Artist: Leper Colony
Album: Leper Colony
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release Date: January 13th, 2023
Written by Tim Bee of Paroxysmal Butchering
If you’re looking for soupy vocals, chugging guitars, gravity blasts, and camo shorts, this is not the band for you; let’s just get that out of the way, right now. This is brooding, evil, DM that takes you back to the early days, when vocals were still howled like Thrash singers, and drummers conveyed high energy without the constant use of blast beats.
This band toes the line, and operates where Thrash meets Death, without sounding like just another Death Thrash band. They have really developed their own style, while undoubtedly learning from the “old masters,” so to speak. It reminds one of Death, the band, without sounding corny or derivative.
The vocals shriek, opting out of the throaty Death Metal growl we all know and love. The band know how to shred, but they don’t go crazy with it, which is refreshing, because bands that look to recapture that 80’s sound have the tendency to really overshoot on the virtuosity aspect of a song. Sometimes, it feels like a band will simply write a bunch of riffs to showcase their solos. Not here. This is solid Death Metal. The guitar work is all business, the bass has a great tone, though hearing it a little more in the mix wouldn’t hurt. The drums do exactly what they should be doing, without trying to blow people’s minds.
In short, what’s so impressive about this band, and subsequently, this release, is that it just sounds like a group of talented musicians jamming old school Death Metal. The idea that each song has to reshape the musical landscape is often pursued, though rarely executed. The intent of the creator is oftentimes lost in the finished product. Not here, not to me, at least. This album sounds like a primal blast from the past.
In addition, the music almost seems to increase in intensity as it progresses, from track to track, a treat for any listener who doesn’t want to end an album with a reimagined “B side.”
“Gruesome End” wraps up the album, in stupendous fashion, taking everything the band did throughout the course of the composition, and condensing it into one track. Those cymbal chokes at the very end are a great allusion to the opening of the record, to boot. Classy stuff.
• The lead guitar in “Perdition’s End” is straight from another era. It’s so menacing, and you imagine these guys writing this material in leather vests and spiked gauntlets.
• The start/stop riffage and drumming throughout the album carries with it strong prog vibes, which, let’s be honest, is a must if you’re looking to cultivate the sound this band creates.
• That mid-tempo kick drum gallop throughout the track “Leper Colony” is just so fucking cool. That’s all.
• The blast beats on “Flesh Crawl Demise” were an awesome and welcomed surprise.
• Opening and concluding the album in a similar fashion is always awesome. Style points, for that, all the way.
Listen to and order the album: