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LEPROUS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Norway


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Leprous biography
LEPROUS are a Tech/Extreme band from Norway. Founded in 2001 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), ěystein LANDSVERK (guitar,backing vocals)and Tobias ěRNES 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!

Leprous official website

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Buy LEPROUS Music


CoalCoal
Inside Out 2013
Audio CD$8.24
$6.95 (used)
Tall Poppy SyndromeTall Poppy Syndrome
LASER'S EDGE GROUP 2009
Audio CD$9.90
$9.49 (used)
BilateralBilateral
Inside Out U.S. 2011
Audio CD$9.85
$8.24 (used)
Tall Poppy Syndrome by Leprous (2009) Audio CDTall Poppy Syndrome by Leprous (2009) Audio CD
LASER'S EDGE GROUP
Audio CD$38.02
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LEPROUS shows & tickets


  • Dokk'em Open Air 2014 on 20 Jun 2014
  • Leyendas del Rock 2014 on 7 Aug 2014
  • ProgPower USA XV on 12 Sep 2014
  • Euroblast on 2 Oct 2014

LEPROUS discography


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

3.95 | 51 ratings
Aeolia
2006
4.15 | 208 ratings
Tall Poppy Syndrome
2009
3.95 | 298 ratings
Bilateral
2011
3.96 | 187 ratings
Coal
2013

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

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

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)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Silent Waters
2004

LEPROUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tall Poppy Syndrome by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.15 | 208 ratings

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Tall Poppy Syndrome
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Leprous mix extreme metal with various clean metal subgenres - from power to melancholic. That by itself is not original - lots of bands were doing this in the zeros. But Leprous are more diverse that average, and also feature one of the more impressive vocal gymnasts out there. Song structures on their second, or first properly produced, album, are quite progressive and inventive, with lots of twists and turns. Too bad they concentrate too much on the extreme/normal metal dynamic and not enough on unexpected detours such as falsetto outro in Passing or lounge piano popping up here and there. A capella even makes a brief appearance.

Overall, this is probably Leprous most diverse and in-your-face-see-what we can do album. Also has more guitar solos. Later ones are more streamlined and delve further into post rock and Brit pop, but are still recognizably Leprous.

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 Bilateral by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 298 ratings

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Bilateral
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Norway's Leprous are tough to pigeon-hole, but tech/extreme is a lesser part of their identity. Some songs follow the catchy prog metal a la Dreamtheater template so common these days. Others remind of textured alternative rock with its fragile-to-powerful dynamic. And then there are traces of their extreme metal origins, with occasional blast beats, dissonant atmospherics and screaming vocals tearing thru the proceedings. In short, they are diverse enough to be worth a listen, but not consistent and don't hold enough surprises (if you don't count extreme metal suddenly, and often irritatingly, punctuating otherwise normal songs) to be great. Or perhaps the problem is a lack of identity at all. Because sometimes it feels like the only thing reminding this is the same band is the impressively ranged vocal of Einar Solberg.

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

3 stars A marriage between traditional prog metal and that atmospheric direction that the more adventurous black metal bands have taking recently. A true marriage, half-way, not just a black metal with progressive structures or prog trying to seem cool. Tracks are divided between more metallic numbers, at the start and end, and more laid back in the middle. From prog metal side it has powerful production values, off-beat rhythms and a show-off-y vocal, when its normal. From other side of the coin, it retains riff-based atmospherics, non traditional structures and occasional Cookie Monster vocal.

Even if I appreciate the more distinctive style here (some ideas similar to recent Haken release), it doesn't mean I like the end result. Songs lack variation inside, usually centered around one or two repetetive melodic ideas, that in a post-rocky fashion are tweaked slightly along the way, but not nearly enough to justify the 7-minute length. There are no "wow" moments that would make say, like, wow that's impressive. And then there's the squeeze-the-nuts-of-the-Cookie-monster vocals. Luckily, its mostly guest-done, courtesy of Emperor's vocalist.

All in all, you've go to hand it to Leprous guys, each album shows evolution. For better or worse, up to individual tastes. Compared to previous, Bilateral, Coal is more streamlined, but less diverse.

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 Bilateral by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.95 | 298 ratings

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Bilateral
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Bilateral by Leprous finds the band diversifying their sound, presenting an album which range the full range of progressive metal from almost-commercial to downright esoteric. With its eclectic stylings revealing the band's truly encyclopedic command of metal styles from Dream Theater to Mr Bungle, it's an excellent showcase for the technical abilities of the group, but equally the compositions seem to have a depth to them that suggests they are more than mere pedestals to showcase some guitar riffing or keyboard solos the band are particularly proud of. Incorporating all of these influences into one album is a challenge in itself; making them all feel like they naturally belong there is a masterstroke.

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars I have come to learn about Leprous in early 2013, having listened to a few impressive samples and later in the year to this, fourth, album by the band. One thing is for sure: their sound is generally outside the norm, experiments freely and has character.

