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Leprous - Bilateral CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.89 | 435 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A fantastic metal album that has really grown on me!

Some of my readers may have realized that my attitude towards metal in general is a bit skeptic, since it is not a genre I dominate, nor really love. However, there are some bands and albums that really do something to me after some listens, and when that happens, believe me, I am more than happy. This sensation has returned with this album, so Leprous should be proud because before officially releasing their new album, they have already fans of it. Important to clarify that I've received it from Inside Out as a digital promo, that is why I already listened to it.

Leprous was actually an unknown name to me, my knowledge is actually pretty limited, I know they are from Norway and that have been together for more than six years. Also, that with the release of "Bilateral" they are reaching their third studio album, which I am sure, will be a complete success amongst metal and prog-metal fans. This album features ten songs which together make a total time of 58 minutes.

The first track is "Bilateral", a four-minute title-track which seems to start aggressive but actually offers a gradual progress. The voice is excellent, the potential and strength that the music suggests caught my attention since the first moments. Also, I like a lot the bass sound (all over the album) and the wonderful use of keyboards. This is a great opening theme.

"Forced Entry" is the longest song, reaching more than ten minutes length. It is an awesome track, full of colors, textures and emotions, also full of time and tempo changes that take you to different scenarios, without losing interest in any moment. The band here shows a deep creativity, so their compositional skills are clearly first-class, evidently. Both, the completely instrumental and the voice-led passages are great, one can truly enjoy and appreciate what the music offers, no matter if you are familiar and like metal or not.

"Restless" is a shorter track that starts slowly with nice guitars and vocals, and after a minute explodes giving a powerful sound, an angry scream accompanied by technical and skillful guitars. Despite it is a short song, the complexity shown here is evident, and wonderful. "Thorn" has a great drums sound, constant and always in the right moment. Complexity and technique does not really mean lack of feeling, and here you can prove it. A couple of aspects worth mentioning: one is that I am surprised with my tolerance regarding death or growling vocals, which I normally repel, here they appear in moments, but I like it; and the second is the brief (but rich) use of trumpet, which makes a pretty cool combination with the metal style.

Now, I've terribly fallen in love with "Mb. Indifferentia", a six-minute track that shows a different face of Leprous, at least for the first minutes. I love how the song is gradually progressing, adding different elements and creating wonderful atmospheres. All the instruments seems to be working for themselves, but at the same time all work for all, great bass lines, a soft guitar sound and constant drums, along with a delicate piano and wonderful vocals. After three minutes acoustic guitar appears and produces a different ambient; seconds later there is a moment I totally love, with only the drumsticks and a cool guitar that put me the image of a fresh place with water running. Now, the tranquility all of a sudden disappears and an explosive voice enters accompanied by an emotional and heavier sound. Honestly, this may be my most played song for the last two weeks. Amazing!

With "Waste of Air" the band returns to their powerful, fast and technical sound. It can be listened since the very first drums note and of course in the running of the track itself. I am still surprised with myself, because I really tolerate the death vocals, which are more evident here. The keyboard sound is hypnotizing, and the aggressiveness implemented here will surely make you move your head. Here a detail, the bass sound reminded me of Magma, curious, and I don't really know if Leprous know those French proggrers, but I had to say it.

"Mediocrity Wins" has a softer sound, with nice synth effects as background, cool bass slaps and a different (and not my favorite) vocal style at first. After two minutes the normal voice returns and with his emotional tune produces different sensations. It is great to appreciate how in just a few minutes the band manage to morph in several occasions and how they put a vast amount of elements in their music.

"Cryptogenic Desires" is the shortest composition here. The keyboards remind me a bit of Riverside, and the music in general can be linked to acts such as Opeth or Enslaved. This is a nice powerful short song. "Acquired Taste" starts with piano, drums and vocals, later bass and guitars join and together start building up an interesting structure that little by little progresses until reaching a climax. Once again, the vocal work is outstanding.

And finally "Painful Detour" gives us eight last minutes of this excellent album. Fast drums and guitars complemented with the lead guitar, opening the gates to the powerful voice and the other instruments. It is great to see the song's inner (and several) changes without breaking the structure, I mean, you can listen to several mini-songs and enjoying each one of them, but at the same time linking them in order to create that body, that full-length track. This is an excellent track that finishes an excellent album.

I am still surprised with the effect that Bilateral caused on me, and I love it. This will surely be an album easy-to-love by progressive metal fans. My final grade will be 5 stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 5/5 |


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