Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

LEPROUS

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Norway


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Leprous picture
Leprous biography
Founded in Notodden, Norway in 2001

LEPROUS are a Tech/Extreme band founded 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 Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all LEPROUS videos (5) | Search and add more videos to LEPROUS

Buy LEPROUS Music


LEPROUS discography


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

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

3.60 | 123 ratings
Aeolia
2006
4.15 | 447 ratings
Tall Poppy Syndrome
2009
3.97 | 559 ratings
Bilateral
2011
3.97 | 495 ratings
Coal
2013
3.95 | 591 ratings
The Congregation
2015
4.05 | 328 ratings
Malina
2017
3.95 | 257 ratings
Pitfalls
2019
3.69 | 156 ratings
Aphelion
2021

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

4.43 | 35 ratings
Live at Rockefeller Music Hall
2016
4.50 | 4 ratings
Aphelion Live 2022
2023

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

4.25 | 34 ratings
Live At Rockefeller Music Hall
2016

LEPROUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.23 | 4 ratings
Aphelion (Tour Edition)
2023

LEPROUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.86 | 7 ratings
Silent Waters
2004
3.96 | 24 ratings
{From the Flame}
2017
4.33 | 18 ratings
Castaway Angels
2020

LEPROUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Congregation by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.95 | 591 ratings

BUY
The Congregation
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'The Congregation' is Leprous' fourth studio album, released on Inside Out Music on 25 May 2015. The mighty Norwegians had been gaining increasing attention at the time of the record's release and it seems that after three well-received and successful albums dwelling in the territory of avant-garde prog metal, they decided to capitalize on their popularity and begin to present themselves in a more streamlined way. Some lineup changes come along with the recording and release of this album, as this happens to be the first Leprous outing with Baard Kolstad on drums, an extremely technical and dexterous drummer, and Simen Børven on bass, another great addition to the band's ranks. Given the success of their previous releases, one would have great expectations for this one as well, and looking at the ratings and rankings of 'The Congregation' on various musical forums and websites, one could conclude that this is just one of the greatest releases of the decade overall.

Well, it could have been. With 'The Congregation' Leprous delivered their longest album at the time, clocking in at sixty-five minutes (or seventy, if you include the bonus track), with a total of eleven album tracks, most of which run between the six or seven-minute mark. The music is mainly composed by the band's main man, Einar Solberg, who also co-wrote most of the lyrics together with guitar player Tor Oddmund Suhrke. Right off the bat, the listener is immersed in the dark and uninviting atmosphere of the album, through opening track 'The Price', a math rock-influenced instrumental intro that leads to the beautifully sang verse and the great and memorable chorus after that. This song has gone down as one of the most recognizable and typically Leprous tracks, and it is by all means, one of the great tracks on the album. The buzzing guitars interact tightly with the technical drumming of Kolstad, topped by the flawless vocal performance of Solberg. Not to mention that this is one of the musts in their live shows. 'Third Law' is the following track, depicting perfectly the band's flamboyant way of combining electronic sounds with dazzling metal riffing. Certainly this is one of the greatest cuts in the band's entire catalogue. Next up is 'Rewind', a powerful track that builds up and climaxes in an impressive manner once again, this is the first occasion on the album where we get some harsh vocals around the last part of the song. Menacing and haunting keyboard work so far on the album, dynamic and extravagant drumming, as Baard Kolstad is introducing himself in the most impressive way, a very promising beginning to the album, and an indication that the band is tightly progressing into firmly securing their place in the prog metal pantheon.

Then comes the nearly 8-minute piece 'The Flood'. This song is quite paradoxical as it features some of the most interesting instrumental moments, more specifically, the build-up around the chorus and its presentation, yet remains entirely uneventful and leaves you feeling tired, hopelessly trying to justify the length of the song, and finding almost nothing to take out of it. This is where the album goes entirely in the wrong direction, and with the exception of a few moments of clarity and brilliance later on, you are feeling boxed, encapsulated by the hefty and sometimes solemn sounds of 'The Congregation'. 'Triumphant' does unfortunately give off the impression of a reworked outtake from 'Bilateral', the band's fantastic second studio album from 2011. 'Within My Fence' is a mediocre song for the band's level, expendable also for the album in general, given the personality of the rest of the songs on here. Same goes for the hardly memorable piece titled 'Red', which is a bit chaotic, nothing incredible or new for what concerns the capabilities of the band. 'Slave' is another one of the highlights, similar to the opening track in a way, it combines Leprous' electronic inclinations with their usual dynamic and avant-garde songwriting. The rest of the album is in general more tedious, forgettable, unnecessary; 'Moon' could have been cut down in length, but it is what it is.

