LEPER COLONY – Leper Colony

LEPER COLONY – Leper Colony


BAND URL: https://lepercolonydm.bandcamp.com/

The mighty death metal warrior Roger “Rogga” Johansson (bass, guitars) whose musical contributions to the genre run for four lines on Encyclopedia Metallum, is back with another slab of classic extremity, here infused with substantial amount of doom, thrash, groove and even traditional metal, joined by Marc Grewe (vocals) and Jon Skäre (drums) for the German outfit’s Leper Colony’s good eponymous debut album courtesy of one of my top favorite labels Transcending Obscurity Records. “Leper Colony” is quite different from what we’re used to hearing from Rogga, excellently executed, powerfully produced, and with 9 tracks interestingly lasting exactly 33:33, all of which deserve at least 4/6 score, with several very good ones.

To the trio’s credit, the opener is one of, if not the strongest cuts, evocative of “Leprosy” and “Spiritual Healing” Death and with a fair amount of melody. I like how Rogga was really going for variety this time and away from the simplicity of, say, Down Among Dead Men or Paganizer, the Testamentian thrash groover “Rapture Addict” with precise and catchy riffs reminding us that metal, at its core, is at its most effective when simple but powerful, one of primary examples of that new tendency, but it’s the surprisingly abundantly melodic title track akin to Paradise Lost, mid era Hypocrisy or even Edge Of Sanity that is the biggest stunner here especially since “A Flow So Greatly Macabre” neatly continues the vein with a touch of Megadeth for good measure, and I would also distinquish The Slayeric “Flesh Crawl Demise” reminiscent of “Within Ruin” As I Lay Dying, to top off the list of the highlights before getting to the flaws.

It’s too bad that the songwriting is rather inconsistent with the first half of the disc just slightly above the second qualitatively. Tapping into “Human” and “Individual Thought Patterns” Death with a bit of Testamentian Slayer for the weirdly titled “The Surgical Undeadvors” (is that a word?) is definitely a great idea but the songwriting largely fails here with not enough repetition and hooks and the closer “Gruesome End”, especially with that teasing not fully realized melody, leaves me unfulfilled and even a little hesitant to re-press play.

Rogga Johansson may be coming around with a more varied approach to songwriting and genre excursions but, to substantially butcher “Pulp Fiction” Mr. Wolf’s saying, let’s not start patting each other’s backs quite yet, gentlemen. We must bring in more focus into these tracks as some of them, such as “Perdition’s End” or “Tar And Feathers”, sound a little scattered. Overall, though, this brings us closer to Rogga’s solo project or some of the better Megascavenger material so we’re headed in the right direction.

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