LEPROUS - Bilateral

Leprous - Bilateral

10 songs
58:05 minutes
***** ****


Leprous is a Norwegian progressive metal band that was founded in 2001 and just now is back with their fourth album Bilateral. This by itself is nothing out of the ordinary, but once you realist that the five musicians are currently in the mid-twenties, you can’t help being surprised at how they were already in such deep music in their teenage years. Their first three albums which were released between 2004 and 2009 received favourable reviews and consequently got bigger labels interested in them, resulting in Bilateral coming out on InsideOut/SPV.

The Norwegians’ home town is Notodden, the same place Emperor are from. Although Bilateral was recorded in Emperor mastermind Ihsahn’s studio, you won’t find any black metal elements on the album. Instead Leprous surprise with eight-string guitar and lots of keyboards that fortunately don’t rob the music of its power. From a musical perspective, Bilateral doesn’t offer anything necessarily unprecedented, but it is still a very entertaining experience. The songs are rarely overly complex but nevertheless contain so many different parts that you never know where it will take you around the next corner. This counts especially for the two long tracks Forced Entry (10 minutes) and Painful Detour (8 minutes) where the musicians show all the have got. Next to overwhelmingly epic structures, you will find dreamy respites, chaotic structures, dark elaborations and just plain straight rock. Their influences seem to be plentiful, ranging from Pain Of Salvation over Opeth to even Porcupine Tree.

The shorter songs don’t fail to excite either. The dragging Thorns comes with evil growls courtesy of Ihsahn himself. Acquired Taste is a pathos filled kitsch track with the undeniable certain something. Leprous definitely take advantage of Einar Solberg’s voice that reminds me of Devin Townsend’s. His varied performance helps give the album its sparkling atmosphere.

If you feel like discovering a progressive metal band unlike any other one you might have heard recently, you will be at the right address with Leprous. Bilateral makes it through its one hour running time without ever dropping in quality, and always maintaining the listener’s attention.

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