What is most interesting about this record is that despite the fact that it is a very good album with some impressive and iconic moments, it is a general low for the band, which has previously showcased much greater skills in songwriting, innovation, production. In general, the album is overlong, very often overdone, and makes you lose interest too quickly. Singled out, the band members' performances are quite excellent, but the album as it is does not really work so well like other Leprous efforts. It has somehow ended up being extremely overrated, and I could attribute this to the couple of highlights sprinkled across. Great potential but compromising realization, 'The Congregation' is not as excellent as many would consider it to be.

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by TheEliteExtremophile

1 stars Leprous are one of the bigger names in the current progosphere. I love their first three albums, and Bilateral, especially, is fantastic. Their sound has changed a lot over the years however, and they've moved decidedly away from metal in a manner that has left fan opinions sharply divided.

I have not minced words about my disappointment in Leprous's recent musical direction. To quote my coverage of their 2019 album, Pitfalls, "This album [%*!#]ing sucks." My thoughts on Malina, their 2017 release, aren't an awful lot kinder. I saw them on tour twice in 2018 (opening first for BTBAM and later for Haken), and the experience was dull, to say the least. Pared-back arrangements and vocalist Einar Solberg going, "Ooh-aah" as pulsing white lights blinded me? Disappointing. Both sets were unvaried in their tonal and dynamic palettes: LOUD-quiet-LOUD-quiet, without any deviations to spice it up. Pitfalls was like a studio version of this experience.

Naturally, I didn't have high hopes for Aphelion. I was fully anticipating this would be another micro-review, like my coverage of Pitfalls, or an Odds & Ends entry. But I'm familiar enough with the band's output, and I found enough to discuss, that I could write a full-length review.

Spoiler alert: this isn't going to be a kind review. It's not going to be as brutal as Pitfalls or my coverage of The Final Cut in my Pink Floyd Deep Dive, but Aphelion is a dull, uninspired record that goes on for too long.

Consensus among people such as myself, who do not like Leprous's current direction, is that Einar dominates the songwriting process too much. His vocals, while strong from a technical perspective, are a major issue with the band's music. His singing is usually overwrought and overdramatic, and his insistence upon using layers of wordless vocals gets real old real fast. There's little variation in his singing, and the backing vocals are deployed uncreatively.

Aphelion isn't wholly without decent moments. Many tracks open with subdued and pleasant electronic textures (though this trend becomes detrimentally predictable after appearing on six separate songs). "Silhouette" features some strong instrumental moments, and the vocals aren't too distracting, either (at least when Einar isn't belting his lungs out). "The Silent Revelation" opens with a really good groove that harkens back to the band's earlier days, but unfortunately the momentum of the song is inexplicably undercut before it is fully realized. Kneecapping the song's flow in this case added nothing positive, and it never recovers, despite having some good musical themes.

The closing "Nighttime Disguise" is easily the strongest cut on Aphelion and the only track I'd unambiguously call "good." It was written with fan input regarding things like structure, time signature, and key. And shockingly, listening to the fans resulted in something enjoyable! It's got technical, energetic riffs to entice the listener, there's varied internal structure, and Einar even does some unclean vocals near the end. This song shows the promise of what non-metallic Leprous could be, which makes their current, underwhelming output that much more frustrating. They clearly can still write progressive rock, but Einar just wants atmospherics and ooh-aahs.

Beyond that handful of highlights, Aphelion is not a strong release. It's not as punishingly repetitive as Pitfalls or as generic as Malina, but I still don't like it.

As mentioned above, a majority of songs have very similar openings, and that pattern extends to their broader structures as well. In short, this is a very predictable album.

Einar's worst tendencies are exemplified in the opening "Running Low". It's actually one of the better songs on the record, but his singing is hilariously overwrought. He is trying to put way more weight into this song than it needs, and it comes off as downright distracting. This mistake is a frequent issue on Aphelion. He will have these grand, dramatic moments that feel completely unearned. There was no build to it. There's nothing underpinning it. It is as pure as bloat can get.

