Release House: Grrr Records
Genre: Gothic Rock
One Sentence Synopsis: Fourth LP that Leper has released on Grrr Records
Release Date: 9-24-19
Running Time: 73 min
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Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 5.0 Moons (Out of 5.0)
Leper is the musical and artistic expression of Skot Shaw. Using hauntingly melodic vocals, driving keys and brooding guitar, Leper orchestrates a compelling sound combining elements of Goth, industrial, dance and rock. All the while, Leper exudes the shadowy, emotional eeriness that defines a Goth band. Leper’s influences and inspiration are drawn from many different sources creating a musical tapestry woven with the threads of despair, struggle and redemption. This Next Song Is About Death is the epitome of those influences.
Very open about his Christian faith, the album opens with “Prayer of the Lord.” Until listening to Leper perform it I never heard the Our Father prayer sound so dark and eerie, and strangely beautiful as it’s sung entirely in Scottish Gaelic, Skot Shaw’s heritage. “Skeleton Hands” has the very classic, danceable death rock sound that is loved by many oldschool Goths. The female vocals that accompany Shaw are great on the album, especially on this song.
“13 Silver Bullets” is one of my favorite songs that Leper has done, as it’s one of the great examples of the dark romantic side of the band. The song tells the story of a man who fears that the woman he loves may be a werewolf, and he’s hoping he never has to kill her, but he’s prepared for the worst and has all the weapons he needs.
I could relate to “The Immoral One” more than any other track. Musically, it’s slower with very deep sounds and low notes and really sets the mood. He speaks as “the dark one in love with the light,” and mourns the fact that he keeps screwing up in life, but rejoices knowing that he’s still loved.
This is my favorite Leper album since Beautiful Gray Day, possibly even all-time favorite. The harmonies and complexities that each song exhibits are incredible. Skot’s vocals and guitar are on point and really come out in the final mix. There is an energy on this album that comes on very strong compared to some of Leper’s previous independently released albums. Almost as if there’s a newfound peace or direction.
Oldschool Goths who prefer death rock and other acts of the 80’s would get a lot out of this album. It has a very good blend of the classic sound along with a touch of dark wave. I would also strongly recommend this to Christian Goths who are looking for bands that will speak to them on a more spiritual level than other secular acts they may listen to.
Leper outdid themselves on this album. This Next Song is About Death goes down in my book as “Best Gothic Rock Album of 2019.” Do not sleep on this!
Theme: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Presentation: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Audience Fit: 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)
Final Score (not an average): 5.0 Moons (out of 5.0)