Our Norwegian progrock friends from Leprous got a new one for the world, Malina. Which is their fifth album, if we don’t take into account the demo’s and the live cd. Leprous is known for the unique sound they achieve, a sound which is not easy to get hold off: it is not really metal and it is not really rock. So should we call it progressive metal with rock influences or the other way around? Let us keep it on progressive music with rock and metal influences. If you ask yourselves who is Leprous, well from time to time they perform as the backing band of Ihsahn, the frontman of the Norwegian black metal band Emperor .
Will Malina consist of the continuation of their visionary approach of composing songs ? Well, we can say that Leprous exceeds in fine-tuning their sound on this one and continues where The Congregation has stopped. Though it feels more organic and natural. If you listen very carefully to the songs you can feel the excellent musicianship of Baard, who is quickly becoming one of the finest drummers in prog land. Listen to tracks like Malina and Coma where he demonstrates his incredible precision work while his creativity comes to life on songs like Captive.
Of course we can not forget vocalist Einar Solberg, with his unique voice which remind me the most of a mix of Jasper Steverlinck from Arid and Koen Buyse from Zornik. Yep , you read this good, no references to progmetal big heroes but rather to the rock genre. This is what makes Leprous so good, they defy the genre labeling you find so often. Stuck is only one example where he shows his vocal acrobatics. On Malina we hear no over the top riffing or ‘hey look i can play 1000 notes in a second’ that you hear so much in the prog genre. No, the songs are more atmospheric with very nice guitar and bass works, but do not underestimate the rhythms these dudes uses.
Listening to the whole album is quite difficult for me, as I love from time to time an uptime song and that’s what Leprous is not doing on this album. Songs like Coma and Stuck have the power but overall it’s a bit too much of the same for me, although again each song has incredible musicianship and arrangements . I have to say that Malina will have a place in my randomized music collection and for sure I will love the songs I hear. They’re something special and maybe that’s the reason why it makes it so difficult to listen to the whole album at once. Fans will for sure love this one, let us hope in the future they will add some more surprising elements in it, while still a great album I have the impression they did a bit of the same thing too much.
Release Date : 25th August 2017
Label : InsideOut Music
1. Bonneville 05:28
2. Stuck 06:48
3. From The Flame 03:51
4. Captive 03:43
5. Illuminate 04:21
6. Leashes 04:09
7. Mirage 06:48
8. Malina 06:15
9. Coma 03:55
10. The Weight Of Disaster 06:00
11. The Last Milestone 08:05