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Album Review "Leprosy" by American Death Metal Band Death

Updated on June 28, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


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:

A man in India showing signs of leprosy.
A man in India showing signs of leprosy. | Source

Songs List for This 1988 Album

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

The Song "Leprosy" Sets the Tone For the Album of the Same Name

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 Musical Highlights of the Album Leprosy

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.

About the Other Songs In "Leprosy"

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.

Rate the Album Leprosy By American Death Metal Band Death

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"Born Dead"

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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