Most of Aphelion sounds phoned-in. I took rather extensive notes while listening to it, but most songs wound up with similar summaries: predictable structure, alternatingly too-pared-down and undeservedly-bombastic, and [%*!#]ing dial the intensity down, Einar. Not everything needs to be so overdramatic.

I don't like this record, but if you're /r/progmetal, you'll probably like this unprogressive, non-metallic release of faux-artsy radio rock.

Review originally posted here: theeliteextremophile.com/2021/09/01/album-review-leprous-aphelion/

 Aphelion (Tour Edition) by LEPROUS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2023
4.23 | 4 ratings

BUY
Aphelion (Tour Edition)
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by alainPP

4 stars LEPROUS has become a major, innovative group; he resumes his tour cut by the pandemic; he released this compilation album from Aphelion' with the two bonuses including the live one from 2021 and the 6 live tracks from Motocultur and Berlin, recorded in 2022 of a good forty minutes. LEPROUS is surfing on its lucky star and is planning the live LP for next May, for ultra-fans. Otherwise for the 'Aphelion' go see my column on the site it is there, for the live I rather offer you a small report of their recent performance with the set-list which includes the 6 titles and more.

Indeed we could hear in the order: 'Have You Ever?', 'The Price', 'Angel', 'Observe The Train', 'On Hold', 'Castaway Angels', 'From The Flame', a song chosen by the public... which I forgot the title there, taken by the completely surreal atmosphere of said concert, in which Einar throws a paper in the crowd so that the lucky winner chooses his title; it fell on my right neighbor slightly paralyzed by this chance. Then 'Out of Here', 'Slave', 'Distant Bells', 'Below', 'Nighttime Disguise' and 'The Sky is Red' in an apocalyptic finale where it's actually red in the room but very intense white on both first rows. A concert that is intense, paradoxical, between moments of latency, relative calm and apocalyptic borderline moments, but always with extraordinary musicality.

Well, you will have understood that today's prog has audiences thanks to a few exceptional groups of which LEPROUS is a part; at worst take the album, the LP, at best go see them while they are still spinning, prog, dark metal is what we say and the live sound is much better than on his channel.

 Pitfalls by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 257 ratings

BUY
Pitfalls
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Delicious Crossover Prog and the one of the best Prog Metal Epics of All Time

A decade ago when I was a PA regular, I reviewed two of Leprous' early albums and in both I said that the band was vastly talented but yet to find their sound. By "Pitfalls," they had found it. Einar Solberg's voice had moved from very strong to mind-blowing, and whether you liked it or not, the band was using that asset to full effect. By this album, Solberg is able to pull off the full range of pop / R&B acrobatics along with his metal angst, and the band uses both. Many dislike the pop / crossover approach of the early parts of the album, but to me it feels like a band that is embracing evolution. None of the songs here feel like "selling out," they feel like a band that is truly combining multiple genres to write great songs. The pop sensibilities make the melodies and songwriting take center stage, as it should.

The prog is not gone. On some songs like "Observe the Train," the song is straight pop ballad, but the prog roots come through as ear candy. On others like the opener "Below," the band alternates between prog metal rhythms and melodicism, creating a modern take on prog that foreshadows the currently blowing up sound of Sleep Token who rightfully cites Leprous as a major influence. There is a bit of a dark trippy-ness everywhere on the album, which I imagine makes Leprous a force live now.

And so we have a very solid, inventive, truly modern crossover prog album. But then at last comes "The Sky is Red." I consider this the best prog metal song of the last 5 years and one of the best ever. It has complex rhythms, heavy guitars that allude to djentiness without falling into the cookbook, and hypercomplex drumming. But over the top Einar is simultaneously virtuosic and so emotive. And just when you feel like the album ended on a colossal fire burst, we get the odd time bursts that evolve slowly, methodically to a brutal breakdown unlike anything I've heard elsewhere. The first time I heard the isolated keys begin the riff, it seemed like the band was completely in free time. But as band slowly enters, the rhythm make more and more sense, and pummels you until it seems like you've known the vibe your whole life. It took several listens before my ear could impose the rhythm on the riff initially, and now that it does I yearn a little bit for the sense of surprise and discovery that I got on those early listens. This section may the only time in recent years I listened to music and thought "What just happened?" in delight.

