Leprous
Aphelion


4.0
excellent

Review

by GarthAlgar USER (13 Reviews)
August 27th, 2021 | 446 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Leprous yet again strays away from their prog metal origins to give us another softer prog rock record that blends pop and electronics in more exciting ways than ever before.

I’m going to be honest: I don’t love most of Leprous’ early work. I prefer the more mainstream approach the band gave us with 2019’s Pitfalls. Though I think most fans of the band will enjoy this album more, their mileage may vary. Again, we see a departure of their signature prog metal beginnings for a prog pop-rock outing that delivers their best work yet by blending a bit of old with the new.

The opener, “Running Low”, is a slow build to a simple yet addictive chorus that will echo throughout your mind for days to come. Not only does it deliver on that chorus, but the strings add stunning theatrics that build to a breathtaking finale of epic proportions making it my favorite track of the entire record.

The guitar tones and synths in “Out of Here” take us on an ethereal journey that culminates in a groovy crescendo midway through. The synths return with a bigger presence in “Silhouette”, but it’s the strings that are the standout here. “All The Moments” slows things down a bit with impressive piano work that blends so effortlessly with Einar Solberg’s vocals.

“Have You Ever?” begins with ominous synths with a slow beat stitched together by Einar’s harmonies. The vocal effects on the chorus are simple, but are effective in drawing us in with the more barren verses and bridges. Leprous’ excellent use of their instrumental arsenal comes into full force here. This is easily one of the standout tracks.

“The Silent Revelation” doesn’t do anything new by this point, but it excels in its execution. What follows though is another standout track in “The Shadow Side”. The poppier approach of Leprous’ newer sound shines by showing us here that we can have sophisticated pop music in 2021. It also shows that Einar’s keyboard work in these past two records has reached new heights. The guitar solo near the end then neatly wraps up all of the emotion that has oozed out over the last four and a half minutes.

The nearly 8 minute epic, “On Hold”, brings us some of the best lyrics on the whole record. Dealing with insecurities, conformity, and struggling with his own identity in the darkest of times, Einar lets us in more than ever. The guitar work is restrained and explodes in a Muse-esque sequence at the end that culminates in quintessential Leprous fashion.

“Castaway Angels” strips away the complex foundation of the band to let Einar’s voice and an acoustic guitar take full control before the rest of the band comes in to elevate the emotional finale. This beautiful track is easily one of the best here.

The closer, “Nighttime Disguise”, is the closest we get to their older work. Though it doesn’t entirely reach their progressive metal roots, it’s one of the more proggier tracks. With some of the best guitar work over this 56 minute journey, this is a fitting way to close the record. The last minute is a masterful ending that ends with the only harsh vocals heard across the entirety of Aphelion. It’s truly a work of art.

Leprous have had a long and consistent journey to get to this point in their career. They’ve reinvented themselves over the past two years, and this record proves that this evolution was the correct path. With plenty of proggier work in their back catalog, the band has found a new spark in the ways of a more digestive and poppier sound that allows theatrics and Einar’s voice to shine like never before. Though most hardcore fans will probably lean towards favorites such as Bilateral, Aphelion has become Leprous’ crowning achievement in creativity and songwriting.



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user ratings (307)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
LeddSledd
August 27th 2021


7444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this better be good

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2021


18258 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The singles were the best part of this. Everything else is essentially tired Disney filler.

GarthAlgar
August 27th 2021


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Understandable, but I quite like their more theatrical work we’ve gotten these past two years.

GarthAlgar
August 27th 2021


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also this is only my third review on here. I know some don’t love a track by track review, but I felt it was the best way to get my points across.

I’ll hopefully try a different approach the next go around.

Pikazilla
August 27th 2021


30125 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Heard three songs besides the singles



The fact that their output has turned into an Einar solo show is annoying af



Malina, Pitfalls, and now this... What is even the point of having such talented guitarists, drummer, and bassist if they are effectively the back-up band now? Fuck this shit, I'm out

FearThyEvil
August 27th 2021


18661 Comments


I haven't even listened to Pitfalls yet still lol

GarthAlgar
August 27th 2021


990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pitfalls is much more of the Einar solo show, but my understanding is that this album was much more of a band effort. I guess they we’re all looking for something new after The Congregation.

Ectier
August 27th 2021


2738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I did like a lot of this and Ill probably lower this to a 3.5, i need to revisit pitfalls. It is very easy to say though that this record goes a tad overboard on the orchestra stuff and some of the songs feel overly long for no real reason. Leprous is a weird band for me, I like them but I cant fully get into pre Congregation stuff (Apparently that record is the closest to Einar doing everything oddly enough)

Pikazilla
August 27th 2021


30125 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I wish all of them would go ham once more and release something like Bilateral again

LeddSledd
August 27th 2021


7444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not holding out hope

Ectier
August 27th 2021


2738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I have to agree would be great to see them just go off the rails with some techy insanity.

valek
August 27th 2021


430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Billateral is insane but Congregation is their peak for me.



ngl I like most of their stuff this album is weird but I don't think is a bad weird, need to listen to it more for now.

Ectier
August 27th 2021


2738 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Chorus from Slave gets stuck in my head a lot

Pikazilla
August 27th 2021


30125 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Congregation has some of the best moments in their career but also suffers from repetition



I actually think Coal is better lol

Pikazilla
August 27th 2021


30125 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

If I had to rank their output now, I'd go



Bilateral > TPS > Coal > Congregation > Pitfalls > Malina > this

valek
August 27th 2021


430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Coal is another hell of an album but I also like Malina alot so yeah, there's that.

LeddSledd
August 27th 2021


7444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bilateral > Coal > Congregation > Pitfalls > TPS = Malina

Pikazilla
August 27th 2021


30125 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great ranking, ledd < 3

LeddSledd
August 27th 2021


7444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

:3



ain't spun this one one but your rating is confirming my fears, methinks

valek
August 27th 2021


430 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah I don't like TPS as much either but I think Malina is better than Pitfalls.



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