The initial impression I got from "Coal" was that of awe, listening to this powerful combination of Devin Townsend soundscapes, pounding heavy mid-tempo riffology and atmospheric experimentation. On the other hand, extremely melodic refrains and well-crafted harmonies provide the softer side and (arguably) keep the balance. With an average track length of 7 minutes, there is much on which to ponder, however Leprous don't always provide the necessary variety to make this a remarkable release. There are sporadic moments of glory and some majestic tunes that are genre-defining but the overall package lacks, I feel, the consistency and quality. The first three and last track are rather heavy-experimented tunes, often with Townsend-type chaotic moments, while tracks 4-7 are far more melodic, almost splitting the album into two different types of songs. In addition the indie/Muse influences on tracks like 'Chronic' slightly dilute their effort.

My preference in "Coal" tends towards the more melodic aspect, with 'The Valley' and 'Echo' being the highlights of this release. An interesting release but not a top-10 album, "Coal" will appeal to friends of experimental progressive metal. I look forward to exploring in depth all their releases as the glimpses of the highest quality are on this album, albeit not enough.

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Leprous are not a band who stands still; comparing this album to 2009's Tall Poppy Syndrome reveals substantial and well-honed artistic growth. The influences of the likes of Porcupine Tree and others which could be heard on the earlier album are now much more difficult to detect, Leprous' sound having taken on a unique cast which pits them as true originals. The closest comparison I can think of is "what if a more tasteful version of Muse went prog metal, having listened to heaps of Porcupine Tree?", but even that doesn't encapsulate all the dimensions available here - for instance, it would obscure the extreme metal eruption of the magnificent closing track, Contaminate Me. Magnificent stuff.

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 Tall Poppy Syndrome by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.15 | 208 ratings

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Tall Poppy Syndrome
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Leprous seem to be especially catholic in their prog metal influences, since every review of Tall Poppy Syndrome I see seems to liken their work to a different set of influences. Personally, I hear a lot of post-In Absentia Porcupine Tree in this one, which perhaps explains why others hear echoes of Opeth (considering the close ties between the two groups). Dream Theater I hear less of, aside from a few melodic passages here and there. Either way, these guys seem to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the history of their chosen subgenre, and an ability to draw on all corners for it in their compositions.

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by 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

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 8/10

Leprous' Most Emotionally Lush Album.

Along with just a handful of bands all over the world, Leprous is one of the game-changing legacy-carriers of Progressive Metal. Their style is distinct, but unafraid of revealing influences such as Pain Of Salvation. Behind their backs, they only have three albums; the debut, "Aeolia", is somewhat of a forgotten LP, but the latter two are the main reason the band is now at the center of the stage for many Metal and Progheads. 2011's "Bilateral", album number three, is most definitely the most ground-breaking and mature, and stood out as one of the key albums of this new wave of Prog Metal.

"Coal", against most odds, maintains almost all of the "Bilateral" qualities intact. It blends the same ingredients, and molds them with a new formula. The most noticeable new change is how the band has put Einar Solberg's voice even more up-front than usual: he sings almost all over the place, delivering beautiful, extended falsetto vocals, as well as melodic phrases that serve a given song as a completely independent additional instrument. In songs like "Echo" and "Foe", it is most apparent. This is for the most part Einar's album, even because the keyboards have most definitely toned-down, resulting in an overall drier atmosphere. This is not necessarily a fault of course, since Leprous' intent naturally was to craft something punchier, more straight-forward and song-based, rather than a moody album.

This leads to the song-writing. Looking back at 2009's "Tall Poppy Syndrome", it is amazing to see how far ahead they've brought themselves since. There is not one single track that fails. "Foe" starts the album off perfectly, boasting one of the most memorable and relevant vocal performances by Solberg; "Chronic" and the title track are easily the busiest and heaviest tracks, showcasing incredible interplay and progressive song structures; "The Cloak" and "Salt" are calmer pieces, both of them strategically well-placed throughout the album, as they generate a nice change of pace for the LP's momentum. "The Valley" is a long-winded, multi-faceted masterpiece, with perhaps one of the best hooks that the band has ever come up with; "Echo" is of a similar nature, but with a much more dramatic, slow tone to it. It is by far, the moodier and more emotional piece of the album, which is saying a lot. The album ends on a very heavy note, with guest vocalist Ihsahn killing it with one of his most fear-inducing performances: "Contaminate Me" is a throw-back to the band's more extreme roots, ?as a matter of fact Leprous used to be Ihsahn's backing band- nevertheless Leprous is able to sound as if it was brought up in a new, original fashion.

"Coal" comes so near to the levels of "Bilateral", and is once again striking proof that Leprous are one of the very best Metal bands out there. The best part of it is that they sound as if something even greater will eventually be in the works.

