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lunes, 19 de septiembre de 2016

Leprous - Bilateral (2011)


Empezamos la semana con un notable grupo noruego, que es el típico grupo (y disco) que se ama o se odia sin términos medios. Mezcla indescriptible de Riverside, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation, The Mars Volta, Faith No More, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, es su mezcla de géneros lo que les hace ser úncios y logran que su música sea absolutamente indescriptible, con la soberbia instrumentación y grandes dotes artísticas, se lanzan a modernizar el progresivo y lo hacen de maravillas. Con ustedes, y para empezar una semana que les adelanto que estará llena de sorpresas, les presento a los notables Leprous.

Artista: Leprous
Álbum: Bilateral
Año: 2011
Género: Tech Prog Metal
Duración: 58:05
Nacionalidad: Noruega


Lista de Temas:
1. Bilateral
2. Forced Entry
3. Restless
4. Thorn
5. Mb. Indifferentia
6. Waste of Air
7. Mediocrity Wins
8. Cryptogenic Desires
9. Acquired Taste
10. Painful Detour

Alineación:
- Einar Solberg / synth, vocals
- Tor Oddmund Suhrke / guitar
- Øystein Landsverk / guitar
- Rein Blomquist / bass
- Tobias Ørnes Andersen / drums



Siempre es difícil empezar a hablar de una banda como es la de los noruegos Leprous, con su amalgama de géneros y estilos que encontramos en "Bilateral", aunque mejor sería llamarlo "polilateral".
Con estilos eclécticos que van desde un metal prog casi-comercial a un desarrollo técnico francamente enfermizo, los Leprous consiguieron hacer un discazo donde mezclan dos mundos, por un lado es un disco fácil de escuchar, con melodías vocales con gancho y fáciles de digerir, pero con todo un complejo movimiento técnico y rítmico que va por debajo y al que uno puede acceder prestando atención a la música, y por ello su música se asemeja, a mi parecer, más que nada a los Pain Of Salvation.
A pesar del nombre, lo que tenemos frente a nosotros no es un grupo de Brutal Death, ni siquiera de Death Metal… o ni tan solo podríamos decir que esto es realmente Metal extremo. De todas formas, eso de que han sido músicos de Ihsahn os puede dar una pista: lo que estos chicos hacen es un Metal progresivo rico en influencias, riquísimo, y con algunos toques de metal extremo como muchos los identifican. Musicalmente, no hay nada nuevo bajo el sol, estos noruegos vuelven a experimentar con distintos estilos como ya nos tienen acostumbrados los grupos de raíz progresiva y que tanto les agradan a los seguidores del género, esta vez fundiendo diversos estilos de metal con influencias fuera de este, algo que utilizan especialmente en las partes melódicas y en sus baladas con; donde su abanico llega hasta los airee a jazz y blues. Estos chicos fusionan influencias de Death Metal, Metalcore (o Metal moderno en general), algo (poco) de Black Metal, metal progresivo del estilo Dream Theater, Riverside y Pain Of Salvation, rock progresivo con influencias de King Crimson y rock clásico. Incluso las secciones neoclásicas están también muy presentes, pero todo ello encajado de forma natural en su música y todo fluye sin baches, además de darle a las canciones una profundidad teatral. El resultado lo podés escuchar en este disco.
Se trata de un trabajo muy compacto bastante accesible para el público progresivo general, que debería pararse a escuchar a esta banda en excelente estado de creatividad. Musicalidad fluida y canciones con estructuras impredecibles, todo rodeado bajo un mismo ambiente progresivo repleto de contrastes que crean una tensión en la música que hace que su estilo sea algo más que muy interesante.


