|DiscoRun - Leprous: Every Song Ranked|
So I noticed a weekly discorun just takes up too much off my energy, so I decided to just do one whenever I feel like it. Today: Leprous. Did a nice marathon and ranked all 57 of their songs (EP's not included). Here's the result
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Fate - The breather of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Not a fan honestly. The opening vocals are cringe-worthy, the lyrics sub-par and the melodies a little forgettable. Overall one of Leprous' weaker songs. The song does get better once it opens up, but its too late for me at this point. This type of 'start it slow, end it large' song gets perfected so much later on with songs like Mb. Indifferentia and Distant Bells.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Dare You - The middle passage of this is absolutely brilliant, but I'm not a fan of the chorus and you can really hear Einar is still quite rough around the edges here when it comes to his vocals.
Lower - The second half of The Congregation is really a letdown for me. There are some pure gems here (Slave, Rewind, The Flood) but these last songs just don't give anything new or particularly interesting.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Tall Poppy Syndrome - I do think it's quite clever to put quite a long instrumental song at this point in the album. It keeps it from becoming too much of the same and give a little break from Einar's vocals. It's not the most interesting thing they ever did though, but it does have a nice atmosphere.
Down - Same thing here as with Moon, although this song feels somehow a little weaker. They've done this so much better even on this record. It almost feels like they were out of ideas at this point, which is the first time in this discorun that I run into this.
Within My Fence - I've always had the problem with The Congregation that a lot of songs just don't click for me. This is one of them. That vocal melody in the beginning just sounds really tacky to me. It misses some emotion and genuinity (is that a word? If not, it should be) that they're so famous for.
Mediocrity Wins - This album is so full of weird experimentation, and this is the one song where I think it doesn't really pay off. It's cohesive and consistent in what it tries to do, but I'm not a fan of the verses and the instrumentation is so-so.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Passing - They really did try to make a statement here didn't they. The first song of their debut album and it's a 8,5 minute epic with numerous passages, though still maintaining cohesion throughout. Pretty great way to start the discorun I'd say.
Triumphant - It has quite the strong hook, but it's also 4.5 minutes of pretty much the same thing all the way through.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Not Even A Name - That opening riff is the tits and the transition into the verse brilliant. Another one from Tall Poppy where I don't really like the chorus though. It's got nothing in there to actually keep me hooked like they did so well in pretty much every later album.
Moon - Sorry guys, I find that there is a reason I don't often finish listening to this record. This just sound so much more homogenous than pretty much every other thing they've done. It's just more of the same for me. It's not bad by any stretch, but nothing special for me either.
The Price - The vibe going from Coal to The Contregation is soo different and immediate. *Waves at Baard* Hi Baard, glad to have you with us for the remainder of the run, time for the drums to get more interesting. I think I prefer the moodies vibes of Coal over this as a whole, but we'll see as we get through this. I'm not a fan of this chorus, rest of the song is pretty great.
The Last Milestone - Pretty much a perfect transition from this, being the end of Malina, to Pitfalls where this style is used much more profoundly. I enjoy it as a sad emotional sendoff for the album, but it doesn't hit me like others do.
The Weight of Disaster - As we near the end of Malina, I notice that I find the latter half of the songs a little less captivating than the first half. Not as much as on The Congregation luckily, but I completely understand why I'm usually done with this record by this point. This is one where we really could've used something new and fresh, but we get what feels a little like just more of the same.
Foreigner - The pacing of Pitfalls is exceptional. Even so, this might be the only slight missfire on the album for me. It doesn't stick with me as much as all the other songs do. That doesn't mean its bad in any sense and I can see people having this way higher up on their list, but for me personally it misses something special that the others do have.
Leashes - The first time on Malina take a step back and slow it down a little. It's not one of my favorites from this album, but it's a pretty strong one in its own right.
Red - I notice I know the latter half of The Congregation way worse than I thought. It seems I skip this part of the record more often than not. This is a pretty great song but doesn't really stick with me after it's finished.
The Cloak - I feel this song tries to do the same as Mb. Indifferentia. It's a shame, because the former does it better imo. This song stands well on its own and is clearly meant as the single for the album, but it's just not as strong as the songs that came before it. It is a very good breather though.
Malina - This song is really weird and honestly I don't really know how to rate it. I enjoy that they're still trying to do knew things here, with the completely rhythmless drums and tremolo guitar parts. But I don't know if I actually think it's a good song. I'll just rate it in terms of my enjoyment, which is pretty middle of the pack.
