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Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome CD (album) cover

TALL POPPY SYNDROME

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.14 | 350 ratings

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Bonnek
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Prog-metal fans, what are you writing the 606th Images And Words review for? Here shine the bright lights!

Leprous' Tall Poppy Syndrome album is the most startling metal album I've heard since Opeth's Ghost Reveries. Given that GR is in my top 5 metal albums ever, that declaration shouldn't be underestimated. The album remained completely unnoticed and unrecognized by the metal masses, but the fact that it only motivated 4 reviews on PA so far is downright absurd. But every review helps. If it wasn't for bumping into The T's preceding review I never would have known about it. Long live PA. Again.

The band plays a very progressive kind of metal with exceptionally strong songwriting and the best of vocals. Leprous are as diverse in their genre-bending as Between The Buried and Me but their eclectic style never comes across as a whim or a gimmick. They always manage to make complete sense at what they're doing. That is their strength, melting their skills and melodious creativity into strong and imaginative songs that can rival with the best such as Opeth, Pain Of Salvation.

The vocals are one of the main attractions here and range from gentle melodious vocals that are as heart-warming and lyrical as those of Mariusz Duda and Mike Akerfelt. They are often reinforced into a more powerful singing style that reminds me of Mike Patton and Daniel Gildenlow. In moments of crisis the band rages like any other master of metal fury and handle extreme shrieks as well as growls and hard-core shouts. The fact that they use the extreme vocals so rarely makes them all the more agonizing.

The musicians never indulgence in any swagger but play solidly throughout. Repeated listen will reveal how concentrated and dazzling their playing really is. The guitars shoot one spectacular riff after the other, sometimes reminding me of Voivod, at other times of Opeth. The bass is clearly audible and worth following as it bounces through the songs. Also the keyboards are spectacular. They rarely come to the fore but when they do they strike with inventiveness and originality. Next to the typical Hammond and string orchestral sounds, keyboard player Solberg also throws in unusual eerie sounds that somehow evoke the clinical cold sounds that Gary Numan is known for.

Leprous must be the metal revelation of 2009 and topped Riverside's ADHD with this one. There is an extreme element present but it never gets in the way of things and it will certainly not be too prominent to endanger your enjoyment. So I will recommend this one very warmly to all lovers of progressive metal. Certainly fans of Opeth, Pain of Salvation, Riverside and Nevermore shouldn't hesitate a second.

Bonnek | 5/5 |

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