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leprous coal
Artist: Leprous
Title: Coal
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: 17th May 2013
Label: InsideOut Music


Album Review

Norwegian Prog-Rock band LEPROUS (a name evoking something far more SINISTER than what’s actually on offer) have toured with some of the big hitters in the genre as well as performing headline shows around Europe. New album ‘Coal’ is a curious mix of styles, with varying degrees of success. Opening track ‘Foe’ begins with what sounds like DEPECHE MODE’s Martin Gore on Helium, before things get even more hysterical. There is drama here, granted, but a fine-line balances great dramatic vocalists and those of say, Justin Hawkins of THE DARKNESS, a band who know how ridiculous they sound at times.

‘Chronic’ feels unfinished, like it needs fine-tuning somewhere, and by the title track the vocal hysteria is back, although this stomps along nicely enough. Mid-section slow-song ‘The Cloak’ is a revelation. The singing is gorgeous, and shows what can be achieved when not always setting the controls for MUSE. A stunning piece of falsetto makes up the chorus, and even the angular time changes are subdued and subtle. Equally impressive is ‘The Valley’, again the subtle singing plays gently with the melody, all hushed atmospherics and tones here. A big rock chorus fits perfectly into the mix, and at nearly nine minutes long, it’s what you would call ambitious. But it works, and it works well.

There are shades of OPETH and PORCUPINE TREE here at times, ‘Salt’ and ‘Echo’ for example, being neither too proggy nor too overblown. They do sound a bit too similar to one another though. Perhaps they could have got married and produced another nine minute epic instead? ‘Contaminate Me’ finishes things off, some furious drumming, and duelling guitars underpinning a decent enough verse. More time changes than a round-the-world flight clutter up the screamed-vocal chorus though, and then it becomes a horrible mess. And it goes on for an eternity. So, a mixed bag then. When not bloated and overblown, the singing is tender and the melodies fine, musically it tries too hard to be all things to all fans, which rarely works. If LEPROUS concentrate on what they do best, they’d have a huge album in them. As it is, they remain regrettably average.


Tracklist

01. Foe
02. Chronic
03. Coal
04. The Cloak
05. The Valley
06. Salt
07. Echo
08. Contaminate Me


Line-up

Einar Solberg – Synth / Vocals
Tor Oddmund Suhrke – Guitar
Oystein Landsverk – Guitar
Tobias Ornes Anderswen – Drums


Website

https://www.facebook.com/leprousband/info / http://www.leprous.net/


Cover Picture

leprous coal


Rating

Music: 5
Sound: 7
Total: 6 / 10





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