Progressive Metal / Metal Related • Norway
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LEPROUS are a progressive metal band from Norway. Founded in 2001 by Einar Solberg (synth,vocals) and Tor Oddmund Suhrke (guitar, vocals), the group went through numerous line-up shuffles before settling on the current members Halvor Strand (bass), Øystein Landsverk (guitar,backing vocals) and Tobias Ørnes Andersen (drums).

The members of LEPROUS are young, but despite their youth this group packs some impressive musical pedigrees. Solberg played live for EMPEROR and Suhrke and Strand were members of IHSAHN'S touring band.

In 2004 LEPROUS self-released their 3 song EP "Silent Waters" and in 2006 self-released their full-length debut "Aeolia".The band signed to Sensory Records and released their sophomore effort "Tall Poppy Syndrome" in 2009.

LEPROUS' music is hard to classify and pin down to one sub-genre. Their music is firmly rooted in prog metal, crafting songs around odd structures, predominantly clean vocals,abrupt time changes, complex rhythms and dexterous musicianship all punctuated by contrasting heavier sections but
Thanks to the t 666 for the addition and Bosh66, adg211288, aglasshouse for the updates

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LEPROUS Discography

LEPROUS albums / top albums

LEPROUS Tall Poppy Syndrome album cover 4.12 | 30 ratings
Tall Poppy Syndrome
Progressive Metal 2009
LEPROUS Bilateral album cover 3.81 | 38 ratings
Progressive Metal 2011
LEPROUS Coal album cover 4.39 | 32 ratings
Progressive Metal 2013
LEPROUS The Congregation album cover 4.16 | 22 ratings
The Congregation
Progressive Metal 2015
LEPROUS Malina album cover 4.18 | 11 ratings
Metal Related 2017
LEPROUS Pitfalls album cover 3.90 | 5 ratings
Progressive Metal 2019
LEPROUS Aphelion album cover 3.77 | 5 ratings
Metal Related 2021

LEPROUS EPs & splits

LEPROUS live albums

LEPROUS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LEPROUS Silent Waters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Silent Waters
Progressive Metal 2004
LEPROUS Aeolia album cover 3.62 | 8 ratings
Progressive Metal 2006

LEPROUS re-issues & compilations

LEPROUS singles (0)

LEPROUS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


LEPROUS Aphelion

Album · 2021 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
LEPROUS still seems to be going strong after 20 years of existence and although the band led by lead singer Einar Solberg has been hailed as one of Norway’s greatest modern progressive metal bands, the last few albums starting with “Molina” have seen a massive shedding of much of the metal and taken on more standard progressive rock as its modus operandi. With the band’s eighth album to emerge in 2021, LEPROUS seems to de-emphasize the metal even further and adds all kinds of new sounds including but not limited to pop, funk, trip hop, electronica along with the progressive rock shining with a crispy clean production and the spotlight on Solberg’s passionate vocal delivery.

There are still metal sounds on board however the moments of djent and guitar heft are primarily limited to power chords and the scant guitar workouts that offer a bit of contrast to the otherwise new LEPROUS sound of crafting highly sophisticated art rock with strong pop hooks. Long gone are the days of unabashed metal freneticism as heard on “Tall Poppy Syndrome” and “Bilateral.” APHELION rather delivers an interesting and original hybrid between progressive rock, synthpop and what sounds like chamber rock. In addition the five official members who handle guitars, bass, drums and synthesizer includes a team of five guest musicians who offer the sounds of violin, cello and even a trumpet.

The result is an emotive display of ten tracks that in many ways follows both in “Malina” and “Pitfalls” in the mellowed LEPROUS years and for many a metal band gone this direction would’ve resulted in a total train wreck and scaring away of the fanbase, but LEPROUS proved long ago that this was no ordinary act and had the uncanny ability to tackle myriad sounds, timbres, textures and tones and fortify substantial composiitons delivered in a unique and oft unorthodox manner all without abandoning the pop sensibilities that have kept their music so addictive upon first experiences. Excluding the three year timespan between the band’s true debut “Aeolia” and “Tall Poppy Syndrome,” LEPROUS has also delivered like clockwork with a new album ever two years.

