Leprous
Bilateral


4.0
excellent

Review

by Duffluc USER (4 Reviews)
April 7th, 2012 | 169 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bilateral is an experience that should not be missed by any fan of progressive music.

Just go take a nice good look at the album art, before we get any further. No, not the dinky little thumbnail on the side, go grab yourself the full resolution version. Go ahead, there's no rush. Seriously. Go do it.

Done?

Great. No, I don't really know what the hell was going on either. But for me at least, such a picture is only fitting, because it encompasses all that Leprous' Bilateral is; unique, attention grabbing, and incredibly difficult to define. Bilateral is an absolute gem, and a conglomerate of more influences and styles of progressive metal than I care to name off. At the very least it's an experience, one that you would be unfortunate to miss.

Bilateral is first and foremost a progressive metal album, but its roots go so much deeper than just that. Some sections sound downright jazzy, while others approach the sort of extreme metal vibe you might find in the more eclectic bands of the progressive metal genre. So how to begin to describe this enigma of an album, that eludes definition so sublimely? Well for starters, it's damn good. Yes, all the technical wankery you would expect from a prog metal album is present here. The members of Leprous are not slouches when it comes to their given instruments. Einar Solberg is proficient on vocals as well, albeit perhaps a little generic. But for all the band members skill, this isn't why Bilateral is such a strong album. No, this is due to the bands incredible song writing prowess.

Every song on bilateral has its own style, flavor, and sound. Yet at the same time, the album has a cohesive feeling to it, which makes it more enjoyable to listen to start to finish instead of track by track. This is due in part to the fantastic pacing of the album, which switches from heavy and extreme to lulling and mellow almost on a track by track basis. As the album changes, so too does the accompanying vocal style, which range from soaring harmonies to high pitched growls and back again without a hitch. It's a good thing too, because the vocals are often what seems to be driving the album forward, pushing towards the next big climax or slowing things down to a more gentle pace. This sort of variety in a single album is a rare find, and whats more, its done well. A tall order for a band that's only released three albums thus far.

Yes, Leprous pulls off all of this so well it's difficult to find anything particularly wrong with the album. Perhaps my biggest criticism is the the lack of meaning behind some of the songs. This isn't to say that the tracks aren't emotionally charged, because they are. But, as with much of the genre, cheese is abundant here, and I'm often left wondering what it is they're singing about, exactly. Perhaps, like the album art, Bilateral's greater meaning is lost on me. But that doesn't make it any less enjoyable to listen to.

No one single element stands out as being absolutely superb on Bilateral. The musicians are skilled, but by no means the most gifted out there. The vocals are powerful and varied, but not exactly of stand out quality. The songs are emotionally strong, but not really all that meaningful. It's the way that Leprous is able to bring all these elements together, the way they're able to blend so many different styles and genres into a single album, and the way their expert song writing is able to grab hold of you that makes this album so special. Leprous' Bilateral is a shining example of what progressive metal is capable of, and is an album that any fan of the genre should be sure not to miss.


user ratings (202)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Pistol Pete (5)
An absolutely epic, twisting, and thrilling adventure from start to finish and some of the best musi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Duffluc
April 7th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I planned to write this thing ages ago, and now it's long overdue for a writeup. Oh well, if you haven't heard it yet, I'd say it'd be a good idea to go take a look.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Forced Entry is definitely my favorite track on here. Good review for this indeed overdue album. Pos'd.

D41V30N
April 7th 2012


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Duffluc. This needed a review so bad. I personally loved "Tall Poppy Syndrome" more, but Bilateral is a VERY close second, and one of my favorites from last year. "Forced Entry" is also my favorite from the record.

Pos'd.

YUJOS
April 7th 2012


955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The future sound of progressive metal maybe?? Good review also man!

Digging: Skaphe - SkŠphe

BallsToTheWall
April 7th 2012


44805 Comments


Loved the last leprous album, haven't listened to this though because I heard they went full prog rock.

drewcordova
April 7th 2012


705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is dope. Artwork is shit no matter the spin you put on it. Good review. pos

D41V30N
April 7th 2012


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Loved the last leprous album, haven't listened to this though because I heard they went full prog rock."

They did. But it's still fun. And it has a few songs which aren't full prog, like "Restless".

CaptainDooRight
April 7th 2012


30336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

albums a little above average, my take a few spins to really appreciate

Yazz_Flute
April 7th 2012


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Funny that this just got reviewed; I've been looking to obtain it for the past few days but have had little luck.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

Wreath
April 8th 2012


85 Comments


Finally this gets reviewed.

CaptainDooRight
April 9th 2012


30336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah music is much better than album cover art

i mean the shroom trees are cool but wtf demon on a chariot

snewso
April 12th 2012


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album. I might like TPS just a bit better though. "Thorn" is my favorite track. "Mb Indifferentia" is probably 2nd. This band and Vulture Industries are two of my favorite recent finds.

conesmoke
April 18th 2012


5291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Havn't got this yet, Tall Poppy Syndrome rocked.

It should probably be mentioned somewhere that Ihsahn does guest vocals in the song Thorn. He does them soo well.
m/

Loved your review

Yazz_Flute
April 19th 2012


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Clean vocalist reminds me a little of Matt Barlow's higher pitched/raspier delivery.

I like the shorter songs more than the longer songs.

Yazz_Flute
April 22nd 2012


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Title track reminds me so much of Horror-Show era Iced Earth. Badass.

Yazz_Flute
April 26th 2012


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mb. Indifferentia is definitely my favorite track. Album gets tiresome in the second half, though. May lower my rating.

drewcordova
April 26th 2012


705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^^yes. Could have been better with a little bit of brevity.

Imperial
April 26th 2012


1739 Comments


wow this is fucking GOOD!

conesmoke
April 30th 2012


5291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This band kicks ass

LifeFeedsOnLife
July 31st 2012


134 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its basically Opeth lite.... not that its entirely a bad thing. i loved the vocals on the title-track. ( for a second there, i thought i'd heard a bit of ICS Vortex in the chorus..) and they do some pretty amazing shit with a keyboard.



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