Tuesday 26 May 2015

Leprous- 'The Congregation' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 25/5/2015
Label: InsideOut Music
‘The Congregation CD//DD//LP track Listing

1. The Price (5:14)
2. Third Law (6:18)
3. Rewind (7:07)
4. The Flood (7:51)
5. Triumphant (4:25)
6. Within My Fence (3:16)
7. Red (6:35)
8. Slave (6:37)
9. Moon (7:13)
10. Down (6:26)
11. Lower (4:34)

Leprous is :

Einar Solberg - Lead Vocal, Keys
Tor Oddmund Suhrke - Guitar
Øystein Landsverk - Guitar
Baard Kolstad - Drums


Since 2001 Leprous have been showing the world their black soul, maybe not in explicit manifestation through their music but it remains at the core of what they do.  The Norwegian prog Lords have a blackened edge to them, be it from their roots, from performing as Ihsahn’s backing band or simply their dark, stormy souls of discontent. It is of no matter why; suffice it to say it separates them from the hordes of Prog acts around. Even in its fragility, this dark side has helped them to define what and who they are, it has play a significant role in perpetuating and propelling them into the limelight; highlighting their expertise within the experimental arena.

Picking up where their 2013’s ‘Coal’ left off it sees their pioneering ways dulled somewhat, meaning that some of their intrigue, alas, has faded with it. Cleaner, lighter and far too safe for its own good, I find that the tracks on ‘The Congregation’  are significantly trimmed down, with Solberg having almost total control over the song writing and vocals, repetition abounds. Riffs that previously would have been dense, treacly clusters of heaven are now the diet version, simplified.  The technicality within the rhythm are still strong, Kolstad’s drumming needs a special mention here, yet the guitars and bass are most definitely taking a time out. Pushed to the back, ignored like the naughty step child, they are missed. 

Lacking in experimentation when compared to previous offerings, this album could definitely be missed, drifting by unnoticed and I for one think that is a shame as despite the criticisms I have about it there are some things they do well, very well.  ‘The Price’ which opens the album starts with a catchy drum/guitar beat that will hook you immediately. Catchy it is and for me, a hit. Replete with thrums that keep the tempo up, the haunting vocals are soft and melodic, the track is little slow at first, but building up to the chorus that is a definitive ear worm. One you will not shake easily. Almost Muse like in its offering; I wonder if that is why I am drawn to it.

‘Rewind’, ‘Red’ and ‘Slave’ all highlight just how powerful Solberg’s vocals can be, growling and screaming with abandon it is also representative of some of the more emotive elements of Leprous’ work. The songs find vocals deftly switching between beautiful vocals and screaming, powerful and evocative stuff.  The ‘Third Law’ leaves a Muse/Bellamy aftertaste and the Muse comparisons keep on coming. 

‘The Flood’ almost a ballad in constitution plays with differing elements, with a rock style chorus lifting the song from the timid and ominous verses, to an all out “blast in the car” kind of track. The music is well composed, albeit a little bland for my tastes at times, considering how strong their last two efforts were. Whilst a hint of their former blackness still persists it is clear that Leprous are ready, aimed and firing at the mainstream and this album has all the elements to make it so, with modern sounding memorable hooks. 

Words by: Kat Hilton 

“The Congregation” can be purchased in Europe from the following loactions:

And also in Germany

Or also as shirt-bundle option from the InsideOut Webshop in Europe herehttps://www.insideoutshop.de/Search?q=The+Congregation

The North American pre-order can be found here: 

Also, check out the track “Rewind” here: 

For more information:

Here is an overview of all upcoming LEPROUS live-dates announced so far (Updates marked *):

LEPROUS – Live at European Festivals 2015:
Fri. 05.06.2015 Nijmegen (The Netherlands) - Fortarock Festival / www.fortarock.nl
Thu 25.06.2015 Minsk (Belarus) - Metropolis Fest (Supporting Dream Theater) *
Fri. 10.07.2015 Newark-On-Trent (UK) - UK Tech-Fest / www.uktechfest.com
Sat. 11.07.2015 Barcelona (Spain) - BeProgMyFriend Festival / www.beprogmyfriend.com
Sat. 03.10.2015 Cologne (Germany) - Euroblast Festival / www.euroblast.net
Sun. 04.10.2015 Baarlo (The Netherlands) - Progpower Europe / www.progpower.eu

LEPROUS + Sphere & Rendezvous Point / European Tour 2015:
Fri. 25.09.2015 Bergen (Norway) - Garage / www.garage.no
Fri. 02.10.2015 Copenhagen (Denmark) - Forbraendingen / www.forbraendingen.dk
Sat. 03.10.2015 Cologne (Germany) - Euroblast Festival / www.euroblast.net
Sun. 04.10.2015 Baarlo (The Netherlands) - Progpower Europe / www.progpower.eu
Mon. 05.10.2015 Paris (France) - Le Divan Du Monde / www.divandumonde.com
Tue. 06.10.2015 Nantes (France) - Le Ferrailleur / www.leferrailleur.fr
Thu. 08.10.2015 Lisbon (Portugal) - RCA club / www.rcaclub.com
Fri. 09.10.2015 Madrid (Spain) - Caracol / www.salacaracol.com
Sat. 10.10.2015 Murcia (Spain) - Garaje / www.garajebeatclub.com
Sun. 11.10.2015 Barcelona, (Spain) - Apolo 2 www.sala-apolo.com
Mon. 12.10.2015 Lyon (France) - Ninkasi Kao / www.ninkasi.fr
Tue. 13.10.2015 London, (UK) - Garage / www.mamacolive.com/thegarage
Wed. 14.10.2015 Manchester (UK) - Ruby Lounge / www.therubylounge.com
Thu. 15.10.2015 Bristol (UK) - The Fleece / www.thefleece.co.uk
Fri. 16.10.2015 Maasmechelen (Belgium) - Jan Hertog
Sat. 17.10.2015 Karlsruhe (Germany) - Substage / www.substage.de
Sun. 18.10.2015 München (Germany) - Backstage Club / www.backstage.eu
Mon. 19.10.2015 Milano (Italy) - Legend Club / www.legendclub.jimdo.com
Tue. 20.10.2015 Aarau (Switzerland) - Kiff / www.kiff.ch
Thu 22.10.2015 Brasov (Romania) - Rockstadt / www.rockstadt.ro
Fri. 23.10.2015 Belgrade (Serbia) - Dom Omladine / www.domomladine.org *
Sat. 24.10.2015 Bratislava (Slovakia) - Majestic Club / www.majestic.sk
Sun. 25.10.2015 Prague (Czech Republic) - Nova Chmelnice / www.novachmelnice.cz
Mon. 26.10.2015 Warszaw (Poland) - Progresja / www.progresja.com
Tue. 27.10.2015 Riga (Latvia) - Rockcafe / www.rockcafe.lv
Wed. 28.10.2015 Helsinki (Finland) - Nosturi / www.elmu.fi
Fri. 30.10.2015 Stockholm (Sweden) - Bryggarsalen / www.bryggarsalen.se
Sat. 31.10.2015 Oslo (Norway) - John Dee / www.rockefeller.no

More dates to be added soon!