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Leprous Malina album cover
4.04 | 332 ratings | 6 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bonneville (5:28)
2. Stuck (6:48)
3. From the Flame (3:51)
4. Captive (3:43)
5. Illuminate (4:21)
6. Leashes (4:09)
7. Mirage (6:48)
8. Malina (6:15)
9. Coma (3:55)
10. The Weight of Disaster (6:00)
11. The Last Milestone (7:30)

Total Time 58:48

Bonus track on 2017 LP release:
12. Root (4:08)

Line-up / Musicians

- Einar Solberg / lead vocals, keyboards
- Tor Oddmund Suhrke / guitar
- Robin Ognedal / guitar
- Simen Daniel BÝrven / bass
- Baard Kolstad / drums

- Raphael Weinroth-Browne / cello, strings

Releases information

Artwork: Corey Meyers

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 485 (2017, Germany)

2LP+CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 485 (2017, Germany) Full album on both media incl. bonus track

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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LEPROUS Malina ratings distribution

(332 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

LEPROUS Malina reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars The name LEPROUS isn't just made up gibberish in an Elvish language or anything of the sort. It is in fact an English word that in the biological world means having or consisting of loose, scurfy scales (as well as the meaning of 'having leprosy.') "Scurfy" is a term that denotes a loose scaly crust coating a surface and you know what? That kind of describes the music of LEPROUS. No denying that their mere five album career has been an interesting one since the band jumped to the top of the list of the progressive metal world with "Tall Poppy Syndrome" and has been changing things up slightly ever since. Eight years after their highly esteemed debut they release their fifth album MALINA which at this point seems almost like a totally different band. Except for that scurfy thing. Yes, the surface with a loose scaly crust. What the f.u.c.k is he talking about? - you ask.

The music of LEPROUS may differ stylistically from album to album but one thing has remained a constant, that being the melodic powerful vocals of Einar Solberg whose tender and affectionate operatic antics have always been the focus and in the limelight and therefore the "surface" of the band's style and sound. The jittery glitch guitars, the bouncy fretless bass slides, symphonic, electronic touches and the myriad styles of drumming that accompany Solberg are ever changing in dynamics, tempo, time signatures and delivery and count as the "loose scaly crust" which sounds like its flaking away from the lyrical delivery. I swear i'm not tripping as i write this. In short, the music is the wild card as it gravitates around the vocal performances.

On MALINA, Norway's masters of jittery staccato hyperactivity have toned things down a bit as they continue to pull an Opeth and down the path of de-metalling their sound. While the first couple of albums were chock full of a smorgasbord of sounds, riffs and styles from the metal universe including ferocious death growls and spastic thrash fury, MALINA is surprisingly placid and sombre and only has two tracks that have even a fraction of the intensity and drive as their earlier albums. But this hasn't come as a shock as "Coal" and "Congregation" both began the de-metallization process and instead LEPROUS have continued to ratchet up their progressive rock leanings. Likewise MALINA takes the next logical step on this trajectory by creating more elaborate compositions, more clever melodic developments, cleaner and sharper production values and a slicker overall sophistication that once all the metal defenses are withdrawn reveal some of the band's original influences. Personally i have always viewed LEPROUS as more of a sophisticated art pop rock band that just happened to add healthy doses of metal to the mix, so i for one am not shocked that they would tackle a fairly metal free expression of their inner world.

The number one culprit in the inspiration pool is clearly Radiohead and that has never sounded so true as it does on MALINA. Solberg is a dead ringer for a Thom Yorke only Einar just happens to have a larger vocal range and sounds classically trained. Add the sombre electronic atmospheres that surround every note that slinks and slides around like a slithery snake as well as the electronic beats that bring their trip hop influences Massive Attack and The Prodigy to the forefront as well that they seamlessly blend in with the rock instrumentation and you have quite the eclectic mix of sounds although these accoutrements are usually banished to the background of the sonic stage except for intros and moments of contrast. MALINA also sees a shift to a more symphonic sound as Raphael Weinroth-Browne joins the cast and crafts some mean cello and string sections that add a classical touch to certain tracks (such as the rock-free zone on "The Last Milestone.") Likewise there has been a change of the guard on guitar as Robin Ognedal replaces ōystein Landsverk however the gravitational style of the LEPROUS sound has indoctrinated Ognedal as a dead ringer for a replacement.

