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LEPROUS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Norway


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Leprous picture
Leprous biography
Founded in Notodden, Norway in 2001

LEPROUS are a Tech/Extreme band founded by Einar SOLBERG (synth,vocals) and Tor ODDMUND SUHRKE (guitar,vocals), the group went through numerous line-up shuffles before settling on the current members Halvor STRAND (bass), Øystein LANDSVERK (guitar,backing vocals)and Tobias ØRNES ANDERSEN (drums).

The members of LEPROUS are young, but despite their youth this group packs some impressive musical pedigrees. SOLBERG played live for EMPEROR and SUHRKE and STRAND were members of IHSAHN'S touring band.

In 2004 LEPROUS self-released their 3 song EP "Silent Waters" and in 2006 self-released their full-length demo album "Aeolia". The band signed to Sensory Records and released their sophomore effort "Tall Poppy Syndrome" in 2009. The band later were signed by Inside Out Music and released "Bilateral" in 2011 and "Coal" in 2013.

LEPROUS' music is hard to classify and pin down to one sub-genre. Their music is firmly rooted in prog metal, crafting songs around odd structures, predominantly clean vocals, abrupt time changes, complex rhythms and dexterous musicianship all punctuated by contrasting heavier sections but also punctuated with growling vocals and black metal shrieks. Taking elements from OPETH, DREAM THEATER, WINDS, IHSAHN, CYNIC and even PORCUPINE TREE and SONATA ARCTICA, LEPROUS assembles these influences in an odd yet undeniably appealing manner.

A very diverse band and highly recommended to ALL prog metal fans!

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LEPROUS discography


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LEPROUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 108 ratings
Aeolia
2006
4.14 | 376 ratings
Tall Poppy Syndrome
2009
3.92 | 497 ratings
Bilateral
2011
4.01 | 432 ratings
Coal
2013
3.98 | 529 ratings
The Congregation
2015
4.03 | 256 ratings
Malina
2017
3.83 | 168 ratings
Pitfalls
2019

LEPROUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.35 | 26 ratings
Live at Rockefeller Music Hall
2016

LEPROUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.14 | 29 ratings
Live At Rockefeller Music Hall
2016

LEPROUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LEPROUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 6 ratings
Silent Waters
2004
4.09 | 22 ratings
{From the Flame}
2017

LEPROUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 168 ratings

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Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars I have not heard 2017's 'Malina', but having been fairly disappointed in 'The Congregation', what would 2019's 'Pitfalls' bring us? I sat there listening to it, and one word kept coming through my mind, Marillion. Now in fairness there were other times when it was also Muse and Opeth, but Marillion is the one which seems to make the most sense here. The music has become a vehicle just for the vocals of Einar Solberg, who it must be said is a truly incredible singer, and this music is not something I necessarily want to listen to. 'At The Bottom' starts as if it has been recorded in a home studio with drum machine, keyboards and vocals, and given that Solberg is also the keyboard player it isn't beyond the realms of comprehension that is exactly what it is.

There are indeed flashes of genius, as indeed the way that song in itself breaks into something more dramatic but it never continues for long enough. This is where Marillion comes in. I am one of those people who will argue their best material was probably prior to the release of the debut album, and they have not released anything I will actually play end to end for pleasure since 'Childhood'. That does not stop me buying Marillion albums as I am an eternal optimist, and there are indeed some wonderful songs from the Hogarth period, but little which makes me want to play them time and again. The last time I saw them in concert I swore I would never bother going to see them again, but I am sure I said that a few times prior to that as well and I still go. There will be many people who feel this is a wonderful album, and indeed it is well-played and produced, but this is just not the Leprous I want to listen to. There are times when it is incredibly bland, and although some may say it is accessible, commercial and awesome, I do wonder if they would be saying the same if this was the first time they had ever heard material. If this was a debut then I may be saying there is promise and it will be interesting to see where they go from here, but this is their seventh release and I worry about what the next one will bring.

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 529 ratings

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The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars I was a big fan of 'Coal', the fourth album from the Norwegian band, which was released in 2013, but for some reason didn't pick up the next one, 2015's 'The Congregation' until recently. It is a clever album, no doubt, but to my ears it is moving them far more into Muse territory than I am comfortable with. There is a wall of sound, lots of staccato riffing, and the feeling of this being a black and white assault as opposed to something rounded and with feeling. It is bleak and singular in its approach, and I soon found the whole album starting to wash over me. There is no doubt that Einar Solberg is an incredible singer, happily and easily moving into falsetto when it is appropriate, but with the blanket sound all around I was feeling suffocated without enough room to move. There just is not enough space, not enough contrast, and it feels like I am being smothered in sound. When the band does provide some gaps, it is a welcome relief but when the assault returns it makes it feel that much worse.