The band has released two singles off APHELION which means the point on the orbit of a celestial body that is farthest from the sun. The first was “Running Low” which shows LEPROUS in fine form in its new style with progressive rock hooks married with power chords, emotive synthesized atmospheres accompanied by the string section that delivers an excellent cello solo. With so much energy dedicated to the electronica wizardry and dedication to the perfect atmospheric ambience does tend to ignore the rock aspects much less the metal but with the second single “The Silent Revelation” the band does deliver a bit of rock guitar heft even if it seems like the odd track out on the otherwise sombre and earnest tracks tenderly crafted with the crooning moxie of Mr Solberg.

In many ways LEPROUS has followed some of the nu jazz artists from Norway such as Jaga Jazzist only it has left out the jazz but rather paints synthesized motifs around the borders of where certain jazz parts should fit. By now most older fans of LEPROUS have either adapted to the new style or thrown them out with yesterday’s trash. I do personally prefer the older more aggressive LEPROUS sound but i have to admit that these guys have done an excellent job reinventing themselves as a serious art pop rock band this late in the game. While on the mellow and even maudlin side, APHELION does a stellar job of mixing synthesized driven pop hooks with chamber rock mojo. Perhaps what turns me off most about the “new” LEPROUS is that Solberg’s vocals are almost set to permanent falsetto sounding something like a Norwegian version of Prince. I can live without the metal aspects but the vocal diversity? Needs more.

LEPROUS Aphelion

Album · 2021 · Metal Related
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The aphelion is the point in the orbit of a celestial body most distant from the Sun, so that, no matter where the body moves next, it must get closer to the Sun. With the title of their seventh full-length album, Leprous splendidly capture the bleakness of our current difficult state of affairs, while at the same time sending a powerful message of hope for the future. This ambivalence also describes perfectly the atmosphere that pervades the new record: bleak, introverted and coming from a place of darkness, yet full of yearning and anticipation. Charged with these conflicting emotions and packed with loads of unconventional arrangements and sonic ideas, Aphelion may just be the most difficult, yet intimately rewarding, album released by the Norwegian quintet to date.

Over the years, Leprous have followed a path that is not unknown to a few other contemporary prog metal acts: starting from the extreme boundaries of progressive metal, they steadily navigated towards more melodic songwriting and lighter arrangements. This process arguably culminated with their 2019’s masterpiece Pitfalls, a gloriously melodic fusion of progressive ambition and pop sensibilities. Aphelion germinates from similar seeds, but has taken a moodier, more introspective turn, shying away from the catchy melodicism and propulsive songwriting of its predecessor, and resorting instead to sparser arrangements, slow winding song structures, and complex vocal arrangements that take time and repeated listens before they properly sink in.

Sonically, Aphelion leaves few points of reference to rock and metal audiences. Vocals, strings, piano and synthesizers are often the sole driving force of the songs. Raphael Weinroth-Browne guests once again on cello as he had done before on Pitfalls and Malina, and is joined here by Chris Baum on violin. Their contribution to the sound of the new album is massive: their instruments are literally everywhere on this record, often taking the place of the guitars that are instead notable for their absence throughout most of the album (this must surely be Leprous’ LP with the least guitar in it!). Yet, when Tor Oddmund Suhrke and Robin Ognedal do cut through the mix, their presence is all the more powerful for it. Meanwhile, Baard Kolstad’s drumming and Simen Børven’s basslines strike a great balance between clever rhythmic complexity and minimalism. As on Pitfalls, Einar Solberg’s voice and keyboard textures take centre stage on Aphelion. Solberg is probably the best singer in progressive metal at the moment, not just for his impressive vocal range and the sheer brilliance of his multifaceted vocal arrangements, but also for his incredibly powerful and emotional delivery. His performance on Aphelion is nothing short of exhilarating, encompassing everything between the simple, heart-breaking melody of “Castaway Angels” and the vocal acrobatics (that even see a return to growls) of “Nighttime Disguise”.