Like many a progressive metal band that sheds a layer of their more hardened epidermis to make room for more of the soft underbelly of their layers, MALINA will surely divide fans into the usual two camps of those who dislike new directions especially down the unthinkable path of de-metallization and those who are quite eager to follow the band into any musical pastures in which they graze the yumminess of their musical harvests. LEPROUS remains true to their art pop rock instincts that have been present from day one and despite new ways of delivering their inner tributes to Radiohead, trip hop and bands like Porcupine Tree, they still adhere to the same idiosyncratic sound that got them noticed in the first place. MALINA is yet another powerful musical expression from LEPROUS that careful balances their progressive and math rock tendencies with clever and catchy melodies and possibly qualify this as some sort of indie pop rock.

Of the eleven tracks (twelve if you have the one with the bonus "Root"), only two "Captive" and "Coma" have the instrumental heft of a true metal song in energetic delivery but even these are built in a strange out-of-sync fashion with Solberg's vocals being rather calm in response to the musical hurricane around him. For those who have always felt LEPROUS was too proggy or artsy for their own good might find MALINA a more suitable listen while metalheads who deem anything else a sellout should steer clear. For those with a more eclectic palette, MALINA is an excellent power indie pop prog run for its entirety run with one strong, addictive track after another showing a more subdued and intricate way of weaving their distinct tapestry of sound. Yeah, i do agree that this is not the best they have to offer but it is by no means a throwaway album that shows the band looking for a retirement home. I could easily see a future release jumping back on the metal bandwagon but in the meantime i'm loving this one a lot.

Review by Zitro
5 stars The first [and hopefully not last] masterpiece from Leprous

Leprous with Malina have drastically changed their sound - they have introduced symphonic rock influences, added a violinist, and traded most of their heavy metal for either cinematic music and some mainstream rock & pop. The band fortunately retained and appeared to expand on their most distinct qualities, namely the complex syncopated rhythmic foundations, the soaring vocal melodies, and synthesizer usage. The colorful production paint vivid soundscapes and also bring accessibility to the compositions. In some ways, this album can be described as the non-metal twin of 'Bilateral', carrying variety, a sense of spontaneous fun with experimentation. What really elevates this album may be the emotion carried by the vocals and instrumentation during key moments.

The first song lays the foundation of the album and shows an increased emphasis on minimalistic ambient or jazzy passages with heaviness (not metal) placed at the right moments. 'Stuck' and 'From the Flame' are great compromises between the genres of pop and progressive rock - both have radio-worthy hooks of the highest caliber and in 4/4 but also include less traditional passages like the nintendo-like synthesizer + violin motif on 'Stuck' or the rhythmic complexity in 'From the Flame'.

Both 'Captive' and 'Illuminate' are based on complex staccato riffs with the former being hard-rock in nature and the latter more electronic and arguably compositionally superior and honestly quite addictive to put on repeat. Both carry strong vocal melodies, great usage of synthesizers, and moodier softer passages.

What is exciting is that despite these excellent songs, there is better to come. 'Leashes' unleashes exhilarating anthemic melodies. 'Mirage' is a multifaceted masterful progressive rock composition, replete with odd time signatures, synthesizer, contrasting half-time metal riffs in bass guitar, some amazing vocal performances, and a very heavy and fast-paced finale.

Even better is the title track 'Malina' - a hypnotic keyboard loop and restrained classical music instrumentation. This is very cinematic and stir heavy emotions from all its elements, matching the hopelessness of the lyrics. The explosion in emotion when the staccato guitars and drums enter the scene is soul crushing, yet the repetition of the main theme on the last minutes are equally moving. It is frankly put, one of the best depictions of depression put to music I have heard. 'The Last Milestone' comes close to this level, limiting the music to just a string ensemble and opera-like vocal acrobatics with a deeply melancholic tone, adding another excellent depiction of depression in music.

Other unmentioned tracks include the neurotic fast-paced syncopated rhythms of 'Coma' and the heavier, bass-driven epic 'Weight of Disaster' that has a sound closer to the previous album..

