Leprous “Tall Poppy Syndrome”
Most of us try and block the awkward adolescent phase of when our voices went from a soprano to deep and throaty within an instant. It’s a curiosity that there are a number of vocalists fronting metal bands that need to relive memories that most of would rather not reminded of. Norwegian band Leprous treads the same progressive metal waters as OPETH. There are those long tracks with structures all over the place and alternating clean/death vocal approach.
“Phantom Pain” starts as a jazzy piece with quietly sung vocals and quickly metamorphorsizes into a more metalish sound complete with death grunts. The band proudly show off their driving skills with a number of reverses while the keyboard hangs the song together. “Dare you” has a promising metallic intro and after some shrill vocals turns into a pulsating instrumental. Gears are often shifted this way and that nearing the song’s ending. Leprous totally ignore the death vocals and enter ballad territory with “Fate”. Einer Solberg’s softer vocal tracks fit this song like a glove. “He Will Kill Again” annoys where the pretentiousness of the vocal showmanship borders on “Phantom of the Opera”. Sorry but the traded off use of death type grunts isn’t a case for redemption from the unforgivable Andrew Lloyd Webber sneak attack. Brutal riffing opens “Not Even White” but it’s interspersed with jazzy keyboards, death grunts, more metal riffs and even a few short moments reminiscent of “The Real Thing”’s quieter moments. The title track is tidy in comparison with its spoken part by a guest vocalist over the keyboard and slow yet swirling rhythm and string section.
There’s no argument that Leprous are higly competent musicians, whom are more than capable of running the gamut of musical styles. Too often though, the vast array of styles crammed into a single track is to the band’s detriment as so many structures mean the songs lack a real bruising wallop to the face factor.
Leprous official site