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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), 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!

Leprous official website

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The CongregationThe Congregation
Inside Out Music 2015
Audio CD$8.88
$6.99 (used)
Inside Out Music 2012
Audio CD$10.97
$10.96 (used)
Live At Rockefeller Music HallLive At Rockefeller Music Hall
Inside Out Music 2016
Audio CD$16.99
Inside Out 2013
Audio CD$10.97
$10.96 (used)
Tall Poppy SyndromeTall Poppy Syndrome
Audio CD$314.56 (used)
Bilateral by Leprous (2011-08-23)Bilateral by Leprous (2011-08-23)
Inside Out Music
Audio CD$55.26
Coal by Leprous (2013-05-28)Coal by Leprous (2013-05-28)
Inside Out
Audio CD$48.98
The Congregation by LeprousThe Congregation by Leprous
Audio CD$69.57
Coal by Inside OutCoal by Inside Out
Inside Out
Audio CD$72.93
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LEPROUS discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.81 | 79 ratings
4.13 | 290 ratings
Tall Poppy Syndrome
3.92 | 393 ratings
3.99 | 319 ratings
4.01 | 382 ratings
The Congregation

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Rockefeller Music Hall

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)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Silent Waters


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "The Congregation" by Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous first caught my attention when I saw it had made the top ten of the Prog Archives Top 100 of 2015. The artwork in particular intrigued me. I had sampled a bit of the band's music earlier after hearing about their album "Bilateral", but at the time there was nothing that bowled me over. After watching the video for "The Price" however, I felt certain that there was something for me on this album and at last I brought it home a few weeks ago.

To be sure, there are many great things to be said about the record. The music is largely if not entirely comprised of drums, bass, two electric guitars, some keyboards, and singer Einar Solberg's voice. There seems to me to very little in the way of overdubs and it occurred to me that there are next to no guitar solos, perhaps none at all. The musical arrangement sounds as if these boys were given an eight track recorder and told to try not to use the extra two tracks whenever possible. Thus the sound is rather sparse with only the five instruments and the vocals, though in at least two songs a rougher, angrier voice comes in which seems to be a guest appearance by Ihsahn.

It's not just the lack of instruments or overdubs that make the music here sound sparse. It's also how the instruments are employed throughout the songs. There are many songs that include simple riffs where the chords are played out in short bursts at odd intervals. The drums are often the busiest instrument, keeping a lively pattern going while the guitars strike with these simple chords: da-daah-dum, da-daa, da-da, da-daah-dum. The keyboards mostly provide atmosphere and sometimes play instead of the guitars so that with a simple bass and a roving drum pattern, the vocals float overtop a barely populated space. This works very well when listening to specific tracks, and for my money, the music reaches is best potential on "Rewind".

There is unfortunately a negative aspect to the album's musical approach and that is that there isn't much else going on. I recognize that this may be exactly what the band were shooting for. I read that they felt "Bilateral" was a little too all over the place in moods and they wanted "Coal" to be more focused and darker. Maybe they were trying to carry that on with "The Congregation". The album cover very well describes the feeling of the music inside. It's grey, there might be animal skulls, or possible some mutation or grafting. There might be a struggle and possibly a strong melancholy feel that needs overcoming. It's possible to pick almost any two or three songs and get a good feel for the album because there is little variety in the music here. It sounds good and creative and interesting. But the formula gets stretched across the entire 11 tracks and the 12 track serving as a bonus track doesn't exactly throw anything new our way.

If this were a new band with a tight budget, I's say they really worked their way around their restrictions. As for what I actually have here before me, it's a great effort with some quality song-writing. I'd just prefer some other components present to help make a few more tracks really stand out for me.

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Bucklebutt

3 stars My first impression of this album had me pretty excited. Leprous manage to create a unique enough sound to stand out amongst the plethora of metalcore-ish prog bands out there. It should be pointed out that the first times I did listen to this album is was more as a background listen (while doing some gaming) rather than giving it my full attention. Then I gave it my full attention and I immediately had problems with it. Namely, it's length. Nearly every song here is about 2-3minutes longer than it needs to be, repeating the chorus just once or twice much. Each song introduces a new enough, likeable sound but fails to go anywhere. Once you've heard the first 3 minutes of a song, you've practically heard all that it has to offer and then it just repeats and repeats.

