Leprous - Coal

8 songs
55:47 minutes
***** ****
InsideOut / SPV


Norwegian progressive rock band Leproud left quite a lasting impression with their album Bilateral two years ago. Their meanwhile fifth album, titled Coal, consequently build on the qualities of its predecessor.

The album starts promisingly with the suspenseful intro Foe whose sense of dramatics reminds me of Devin Townsend. The following Chronic follows in the same direction and delights with strange sounds. There's a little pathos la Muse, but the vocals are much more powerful and should appeal to fans of Asia and Saga. Einar Solberg is not only a gifted singer, but also a keyboard wizard coming up with the most massive sound structures. On the title track the band is showing itself from its most progressive side, inserting weird parts that one knows otherwise from bands like Dream Theater and King Crimson. It's especially the prevailing sense of darkness that gives Leprous its own sound. The next two tracks, The Cloak and The Valley, are somewhat quieter, with slight nods to Sigur Ros, but still there are plenty of tingling moments. A somewhat less successful track is Salt, another mellower track that just takes too long to get to the point. The second to last song Echo is another quieter track, but uses a lot of electronic sounds that allow parallels to the current Maserati. The album concludes with the nine minute long Contaminate Me where the band once again lets it all out. I especially like the contrast between the black metal vocals and the violin part.

Coal can be considered to logical successor to Bilateral. Both albums more or less share the same sound, but it seems as if the band has worked to get rid of its few remaining weaknesses. Coal is definitely proof that Leprous not only have technical skills, but also an enormous amount of creativity. This could very well become one of the hottest progressive rock albums of the year.

Back to Reviews