CD Stock Number: Combat Records 88561-8248-2
Leprosy is the quintessential death metal album. The band Death pioneered the genre with their first album, Scream Bloody Gore. On this, their second album, their sound is refined a bit, the lyrics more intelligent (but still gory), and the music remains brutal. Although Possessed may officially have released the first death metal album, Leprosy is, in my opinion, the first death metal masterpiece.
Death's first album, Scream Bloody Gore, contains a few classics, but is for the most part repetitive and becomes boring after repeated listens. Just about every song is inspired by a horror movie, for example "Evil Dead" (movie of the same name) and "Regurgitated Guts" (Fulci's 'Gates of Hell'). Most of the lyrics were downright corny. Ok, the lyrics on Leprosy are still pretty corny at times, but they're more original and actually contain stories. "Pull the Plug" is about… well you could probably guess. And "Left to Die" is about… well you could probably guess that too. Suffice it to say that people don't listen to this music for the lyrics. : )
Musically, this album has improved significantly over SBG. Death added second guitarist Rick Rozz, which gives the album more depth. Some bands have been able to pull off the one-guitarist thing (Sodom, Destruction), but not many. Since this album Death has always been a two-guitar band, and Death has morphed into a "technical death" band, complete with flashy solos, melodic chops, and even a catchy hook here and there. One can see hints of this in Leprosy, but Death is still very raw on this album. Death's "raw" period only lasted for their first two albums, so this one is a gem indeed. Leprosy deserves a spot in anyone's death metal collection.
Sound Quality: 60