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Leprous - Bilateral CD (album) cover

BILATERAL

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.88 | 316 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

DragonX32
5 stars Sometimes, a person finds an album that seems to be tailored to their exact musical tastes. Sometimes, a person falls in love with an album that fits their current mood. And sometimes, a band just knows what they are doing. The aforementioned person is me. The band is Leprous.

I'm quite familiar with the "popular" and "less popular" progressive rock and metal bands from the last forty or so years, so I have a pretty good idea what to expect when I acquire a something new. But "Bilateral" caught me off guard. I have never heard an album quite like this one; I'm having trouble comparing Leprous to any other band in my library. Perhaps the bastard child of Between the Buried and Me and Korn? I don't know, my comparison is just as ridiculous as any others I've read, and I've read some comments/reviews that were way off basis. I find myself asking all too often, did that person listen to the same album I did?

In three words, Leprous is heavy, melodic, and emotional. It is difficult for me to fit them into a genre. Prog? Sure. Metal? Eh, kinda, but they don't follow the traditional metal structure. Unfortunately distorted guitars alone do not qualify a band as metal. Tech/extreme? There is nothing overly technical or extreme about this album. The songs rely too much on layering, building, and clean vocals.

In my opinion, the vocals are the driving force of this album. The guitar solos are few and far between; the ones that do make an appearance leave wank at the door. They tend to sneak up on you, and build up to the next vocal entrance. Each instrument creates a nice layer, and together the band members create a progressive atmosphere quite unlike any I have heard before, which is surprising considering how much power chord chugging they implement.

The writing in this album is nothing less than stellar. Leprous doesn't dwell on any passage too long, which is apparent in their relatively short songs (at the very least, I didn't get bored). They found a way to take all of the goodness from prog, remove some of its unnecessary complexity, and compact it into ten 4-10 minute tracks. They know when to stay on a decent riff, when to add another layer, when to suavely bring you to the climax, when to hit you over the head with an epic chorus, and how to bring you back down to a state of how the hell did they just weave that intricate web of awesome. Among the plethora of power chords and chugging that I've heard in quite possibly every modern band, this band has an additional sense of depth and simplicity that is unparalleled in my experience.

While I do highly recommend "Bilateral", it seems to be hit or miss with most people. It's probably my album of the year, thus tilted from 9/10 to 5 stars.

DragonX32 | 5/5 |

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