Death – Leprosy – 25 Days of Christmas – Metal Countdown: Day 7

Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers gives us a holiday treat as he counts down 25 days till Christmas with 25  of his favorite must own metal and hard rock albums. Join us daily through December 25th to read the latest entry.

Can anything bad really be said about Death? Founder Chuck Schuldiner was a true metal innovator.  Death was integral in the formation of what was to be termed death metal.  I love early death metal albums such as Leprosy which was given to us August 12, 1988.  They’re essentially thrash albums with a little bit more extremeness to them.

Chuck Schuldiner was known as a great guitar player and lyricist.  Death would even become more musically technical as their career progressed through  the 1990s.  Leprosy is top notch early death metal.  This album is such a key influence to the scene.  Death’s first album Scream Bloody Gore was very thrash oriented, but Leprosy moved them into a bit more different sound which came to be known as death metal.  This album was key to the development of the sub-genre and an influencer of death metal bands to come into formation within the next five years after this album was released.

The album opens with the title track giving us some heavy low end guitars and bass drum leading the way.  A riff comes in followed by Chuck’s scream into the full on goodness of the song.  This is a key track to the album and a great way to kick it off.  The lyrics to the song deal with someone who has leprosy as you may have guessed.

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The second song “Born Dead” also offers us some great riffs coming in faster than the speed of sound.  The lyrics deal with the concept that we are brought into the world with the purpose of dying.

“Pull the Plug” is a Death classic.  Perhaps their first song to discuss a topic of controversy in the United States. “Pull the Plug” is written from the viewpoint of a hospitalized person who is only being kept alive by machines.  It’s a really meaningful song lyrically that makes people think, as sadly many of us might face this situation in our lives:

Memories is all that’s left behind
As I lay and wait to die
Little do they know that
I hear their choice of life

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

Once I had full control of my life
I now behold a machine decides my fate
End it now it’s all too late

What has now been days, it seems like years
To stay like this is what I fear
Life ends so fast
So take your chance and make it last

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope, why don’t you

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

Another favorite song from this album is “Open Casket”. It has more thought provoking lyrics about going to a funeral and viewing the body for the first half of the song.  The second half of the song deals with thoughts about death and how strange it is and how it can never be explained.  Of course, these lyrics are backed by some fantastic metal.  This is what made Death such a great band, great music with great lyrics that actually have some meaning and real feelings behind them.

Leprosy is an album everyone should have in their collection.  You can actually understand what Chuck Schuldiner is saying in his songs unlike some later death metal vocalists so don’t let death metal vocals scare you away from listening to this gem.  Chuck made his music for everyone, and is well known in the metal community for being an upstanding gentleman.  Next Tuesday December 13th marks the 15th anniversary of when Chuck lost his battle with cancer.

Isaac

Isaac

Chief Of Operations, 30, lives in North VA but grew up in PA, married, baseball and metal. Kiss, Megadeth, Mötley Crüe, King Diamond, Mayhem, Mortification, Poison, P.O.D., Zao, Elgibbor, Demoniciduth, Led Zeppelin
Isaac

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