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 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.96 | 187 ratings

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Coal
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Coal' - Leprous (9/10)

It now seems strange to think there was a time I didn't understand the hype and excitement surrounding Leprous. Their first full-fledged foray into album-making, "Tall Poppy Syndrome" was met with some pretty wild acclaim in progressive metal circles. Though I was impressed with their skill and musicality, I was left wanting for a more distinct, unique style of progressive metal. Though I was certain that the band would improve and refine their craft, nothing could have however prepared me for "Bilateral". As if my imaginary Leprous wishlist had been thoroughly studied and referenced, the band's second album marked a large step towards more experimental territory and a sound of their own. Two years since its release, "Bilateral" has become one of my favourite-ever albums, and that's a big part of why I was so anxious to hear "Coal". My excitement aside, Leprous seem to have been up to some great things in the past two years; with their third record, they have fostered an even more distinctive style for themselves. Evolving their sound once again, Leprous are proving with each new album that they are the greatest band of the new progressive metal wave.

Though I've never once had the fleeting impression that Leprous might follow up "Bilateral" with a subpar album, I was self-aware of the exceedingly high standard I would hold the new record up to. After hearing "Coal", it seems impossible to meaningfully compare the two albums. Leprous have once again maintained an incredibly high musical standard, with regards to both the composition and execution. However, though it's clear that "Coal" is cut from the same cloth as "Bilateral", the tone and mood have evolved significantly. While the second album revelled in being all-over-the-place and pleasantly quirky, "Coal" puts a much greater emphasis on atmosphere and focused compositions. There remains a playful, catchy element to the music, but the tracks here come across more directly and purposefully than before. Neither approach is inherently superior to the other. The songs on "Coal" have less surprises and twists to them, but the epic payoffs have never tasted so sweet.

Many of the songs here unveil a more static side to Leprous. By 'static', I do not mean dull by any means, but rather emotionally unchanging. "Coal" earns points for variety as an album holistically, but it's as if each track focuses in on one particular atmosphere, and fleshes it out until it reaches a critical mass. More often than note, that atmosphere is one of sombre reflection and melancholy; quite the departure from the zany antics of "Bilateral". Though Leprous have very little in common stylistically with Summoning, the approach and structure of the compositions here is reminiscent of Summoning's latest album in the sense that there is a notable emphasis on realizing the potential of a handful of really strong ideas, rather than filling out the album's length with a bunch of smaller-sized components. Tracks like the breathtaking "The Valley" and gorgeously morose "Echo" spend much of their time building up to a rapturous climax. The arrangements tend to dwell on certain ideas for longer than one might tend to expect from a 'progressive metal' release, and though I might have missed that 'everything but the kitchen sink' approach of Leprous' earlier work, it's a joy in its own right to see an idea develop and mature within the context of a track.

Fortunately, Leprous offer a handful of more traditional pieces to help balance out their experimental flair. "Chronic" is an energetic, quirky piece that would have fit snugly on "Bilateral". While "Salt" may work as a four minute extension of "The Valley", it functions excellently as a track of its own, its wonderfully ethereal chorus being one of the album's highlights. While "Contaminate Me" could have used a little variety to spice it up somewhere around the halfway point, it's a powerful way to wrap up the album, adapting the spawled- out structure of the album's longer tracks to a more severe, aggressive atmosphere. While the opener "Foe" sits at a comfortable five minute length, it just might be the most experimental cut from the album, featuring some of frontman Einar Solberg's most compelling vocal work to date. Although it probably won't surprise anyone, the weakest track here is the apparent 'single', "The Cloak". Although it works well as a break between the groove metal pyrotechnics of the title track and the masterful "The Valley", it doesn't tend to have the jaw-dropping quality of the rest of the album. The mellotron presence is very much welcome, but "The Cloak" ultimately comes off feeling like a Muse ballad more than anything else. On most other albums, it may have been a highlight, but I would have hoped Leprous could have delivered something a little bit more enticing for their album single.

The evolution of Leprous' sound on "Coal" is sure to grate unpleasantly with some listeners at first, but one thing that remains evident from the beginning is the band's standard of musicianship, which is virtually without par in the progressive metal genre today. With this across-the-board virtuosic skill in mind, it's all the more impressive that Leprous manage to restrain themselves to sporting their talents within the bounds of the songwriting. Although Leprous' sound is decidedly more experimental, comparisons could be drawn with Sweden's Pain of Salvation and their peak material from a decade past. It's possibly a less inviting dish than the albums Leprous have served in the past (at least initially), but there's no doubt that Leprous have broken into fresh territory.

It's pretty incredible how much a band can change in four years. From "Tall Poppy Syndrome" to this, the level of ambition and left-field wizardry has increased with each step. Although it will be some time before I'll truly know where "Coal" stands in comparison to the rest of the band's work, Leprous have delivered one of the most musically compelling experiences of the year thus far.

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