Part of the pop / modern / crossover move is the incorporation of electronic even including some programmed drums. This might seem a little strange considering the immense talent of the players, but this is where music is at now. These are the sounds of today. It makes this album feel new, forward thinking, rather than retro or stuck in the past.

Congratulations on a band that already had some success and talent choosing to continue to up their game and evolve.

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by arymenezes

5 stars Here is a great opportunity for symphonic prog and/or heavy prog and/or crossover prog fans to get to know Einar Solberg's vocals. He has a vast capacity to go from low to high tones very naturally. The way his chant can be so strong even when it looks like he is almost whispering, I just can't understand, but I love it. The ability to change so inventively the moods and the pace in the same song is outstanding. I suppose this release can satisfy a very broad range of people because the style of execution is very different from the previous albums. Guitars (the two of them) and drums are much more moderate, in spite of the presence of two guitar players in the core of the group. A cellist and a violinist are cited on the nucleus of the group, what is very coherent, because they are essential to the moods of many tracks. And sometimes the cellist performs little solos.

Telling you about the first track can exemplify what I'm talking about. Cello and violin are crucial to introduce a catching mood in the beginning of track 1; they continue setting a growing tension on the background. As to my audition, guitar makes some very brief interventions, only to give the chords a more dramatic feeling. They get a little heavier near to the half of the track (not enough to justify the head banging on the promotional video on youtube; doesn't fit; I'm very happy that they don't play the same way as they move on stage), but soon leave space to the chords again. They gradually introduce more notes during a minute, until it gets to a blast of intensity made by the wind instruments (sax, trombone and trumpet).

On the other tracks the central idea is mantained: exploring the maximum of Einar's techniques, with these brief and precise interventions from the guitars, among with excellent mood phrasings by cello and violin. Nevertheless, it doesn't get repetitive, since there are some interesting details that are added here and there. A synth programming, a jazzy drumming, a rythmic guitar, some chorus... the penultimate track IMO is when they go very high (aphelion?) on inspiration and capacity of reinveting themselves - amazing tunes on acoustic guitar and piano, drumming, battery grows gradually, performing complex harmonies. And Einar also growing until he gets almost supernatural.

At least a 4.7 on a five star-scale.

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Before I wrote this review, I looked back at what I had said about 2019's 'Pitfalls', then wondered if I should just copy and paste the same words and see if anyone noticed, as pretty much everything I said back then fits in with this 2021 album. There is no doubt that Einar Solberg is an incredible singer, with an effortless falsetto which is clean and pure, but the band who once produced modern prog metal have long since disappeared. Actually, they have, as apart from Einar, only Tor Oddmund Suhrke (guitars) is still there from the line-up which produced 'Coal' in 2013, which in all fairness was their last strong release, at least to my mind.

Leprous have done a Marillion on us, so that the music is now very much a vehicle for wonderful vocals, as opposed to being a collected whole. Aside from the vocals, the music is often quite mundane, and middle of the road as opposed to being the driving force it used to be. There is nothing dramatic and exciting here anymore, but rather it feels much more like a solo album than a band release. The music is not nearly as sophisticated as it used to be and contains so many modern commercial sounds that it is rarely prog at all, and when the guitars do make a passionate entrance such as on "Out of Here" it just shows what we are missing. I finished my review of 'Pitfalls" with the words "I worry about what the next one will bring" and having now heard it, I fear I was right. There will be a great deal of Leprous fans out there who feel this is wonderful, the same way Marillion fans always say the latest album is brilliant ? but I have long lost any interest in anything coming out from that band, and I feel Leprous are now in the same camp.

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

3 stars LEPROUS still seems to be going strong after 20 years of existence and although the band led by lead singer Einar Solberg has been hailed as one of Norway's greatest modern progressive metal bands, the last few albums starting with "Molina" have seen a massive shedding of much of the metal and taken on more standard progressive rock as its modus operandi. With the band's eighth album to emerge in 2021, LEPROUS seems to de-emphasize the metal even further and adds all kinds of new sounds including but not limited to pop, funk, trip hop, electronica along with the progressive rock shining with a crispy clean production and the spotlight on Solberg's passionate vocal delivery.

