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Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome CD (album) cover

TALL POPPY SYNDROME

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 230 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Very Promising, Eclectic Debut

Leprous' TALL POPPY SYNDROME was one of the most hyped prog metal albums of 2009. From the very first passages of "Passing," it's obvious that this band has has some surprises up its sleeve. Sitting somewhere between Opeth and Shaolin Death Squad, the band manages to fold in a large number of sounds and styles without ever drifting in Bunglesque forced juxtapostion. While melodic death is definitely the most common genre heard, there are long sections that are barely metal at all. Singer Einer Solberg uses clean tones at least 75% of the time, keyboards serve a huge role in the sound. The compositions are complex but flow nicely, and there are certainly some risks taken.

I suspect had the hype been a little less, I would have jumped aboard on this very well done album. But I was expecting something spectacular, and that's just not here. The band is flexing their musical muscles, but I'm never really moved. There are plenty of great musical ideas (the clean, tripping rhythm of "Not Even a Name" is playing right now for me) but too few really emotionally evocative moments. In fact the only one that sticks with me is the breakdown in the opening song when "Tonight I'm passing away" is screamed. Everything else is simply musically interesting.

Solberg's vocal skills are good, but his tone lacks distinctive character. This probably harms my response more than anything else. Certainly, the guitar tone is also solid but nothing fresh, and the we've heard all these drum beats before. The compositions are what really stand out, the ability to blend styles seamlessly. Leprous obviously have skills and musicianship. They are carving their niche, but still seem to be working on honing their style.

3.5 / 5 album rounded down, as I'm expecting better from them in the future. Also for a poor band name that doesn't fit the music.

Negoba | 3/5 |

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