I felt incredibly disappointed after listening to this, as for me it does not stand up to the promise and quality of their earlier works. Even when a song such as 'Rewind' starts differently with long held-down keyboard chords the oncoming bass and drums warns the listener what is to burst forth in a minute. There is little in the way of solos, and one can easily imagine the band performing this as a unit as opposed to recording different instruments at different times. But, there is an oppressive weight to the proceedings for me, and listening to this was far more of a chore than I ever expected it to me, although it has been widely appreciated by many others, and according to PA it is #14 in the charts for best album for 2015 so what do I know?

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 529 ratings

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The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Leprous is what I consider to be more or less the peak of modern prog metal based on their first 3 albums, all of which showed some very impressive evolution between each of them. Coal showed the band going in a more streamlined, atmospheric direction, with a far more expansive sound that especially prominently utilised vocal harmonies to give the entire album a somewhat mysterious feel, ultimately leading to creating one of the most interesting prog metal albums I've listened to. The Congregation sees the band further streamlining their sound, keeping to a very consistent sound and atmosphere throughout, for better or for worse. On one hand, this is a very cohesive album that never feels as if it's going against the identity of itself, but on the other, why is this 65 minutes long? And that question right there boils down to the reason why making an album with such a consistent sound is a double edged sword, as this album gets really repetitive and dull by the end to me.

With this said, the more accessible yet grandiose sound of the album is established from the get go by The Price, with immediately powerful guitar work that quickly settles into rhythmic staccato, already displaying the extremely satisfying interplay between each element of the band, including the vocals. As is the case with Leprous as a whole, the vocals are extremely dramatic and beautiful and act as an instrument along with the standard delivery, being able to both utilise vocalisations to provide additional depth to the more instrumentally focused passages, but then erupt and put some amazing power into other sections, especially in this opening track. These first few tracks on the whole show some of the more inspired aspects of the album, such as Third Law's absolutely incredible riffs that manage to carry such intensity, before shifting into the much steadier, more dramatic chorus, providing some great contrast while also working perfectly. Rewind is the first track to truly demonstrate one of the album's other strongest qualities however, the drumming, which while not necessarily the most complex or anything, has some of the most interesting drum patterns I've listened to, providing such a unique sound to the songs without ever feeling like a needlessly dominant force. Rewind also manages to work as well as it does due to how nicely it progresses, the consistent drum rolls gradually becoming more structured throughout until it all clicks and falls into a really great groovethat complements the song perfectly.

This is where the album begins to falter, as The Flood, while very passionate and beautiful, also feels like a step down from the previous 3 tracks, with its worst offense being how it is too long and begins to drag, the more intense moments doing very little until their climax being especially problematic as a result. That said, there's still quite a bit of power present here and it ultimately still manages to be a good song, just one that has some serious flaws. Triumphant is a far simpler song that goes for the more epic approach once again through the extremely dramatic vocals, and ends up working quite well, even if it feels a bit barebones. Similarly, Within My Fence also has a more simple approach to it, the difference being that it works exceptionally well here, with some really fun guitar work that manages to be one of the catchiest parts of the album, not to mention that the drumming here is really tightly played, with a lot of flair being packed into it and overall making the song far greater as a result.

This is where the album really begins to lose me however, but not because of the individual track quality, as this remains quite high throughout the album, it's just that it sounds like more of the same in a lot of places, and I feel like if the album were rearranged, I'd be finding similar complaints with the first 3 songs as I'm doing with Red. While this song does differentiate itself to a degree with the greater focus on the kayboard, it still has a very similar dramatic feel to it and structure, making it feel somewhat insignificant despite being another well put together and powerful song. Slave has a similar problem, but somehwat redeems this by having a genuinely amazing chorus that gives this song a distinct point of interest, even though at this point there's definitely some fatigue setting in. Moon marks the point where the album could have ended and I wouldn't have minded to such a degree, especially given that Moon is probably the best song here. For one, this is easily the best drumming on the album, keeping a very consistent pace, but throwing in a lot of stylish moments to really make it stand out. This is also one of the few songs on the album that are genuinely compelling from an atmospheric standpoint, with the hints of piano and strings providing a different enough listening experience for me to really love this, especially once it hits the halfway point and becomes considerably more intense, despite having the same sort of problem of sounding overly clean and polished. I feel that the final two songs have very similar problems to the rest of the album and end up being quite forgettable as a result of just wanting the album to end at this point, how while not bad at all, just don't do much as a result of being too much of the same sort of things we've been hearing for the last hour.

