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Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome CD (album) cover

TALL POPPY SYNDROME

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.15 | 222 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 7/10

"Tall Poppy Syndrome" is a desperate cry for normality, an extreme attempt to be part of a society that rejects us.

Recently I've seen many debuts or follow-ups to obscure debuts that suddenly become popular among the prog and metal community, of bands like Haken, Animals As Leaders, Sky Architect, and many others. But one the most interesting and promising among this big wave of debutantes is Leprous, at first ignored, but then immensely praised for their unique sophomore album "Tall Poppy Syndrome", which many have considered one of the best albums of 2009.

For starters, what probably did it for Leprous for getting popular is their unique and distinct style, but the musicians are obviously influenced by that wave of Progressive Metal bands such as Pain Of Salvation, Opeth, Devin Townsend, and some Fates Warning. But overall Leprous like I said are a very unique band and have a distinct style that can be recognized only as theirs. Like Pain Of Salvation, Leprous plays Prog Metal that concentrates more on emotion than on technical virtuosity, especially in the vocal delivery by singer Einar Soldberg, in my opinion one of the most talented new metal vocalists out there today. But the sound is very heavy, and can often have a pretty extreme touch, and being at the same time very well produced. It is a much more guitar-driven album, with some occasional synths, that accompany some hooks, or flutes, which are usually dominant when present. The structure of these songs is quite unusual but very well done: pretty much all of these tracks clock in between the six minute mark and the eleven minute mark, so they tend to be rather extensive, using a few hooks per track, but very related one another whether they be more aggressive or softer.

"Tall Poppy Syndrome" is, more than a mind-blowing album, one that grabs your attention with its musical concept that flows through the entire album: The calmer moments extremely dense and paranoid, at times melancholic, the more aggressive ones more, in a way, relaxed, but very melodic and full of emotion. This sounds like the last, desperate cry for normality, an extreme attempt to be part of a society that rejects us, and because of this, we feel that death is soon to come, but when it does come, it is suddenly the most beautiful thing in the world. This is in part, for you who not know, tall poppy syndrome.

The opening track "Passing" is probably one of the best and most memorable episodes, containing wonderful, calm moments and harsh ones that will make you quiver, and think. More delicate oriented songs here include "Phantom Pain" and "Fate", two absolute gems, especially the latter, probably the most touching track. "Dare You" and the eleven minute grand finale "White" are other really good highlights, especially the latter, which has a great climax and is epically structured, a perfect way to end an album.

"Tall Poppy Syndrome" is a serious, but very enjoyable and memorable album, an excellent start from this young, extremely talented band that with "Bilateral" (2011) will reach it's highest artistic peak.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |

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