The entire album itself is also a bit long clocking in at 1h and 11min.. there is a 4 star or potentially 5 star forty minute album in here, but as it is, for me, I can only see giving it 3.

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by poito

5 stars In a way I coincide with some of the detractors of the fifth album of the band Leprous. They have been evolving continuously but some of the band's movements were not necessarily good, or at least they were risky to the global project. In particular, the band nearly completely dropped the solo passages, it all is orchestrated, no soloist pieces anhy more. But the creativity and originality of these giants is here at their best, they produce brilliant tracks one after another with the musical resources of their choice. The music in this album is a perfect thread of instruments in which all have important creative labor, none is weak, and none is lazy, including bass and drums that have changed so many times in the lineups through the years. The themes appear more transcendent, solemn, may be melancholic as others pointed well. I do not listen to the lyrics, so I can't tell you if they are telling sad stories, but the music is kind of dramatic. I guess one may postpone having fun for a while when something important is happening. Whether it reflects the mood of the songwriters or they were after this effect on purpose I do not know, but it all keeps reinforcing the legend. It doesn't matter what they do or how they feel, they always express it with amazing musicality. I see a step backwards though: their increasing use of melodic resources takes them too close to mainstream. I can imagine that someone approaching the band for the first time with this fifth album may not feel that impressed as if he knows the trajectory, and would probably be reminded of bands doing similar things or using similar sounds, like Ayreon, Muse, Comedy of Errors, Circus Maximus, Haken, and the like. Is it an evolution or a confluence? Anyway, for the time being, enjoy this masterpiece.
 Coal by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.99 | 319 ratings

Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by poito

4 stars Another great release by this contagious band. Yeah, I know leprosy is not contagious, but like the virus of the flu, they keep evolving and spreading. Just from where it was left in their excellent previous album BILATERAL, this originally djenty-based band had gained a sophistication then that climbs here to much higher heights. Good news for Prog. Also, the land gained by singer Solberg keeps growing. His singing has become a main pillar in the composition, simultaneously to the reduction of his work at the keys, which gets limited, just accompanying and filling. On one hand, the dominant voices facilitate some textures that the band had never used and were unthinkable in their early work, but on the other, the tracks lose the briskly moments one always expect in Prog music when guitar or keyboard go riffing. These passages have nearly disappeared from the repertoire of Leprous. Yet, the music hasn't lost a bit of variety and fun. At times, the voice motifs repeat more than necessary and after a few times listening, they get tiring in your ears, such as in the tracks Foe, The Valley and Echo. A good guitar/keyboard riff instead might have work better. This was something I had anticipated it could happen when I noticed the growing presence of Solberg's singing in the structure of the music in former albums. Hopefully, they'll keep it there and it won't affect the quality of the composition in subsequent releases. Also, they began using some sounds from rock bands that make the arrangements more digestible to a wider audience but also dangerously recognizable. My favorite tracks are Chronicle, The Cloak, and The Valley
 Bilateral by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.92 | 393 ratings

Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by poito

5 stars The third release of a great band. One more step ahead, firmly heading to the Olympo. The evolution of Leprous' music is constant. From creative tech-death prog metal in their debut AEOLIA, followed by the more complex and subtle (yes it can be in spite of the powered background) TALL POPPY SYNDROME, they got to this BILATERAL, in which the music has become more melodic and closer to main stream compositional Prog. Here the tech-death has been reduced to a few well-placed bits and the voices by Solberg have gained a prominent place in the structure of the tracks. At times, one may feel some have been composed to be sung, which is not very Prog... unless the voice plays music, and this is the case here. Excellent. This guy is becoming one of the greatest singers. I never liked the voices to be a main point in Prog music because the instrumental composition tends to reduce and degrade. It is not the case in this album, but let's keep an eye on it for the future. In this album there are new ambient elements substituting for the excellent piano interludes in the first AEOLIA, I miss the rough freshness of the starter, but I'm afraid it has gone for good. The band has sophisticated quite a lot, the roughness flipped into bombastic, but their creativity is at the highest, so we rather do not complain. Thorn, Mb Indiferentia, Waste of Air, Acquired Taste, thay are all great compositions, actually there are no weak tracks. All have talent inside.
 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars In the modern world of progressive metal it seems very few bands can find their footing, much less incrementally improve upon every subsequent release but Norwegian progressive metal band LEPROUS is proving to be the exception by releasing one outstanding album after the other and with their fourth studio release THE CONGREGATION they show no signs of breaking this trend anytime soon despite experiencing a somewhat unstable lineup since their formation. On CONGREGATION we see the departure of bassist Rein Blomquist who is replaced Simen Daniel Børven and the exit stage right of Tobias Ørnes Andersen who is replaced by Baard Kolstad. Both of the new musicians fit it quite well with the style, groove and approach laid out by frontman and guitarist Tor Oddmund Suhke and it could almost be stated that their addition brings a fuller more congruous sound to the LEPROUS legacy.