There are still metal sounds on board however the moments of djent and guitar heft are primarily limited to power chords and the scant guitar workouts that offer a bit of contrast to the otherwise new LEPROUS sound of crafting highly sophisticated art rock with strong pop hooks. Long gone are the days of unabashed metal freneticism as heard on "Tall Poppy Syndrome" and "Bilateral." APHELION rather delivers an interesting and original hybrid between progressive rock, synthpop and what sounds like chamber rock. In addition the five official members who handle guitars, bass, drums and synthesizer includes a team of five guest musicians who offer the sounds of violin, cello and even a trumpet.

The result is an emotive display of ten tracks that in many ways follows both in "Malina" and "Pitfalls" in the mellowed LEPROUS years and for many a metal band gone this direction would've resulted in a total train wreck and scaring away of the fanbase, but LEPROUS proved long ago that this was no ordinary act and had the uncanny ability to tackle myriad sounds, timbres, textures and tones and fortify substantial composiitons delivered in a unique and oft unorthodox manner all without abandoning the pop sensibilities that have kept their music so addictive upon first experiences. Excluding the three year timespan between the band's true debut "Aeolia" and "Tall Poppy Syndrome," LEPROUS has also delivered like clockwork with a new album ever two years.

The band has released two singles off APHELION which means the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is farthest from the sun. The first was "Running Low" which shows LEPROUS in fine form in its new style with progressive rock hooks married with power chords, emotive synthesized atmospheres accompanied by the string section that delivers an excellent cello solo. With so much energy dedicated to the electronica wizardry and dedication to the perfect atmospheric ambience does tend to ignore the rock aspects much less the metal but with the second single "The Silent Revelation" the band does deliver a bit of rock guitar heft even if it seems like the odd track out on the otherwise sombre and earnest tracks tenderly crafted with the crooning moxie of Mr Solberg.

In many ways LEPROUS has followed some of the nu jazz artists from Norway such as Jaga Jazzist only it has left out the jazz but rather paints synthesized motifs around the borders of where certain jazz parts should fit. By now most older fans of LEPROUS have either adapted to the new style or thrown them out with yesterday's trash. I do personally prefer the older more aggressive LEPROUS sound but i have to admit that these guys have done an excellent job reinventing themselves as a serious art pop rock band this late in the game. While on the mellow and even maudlin side, APHELION does a stellar job of mixing synthesized driven pop hooks with chamber rock mojo. Perhaps what turns me off most about the "new" LEPROUS is that Solberg's vocals are almost set to permanent falsetto sounding something like a Norwegian version of Prince. I can live without the metal aspects but the vocal diversity? Needs more.

3.5 rounded down

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars Listening diary 19th September 2021: Leprous - Aphelion (art rock, 2021)

I don't think I'm going to make my feelings on this concrete just yet - Leprous are definitely a band that needs time and context, and given I've been saying "this is their weakest album yet" with every release since 2013's Coal, only to retract that statement twice, I'll hesitate to state it with full confidence here.

But regardless of whether this is as good as their past material, it's certainly another steady evolution, and Leprous should be commended with their consistent and tasteful evolutions, never moving too much at one time but just enough to keep you wondering where they'll head to next. Ever since Raphael Weinroth-Browne first appeared on cello, they've hinted at a more chamber pop oriented sound, and the strings have finally taken the forefront here - although not in the way I anticipated. Instead of being quaint and subdued, they're bombastic and symphonic, in a Hans Zimmer sort of way, and I whether or not you rate that kind of melodrama is probably going to be what makes or breaks this album for you.

Musically, every song here has something to offer in terms of a great riff or melodic idea. There are far fewer genuine standout moments - the far more uneven Pitfalls[ had much greater highs - but there isn't a single weak track or even really a weak section on the entire album, making it a pretty solid listen, without ever blowing you away. But this can cause some of the tracks to blend into each other, and this is probably the most formulaic Leprous record other than The Congregation (not a criticism, by the way, as long as your formula is good). There isn't a single track that goes by without at least one bombastic string line, at least one angular mathy riff, at least one Supertramp-esque pop hook, at least one skipped beat. The formula isn't bad, but it does make some of the songs hard to tell apart.

