Beauty and a haunting sadness, music that heightens emotions…
Released on 25th August 2017 by InsideOut Music and reviewed by Stephen Brophy
Leprous are among a growing group of Progressive Rock and Metal bands that are pushing not only their own boundaries but also the boundaries of what most perceive Progressive Rock to be. The Norwegians have certainly evolved over the last 11 years and their sixth studio album Malina is a further step on that path. This album is being released on InsideOut Music, a label with a growing roster of extremely talented and genuinely original artists, with this year’s Pain Of Salvation and Fates Warning’s 2016 releases already being two of my personal favourites of the last year. And with the quality of this release, Leprous are joining them.
The strength of tracks like ‘Stuck’ and ‘From The Flame’ are perfect examples of the depth in their music and the perfect blend that Einar (vocals/synth) brings to that music. The more spins of these tracks you listen to the more it sinks in. The sound is perhaps not surprising from previous releases, but the breath of influences may go some way to defining where they are now musically. The guitar sound is almost Indie in origins at times, but it sounds right for what they are trying to create and portray. Bass and drums are just so tightly knit together they are almost as one, and Baard Kolstad is one of the best drummers on the scene. And there is no doubt that the keyboards on this album create a very different element in most of the tracks on offer. Add in some haunting orchestral accompaniment on the title track ‘Malina’ and closing track ‘The Last Milestone’ changes not only the sound but also the feel, and that lifts this album from good to a higher level.
The sheer variety in the songs and their quality make it difficult to pick out one that stands out over another. The aforementioned ‘Stuck’ and From The Flame’ are excellent in their own right, but all of the tracks have their own merits, some electronic in origin like ‘Coma’ or the heavier and excellent ‘The Weight Of Disaster’ that rises and falls in tempo with vocal and musical changes. But ‘Mirage’ is just such a stunning piece of work it’s impossible to just move away from it, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that makes all parts of your body move, be it air drumming, head-nodding, or bursting out singing involuntarily. Just an awesome song and it develops and expands as it progresses.
This is a brilliant album, very classy musically and although perhaps not within everybody’s radar, this is worth spending some time with. There is certainly a beauty in the compositions here, the music is heavy in places, but not necessarily what you may call ‘metal’, mainly down to the guitar sound, but it sounds great. Hopefully this album will have them better known for their own output than as Ihsahn’s (Emperor) backing band. Leprous are on tour in the UK/Ireland in November. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear this wonderful music live.
- From The Flame
- The Weight Of Disaster
- The Last Milestone