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Leprous - Bilateral CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.89 | 432 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
2 stars Oh boy. I decided to check out this album since it was so highly rated and is already in some people's best of 2011 lists. I really wish I didn't. Leprous are a metal band from Norway. Notice I did not use the terms 'prog' or 'tech/extreme' in that sentence. This would be a great album if it was released in 1992. This music is hardly what I would consider 'prog.' It's not very technical and it sure as hell is not extreme...extremely melodic maybe? A lot of this album reminds me of both hair metal and Dream Theater (who themselves remind me of hair metal at times). There are parts of Bilateral which make me think of Motley Crue and Winger. I'm not even slightly joking. The first song reminded me of Dragonforce! There is really nothing new going on here that wasn't being done in metal 15 years ago. There is a song here called "Mediocrity Wins" and that just about sums up this album for me.

A Muse influence is present. The singer (and also keyboardist) sometimes sounds like Matthew Bellamy and sometimes does some wimpy death growls. "Forced Entry" is over 10 minutes long but is very accessible and doesn't require such a length. I actually like the song "Restless"...but it ain't prog. Very Muse infuenced with disco style drumming during the chorus (and what would prog be without disco beats and choruses?). The sax in "Thorn" was the first thing to catch my attention the first time I heard Bilateral, but it's still just an average metal song. I like the sound of the electric piano in "Mb. Indifferentia" but the song itself is just a mediocre ballad; not very metal or proggy.

"Waste Of Air" is the only track here that really grabbed me at first. If the whole album was on the level of this song I might have a higher opinion of it. Good inventive guitar playing in the middle. The most technical, extreme and proggy song here. The vocals during the verses of "Mediocrity Wins" sound quasi-rapped over Mellotron-like sounds. Some slap bass here. Gets more Muse sounding later. Bilateral is for prog fans who don't really like prog. Y'know, the kind that like their prog proggy but not too proggy, thank you. Are all the people who gave this album 5 stars still going to think this is a "masterpiece of progressive rock" in 10 years? I wonder if they were confused and thought they were posting a review on MMA instead? There is a lot of great forward-thinking modern prog out there (some of it free download!) but many will ignore that stuff and praise cliche metal such as this. I'm wondering if the new definition of prog is: 'Not consistently heavy enough for metal; too complex for indie.'

The only thing this has going for it is the really great album cover artwork. This has probably the best album cover I have seen for a 2011 release (although I certainly have not seen every album cover for every release this year). And maaaaaan, that artwork does not fit the music at all. This is recommended to those who want to play it safe. If you want great original modern prog music, look elsewhere. 2 stars. Fans only.

zravkapt | 2/5 |


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