Igualmente las composiciones parecen tener una profundidad que van más allá que una mera mostración de habilidades técnicas y rítmicas, mientras que la incorporación de todas estas influencias en un solo disco no es un verdadero reto para una banda que tenga la valentía de llamarse "progresiva", pero sí es un reto que todos los que escuchan los diferentes estilos sientan lo mismo; el reto está em hacer que todos se sientan en un lugar de pertenencia natural, y eso un golpe maestro que estos leprosos noruegos son capaces de gestionar. Y eso es lo mejor y lo peor del álbum: una mezcla muy bien realizada con ingredientes muy conocidos pero que a su vez no aonda en ningún estilo y no deja ninguna huella específica.
Ya viendo la tapa uno podría pensar que se trata de un trabajo de algo así como metal psicodélico, o algo verdaderamente experimental. Y no está tan fuera de lugar. Canciones épicas, texturas, muchas ideas basadas en una intensa melancolía oscura, riffs portentosos, voces generalmente limpias, y un buen contorno emocional que sube y baja según el momento, con perfiles pesados que son a veces deliciosamente desagradables.

En resument, un disco muy interesante, distinto, que los invito a degustar, pero les aclaro, como decía al principio, que lo van a amar o a odiar sin términos medios.
Aquí les dejo algunos otros comentarios, que hay muchos en la red, porque el disco causó bastante impacto.


Leprous – Bilateral: el triunfo de la excelencia
Medios y aficionados hablan ya de él como disco del año, y eso que aún hay mucha dinamita por llegar. Pero es que resulta imposible resistirse a los encantos de Bilateral, el segundo trabajo de los noruegos Leprous y su debut con el prestigioso sello especializado en prog InsideOut Music.
La banda avalada por Ihsahn, que ya nos convenció con la demo Aeolia y su debut Tall Poppy Syndrome, ha conseguido con este trabajo dar un enorme salto de calidad que les ha situado a la vanguardia del género en el panorama actual. Para ello se han unido a la corriente que últimamente sacude el metal progresivo, y que apuesta por recuperar el sonido del rock setentetero en detrimento de la dureza general del conjunto.
Bilateral sigue siendo un disco potente, en ese sentido podéis estar tranquilos, pero los índices de death e incluso de power metal que se pudieron escuchar en su antecesor quedan reducidos en favor pasajes muy técnicos, retro bien entendido y texturas psicodélicas. Un auténtico caballo ganador por el que ya deberíais estar apostando.
El gran salto de calidad de Leprous
Este segundo esfuerzo de Leprous es, ante todo, un disco muy valiente. La banda había encontrado una buena fórmula en su primer álbum y aún podían seguir explotándola un tiempo más sin peligro de repetirse, pero a pesar de todo han preferido arriesgarse con la exploración de nuevas sendas, más profundas y ricas. Queda claro que ha sido un completo acierto.
Los teclados, que ya habían sido importantes anteriormente para la banda, adquieren un rol aún más prominente en esta ocasión, contribuyendo a aportar un sabor que al mismo tiempos nos remite al pasado y nos anticipa el futuro. Porque Bilateral tiene la extraña capacidad de sonar al mismo tiempo clásico y rompedor, como si un músico aún por nacer hubiera viajado hasta los años 70 para grabar un disco uniendo lo mejor de ambas épocas. Eso sí, la calidad de la producción es digna de los medios presentes.
Muy destacable también el crecimiento de Einar Solberg como vocalista, quien reduce las dosis guturales pero demuestra la versatilidad necesaria para adaptarse a las múltiples inquietudes que la banda desarrolla en este disco. En cuanto a la entrada de Rein Blomquist como bajista en sustitución de Halvor Strand, ninguna pega que poner a su trabajo.
Bilateral es un disco sorprendentemente heterogéneo, en el que consiguen casar a la perfección piezas bastante dispares. Monstruos de más de diez minutos como ‘Forced Entry’ e hipnóticas piezas de menos de tres minutos como ‘Cryptogenic Desires’ se ven las caras en este camaleónico álbum, que cambia constantemente de forma y que mantiene siempre un mismo fondo de puro talento.
En ese sentido es muy indicativa la elección para ilustrar la portada de Jeff Jordan, quien ya había trabajado con The Mars Volta, pues al igual que el grupo de El Paso, los noruegos se atreven a definir aquí lo que deberá ser el sonido progresivo del siglo XXI. ¿Será el disco del año? Eso está por decidir, pero no me cabe duda de que merece figurar ya entre uno de los mejores álbumes de metal que se han publicado en los últimos años. Si no se nos tuercen, qué gran banda tenemos por delante. 9.3/10
Andrés Gallego Torres


