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Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome CD (album) cover

TALL POPPY SYNDROME

Leprous

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.13 | 364 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' - Leprous (8/10)

Although music is not, and never should be confined to narrowly prescribed music genres, most genres have one or two bands that really pave the way for the rest. In the case of progressive metal, the torch was lit by acts like Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation and Opeth, and most of the bands now piled into that label are disciples of one or more of those leading acts. In the case of these bands then, the mark of excellence comes when the band is able to take the existing style and create something equally as powerful with it. Along with other young progressive metal acts like Circus Maximus and Haken, the band Leprous have distinguished themselves here not with an album that breaks any of the rules, but rather takes the existing conventions of progressive metal and bombasts them to the level of being a legitimately excellent listening experience of its own.

While not well-known at this point by many, Leprous play a familiar style of dark melodic progressive metal, with overtones of classical music clearly heard in the songwriting. As with many similar bands, Leprous' highly impressive technical abilities are among their greatest strengths. Through tight, often melodic writing, the band's skills are still able to show. Leprous are always sure to include an ample dose of beauty and melody to metal, especially through the vocal work, which is quite simply brilliant. Einar Solberg's higher register vocals may remind some listeners of Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow, and the comparisons to that band probably won't stop there.

Perhaps the best thing that Leprous does here isn't necessarily the songwriting- which is strong albeit derivative- but moreso the brilliant way in which things are arranged. The background vocals are enriched with lush harmonies, and intelligent riffs that play over each other. However, much like other bands like Circus Maximus, the music itself may be great and the band may be as talented as any other in melodic metal, but the lacking originality is what really holds back the band from reaching a level of mastery they can truly call their own.

As with any excellent album though, the promise and potential shine through clearly, and one is led to wait eagerly to hear what the talented Leprous will conjure up next. Put simply; 'Tall Poppy Syndrome' is one of the best recent melodic progressive metal albums in the style of the older legends.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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