Echo - This is such a slow burner of a song. It's a pitty because the first 4 minutes completely bog the pace of Coal down. When it picks back up it's great and shows itself for the epic that it is, but this song would've been so much better as either the closer or in the first half.
Thorn - Never really knew what to make of this song. It really is an odd one. Love the Ihsahn feature and its not bad, but its just really weird with a very unsettling trumpet solo.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Phantom Pain - Getting a lot of 'Paterns in the Ivy' vibes from that intro. And than just before the 2:00 mark it completely turns around. You can hear a lot of experiments on this record that get perfected with Bilateral and I think this songs shows this best. It's a little all over the place but it has a lot of interesting things going on.
Contaminate Me - Never realised this song has another Isahn feature. It gives a much needed boost in energy here at the end of Coal, but it is not their best song of this type and neither is it one of the better songs on the album. The main riff is pretty infectuous and Ihsahn is great as always, but it misses something to punch it into that upper echalon.
Cryptogenic Desires - Short and sweet with a couple of great parts. Leaves me wanting more.
By My Throne - I never noticed before how that main rhythmic melody just keeps on going in the background, played with different instruments. Very interesting song and a little less structured than the others on Pitfalls so far, which is a nice change of pace.
I Lose Hope - I love that opening base lick. It's so different and fresh and really pops out. The odd, freeflowing lyrics really work well on this song and show the little nuances that Einar is so exceptional at.
Coma - Oeh, the one where they showed that they could still make prog-metal. Somehow the vocals on this do feel a little more forced than when this would've been on say Bilateral. Einar playing it a little to safe maybe. Once again its Baard taking the spotlight with the most energetic performance of their entire carreer perhaps.
Third Law - This is already quite a lot better than The Price in my opinion. It completely hooks me in pretty much every second. It feels like a little more thought went into the songwriting and atmosphere.
Tall Poppy Syndrome
He Will Kill Again - You can really hear that they were trying to find their own sound by just putting as much ideas as possible into each song without it losing complete focus. I do like that experimentation a lot and it really pays off in this song. Its like a crazy circus show.
Below - Huh, now that I'm listening all their songs in a six hour marathon this actually has most in common with The Cloak. I never noticed that before. I think this works just as well as an opener as Coal workes as a breather. It's sad and sweeping but picks it up just enough near the end to keep it interesting.
Coal - This song so jumps between amazing and meh for me. I'm really not a fan of the main riff in the verse and the vocals there, but the 'chorus', if you can call it that in this song, is absolutely amazing. Leprous keeps being amazing at building a great bridge though don't they. And then straight into the last chorus, so so good songwriting.
Bilateral - Such a strong opening statement to just kick right in there before the song actually starts. I love the way the guitars keep shifting in the chorus. I can only image what Baard could do with a song like this.
Mirage - That bass in the intro is completely bonkers. It makes no sense yet it works so well. There are parts of this song that I'm completely in love with (mostly the instrumentals) but I'm not a big fan of the vocal melody in the chorus specifically. It felt like the band had it all done and Einar had lyrics but no vocal line, and then tried to fit it on there. It feels a little disjointed to me, which is a shame because the rest of the song has the potential to be one of their all time best.
Salt - I always felt like this is were Coal loses a bit of its momentum. Let's see if I feel the same way during a discorun shall we. -4,5 min later- Conclusion: Yes, this song really gets worse because of its placement on the album. We just had a long break in the middle of The Valley and now we have a full song being slower. Its a beauty when listened to in a vacuum though, so I guess the album really slows down with Echo.
Waste of Air - The mad man of the album. The pacing of this entire album is just brilliant, this is the perfect place for this song. Furious and uncompromising but with that hypnotic middle part. Fantastic song all around.
Observe the Train - One of my favorites from Pitfalls. It's just a very strong song that's moving, emotional and has an incredible earworm in both the pre-chorus and chorus.
The Flood - I love the way how this song start out as maybe the most straightforward one of their carreer and than completely keeps building at the end to become a wonderfull prog epic.