And despite singing their praises for their continued evolution, there does seem to be a feeling that Leprous are imitating their imitators a bit here - for a lot of this, you could be mistaken for thinking you're listening to an Agent Fresco or Maraton record, and only occasionally do Leprous flex the kinds of songwriting chops that made them influence those artists in the first place. This is still a fine record from a fine band, but it's probably their most nondescript album yet. But perhaps it's time for Leprous to be nondescript for a bit. After all, it doesn't stop them writing good hooks, of which this album has plenty. I'm not sure I ever expect them to reach the creative heights of some of their early work, but as long as they keep moving and developing, I'm not sure I care. We're blessed to have a band this creative in modern metal, I think they can be forgiven for just writing an album of serviceable pop tunes.

7.6 (4th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator

4 stars A new release from Scandanavia's kings of stop and go, delicate and harsh, whisper and scream.

1. "Running Low" (6:30) tension's running high in this one. I like the heavy use of strings--and the use of hits to the piano bed as a baseline. Interesting that as the tension mounts Einar's voice gets softer, exhibiting more frailty. The chorus, however, disappoints. Great cello solo in the sixth minute. (8.75/10)

2. "Out of Here" (4:16) Einar at his best. How talented this singer is! (8.5/10)

3. "Silhouette" (3:45) a little foray into the Steven Wilson world of electronica--with, of course, the advantage of having the vocal acrobaticist, Einar Solberg. Interesting that the "real" drums happen to be great. (8.5/10)

4. "All the Moments" (6:52) a little raunch with some bayou pedal steel? Let those drums shine! Finally, a great chorus with awesome amped up walls of sound! The quiet, spacious, delicate verses feel a bit at odds with the power of the choruses. Weird song. Not sure it works. (13/15)

5. "Have You Ever?" (4:42) more noise electronica to open before odd percussives and odd synth horns begin to join. Einar enters in a gentle, soft voice. (Man! This guy is so versatile!) Middle Eastern strings join in at the end of the first verse. Interesting but somehow incomplete--underdeveloped. (8.5/10)

6. "The Silent Revelation" (5:45) unusual: this one opens as a kind of old-style rocker, but then it goes soft and sparse with typical Leprous-style overdrive choruses. Strings accompany the quiet second verse, but then band rams home the second chorus and continues to leave the instruments up to 11 despite a cool strings-accompanied vocalise section leading up to the end. (8.75/10)

7. "The Shadow Side" (4:29) a perfect balance between rock instrumentation and strings accompaniment is established from the beginning through the first chorus. Then an especially quiet, delicate second verse is followed by two heavier sections. The strings remain prominent. Nice segue into a gritty guitar solo in the fourth minute, followed by eerie strings to finish. Cool! (9/10)

8. "On Hold" (7:48) great vocal melody from the start over sparse electro-programmed tuned percussives and computer bass. A great song--truly unusual and intriguing weave--with, of course, another stupendous vocal performance by Mr. Solberg. (I find quite a little comparability with That Joe Payne.) Beautiful use of strings after the second chorus through the fifth and sixth minutes. My favorite song on the album. (14/15)

9. "Castaway Angels" (4:53) delicate acoustic guitar arpeggi with Einar's almost-whispered vocals open this one. Incredible slow build to perfect finish. The best song on the album. (10/10)

10. "Nighttime Disguise (7:04) old-style djenty Leprous returns! (And is welcomed!) I like Einar's subdued vocals in the first section. Interesting dynamic choices (plus, a return of the Einar growl), coupled with a disappointing chorus (why that kind of emotion for the words "nighttime disguise"?) (13/15)

Total Time 56:04

Creative and different, I still think Einar Solberg has one of the five best singing voices in modern prog. The band's use of strings throughout the album--as well as their increasing use of computer-enhanced programmed sounds--is a combination that I think works--and that I hope they will continue to explore. But then, anything behind the singing talents of Mr. Solberg might work. Anything.

B+/4.5 stars; another excellent album release from these prog pioneers--highly recommended for any prog lover to check out for themselves.

 Aphelion by LEPROUS album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.69 | 156 ratings

BUY
Aphelion
Leprous Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by alainPP

5 stars LEPROUS is the mega band founded in 2001 playing on extreme tech at the start. They have approached IHSAHN and EMPEROR closely and make music that is almost unclassifiable, flirting prog metal then art music with a complex range, hard, djent, pop with the voice of Einar recounting his existential torments in the titles. An 8th album worked on in 3 different studios, covid obliges, album moving further and further away from their mentors DREAM THEATER, OPETH, CYNIC or WINDS. LEPROUS is also high and classic forays with Raphael and his magical cello, it is the violence of riffs associated with a divine voice, it is the association of hitherto opposing sounds united to create a new genre.

