LEPER COLONY "Leper Colony"

By Dr. Abner Mality

It sure doesn't take a detective to figure out where LEPER COLONY is getting its major inspiration from. The stench of the first three DEATH albums wafts from this gruesome long-player, but these guys do the homage so well that this record can stand right next to its influence, it's that good.

This is yet another Rogga Johansson effort. Rogga, the man of 10,000 bands, and this has emerged as one of the best ones. This time around, Rogga has picked Marc Grewe, the former voice of German death metallers MORGOTH, to do lead vocals. The choice was inspired. Grewe is awesome throughout the record, sounding quite a bit like Evil Chuck himself but also bringing his own flair. His screams and growls during the title track are truly horrific.

LEPER COLONY succeed because they don't overthink what they are doing. They are after that early DEATH sound, sprinkled with MORGOTH and some Swedish DM touches, and they nail it. The record has hooks that last for days and the LEPER COLONY sound is extremely easy to get into. From the first seconds of "The Human Paradox", the record never takes a backward step and tracks like "Perdition's End" and "Tar And Feathers" are oldschool death metal that sounds honest and authentic. It doesn't come across like some of the newer "primitive" stuff that's become extremely trendy. There is a touch of Gothic gloom and melody to the title track and the last two songs, "Flesh Crawl Demise" and "Gruesome End" are fast, compact and full of blistering leads.

It's not particularly easy to play this kind of traditional death metal without sounding like a blatant rip-off or insincere trend-hopping shtick but LEPER COLONY do just that. The cover art is spectacularly grotesque as well. This is a must for anybody nostalgic for DEATH, MORGOTH and the like.