The second and the fifth full-length albums by legendary American Death Metal band.
Chuck Schuldiner gets even darker and bleaker on "Leprosy", the follow-up to Death's long-awaited 1987 debut, "Scream Bloody Gore". Schuldiner recorded the album with a completely different Death lineup, but the record isn't terribly different from its predecessor, aside from a bit more polish in the production and composition. Essentially a continuation of "Scream Bloody Gore", but with an ambiguous production, "Leprosy" is by no means a sophomore slump: the music on the other album sounded juvenile, dumb, isolated from the rest of the world and almost humorous. That of "Leprosy" is that and also the opposite: the production is impeccable (you can also hear the bass), while it also shows great pieces of ambition and ambiguity on it. Maybe on "Leprosy" we can hear the best sounding drums than on any other album of Death. Synthetic, yet hitting extremely hard, apparently like no other.
"Leprosy" is the album that brought the elements that made it distinctly “Death Metal”. Everything from the vocals to the riffs to the lyrics just Scream Death Metal. Speaking of the riffs, they’re incredible. The album isn’t quite as fast as "Scream Bloody Gore" but it’s definitely heavier. The songs range from mid-paced to typical Death Metal speeds, ensuring there’s never a dull moment. While on the topic of the guitars, there are two distinct styles of playing here. Rick Rozz brings an incredibly unique sound to his solos that not really sure how to describe. We can also hear Chuck’s signature guitar playing starting to form - long notes interspersed with moments of shredding. He’s definitely made significant improvements on this one.
Lyrically the album is still in the vein of the horror gore lyrics of the previous effort, but to a more sophisticated degree. There’s less fantasy here and more realistic portrayals of horror, though that doesn’t make it any less fun. The lyrics show some progression, since here Chuck finds the time to put some provocative thoughts about politics and society in general. These are messages in contradiction, but Chuck seems not to care. Somehow, "Pull the Plug" stands above the others songs, but with a lot more progression. This song is perhaps the greatest song Chuck ever wrote and one of the best Death Metal songs in general. Lyrically it’s all about a man who’s trapped inside of his own head due to him being in a coma. He only wants to die but can’t communicate that to his family, and he’s forced to hear how they choose to keep him on life support...
"Leprosy" is maybe Death’s greatest album and one of the greatest Death Metal albums of all time. It’s a timeless masterpiece that instantly transports you back to the genres roots and leaves no survivors. Do as the song says and let Leprosy take control!!
In a “Death Metal Special” by the German Rock Hard Magazine, “Leprosy” was voted the no. 1 of the 25 most important Death Metal albums of all time.
"Individual Thought Patterns" cemented Death's reputation as not only one of Death Metal's founders, but also one of its most creative, musically proficient, and listenable bands.
The only album to feature guitarist Andy LaRocque, the first to feature drummer Gene Hoglan and the second and last to feature bassist Steve DiGiorgio, it continues to expand on the Technical/Progressive style that began with "Human", incorporating elements usually associated with Free Jazz. Chuck Schuldiner puts even more emphasis on the guitar harmonies, with the help of King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque. Bassist Steve DiGiorgio treats his instrument more like a third guitar, making for some unique ensemble interplay.
The 40-minute album is still home to the crushing riffs that Death has always employed, but similarly to predecessor, "Human", the riffs, solos, and drumming is much more technical than it ever has been before. Each of the album's ten tracks display the talents of Chuck and fellow guitarist Andy LaRocque exceedingly well, with chaotic, evil sounding guitar interplay taking much of the spotlight. But the efforts of the other two band members, Steve DiGiorgio and Gene Hoglan cannot be shrugged off. Similarly to the guitarists, both Steve and Gene do an excellent job in their required roles. Somewhat of a rarity in Death Metal, Steve DiGiorgio's bass lines are quite audible and provide a solid backup sound to the guitars. "Jealousy" is one track where Steve's performance plays a large role in the sound of the album. His distinct bass lines, which are played quite similarly to the guitars, are put together rather well and set up a serviceable rhythm for the other members of the band to draw from.
Brutal, yet technical guitars, both in terms of rhythm and leads; unique, effective bass lines which act more as a third guitar rather than following the guitars; and skilled, vicious drumming, which one would expect from a guy like Gene Hoglan. Death's fifth album is indeed a very worthwhile album! Pick it up if you can!!
According to Metal-Rules.com, the album is the 100th Greatest Heavy Metal Album of All Time, as well as the 11th Greatest Extreme Metal Album of All Time. The album is included in Guitar Player Magazine's "Metal Guitar Albums Top 20".
AGAT Company Ltd., 1988/1993/2002. Made in Russia. 20 bit digitally remastered bootleg.
2. Born Dead
3. Forgotten Past
4. Left To Die
5. Pull The Plug
6. Open Casket
7. Primitive Ways
8. Choke On It
“Individual Thought Patterns” 1993
1. Overactive Imagination
2. In Human Form
4. Trapped In A Corner
5. Nothing Is Everything
6. Mentally Blind
7. Individual Thought Patterns
9. Out Of Touch
10. The Philosopher
“Individual Thought Patterns”