While not substantially different than "Coal," LEPROUS seems to up their game subtly in every department. First and foremost they excel at strong songwriting with melodic hooks and knowing how to let certain instruments lead and follow. This formula is impeccably utilized throughout the entire album always serving the strong melodic hooks while adding the proper ingredients to wring out every possible potential lurking in the spaces between notes. I have always found LEPROUS masters at this game whether it be there knack for the spastic staccato approach of the chords and riffing or simply the accompaniment of the keyboards creating a counterpoint to the guitars and bass that adds an eerie ambient layer to a strong metal delivery system as well as finding a perfect balance between tempo, decibel dynamics and production effects.

It cannot be stated enough how important a lead vocalist to a really stellar progressive metal band and it is Einar Solberg whose voice is just perfect for this particular brand of prog metal. He has the operatic qualities of the best in the biz yet doesn't sound like he swallowed a cat or has had his male parts pinched in a vise-grip. The interplay of the instruments creating a larger than life melodic delivery is this band's major attribute and despite the album being a staggering hour plus affair, i don't lost interest in it no matter how many times i hear it and actually crave hearing it again. While on paper one cannot state the reasons why LEPROUS is in a league above the competition, however it is utterly apparent when one listens to the meticulously designed unfolding of the tracks on board. Somehow everything is paced and placed in just the right ratios. All elements present themselves in just the right proportions and the band has mastered the art of knowing when enough is enough and changing it up. I resisted LEPROUS for the longest time because i usually find hype to be overblown but in this case i'm on board and am finding THE CONGREGATION to be one of their strongest offerings to date.

For me the real beauty is how the individual parts of the tracks sound like they are so close to clashing and derailing the fragile beauty of the melodic flow but always somehow resolve themselves like a hero saving a damsel in distress being tied to the railroad tracks scenario. While this music can sound stilted and jarring for those used to a more straightforward approach of prog metal, for this who love those little "off" types of features that add tension and distress to their musical experience, then look no further than LEPROUS who once again proves they are on the top of their game putting some true "progressiveness" into their unique brand of prog metal. Vocal harmonics, production, symphonic accompaniments and instrumental interplay all display themselves in perfect tandem for my tastes. THE CONGREGATION is utterly addictive. While most releases contain 11 tracks, there are some with a 12th track titled "Pixel" which is a bonus track on certain editions. IMHO this is not an essential track so don't worry if you skip it. I actually prefer my copy without despite being good.

 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Porcupineapple

4 stars Norway's progressive metal quintet, Leprous, have been in the spotlight for a number of years now since their sophomore breakthrough, Tall Poppy Syndrome, and thanks to their ability to renew their sound with each album, without repeating the same formula over and over again, their popularity is still on the rise... a trend to continue with their new album also, The Congregation. And I will be pissing against the wind here by not calling it their best one to date, as so many fans do, nevertheless it is no question mark indeed that what they cooked up in their Norwegian proglab is again a decent addition to their discography already shining like a diamond. Even if this will be my least favourite album of theirs.

