Whether you believe Venom, Possessed, Celtic Frost or Death was
the first death metal act, I don't think there's much question
that this is unquestionably death metal, and a landmark release
in the genre. That said, there's nothing really that special about
it, except it was pretty heavy for its time of release, there
are no slow sections or ballads, and melody is used some what
sparingly, the riffs are all fast and heavy, and the vocals are
growled forth unlike what other bands dared to do at the time.
Lyrically, it pretty much derives from slasher movies, and Chuck
managed to fit the word 'cunt' into almost every song. Chuck does
all the vocals, bass and guitars on the album too, Chris Reifert
does the drums, and although John Hand is listed as a guitarist,
he didn't actually play on the album. Not that it really matters,
Death is Chuck's baby as the lineups will rotate over the years.
The songs are some of the more memorable death metal songs, as
its closer to really heavy thrash. There's some nice dark leads
thrown in there as well. The two stand out tracks are the last
two "Evil Dead" has one of the darkest, more sinister
melodic guitar intros ever, its really cool. The title track is
pretty good as well, and has a nice solo. The last four tracks
are bonus tracks on the re-release. "Beyond the Unholy Grave"
is quite good. "Open Casket" and "Choke On it"
were recorded live before Leprosy came out, and both good tracks.