Overall, there's a lot to love in this album, but a lot wrong with it as well. The length combined with how similar a lot of these songs are in terms of sound and structure make this an album that drags on for way too long, making the latter half of the album feel very mediocre despite being full of songs that sound great when listened to in isolation. Another issue that further exacerbates this issue however is the fact that it all sounds too clean and polished, which does take a lot of the intensity away from the times where this album tries being heavy to the point where I cannot remember a single time in which harsh vocals were used effectively here. Nonetheless, Leprous' direction here was an interesting turn, and while I don't really like this as much as their previous 3 albums, it still does show potential for something more interesting regardless, even if the final product here was underwhelming.

Best tracks: The Price, Third Law, Rewind, Moon

Weakest tracks: The Flood, Triumphant, Down, Lower

Verdict: This is an album I find quite strange, as while I can say that I find the vast majority of these songs to be very well written and interesting to the point where I'd happily listen to a number of these songs individually, as a full package this misses the mark for sure. It feels overblown with how long it is, and boring for how similar everything sounds, yet I'd still recommend giving this a listen in parts just to get a taste for the album, as I wouldn't recommen it in full, but it's definitely one that I get a fair amount of enjoyment despite rarely listening to it in full.

 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.01 | 432 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars While both Bilateral and Tall Poppy Syndrome displayed the core sound of Leprous, an eclectic core sound taking elements from various facets of prog rock and metal, exploring both more symphonic and extreme sounds, all with a strong focus on rhythmic interplay between the guitar and percussion, Coal is where I find that the band had finally developed a true identity, making a far more cohesive album in the process. The focus on the vocals of Einar Solberg is far more prominent here, the entire album having a darker, yet more melodic approach, while maintaining the disciplined, sparse tone that was strongly present on parts of Bilateral, evolving their sound in a way that makes them strongly stand out from mosst bands. To further exemplify the evolution of the band, the songs here are far more fleshed out and detailed than before, while simultaneously being far more noticeable in the experimentation that the album is full of, bringing everything together extremely nicely to create a highly memorable, relatively unique album.

The core identity of the album is immediately established on the opening track, Foe, with the first half based primarily around the soaring vocals of Einar and an extremely repetitive guitar section, the single, slow, repeated chord working excellently with the similarly minimalistic drumming. The gradually increasing complexity of the drums comprises a large part of why the song works as well as it does, but it's ultimately the second half that makes this such a great song, as everything for the last 2 minutes is heavily stripped back as more layers of vocals begin weaving between each other, creating a haunting, yet beautiful and almost gothic atmosphere. Chronic is a far more active, conventional song in many regards, with more standard application of each element of the band, but definitely doesn't suffer at all for this due to how great each role has in creating such an anxious tone through the instruments, the repetitive, urgent guitar and piano work especially contributing to the sense of unease that pervades the song. I love how the song gradually fills out more as it progresses through the changing guitar tone throughout, starting off sounding as if it's merely another element of the band before gradually becoming the main attraction of the song, all without having any sort of significant solo and maintaining the same riffs, another excellent song all around. While the title track initially feels somewhat less immediately striking as previous songs, the wall of sound production that phases in and out is excellent at creating establishing the song as being epic, making the buildup and subsequent climax at the back half of this song to be all the more powerful because of it, as the final couple of minutes are some of the most intense on the album without a doubt. The Cloak is definitely the track that one is most likely to remember first time through, being a very conventional track with a dramatic chorus, furthermore, it manages to maintain the darker tone of previous tracks, making it a simple, yet great song.