4.5 to 5 star songs: *Illuminations*,*Leashes*,*Mirage*,*Malina*,*The Last Milestone*, Bonneville, Stuck, From the Flame, Captive 4 star songs: Coma, The Weight of Disaster 3.5 and below star songs: None

Review by SoundsofSeasons
5 stars Leprous is one of those bands that you will find is much loved on this site. When i first found my way to Prog Archives it would have been around 2005, i was 15 at that time (i didn't create a profile myself for a couple years into using the site). For years i didn't stray too far from the big names that i had seen praised highly on this site. I was obsessed with Opeth, had to have everything Opeth i could get my hands on, and other bands like. After a few years, when Opeth started moving in another direct with that sound that i didn't particularly like i was ready to stop obsessing over my one true love and expand my musical horizons as any boy does when it is time to venture out into the world with eyes wide open. And so i was looking for bands that were similar or at least could supplement my love for the extreme metal genre in the way Opeth did. I had heard a song from the Tall Poppy album through the free song stream that was offered at the time, and loved it, so naturally i got that album. Loved the entire album, truly loved it. I was not, however, obsessed with Leprous but since they were pretty much a brand new band at the time i was really looking forward to see them grow. I felt they were one of 'my' bands, you know, like i was a teenager the perfect age this was my time and i would get to grow up with this band. There were other bands within the progressive metal genre i like more though as a whole, but Leprous only really had one album (2 but i never got their first) so it wasn't really a fair comparison. Porcupine Tree, Anathema, and Riverside, and Pain of Salvation were huge for me - and then Opeth was at the top. So, with only one Leprous album to listen to they fell into my pile of other albums for bands i liked but weren't constantly in my CD player rotation.

Then one day i caught wind of a new album Bi-Lateral coming out for Leprous and i pre-ordered it, and at the time i had never pre-ordered a music album before (or anything at all before) so it was a big deal for me. When it came from amazon on the day of release i was so happy and ready to be one of the first people who listen to it and maybe even review it! It was good. Not as good as Tall Poppy but it was good! Bad sign, upon first few listens. Eventually after many more listens over the next months i realized i didn't like it as much, and so Leprous fell off my radar almost completely out of sheer disappointment. I was immature in my musical journey, and everything was either all or nothing, so really i shouldn't have had my expectations so high and i should not have let my love for the band drop so far away just because those unrealistic expectations hadn't been met. But, alas, Leprous was no longer a 'love' of mine.

Since that time Leprous has shown that they will release a new album every 2 years, and the proceeding albums (which sadly i skipped on release, as i Leprous was not in my 'radar' anymore) had seen the band experimenting with a different sound. A sound that i would come to find was much much better than Bi-Lateral, a sound i didn't know i wanted, a sound that would become the essence of Leprous as a band.

Now, as i'm reviewing this album, a new Leprous debut i on the horizon, and I have been spinning Malina some 50 + times. I'm obsessed. I'm more obsessed with this album that any other this year or the last. The direction Leprous took after Bi-Lateral saw the band maturing, evolving, and finding themselves and with this album they have come to make a masterpiece. The dynamic range of every instrument including and not least the drums, the subtle textures of the keys, the vocal swooning striking that perfect fal-setto. I am not only floored by the musicianship (and i never was during the first few albums, even as a young drummer myself), but i am more floored by the musicality. Take a band that could shred like no tomorrow in Tall Poppy Syndrome, and spend years pushing forward mechanically in their craft, and then learn the discipline to incorporate dynamic range, patience, subtlety, and self-control to allow all units of the band express their sound without any one group over powering or out shining another. In Malina, the band is one mind, and you see that the vision is not clouded it is pure.

I do think that Malina will be known as a landmark of progressive rock in this decade, at least within progressive metal but because of the nature of the music it really transcends any one genre or sub-genre.

Of all the the bands i've mentioned in this review, of those that hold the torch most brightly for progressive rock in the 2000s onward, i see great things for Leprous and i am most looking forward to what they bring to us next.

Absolute masterpiece, no doubt in my mind.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I knew they'd do it. Masterpiece. It took time, but this is finally the pinnacle. Leprous are the new prog-metal benchmark. After seeing them live I can say they match up performance-wise also. This album tests your ears and mind. Dramatic, soaring, soul- moving, guttural....and there's still the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2048049) | Posted by praj912 | Friday, October 26, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Leprous was just another band. A band like many others. Year after year, their albums came out. "Tall Poppy Syndrome", "Bilateral", "Coal", and "The Congregation". All enjoyable albums. All solid albums. Leprous proved itself (over and over again) to be a talented and competent band. But then came " ... (read more)

Report this review (#1909839) | Posted by Xavier Petrick | Wednesday, March 28, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Leprous are an ever-changing band. I was first introduced to them through the crazy wonderful Bilateral and since them I've followed their work. Before Malina was released I was scared, the first two singles released made me realize they had suffer a mutation yet again, but this time in a direct ... (read more)

Report this review (#1869844) | Posted by KromatiK | Saturday, January 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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