The ten songs of Aphelion are a rollercoaster of new and re-discovered sounds: they look back at the band’s past catalogue while at the same time running forward, unafraid to push new ground. If “Running Low” is a fairly safe way to open the album, with strong melodic hooks that are reminiscent of Pitfalls and ominous strings arrangements that reference prog artists both past (King Crimson) and present (Steven Wilson), already on the second song “Out of Here” the Norwegians start subverting expectations, showcasing a new taste for hermetic minimalism and a stubborn refusal to provide that easy melodic release they have accustomed us to with previous albums. The nervous electronic backbone of “Silhouette” and its angular, unsettling chorus push the album in further dark territory, creating a mighty contrast with the bluesy melodic guitar lick that opens, unexpectedly, the next song, “All the Moments”. But it’s only a fleeting moment, as also this song soon mutates into a sparsely arranged, unnerving piece for voice, piano and strings that eventually explodes into an emphatic, Steven Wilson-esque chorus.

“Have You Ever?” continues with the experiments in electronic minimalism of “Out of Here” and “Silhouette”, pushing them to a new extreme (English art rock band Everything Everything comes to mind here). “The Silent Revelation” revisits more conventional territories, with djenty guitar riffs and big vocal melodies that could have sat comfortably among the notes of Malina. But the next two tracks immediately propel the album in a different direction. “The Shadow Side” is again a string-driven affair that surprises with its mid-section a cappella vocal arrangements and an explosive melodic guitar solo that is a rare find in the Norwegian’s discography. “On Hold” is probably the pinnacle of the album, condensing in its nearly 8 minutes all the disparate sound ideas that can be found throughout the record: obscure electronic beats, slow winding loops, dramatic strings, minimal yet incredibly inventive use of the guitars, complex vocal arrangements intertwined with surprising melodic twists that push the music almost in pop singer-songwriter territory (am I the only one to read some Amy Winehouse into that poppy, uptempo bridge?!), and an epic soaring chorus that is 100% old Leprous.

The album winds down with two more conventional (in the sense of being closer to Leprous’ previous sound), yet nonetheless stunning songs. Most people will probably have already heard “Castaway Angels”, a song that was written and released as a standalone track in late 2020. It is an incredibly beautiful piece of music that explodes into a powerful and emotional crescendo, with one of the most effective melodies of the whole record. “Nighttime Disguise” is instead the outcome of an experimental interactive songwriting session that took place in early 2021, where fans could contribute to the creation of a Leprous’ song by voting in real time on its musical direction. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the piece where the “old” sound of Leprous surfaces most clearly – harking back even to the days of Coal. Yet, everything is reinterpreted through the voice of the “new” Leprous, with their focus on stark minimalism, string-driven songwriting and unpredictable vocal arrangements. It is a fantastic musical ride that unveils new depths with each fresh listen.

By constantly fluctuating between conventional and uncharted territories, while always rejecting easy melodicism in favour of challenging musical arrangements, Aphelion is not an easy album to love. Having sat with it for more than two weeks now, I cannot say that the record has truly “clicked” with me yet in the same way as Pitfalls, Malina or Coal instantly did after very few listens. In truth, I am not even sure it ever will. Yet, each time I listen to Aphelion, I can’t help but marvel at the incredible depth, sophistication and inventiveness of its compositions. This is music that lives beyond progressive metal, rock, pop, electronica, and the other myriad influences that are carefully woven into the 56 minutes of this LP. It is the sound of a band that is unafraid to carve new paths to follow its own muse and bravely reinvent its songwriting formula with each new release. Aphelion is a genuine, riveting artistic statement from one of the most exciting bands in the progressive universe right now and, whether you’ll end up loving it or not, it deserves your full attention and respect.

[Originally written for The Metal Observer]

LEPROUS The Congregation

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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On The Congregation, Leprous shift their musical style a little closer to the border between progressive metal and progressive rock; aggression, volume, and heavy riffs are played down in importance next to the melodic aspects of the music, as well as the keyboard work of synth-wiz and vocalist Einar Solberg. Here and there the approach has been compared to Muse, which sort of makes sense - in particular, to me it brings to mind Muse's Origin of Symmetry, since both albums have a very similar sense of unfettered exuberance, with both bands shifting away from the musical style of previous releases to follow a new sound with unwavering dedication, heedless of how overblown things may become.