Haciendo música desde hace ya 10 años, hoy os presento una banda que no he tenido el gusto de conocer hasta disfrutar de su último trabajo. Se trata de Leprous, un grupo noruego, natural de Notodden, que la semana que viene lanzará su obra más reciente: Bilateral.
A lo largo de esta década de carrera ya han puesto 3 discos en el mercado, todos ellos con muy buenas críticas, aunque tal vez no han llegado a llamar la atención todo lo que deberían. Eso seguramente cambie con su cuarto trabajo. No sé por qué se ha elegido ese título para el disco, pero bien podría ser una referencia al ataque bilateral que nos produce escucharlo, con una mezcla entre varios estilos, principalmente rock progresivo y rock alternativo, que funciona a la perfección y que reúne en sus composiciones temas que son fácilmente escuchables y disfrutables tanto por los amantes de la música más rara y exclusiva como por los amantes de temas más comerciales.
En Bilateral podemos escuchar elementos tan técnicos y a unos músicos tan virtuosos que por momentos creeremos que estamos escuchando a Dream Theather. Unas voces realmente sorprendentes que en ocasiones suenan muy a Muse pero que no se quedan ahí y sobrepasan con creces a los británicos. Y también unas composiciones que recuerdan a Shining, otro grupo noruego que se desenvuelve muy bien en el rock experimental. Pero veamos en detalle que puede ofrecernos Leprous con Bilateral.
La obra abre con la canción que da nombre al disco, "Bilateral", que comienza de forma muy enérgica y con un grito muy a lo Queen al que inmediatamente se le incorporan sintetizadores para pasar a una parte más progresiva. Según evoluciona la canción vemos que no se trata de un álbum progresivo, al menos no en su totalidad, ya que se combinan a la perfección partes muy comerciales y hacen que de entrada este primer corte sea accesible a cualquier persona que quiera disfrutar de la buena música.
"Forced Entry" es un tema de 10 minutos de duración que nos sorprende con un inicio que cuenta con unos efectos de teclado realmente eléctricos y enigmáticos a los que rápidamente se incorporan las voces claras de Tor Oddmund Suhrke, vocalista de la banda. Aunque no lo mencioné en la primera pista, la batería destaca no sólo debido a la técnica y ejecución que podemos escuchar a lo largo de todo el tema, sino también a los marcados cambios de ritmo. Del vocalista se podría decir lo mismo. Muchos cambios de registro, y cuando alarga las voces o intenta llegar a los agudos, lo consigue dando la sensación de que puede realizar su trabajo a la perfección, y al menos en estudio el aspecto vocal del disco es sublime. El efecto que escuchábamos al principio se irá repitiendo a lo largo del tema y será el hilo conductor que irá dando paso a los diferentes pasajes, siempre progresivos. A la mitad, la guitarra nos deleitará con una serie de espectaculares solos que llevan la canción a un nuevo nivel, y que acompañados por la percusión hacen que con lo poco que va de disco ya nos quitemos el sombrero. El bajo también destaca en varios de las partes, especialmente al finalizar el primer tercio, donde nos toparemos con unos segundos lentos y relajantes.
"Restless" también abre con teclado, pero esta vez de una forma mucho más sosegada. La batería, a ritmo constante, da paso a una línea vocal que bien podría pertenecer a una canción de Muse, como comenté anteriormente. Tras unos cuantos versos el ritmo cambia radicalmente y la canción parece convertirse en uno de los hits de grupos que triunfaron en el pasado como P.O.D. o Evanescence, un rock muy comercial. Afortunadamente se trata de un amago, y la banda opta por incorporar nuevos elementos, sobrecargando la línea vocal de este corto tema que a mi juicio no ha estado al nivel de las dos grandes composiciones que abrieron el disco.
"Thorn" es la prueba definitiva de que estos chicos van a dar mucho de qué hablar en los próximos meses. Tras una peculiar introducción con un sonido similar al de una trompeta comienza un tema en el que las voces apenas parecen leídas, y a las que tras recitar varias frases se le incorporan el resto de instrumentos, al ritmo de una melodía creada en torno al sonido que escuchábamos en el inicio de la canción. Un pequeño puente en guitarra nos da un respiro e inmediatamente se vuelven a incorporar las voces, esta vez algo más duras. Se trata de un tema con marcados cambios de ritmo y en los que la musicalidad se logra gracias a elementos que hemos escuchado anteriormente: una batería constante que sabemos cambiará de ritmo, una guitarra que parece querer salirse de su línea e improvisar solos, y un teclado y sintetizadores que contribuyen a la atmósfera y perfecta armonización del resto de instrumentos. Esta vez hay que añadir los toques avantgarde y vanguardistas que dan los pequeños dibujos que hace la trompeta.