The turning point of this album is this second half however, as while the songs up to this point have definitely been highly competant and full of great ideas, it's the next few tracks that really shine, especially The Valley. I adore the guitar work here, nothing too out there or even melodic, but just like with Foe, extremely rhythm focused, playing perfectly off the off kilter vocal melody of the chorus. I find this to be building off the core concept of Foe in other ways as well, most notably the soaring vocalisations being the primary focus, endlessly repeating as the other band members create an expansive atmosphere with the main focus being on supporting this vocal performance, rather than attempting to overpower any particular element. The result of this is the creation of one of Leprous' greatest tracks by a wide margin. Bother Salt and Echo serve very similar purposes here, but both manage to perpetuate the trajectory from The Valley, both songs being focused on being extremely melancholic in tone, which it accomplishes absolutely perfectly, Salt being fairly inconsequential on its own, but bridging the gap perfectly in a way that heightens the overall quality of both itself and the pieces it's being used to enhance. Echo on the other hand is just straight up great, once again utilising the approach of the other 2 incredible songs so far, letting wordless vocals carry the atmosphere perfectly, although there isn't really much more to say about it that hasn't already been said, it's another extremely good song. I believe that the most surprising thing about this album is how effectively the closing track works despite the stark difference between it and the rest of the album, not to mention that despite this, it's also my favourite on the album. Rather than ending the album on a melancholic, soft note, Leprous belt out their heaviest song, Contaminate Me, with a fast paced riff bringing out an immediate feeling of intensity that is then further displayed with guest appearance of Ihsahn. This song is jjust so full sounding, the underling keyboard somehow adding a whole other layer of chaos to it all despite not even being all that fast paced, yet doing almost as much as the breakneck drumming annd guitar work. Altogether, this song, despite being extremely different in approach to the rest of the album, manages to conclude everything absolutely perfectly in my eyes, with the 4 minutes of screams over sparse, chaotic instrumentation being extremely impactful.

I definitely feel that while this album can feel a tad long in places, that it's by far Leprous' best album, taking the interesting song structures and soaring vocals of previous albums, and then creating an album that focuses primarily on atmosphere and tone instead, refining their core sound to create a dark, beautiful album that remains one of my favourite prog metal albums. I did find that this one took a few listens for me to properly warm up to, and I'm leaving a lot of that up to the fact that it's the second half of the album that really shines, but it's definitely a worthwhile time investment.

Best tracks: Foe, The Valley, Contaminate Me

Weakest tracks: Coal (if I had to pick)

Verdict: A stunning album that builds itself around a powerful atmosphere and equally powerful vocals, songs seeming difficult to grasp at first eventually revealing the true beauty that lies beneath. Definitely recommended for fans of prog metal in general, especially those who find particular satisfaction in a strong focus of the rhythmic elements of a song or album.

 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 168 ratings

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Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by guiservidoni

4 stars Pitfalls comes to prove how Leprous is a very versatile band, able to combine melodic and classical elements without losing its identity. 'Pitfalls' being their most accessible material to date feels like a ballad-ish album on several times, to be enhanced by Einar Solberg's stunning high pitches (ex.: I Lose Hope's middle section).

For me, it often feels like a 'Malina' DLC, leaving behind plain vocals and synths that came with tracks like Malina and The Last Milestone and shining a bit more of a spotlight on the band as a whole. Yes, Einar is still a fundamental pillar here, but Halvor Strand's bass, for example, can be much better appreciated, guiding the ballad moments whenever the songs need to pick back up to where they were.

The album's ending is definitely a highlight: The Sky is Red comes as almost a signature ending for Leprous, even with a not-so-big discography. Kinda like BTBAM albums must always have that beginning song that introduces the story to be told. The Sky is Red is a light version of Coal's ender, Contaminate Me (if there can be such a thing).

In the end, this is an excellent first material for anyone getting into Leprous. In fact, this is a great album to hook in a lot of folks not used to the weird things in the prog universe.

Side note, this album fits perfectly as a soundtrack for Netflix's 'Dark' series. Hope I'm not alone here.

 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 168 ratings

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Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by ElliotYork

5 stars I think it's a shame that many supposed "prog" fans hear something outside of what they are used to hearing and very quickly dismiss it as "not prog". In my opinion, this is one of the least "prog" attitudes to take toward music.

Leprous' album PITFALLS is a fantastic work of art that sees the band push their music in a new direction while sacrificing none of their creativity. Some have labelled this new direction as "pop" or "accessible", and while there would be nothing inherently wrong with the band putting out an album of the sort, there is no doubt that this is still a progressive rock album.

Pitfalls is the band's least metal/heavy album thus far, but what it lacks in riffs it more than makes up for with tension and atmosphere. Each track is laced with intensity and drama, yet in a way that doesn't feel forced or inauthentic at all. The instrumentation is less overt or "in your face" compared to past album, but is no less impressive. Spelling mention goes to Baard Kolstad for laying down very tight and highly nuanced drumming throughout the entire album, but particularly on the 11 minute epic closing track "The Sky Is Red".

