Leprous – Coal
Label: InsideOut Music
Reviewer: Álvaro Rodríguez Ortiz - 2013-08-18
Highlights: Foe, Coal, The Valley.
The first time about Leprous it was in a magazine. They were saying Leprous was one of the best bands out there in the prog metal scene. I thought every single magazine says the same about every single new band, so I left them for a while. Until one friend encouraged me to listen to them. He told me that Leprous was the live band of Ihsahn, one of my favorite Black Metal musicians all time, so I got the right push, I though if they are playing with Ihsahn, they gotta be very good.
Leprous is a band from Notodden, a small place in Norway. The formed in 2001, and they got attention because they started supporting live to Ihsahn, since he released After. Coal is their latest album (also their 4th one). They play a really interesting prog metal, with variety, they don’t sound boring, they like to include different sounds and atmospheres to the music, which is something I really appreciate. I really apreciate that the singer doesn’t growl at all, in fact, he mainly sings with a really beautiful clean type of vocals. It adds more to the final mix, and I do think it’s a winning choice, because there are hundreds of prog bands that use a mix of cleans and growls, or just growls. The production in general is really top notch in the album, the bass is loud, just as I like it. In general is a really good album.
Seems like in Norway they like to mix different sounds and genres (you can notice it in Kvelertak) and you can notice it here too. Even though they mainly play prog metal, in a very TesseracT way (with those 7 string riffs and those clean vocals), they add more stuff, Black Metal moments (seems like Ihsahn is making a big influence in them), piano interludes... And when they do add growls, the singer of the band (Einar Solberg, who’s also the keyboard player) leaves that duty to a master in this kind of singing, Ihsahn. You can hear him in a couple of songs, from time to time and his influence is out there. If you are really into Prog Metal, or just Prog Metal, you should check this guys out. They are not the typical Prog Metal band, and also they are not that hard to listen to, they are not super complicated, with hundreds of solos per album, they make music focusing on the melodies.
I would like to remark the vocalist (he has a really good voice) and also the producer, he turned the bass really loud in the mix, and that helps to make the sound bigger. One of the highlights for this year, if we speak about relative newbie bands, or not “so big bands”. If I were you, I would keep an eye on them, just as I’m doing now...