The end result is a substantially more accessible Leprous release than any other I've heard, but whilst it's a good entry point to their music, it's also a solid development of what's come before which will have something new to offer seasoned fans too.


Album · 2017 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
The name LEPROUS isn’t just made up gibberish in an Elvish language or anything of the sort. It is in fact an English word that in the biological world means having or consisting of loose, scurfy scales (as well as the meaning of ‘having leprosy.’) “Scurfy” is a term that denotes a loose scaly crust coating a surface and you know what? That kind of describes the music of LEPROUS. No denying that their mere five album career has been an interesting one since the band jumped to the top of the list of the progressive metal world with “Tall Poppy Syndrome” and has been changing things up slightly ever since. Eight years after their highly esteemed debut they release their fifth album MALINA which at this point seems almost like a totally different band. Except for that scurfy thing. Yes, the surface with a loose scaly crust. What the f.u.c.k is he talking about? - you ask.

The music of LEPROUS may differ stylistically from album to album but one thing has remained a constant, that being the melodic powerful vocals of Einar Solberg whose tender and affectionate operatic antics have always been the focus and in the limelight and therefore the “surface” of the band’s style and sound. The jittery glitch guitars, the bouncy fretless bass slides, symphonic, electronic touches and the myriad styles of drumming that accompany Solberg are ever changing in dynamics, tempo, time signatures and delivery and count as the “loose scaly crust” which sounds like its flaking away from the lyrical delivery. I swear i’m not tripping as i write this. In short, the music is the wild card as it gravitates around the vocal performances.

On MALINA, Norway’s masters of jittery staccato hyperactivity have toned things down a bit as they continue to pull an Opeth and down the path of de-metalling their sound. While the first couple of albums were chock full of a smorgasbord of sounds, riffs and styles from the metal universe including ferocious death growls and spastic thrash fury, MALINA is surprisingly placid and sombre and only has two tracks that have even a fraction of the intensity and drive as their earlier albums. But this hasn’t come as a shock as “Coal” and “Congregation” both began the de-metallization process and instead LEPROUS have continued to ratchet up their progressive rock leanings. Likewise MALINA takes the next logical step on this trajectory by creating more elaborate compositions, more clever melodic developments, cleaner and sharper production values and a slicker overall sophistication that once all the metal defenses are withdrawn reveal some of the band’s original influences. Personally i have always viewed LEPROUS as more of a sophisticated art pop rock band that just happened to add healthy doses of metal to the mix, so i for one am not shocked that they would tackle a fairly metal free expression of their inner world.

The number one culprit in the inspiration pool is clearly Radiohead and that has never sounded so true as it does on MALINA. Solberg is a dead ringer for a Thom Yorke only Einar just happens to have a larger vocal range and sounds classically trained. Add the sombre electronic atmospheres that surround every note that slinks and slides around like a slithery snake as well as the electronic beats that bring their trip hop influences Massive Attack and The Prodigy to the forefront as well that they seamlessly blend in with the rock instrumentation and you have quite the eclectic mix of sounds although these accoutrements are usually banished to the background of the sonic stage except for intros and moments of contrast. MALINA also sees a shift to a more symphonic sound as Raphael Weinroth-Browne joins the cast and crafts some mean cello and string sections that add a classical touch to certain tracks (such as the rock-free zone on “The Last Milestone.”) Likewise there has been a change of the guard on guitar as Robin Ognedal replaces Øystein Landsverk however the gravitational style of the LEPROUS sound has indoctrinated Ognedal as a dead ringer for a replacement.