It also must be mentioned that Einar Solberg has proven himself to be arguably the most impressive frontman in the progressive rock/metal scene at the moment. It is no secret that he is an insanely talented vocalist - as has been increasingly displayed with each subsequent Leprous release - but on Pitfalls, Einar have elevated himself to new heights. When his voice needs to be powerful, it is incredibly powerful. When it needs to be fragile, it is incredible fragile. When it needs to cover a range of emotions, it does just that. His work across every track on this album leaves many of his peers in the dust, and while some fans have lamented that the vocal-centric approach by the band has left the other members in the shadow. This is a fair point, I suppose, but I find it hard to argue with the results: Einar's creative control of the band has produced a fantastic album, and at the end of the day that's what matters to me.

 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 168 ratings

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Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Deadwing

4 stars Pitfalls is indeed the lighest and most accessible album from Leprous, where the use of heavy guitars are very ocasional and the priority is textures, catchy choruses and Trip Hop influences, which was teased by their 'Angel" cover. It still retains that Leprous essence which is recognizable since Bilateral release, which traduces into that oppresive and dark moody allied with a schizophrenic groove

The band continues to explore new territories, always with very high level of musicianship, with a special mention to the drummer 'Baard Kolstad', which elevates the whole record into a higher level, always with complex and beautiful patterns, sometimes very subtle, sometimes as crazy as you can get.

The shorter songs are more accessible and lighter, where two of them were chosen to be the singles of this release. But don't be fooled, all of them features really high level of musicianship. The longer are full progressive suits, with the 11 minutes finale 'The Sky is Red' which is Leprous at their best: epic, dark, heavy and subtle.

One of my favorites records of this year. 5/5

 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 168 ratings

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Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is Leprous' lightest, most accessible album to date, and progressive rock fans will find a lot of good music here. The last track, The Sky is Red, sounds the most like classic Leprous with 11+ minutes of rhythmic guitar, unique vocal phrasing, and superb drumming... But somehow changes direction at the end to a more ethereal experience with chants. Distant Bells is another fantastic track with lush orchestration and piano. The songwriting is superb, and the vocals are fantastic as usual. This is more of an ear candy release with layers of voices and sounds providing ambiance at various times. Anyone that loves the raw power of Leprous will not find it here. Pitfalls has subtle beauty, and practices a more compositional approach. It is a change of direction for a band that was on a very formulaic path, and now has an opportunity to expand and grow. This is going to take many repeated listens to fully move beyond expectations. However, like past Leprous releases, I would not want to be without it.
 Bilateral by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.92 | 497 ratings

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Bilateral
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Leprous' second album saw the band take their cold, yet theatrical prog metal style established on Tall Poppy Syndrome to new heights, becoming far more experimental and eclectic while maintaining an extremely distinct style, this time around incorporating a lot more modern techniques into the mix, such as a lightly implemented djent element, which actually works quite nicely here. There are also more modern keyboard sounds being used throughout, immediately distinguishing its identity from Tall Poppy Syndrome, being considerably more technical and experimental in approach, with shorter bursts of music that form a collection of excellently formed ideas that are each of perfect length, barely entering overlong territory, but being able to sufficiently explore what it's going for.

The album begins sounding fairly similar to previous work, albeit a bit more modern in style, making heavy use of subtle, underlying distortion to create a futuristic atmosphere, but the music itself is very similar to previous work, theatrical, passionate and triumphant sounding, a series of excellent instrumental sections being thrown in, fairly standard prog metal all things considered, but executed in an absolutely excellent way. Just like the majority of people who give their opinions on this album, I also have to say that Forced Entry is definitely one of the best songs here, although there are a couple that I personally prefer. After an amazing, surprisingly heavy intro making good use of the light djent influence present at a couple of other points, the song opens up to become 10 minutes of incredible riffs upon a great balance between melody and energy. I love how the song manages to be perfectly balanced between this heavy, metal riffing and power with a multitude of softer sections that highlight the incredible production of the album, subtly throwing minor elements into the background to provide so much more depth to the music, not to mention the fact that on top of all this careful balance, there's still room for an amazing guitar solo that manages to stay fairly tasteful and not go off the rails into the territory of boredom. The couple of songs that I'm least keen on this album are those which display impressive technical abilities and feature lovely interwoven instrumentals, but simply don't do all too much of interest, especially Acquired Taste, although Restless doesn't do an amazing amount for me either, altohugh the chorus completely saves it from mediocrity.