"Running Low" Leprousian attack with brass from the group Blåsemafiaen, slightly oriental atmosphere of the tune and the sublime voice of Einar which navigates between softness and trance due to his falsetto organ; not too accentuated this sound, minimalist break to properly stage the sounds, the emphasis is limited with a reminder of the recognizable 'pitfalls' sound and this Raphael cello solo that ends up tickling your ears. '' Out Of Here '' title intimate on percussions juggling with the hip-hop synth and bringing a dreamlike melody of any beauty, latent air; adrenaline rush with vocals and high guitar, its synth-wave starting with prog metal that keeps you going. '' Silhouette '' continues with a characteristic synthetic frame, the violin very present, the choirs, Einar vociferating, Baard's jerky rhythmic imposes on a surge of adrenaline that can induce trance; note the Leprousian airs anchored on the 'oh oh oh' furnishing more than anything else, necessary I doubt. `` All The Moments '' for the real progressive incursion with the classical orchestration and the melancholy strings of Raphael and Chris, the creaking country slide guitar, the sad rise which is transposed in beauty with this minimalist piano, we are not far from 'a depressive climate pointing to contemplation and again this inimitable voice. "Have You Ever?" Muted intro then synth flooding the sound space, almost pop, almost industrial, almost electronic, here we are dealing with a huge title; the east still very close, the keyboards invite to dance, the voice too, what can I say, we reach perfection in this animal air, undulating and hypnotic, short in time, long in musical sensations, a title which imposes it.

"The Silent Revelation" starts with the pure LEPROUS sound, jerky tune covered with a frozen synth; the angelic voice, whispered, siren or archangel, sets off on a good intriguing dancing rock; the electronic orchestration takes the bet on an intimate break then the raging guitars of Tor and Robin accompany the final chorus in an insane apocalyptic rise. "The Shadow Side" simple, minimalist, bordering on bombastic new wave with soft intro gives pride of place to fresh and airy synths; more common title jazzy limit where the voice is put forward to praise it a little more; the finale comes back to repetitive clichés on a high voice with riff, fortunately magnified by a too rare hyper energetic guitar solo which makes you want to put the title back. "On Hold" continues on an icy vocal harmony, spatial atmosphere; the longest track marshmallow, it's beautiful, it reminds me a bit of MANFRED MANN's keyboards on 'Chance' a time; the break with Raphael on the cello drives the nail on the beauty of an unclassifiable title, neither pop, nor rock, neither djent, nor jazzy; it is at the same time grandiloquent, cutesy and majestic with the rise of the voice and the rhythmic guitar, all amalgamated by the drums of Baard. from ANATHEMA, a deep basic air playing on a muffled sound pierced by Einar's voice; a dreamlike rise, progressive in fact which puts you in a trance after a few titles more behind, more overdone, too obvious; here it's power in crescendo with a crystal clear two-step solo; it sounds simple but it's perfect. "Nighttime Disguise" for the finale which goes off strong, riff of the drums, the bass, the synths, the Leprous what; a syncopated sound already on the distortion attenuated by the guitar and the voice; break metal then drift with again the Norwegian brass group Blåsemafiaen which gives another dimension, breaking all musical criteria; the interlude ends with what makes the strength of this quintet, namely its colorful swirling choirs; go for some growl, throaty sounds, some symphonic djent now for the final dreamlike explosion and an all too rare guitar solo; there it's finished.

LEPROUS due to the pandemic composed each title separately, without a frame except for the melancholy tone that emerges from it; powerful positive chaos whether in the register of rock, pop, djent, funk, trip hop or metal; Einar taking charge of the progressive soldering with an intrepid zest of inventiveness, ravishing melancholy and spleen that ANATHEMA would have signed immediately. Note the starting title "Adapt" sign of our company, "Aphelion" not being better since it expresses our maximum distance from our benefactor sun. Good mental health you will need to remain impassive in the face of this musical inferno, energy you will have while listening to this opus in the continuity of Pitfalls, heavy, nasty, metallic, depressive and high how overwhelming. A fresh, lively, intense album that can bring you to the musical firmament.

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.