre of death metal.

"Pull the Plug"

What Other Lyrical Themes Are on the Album Leprosy?

The album also focuses on the concept of human life on Earth which consists of much suffering and death. As the rise in technology has happened, it has caused people to cause harm to others in more sinister ways. When a person dies, the concept of time stands still and doesn’t hold any significance. One song that we did not really discuss is the song Left to Die. Yes, I know these song titles aren’t the most positive but Chuck Schuldiner discusses one of the most common things that happen to all humans and that is the fact that we all die and pass on from this Earth. As the song says time stands still as we pass away.

Leprosy...the Other Songs

The next song called Pull the Plug is one of the finest songs in the band’s career. Lyrically, it is similar to the song Suicide Machine on the album Human. When there is no hope of recovery by the patient as they are being kept alive by a machine, the only alternative is to pull the plug of the machine. The song called Open Casket is about what happens after a person dies and their funeral is being held. People come to pay their final respects to the deceased that once was among the living. All that remains of the person after death is their lifeless body lying in an open casket for people to see and to pay their respects. Early on in his career, Chuck Schuldiner wanted to let the world know what to expect and that with birth and life, there is also disease, suffering, and death. The last song called Choke On It has a slow riff at the start like the song Perennial Quest except Perennial Quest written in 1995 is the more superior song.

"Forgotten Past"

Final Thoughts About the Album Leprosy

Overall, Leprosy is a solid death metal album however, it is not the band’s best one. But Chuck Schuldiner’s great skill in guitar playing will be remembered by me and many other fans and he was one of the finest musicians in the history of the United States. If nothing else, it is my hopes that this album will have some people take a look at one of the bright spots of the United States especially back in 1988. Leprosy is one of the best albums released in 1988 along with Metallica’s And Justice For All. If you are able to tolerate an album full of morbid lyrical content and be okay with an album that has that oldschool raw death metal feel then you will certainly enjoy what Chuck Schuldiner and company would release as the years passed.

Rate the Album Leprosy By American Death Metal Band Death

Cast your vote for Death Leprosy

"Born Dead"

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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