"Mb. Indifferentia" no dejará indiferente a nadie. Unas notas de piano sobre una producción que hace sonar los altavoces como si se tratara de una canción antigua dan el paso a una composición en la que primeramente llama la atención el bajo, además del propio teclado. Se trata de un tema muy melancólico en el que el cantante parece que vaya a arrancar a llorar. La guitarra parece acompañarle con su sentimiento, y por momentos parece darle el relevo e incluso hacer un dúo con él. En otras ocasiones ésta, totalmente transformada y convertida en acústica, sencillamente da la entrada a las voces, que siempre estan acompañadas pero llegan a destacar tanto que parecen estar cantando a capela, algo que contrasta con los últimos momentos, donde los tonos llegan tan alto y la canción se vuelve tan enérgica que la melancolía se convierte en esperanza y en superación
Cambio radical. Es al sobrepasar el ecuador de esta obra cuando nos tomamos con "Waste Of Air", un tema que realmente parece consumir nuestro aire ya que es pura energía y puro virtuosísmo. El grupo parece reinventarse y nos muestra una composición que si no llega a ser porque es bastante dura, podría haber salido de alguno de los discos de Dream Theater. La canción es tan diferente que las voces se vuelven irreconocibles, claramente forzadas y cambian hasta en la producción. Sin embargo, eso no quita que escuchemos unas ideas que van camino de convertirse en marca de la casa, ya que han estado presentes durante los temas anteriores.
"Mediocrity Wins" comienza con una de nuevo chocante introducción que comienza tras el final en seco del corte anterior. La producción parece mejorar por momentos, y nos encontramos con un tema en el que podemos apreciar a la perfección todos los instrumentos, tanto individualmente como funcionando perfectamente en armonía. Durante los 6 minutos se hace bastantes experimentos vocales que van desde los susurros hasta las partes más limpias y claras del álbum, pasando por los efectos que disfrazan completamente al vocalista.
Un fade out nos mete directamente en otro tema que abre muy a lo Dream Theater. "Cryptogenic Desires" dura tan sólo 3 minutos, pero éstos son suficientes para disfrutar de una interesante composición que mezcla la tranquilidad del piano con la fuerza de la batería y rasgados de guitarra, y que encima tiene una línea vocal bastante pegadiza. Todo ello sobre una base muy progresiva, y en la que no puedo dejar de mencionar al vocalista, una de las grandes sorpresas de éste álbum.
"Acquired Taste" se presenta como un medio tiempo que abre con un piano y un batería que utiliza mucho los platillos. Según evoluciona escuchamos que, sin quitar protagonismo a éstos elementos, se incorpora una guitarra muy machacona a la que más tarde seguirá el propio teclado. Las voces llegan de nuevo muy alto.
"Painful Detour" cierra el disco mezclando muchos de sus elementos. La primera parte es completamente progresiva, y podemos encontrar momentos en los que la canción suene relajada y otros en los que la batería y voces le proporcionan una fuerza y potencia destacables. Se trata de un tema de 8 minutos, algo que si bien no llega a resultar excesivo, sí que creo que habría tenido mejor cabida en otra posición. Aunque eso no quiere decir que nos aburramos, y de hecho al finalizar nos quedamos con ganas de escuchar alguna canción más. Éste último tema aporta también alguna parte en la que destaca completamente una marcada guitarra rítmica que es rasgada una y otra vez e introduce una nota speed en este Bilateral. Respecto a la guitarra solista, destacable de nuevo, y la forma de poner el punto final, en piano, es sublime.
Aunque no hay punto de comparación, he de decir que escuchar este disco me ha producido una sensación parecida a la que me produjo Opus Eponymous de Ghost, y eso es algo muy bueno. La mezcla de estilos, esta vez tirando más por la parte progresiva y dejando un poco de lado partes más duras --aunque las hay--, hacen que disfrutemos a la vez del metal más progresivo y a la vez de un rock muy fresco. La producción si cabe es aún mejor que las propias composiciones, y en prácticamente cada canción podemos escuchar a la perfección cada uno de los elementos que las componen. Escuchad este álbum con unos buenos altavoces o auriculares y disfrutaréis de una experiencia plena. Una experiencia que sin duda os dejará con ganas de escuchar trabajos anteriores, ya que Bilateral es toda una sorpresa.
8/10
Randal


