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Leprous - Malina CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.05 | 320 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

SoundsofSeasons | 5/5 |


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