Leprous is a band that you probably haven’t heard of, which is a damn shame. These guys were the backing band for Ihsahn (Emperor) for 2009 and the first half of 2010, if that gives you any clue as to how talented they are. Around since 2001 with an EP, a demo and one full-length album, the band is back with their newest release, Bilateral. Laced with heavy doses of 70’s prog rock but with a thoroughly modern twist, this album rolls up and down like a roller coaster. But is it the awesome speedy ride you crave or the disappointing kiddy ride that you have to ride with your wee young’un? Check after the jump for the answer.
I’m going to clear the air right now: this album is astonishing. I wasn’t expecting much when I first hit ‘Play’, but within two songs I was not only hooked, I was floored. The opening track, Bilateral, starts with epic and triumphant chords and vocals before diving down into subtle harmonized vocals overlaid by vintage synth patches. Slowly building up by adding more and more instrumentation, this track showcases the musical versatility of each member, from clever drumming to syncopated, staccato guitars to soaring vocals.
The production of the album has a glorious vintage sound with beautiful mixing and astonishing clarity. One of the great aspects of the album is the vast wealth of tones I heard. Each song had new sounds that were fascinating. The second track, Forced Entry, starts with a tone that sounds like dial-up modem choking and screaming for life. Later in the song, there were tones that made me think of Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. Basically I had kick ass music playing while I was thinking about Ken Foree and Scott Reiniger running through the mall taking out zombie after zombie. Awesome.
This album is definitely for fans of King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and all the other great prog rock bands you can think of. Also, add in some dashes of near djent metal and you’ve got an idea of what to expect from Leprous‘ Bilateral.
The Final Word:Bilateral is a serious contender for my Album of the Year. I cannot stop listening to it, which might be the highest compliment I can give.