This album is at its best when it's being more experimental for sure, making the tracks Thorn, Mb. Indifferentia and Mediocrity Wins the absolute standouts here. Thorn establishes a more out there element almost immediately with its horn-led intro, before breaking down into what at first sounds almost like an acoustic alternative rock track, simply with a nice, driving beat, but an overall mellow approach. Einar's vocals are particularly notable here, conveying a lot of emotion without the need for theatrics... adn tehn the song goes into theatrics. This is where I find it to become particularly incredible, as I just love the back and forth between the lead and backing vocals and the way the song manages to so gracefully shift between this drama and the more subdued verses. Emperor's Ihsahn also makes an appearance on this track, which is cool, but doesn't really contribute too much to the track, he definitely works better in the context of his own band or on Leprous' Contaminate Me, but in any case, it's still definitely neat to have an appearance by him here. There's considerably less to say about Mb. Indifferentia, it may be a beautifully crafted, fragile sounding ballad encompassing feelings of isolation even before the lyrics come in. The amount of emotion conveyed in the sparse soundscape the song builds is nothing short of breathtaking. Mediocrity Wins is not only my favourite song on this album, but one of my favourites by the band as a whole, starting off with some amazingly spacey guitar distortion before breaking into a chilling spoken word section that is absolutely perfect from an atmospheric standpoint. I love the slow build of the song that culminates in an amazingly smooth, groovy slap bass riff that brings the song to a whole new level. The way the song is structured around repeating these elements cyclically, each time adding something slightly new, such as a short guitar solo, but constantly becoming more intense is what makes this song as great as it is however, especially when what was once spoken becomes screamed, while the chorus is just a constant rise in power as it goes on, all of which contribute to the pure incredible nature of the song. While also a very different song to everything else on the album, Waste of Air is pretty much true to its title, just overall being by far the weakest song on the album. While incredibly agressive, I find the harsh vocals of Einar to be far more preferable in small doses, rather than making a lot of the song blastbeats and screams.

Overall, this is definitely a better album than Tall Poppy Syndrome in my opinion, taking on a more experimental, eclectic approach with more futuristic sounding songs. While not as cohesive as their debut, this is nonetheless an extremely engaging set of tracks that display excellent songwriting and technicality, being able to execute these ideas almost flawlessly in many cases. While it doesn't often reach incredible heights, I would still consider this to be an extremely worthwhile album to check out from an extremely worthwhile band, easily one of the best progressive metal bands on the scene.

Best songs: Forced Entry, Thorn, Mb. Indifferentia, Mediocrity Wins

Weakest songs: Waste of Air, Acquired Taste

Verdict: An eclectic album that while having a couple of weak spots, is mostly filled to the brim with creativity and the skills to back this up. A great album by one of my favourite progressive metal bands.

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 529 ratings

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The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by SoundsofSeasons
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In this album we see Leprous fully embrace their new digitized soundscapes, complete with an even greater emphasis on vocals driving each song - including literally being featured as the forefront sound through the audio mixing. Influences of Radiohead, and Porcupine Tree are seen more here than any album to date of this review. For my tastes in music, in this time, it doesn't get much better than Leprous and the mix of styles they've incorporated into this album. The subtleties this band is able to produce just impresses me to no end. The classical, jazz, and chamber influences found here are more ever-present than any past releases. We have keys, drums, guitars all playing off one another with not minimalist but minimal trickles of sound layered on incredibly intricate patterns and structures, layered underneath the ever present vocals driving it all. The sound may be more accessible than ever because of this layered approach. Its' designed in such a way that a casual listener would pick up the insanely catchy vocals, maybe a guitar riff here or there, and be perfectly satisfied with that - but then dig deeper with a musical ear and you'll catch the hi-hat para-diddle 16th note patterns of the drums matching the bass guitar down to the syncopation and accented notes, all the while the vocals freely flowing around this, for example. It is in this layering of sounds Leprous has grabbed me as a fan. They didn't even bother with this in 'Tall Poppy', didn't try hard enough in 'Bi-Lateral', and only began to truly believe in themselves as a band to make the transition to such compositions in 'Coal'. Although i may actually like the next album after this one a bit more, this one is still a masterpiece as well, at least for my tastes in music.

An incredible album to say the least, that for me, due to my love of this bands' particular brand of music is a masterpiece. Whether you agree or not is completely up to your tastes and preferences - but everyone's opinion is valid, and if someone else happens to match my tastes, they'll come to find that this album and the future of Leprous can seemingly do no wrong.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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