Like many a progressive metal band that sheds a layer of their more hardened epidermis to make room for more of the soft underbelly of their layers, MALINA will surely divide fans into the usual two camps of those who dislike new directions especially down the unthinkable path of de-metallization and those who are quite eager to follow the band into any musical pastures in which they graze the yumminess of their musical harvests. LEPROUS remains true to their art pop rock instincts that have been present from day one and despite new ways of delivering their inner tributes to Radiohead, trip hop and bands like Porcupine Tree, they still adhere to the same idiosyncratic sound that got them noticed in the first place. MALINA is yet another powerful musical expression from LEPROUS that careful balances their progressive and math rock tendencies with clever and catchy melodies and possibly qualify this as some sort of indie pop rock.

Of the eleven tracks (twelve if you have the one with the bonus “Root”), only two “Captive” and “Coma” have the instrumental heft of a true metal song in energetic delivery but even these are built in a strange out-of-sync fashion with Solberg’s vocals being rather calm in response to the musical hurricane around him. For those who have always felt LEPROUS was too proggy or artsy for their own good might find MALINA a more suitable listen while metalheads who deem anything else a sellout should steer clear. For those with a more eclectic palette, MALINA is an excellent power indie pop prog run for its entirety run with one strong, addictive track after another showing a more subdued and intricate way of weaving their distinct tapestry of sound. Yeah, i do agree that this is not the best they have to offer but it is by no means a throwaway album that shows the band looking for a retirement home. I could easily see a future release jumping back on the metal bandwagon but in the meantime i’m loving this one a lot.

LEPROUS The Congregation

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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“The Congregation” by Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous first caught my attention when I saw it had made the top ten of the Prog Archives Top 100 of 2015. The artwork in particular intrigued me. I had sampled a bit of the band’s music earlier after hearing about their album “Bilateral”, but at the time there was nothing that bowled me over. After watching the video for “The Price” however, I felt certain that there was something for me on this album and at last I brought it home a few weeks ago.

To be sure, there are many great things to be said about the record. The music is largely if not entirely comprised of drums, bass, two electric guitars, some keyboards, and singer Einar Solberg’s voice. There seems to me to very little in the way of overdubs and it occurred to me that there are next to no guitar solos, perhaps none at all. The musical arrangement sounds as if these boys were given an eight track recorder and told to try not to use the extra two tracks whenever possible. Thus the sound is rather sparse with only the five instruments and the vocals, though in at least two songs a rougher, angrier voice comes in which seems to be a guest appearance by Ihsahn.

It’s not just the lack of instruments or overdubs that make the music here sound sparse. It’s also how the instruments are employed throughout the songs. There are many songs that include simple riffs where the chords are played out in short bursts at odd intervals. The drums are often the busiest instrument, keeping a lively pattern going while the guitars strike with these simple chords: da-daah-dum, da-daa, da-da, da-daah-dum. The keyboards mostly provide atmosphere and sometimes play instead of the guitars so that with a simple bass and a roving drum pattern, the vocals float overtop a barely populated space. This works very well when listening to specific tracks, and for my money, the music reaches is best potential on “Rewind”.

There is unfortunately a negative aspect to the album’s musical approach and that is that there isn’t much else going on. I recognize that this may be exactly what the band were shooting for. I read that they felt “Bilateral” was a little too all over the place in moods and they wanted “Coal” to be more focused and darker. Maybe they were trying to carry that on with “The Congregation”. The album cover very well describes the feeling of the music inside. It’s grey, there might be animal skulls, or possible some mutation or grafting. There might be a struggle and possibly a strong melancholy feel that needs overcoming. It’s possible to pick almost any two or three songs and get a good feel for the album because there is little variety in the music here. It sounds good and creative and interesting. But the formula gets stretched across the entire 11 tracks and the 12 track serving as a bonus track doesn’t exactly throw anything new our way.

If this were a new band with a tight budget, I’s say they really worked their way around their restrictions. As for what I actually have here before me, it’s a great effort with some quality song-writing. I’d just prefer some other components present to help make a few more tracks really stand out for me.

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aglasshouse wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Bilateral is one of my favorites. Not a huge fan of TPS though.
qlacs wrote:
more than 2 years ago
The more I listen to it, the more I like it!
The T 666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
It's a fantastic album, best of 2009
qlacs wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Just got through on "Tall Poppy Syndrome" an hour ago. Man, IT IS PERFECT!


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