Foe - Coal is a really overlooked album by them imo. It's got pretty much only hitters, though it is a weirder album in terms of the actual songs. It gets a lot more vocal focussed and this is immediately prevelant here with Foe. Such a strong opener to show his big boy chops on the vocals
Tall Poppy Syndrome
White - Is this the best song from this record? I don't know, it may be. With the way I'm doing this I do think it gets a little overlong though, but that's the record as a whole not just this song specifically. There are so many fun and interesting things going on in here though, it's a really great song
Alleviate - Somehow I really disliked this song as a single. It just felt boring and a little uninspired to me. Boy did that change since then. It's so powerful when it opens up damn.
Slave - I haven't heard this one enough for sure, because damn this is a good song. So dramatic and climactic. I love it.
From the Flame - Another amazing adition. It doesn't really bring anything new, but it delivers with a fantastic chorus and very infectious beat throughout.
At The Bottom - This intro gives you such a wrong sense as of how the song is going to turn out. It starts as an almost 90's smooth R&B song, but then when it really gets going it's one of the more interesting songs on the album. Einar goes more into an aggressive mode which works so well at this point on this album specifically. That entire middle part is also fantastic and smooth as all hell in an nostalgic uplifting way.
Restless - This might be the first song I ever heard from them. The strange way Einar uses his vocals in the bridge is still completely amazing. Pitty he doesn't use that anymore. The entire song is both catchy and a little unsettling.
Stuck - I really get why this was one of the singles. You really hear the first poppy vibes coming in with a more conventional verse and a more commercial structure. Until the bridge comes in and we go into the dark territory. And than that dramatic ending. Really great song overall.
Painful Detour - Somehow I keep forgetting that Bilateral is NOT a front loaded record, even though most of my top of mind favorites are in the beginning. The final two songs from this record are so great thought. Not as good for me as Acquired Taste, but still a phenomenal ending to one of the best progmetal albums of the last decade.
Captive - This first half of Malina is just off the hook guys. If you let this album rest a little and then come back to it, its front loaded with amazing track after amazing track. Here's another one. That chorus is so hectic and yet fits perfectly. There's Baard again with his mad man drum chops doing 4 rhythms at the same time.
The Sky is Red - This song gives me the shivers every time. Once again, the drums take center stage for a great part of the song and its complex patterns are glorious. Einar sings his lungs out and the guitars are super effective. On top of it all this song is dripping with a cold, menacing atmosphere. And then that ending. Fantastic.
Bonneville - As far as I remember this was the best song from Malina and it's the opener. Along with the Congregation it made me lose interest in Leprous for a long time. Going back now I'm hoping the second half from Malina is better than that of The Congregation, which I thought was quite lackluster. This is awesome in any case. Amazing song with such a great build-up in tension.
Distant Bells - My favorite from Pitfalls. Yes maybe it takes a little too long to get going, but oh that ending. This was the song that convinced my gf that Leprous is awesome. We were having this on at the background and when this explosion came in she was like: "WHAT.. Holy shit what a song".
Acquired Taste - The overlooked gem of Bilateral. This song can quickly go by unnoticed but it's such a fantastic song that just keeps bringing the goods.
The Valley - Goosebumps all over that first chorus holy shit. It's been a long time since I listened to Coal and this song, but damn this hits hard. This is gonna end up high in this list and I have a lot of amazing tracks yet to go. Is it overlong? Maybe. Do I care? Nope.
Chronic - Owh that bridge. Rest of the song is lit to begin with, but THAT BRIDGE at the 2:40 mark onward is one of the best moments in Leprous' discography. Fucking genius. The way it opens up into the soaring vocals and than moves into the prog instumentals is amazing.
Mb. Indifferentia - I love this song. It lulls you into a false sense of security by just being slow and sweet for four and a half minutes before just exploding straight in your face with a breathtaking climax. And than that last scream.. Shivers. Majestic stuff really
Rewind - The first time that Baard really shines and it brings the entire band up a notch. The drums are so fucking amazing on this piece. This song does such a great job at maintaining tension. IIII AAAMM HOLLLOWWWW
Illuminate - And here I say that Bonneville was the best song on Malina. Completely forgot that this crazy fucker was on here. People praise Einar but really Baard is their MVP is you ask me. Watch his drumvideo for this song if you're not convinced. The guy is an absolute madman. That shuffle is so fantastic holy crap.
Forced Entry - This was my first love when it comes to Leprous. This song is absolutely insane. From the disonant opening to the extreme proggy middle part. It's catchy as all hell and has everything prog-me loves. Their magnum opus and a glorious one from beginning to end.