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Leprous - Coal CD (album) cover

COAL

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.95 | 219 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
5 stars Ok...If I must admit...these guys have been below my radar for a very long time. I was aware of the praise their first 2 albums got, and always had a slight interest in them, but whether it was a lack of interest in prog or infatuation with something else, I never gave these guys any attention. So...after all these years, I decided to finally give these guys at least some looks and peeks. And low and behold, I'm incredibly impressed and regretting not giving these guys a listen when they first appeared on the Prog music scene.

The best quality about this band is the unique sound that the band offer. When it comes to music in general, I like it when bands are able to shake off stigmatized genre labels, allowing the band to adopt their own sound. When it comes to describing the band, I like to think of them having the perfect elements of standard progressive metal and post metal. There is the technical side to the music but there is a lot of atmosphere throughout these tracks. Another positive is the songwriting, which is really strong on these songs and is a big positive on this album.

The real highlight that this band has to offer is the vocals. Vocalist Einar Solberg really shows off the diversity of his vocals. In many ways, he reminds me of a younger Devin Townsend. At times his vocals go from the most extremist of screams to a more beautiful sombre tenor with at times operatic warbles. A weird comparison I've heard is The Darkness...and vocally at times, Einar does hit very high notes which I've heard Justin Hawkins from The Darkness been able to tackle (especially on their last album "Hot Cakes.")

Now for a little history lesson. These guys used to be Ihsahn's (Emperor front man and overall genius) backing band. He also produced the album and lended vocals on some songs. Now, I didn't know this until today...but I can't say I'm surprised. In fact, with this album, these guys have been able to outshine their former boss, and upstaging Ihsahn really isn't an easy thing to do.

The album opener "Foe" is a real shock. A big rhythmic kick in the face. A song that really grabs you by the balls, and sets you up for an amazing ride.

"Chronic" is a track that really surprised me. A brilliant build up throughout the verses, the chorus comes in and takes you by suprise. The difference in tones really adds to the interest of the song.

The album's most impressive moment has to be "The Valley." A brilliantly arranged song with some really impressive vocals. The chorus is catchy as hell, and will be stuck in your head for days. The breakdown in the middle and arrangement throughout is very impressive and pretty enjoyable.

The albums single, "The Cloak" is a very odd but really enjoyable tune. Almost ballad like, Einar shows of some really beautiful vocals. It is rather cheesy at times, but it's also really unique and really enjoyable.

The albums last song, "Contaminate Me" features the band's old boss, Ihsahn. And I have to say...Ihsahn has really impressed me. Being a big fan of Emperor, I have always been a fan of his vocals...and on this song he really goes into very extreme territories with his vocals, and even takes away the focus from Einar...which is a very hard thing to do.

The only negative that I would have with this album is that the first half overshadows the second. Now, this doesn't mean that the other half isn't good, it's just that the first 5 songs really are the greatest moments. "Salt" for example has some really nice Opeth like melodies and has a pretty nice arrangement. The same goes "Echo" although the only gripe I can hold would be that it's length may be a bit too lengthy and a good bit could have been cut out. Also, the booklet of this album annoyed me, because the artwork seemed to blur out some of the lyrics...which was a slight annoyance.

The bonus track "Bury" also easily could have been on the album as a single track, and I would have enjoyed the album, maybe even a little bit more. An almost Dillinger Escape Plan sounding track, this could have been the albums single.

In conclusion...I'm impressed. These guys are going steal and obtain a lot of attention in the next few years, and it's because of this album. I haven't heard the first two yet, but I will listen to them soon, and anything they release in the next few years, I will definitely buy.

8.7/10

arcane-beautiful | 5/5 |

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