Leprous
Malina


4.0
excellent

Review

by cloakanddagger USER (13 Reviews)
August 26th, 2017 | 81 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Leprous soften their distinctive progressive sound somewhat, but still show they can deliver the goods.

Leprous are probably one of the most intriguing acts in modern progressive music. They started out as a backing group for Ihsahn's live shows, but decided to record music as a separate project. Thanks to frequent lineup changes it took them 8 years before releasing their first album, "Tall Poppy Syndrome", but it was very well-received as a solid slab of avant-garde prog metal. Since then, the band has released 3 more studio albums, all of which have been different in their own right but still very much retaining a familiar sound. However, in the follow-up to this album, "Malina", many fans were confused by how the band seemed to be softening their sound, something that they'd never done before.

Make no mistake, there are still some heavy moments on this album, such as in the last 2 minutes of the opening track, "Bonneville", the penultimate song "The Weight of Disaster" and in the song "Mirage", which is one of the highlights of the album as a whole. On top of this, all of the usual traits of the Leprous sound are still there, like the vocal harmonies ("Bonneville"), as well as the moody atmospheres they began to introduce more on their previous album "The Congregation". The third song, "From the Flame" is a good example of this. The vocals are, once again, one of the main focal points of the music here, a trend which has continued since frontman Einar Solberg has taken on more of the songwriting duty. It's hardly a bad thing, as his vocals are distinctive and excellent. However, with more focus on the vocals, the instrumentation seems to have taken a bit of a backseat. This may be in part due to the band recently gaining a new guitarist, Robin Ognedal, but the instrumentation just doesn't seem to be as interesting as it was on previous albums. Guitar riffs are definitely still here, though, and when they show up, they're just as good as anything off of the band's previous work. "Mirage" is probably the best example of this. Overall, the best instrumentation is presented on the second portion of this album, and whilst the first half is still very solid, it is overshadowed by the latter half.

However, despite the slight inconsistency in the quality of the material, overall the album still flows very nicely and it shows that Leprous can still deliver the goods. "Coma" is a short but sweet piece of glitchy heavy prog, and "The Weight of Disaster" is a fantastic penultimate song and one of the best songs Leprous has ever written, with well-contrasting heavy and soft sections and Einar's vocals once again shining through the moody instrumentation. Album closer "The Last Milestone" is probably the most interesting song on the album, featuring only vocals and a string section, with no guitars or drums. It's a beautiful and haunting song, although it does seem to run on for a little too long, but it shows the band's continued willingness to experiment with their sound, for better or for worse.

Overall, this album is another fine addition to the band's discography. It represents the band growing and exploring some different sounds, which don't always produce the best material they've written, but nevertheless is a very enjoyable experience for long-time fans and newcomers alike.



Recent reviews by this author
SikTh The Future in Whose Eyes?Slaughter To Prevail Misery Sermon
Uneven Structure La PartitionCircle of Dust Machines Of Our Disgrace
Kardashev PeripetyReflections The Color Clear
user ratings (165)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
cloakanddagger
August 26th 2017


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As always, feedback and any constructive criticism is appreciated.



The vocals on this album are absolutely gorgeous throughout.

BlackwaterPork
August 26th 2017


533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review. Dunno about the softer side, I kind of liked the heavier approach more. Pos

Digging: Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

Willie
Moderator
August 26th 2017


17202 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I wasn't the biggest fan of their other albums, but I really like this one. Definitely a takes a lot of listens though. Nice review.

BlackwaterPork
August 26th 2017


533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This one definitely has its moments.

Mythodea
August 26th 2017


4121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with the rating, album is great. I feel the review could use some re-write, tbh, though I agree with most of your points.

Digging: Dixie Dregs - What If

cloakanddagger
August 26th 2017


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I did this straight after a work shift and I do transcribing, so yeah it may need some polishing up here and there.

vermillionZ
August 26th 2017


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Weight of disaster is awesome

Toondude10
August 26th 2017


11314 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

good stuff, though I think this is their weakest. The last three songs are great though.

Digging: Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

Spag
August 27th 2017


2456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its awesome.

ksoflas
August 27th 2017


1141 Comments


Good writing man, well said, pos'd.

ksoflas
August 27th 2017


1141 Comments


Huge band.

ksoflas
August 27th 2017


1141 Comments


I like the use of strings in the album.
Theses guys really know how to write catchy quality songs.

RikRoach7
August 27th 2017


2310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes, the strings are very well imbedded, it always sounds natural and never forced. It's also amazing how catchy their songs are given how much they rely on syncopated rhythms, a thing that already showed on their previous two albums

Flugmorph
August 27th 2017


17030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i might like this more than their last one tbh. Congregation was kinda bland

Digging: Perturbator - New Model

LifeFeedsOnLife
August 27th 2017


461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is still kinda bland tbh.. They haven't been able to pull of clean guitar in a way that impressed me since Bilateral, but at least Einar still sounds fantastic.

EvoHavok
August 27th 2017


7139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Band keeps delivering.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun

Flugmorph
August 27th 2017


17030 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ye i greatly prefer ihsahn on vocals and as a songwriter.

Also haken is >

ksoflas
August 27th 2017


1141 Comments


''Band keeps delivering'' agreed hard

RikRoach7
August 27th 2017


2310 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't want to make it sound like I'd want them to disband, but if they incidentally did, The Last Milestone would be the perfect way to conclude a discography

cloakanddagger
August 27th 2017


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@RikRoach7 I'd say DEP did that with the title track on Dissociation, most perfect swansong ever.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy