This is the third time Leprous are featured here. And reading back to what I wrote about 2013 album Coal, (and yes, I did listen to The Congregation from 2015 as well, just never got around to write about it) it seems that I could state about the same thing here. But, to avoid that people think this is “just a repeat exercise”, that is not the way to go. Because then I would really be selling another magnificent prog metal album short.
Because make no mistake, the ingredients might be the same, but Leprous are just too damn good to write the same song twice. They still manage to deliver highly addictive melodies over intricate arrangements that have more twists and turns than your average Sicilian mountain trip. The rhythmic details in their music are still unpredictable. The album still rocks without sounding over the top heavy.
Maybe they have become even more focused on the song and thus manage to create an even bigger impact. And I do think there are some new experiments here and there. Yet I do not think that it is of much use to over analyse. My only criticism being that the beautiful booklet does not mention any contact info for the band itself…
For me another clear winner from an band that still manages to excite. A damn good prog metal album that needs to be heard by anyone serious about the genre. No looking back to the greats of the Seventies, but a band boldly moving forward. Love it!
If the previous album from this Norwegian progressive metal band made anything absolutely clear, then that must be that they are a force to be reckoned with. And this time they seem to have dug a little deeper and came up with Coal. Pardon this bad joke, but let me tell you, this music is not. In fact this may just be one of the most exiting things I have heard lately. And looking back, that bar is raised high!
So why is that? Well, while Bilateral is a stunning album with a lot of madness that was held together by a keen ear for infectious melodies, to some extent that crazy stuff seems more balanced this time. This allows the various band members to shine even more. Though I must say I think the star is singer (and keyboarder) Einar Solberg. Not only for his range, but also because he is able to weave addictive vocal lines to the often complex music and off beat rhythms. Which in itself is worth a compliment. And if you think by reading this that this might just be too much for you, well, in my humble opinion any serious lover of things progressive should be able to love this. Such is the appeal and seduction of this. And should you need a reference, I am tempted to say Devin Townsend, because that madman also succeeds in finding a balance between intrigue and attraction. A small word of warning, Ihsahn guests on vocals in Contaminate and that may not be of everyone´s liking. But as he also made the string arrangements for Chronic, I feel no need to complain 🙂 Brilliant once again!
A good friend has been bugging me for months to start listening to this album, such was his conviction I would like this. Well, apparently he knows me well because ever since it landed in the player, it has not left it!
Just take a look at the cover on the left. Strange isn´t it? Well, I have made remarks before about how I think a lot of progressive music is in fact the opposite. But this band is true to the tag. Effortlessly combining elements from various styles of music (not strictly limited to all sorts of metal) and still they have managed to come up with songs that grabbed me from the start. It is hectic, it is varied, it is heavy as it is grandiose. It is soft and it is loud, but above all it is melodic enough to keep you interested and conceived and played with impeccable taste and a clear view of what it wants to be.
Yes I know, that is quite a mouth full of words describing this, but this is surely one of the most intriguing CD´s in the last couple of months. Heck, I love it to death! Might be challenging, but I think any serious lover of quality music should spend at least a day warming up to it. Utterly essential stuff!