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  • Leprosy, Death’s second album, shows some fairly substantial growth from their already solid debut. It’s still just straight forward old-school Death metal, but Chuck’s got a better voice and more interesting lead work than most, and the songwriting is a step above the competition. All in all, an excellent album.The biggest weakness is Rozz’s lead work. It tends to be a bit on the laughable side, mainly a bunch of trem bar squealing and obnoxious trills. It’s not too much of a problem, as they tend to be short, and frankly a bit amusing even if they aren’t exactly enojoyable from a music standpoint. Chuck’s leads make up for his deficiency, however. He’s nowhere near as proficient as he’d become, but he’s still exhibits why he’s my favorite lead guitarist. He always has just the right combination of melody and speed, never being too melodic for the musical backdrop, but never zooming off in to tedious squealing, as do many DM lead guitarists.This has some rather excellent DM production. Still fairly raw, but has just enough definition, and it’s still very bulky and thick sounding.(unlike many roughly produced albums) The drum sound is perhaps a bit over the top(I can’t imagine a snare drum sounding like that in the real world) but it still works pretty well, giving the album a really great rhythmic punch. You can even hear the bass quite a bit of the time, though it usually isn’t doing anything of particular interest.Every track here is good. They don’t have much variety, though most of them have a pretty memorable chorus, so they don’t just blur together. The riffwork is very nice, with a good combination a chunky, thrashier riffs with blazing, death metal trem riffs.(which can get tedious if they are overused, which they are not here) It’s mostly very fast, though it sticks with thrash styled drumming rather than using blast-beats. Plus Chuck gives what is probably his best vocal performance ever. Very intense with out ever going over the top. The title track gives you a good sense of what’s to come, with lightning riffs and a rather ferocious(if simple) drum assault, while still managing to have a memorable chorus and pre-chorus. The next to tracks are both very good, but Left to Die is the next real stand-out, and probably the second best track on the album. The chorus is fantastic, and it has a great middle break, containing what is definitely Chuck’s best solo on the album. Next comes the much famed Pull the Plug, and I must say that I think this song deserves it’s reputation. I would dare say that it has perhaps the best, most memorable chorus ever heard in a metal song.(certainly the best in thrash or death metal) The song is brilliantly written in it’s simplicity. The progression from the slow verses to the sprinting pre-chorus to the absolutely crushing mosh-riff of the chorus works beautifully, all topped off with another cool lead from Schuldiner. Simply a fantastic song. Open Casket is next, and is another good one. It’s a bit more progressive and unpredictable than most of the other tracks, and Chuck gives an especially eerie vocal performance.(listen to when he sings, Touch the Fleah, it is so cold.) This is partially offset by the following Rozz-penned Primitive Ways, which is easily the most straight-forward and simple track on the album. It’s perhaps the weakest song on the album, and it’s still pretty cool. Choke on It reminds is another more progressive piece. A bit slower and less heavy overall, with another great chorus.All in all, this is another Death classic. Buy it.

    Posted on January 21, 2010