Tall poppy syndrome was one of my absolute favourite prog-metal records with its amazing, opera-like refrains and funky metal riffs. Then, when they followed up with Bilateral, taking their crunchy metal sound into a new direction by adding some quirky, trumpet-infested atmospheres, I was taken by surprise again. Finally, my fan-status was only strengthened when listening to their third album also, Coal, which is probably their heaviest one so far, pairing up some amazing vocals and even choruses with dirty-as-a-pig metal soundscapes, repeated through endless drones. Lucky for the fans of Coal, The congregation has these too: Einar Solberg's unparalleled voice stands out again, as all of the stronger songs (The price, Third law, The flood, Red) feature some amazing, vocal-driven but this time seriously funky metal refrains, backed up by growling riffage, all in all making it the grooviest music they have ever done. And whilst all these refrains do sweep me away, in between them the band is trying to introduce a new style not too much to my liking, which would probably be reminiscent to a heavily metalized version of the kind of disco-pop Bellamy is so much into lately. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, however at the same time many songs thorough the album (such as Triumphant, Slave or Within my fence) get superfluous, and I get bored. Something that has never happened to me during the listen of a Leprous album. Luckily, after a spiral of more mediocre songs (that follow the amazing opener of the first four songs) we get some pretty strong song structures again during the last part of the album (in particular with Moon), so I will not complain when looking at the big picture.

So although it is all true that The congregation features some of the finest songs the band has ever made, other tracks in my opinion fail to satisfy as they do not let these four musicians show their chops as much as the previous albums did (with Einar being the exception of course, with the whole album heavily relying on his soaring voice again, further backed up by the usual background vocals). Still, being blown away by the stronger songs of the album, as well as by the fact that they were able to renew their sound again whilst still building on their usual strengths, I will give this album a strong four-star-rating, and of course will highly recommend it not only to the fans of Leprous but to anyone, who is on the look-out for some fresh, mature and quirky metal with balls.

 Tall Poppy Syndrome by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.13 | 290 ratings

Tall Poppy Syndrome
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by poito

4 stars LEPROUS keeps it high after their amazing debut AEOLIA. They've used well the time since. The tech-death base has narrowed quite a bit and the sound has progressed to more creative marks. The themes are more compact, you can feel the self-confidence gained in the composition, it is complex, daring, inspired, with no room for distraction, and every detail is in the right place. One might expect music of such strength to have plenty of moments of refrain, even if only to catch the listener attention, or to take a little rest in the compositional work. You won't find this in Leprous' TPS. All out! That is the best way to describe the creativity and talent of these giants. Whether fast energetic pieces or slow interludes it is all carefully crafted. Don't need to mention any musical influence any more. He Will Kill Again, Fate, the album title track, and the totemic White, are superb creations. You'll get immediately and fully infected to the bones by this LEPROUS. AVE! 4.5
 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.01 | 382 ratings

The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars With The Congregation, Leprous moves firmly into experimental/post-rock category, though to be sure, they are neither that experimental nor that post-. Continuing the evolution of their previous Coal album, they gradually replace their old stylings of mashing various metal sub-genres together with more post-rock and Brit pop. Now it is about build-ups and emotions, repeated, stop-start chords, atmospheric, minimalistic verses culminating in wall-of-sound choruses reminiscent of old Radiohead. But still played with deep-end guitar loudness and drum acrobatics of their metal roots (even a couple of death vocals of old). The pace is mostly slow-to-mid, which showcases well the band's tightness and impressive elongated vocal mannerisms. But, as with another forward-thinking band, TesseracT, the problem with the Congregation is that all songs are built basically using the same ingredients.
 Aeolia by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.81 | 79 ratings

Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by poito

4 stars Short and easy. The first notes on their first album already tell this is going to be an ambitious band. They are brave, no doubt. This album incarnates a word: eclectic!. It is everything but boring. Even if you have a well-defined narrow prog taste, you'll get here something for you, and the rest won't set you back. What can you expect? Well, imagine Zappa was born 40 years later and is fed at the crib with all kinds of prog and rock. Do not expect a simple tech death prog metal band. This is much more. Don't know what else the band has made after this and how they drifted, but this is a good start. One of the best debut albums I've listened to. You'll find outstanding work at the keys with beautiful creative piano interludes to lighten up the fast beat and let you rest for a while so you prepare yourself for the next rush. At least six out of 9 tracks are great. Not bad. Check the Eye of the Storm.
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