A diferencia de muchos grupos progresivos de Noruega, la música de Leprous está poco arraigada en el black metal. 'Bilateral' es su segundo disco -el tercero con la demo 'Aeolia'- y en él los guturales están reducidos al mínimo. Por eso, este nuevo álbum de los noruegos, a veces a mitad camino entre el rock y el metal, es muy accesible para el público progresivo general, que debería pararse a escuchar a esta jovencísima banda en excelente estado de creatividad.
Ya desde el tema homónimo que abre 'Bilateral' uno se puede hacer una idea de por dónde van a ir los tiros: una música que no llega a ser suave pero tampoco muy cañera, con mucho groove, y sintetizadores y guitarras, muchas veces limpias, que se reparten el protagonismo. Y sobre esa base instrumental, se alza la peculiar voz de Einar Solberg, bastante difícil de describir -¡intentémoslo!-: aguda y por momentos cercana a un estilo de canto lírico, emparentada, aunque remotamente, con un registro vocal operístico, y con un toque de afectación, pero en su justa medida.
'Forced Entry' comienza con un riff de sintetizadores casi marciano, muy similar a uno que aparece a mitad 'Phantom Pain', de su anterior disco. Esta segunda canción de 'Bilateral', como el disco en general, tiene unas destacables partes instrumentales, en las que unas veces el bajo es el protagonista y otras, unos solos de guitarra muy melódicos. Y es que, por culpa de grupos como Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Dream Theater y Symphony X, muchos acaban concibiendo el progresivo como un estilo de virtuosismo y pirotécnicas en el mástil, pero Leprous opta por una dirección más melódica, más en la línea de grupos como Porcupine Tree u Opeth.
'Restless' fue la canción que anticiparon hace más de un mes y, como suele ocurrir con los adelantos, permite hacerse una idea de cómo suena un grupo sin sumergirse demasiado en su estilo y, sobre todo, emociona en un primer momento pero no aporta muchas más sorpresas en posteriores escuchas. La que sí sorprende es 'Thorn', que cuenta con la colaboración de Ihsahn, que les ha producido el disco. Sus guturales aparecen a mitad canción y, aprovechando que al ex Emperor parecen sentarle bien los instrumentos de viento, entre estrofa y estrofa suena una trompeta, ese instrumento que podría llegar a darle mucho juego a un grupo progresivo -¡oh, 'Interglacial Spell'! ¡Oh, Amplifier!-.
La primera parte del disco acaba con 'Mb. Indifferentia', que, junto con 'Acquired Taste', es la gran balada del disco; pero al estilo de Leprous, por supuesto. La segunda mitad del álbum es mucho más variada. Los guturales, que habían quedado reducidos a anecdóticos coros y a la colaboración de Ihsahn, se adueñan de 'Waste of Air' mientras el ritmo se acelera. A continuación, 'Mediocrity Wins' vuelve a tener unas voces diferentes al resto. Rítmicas, mecánicas, casi habladas, van volviéndose cada vez más agresivas, mientras se intercala la voz habitual de Einar en algunos momentos.
'Cryptogenic Desires' es la canción más corta del disco, que ni a los tres minutos llega, pero no por ello debe menospreciarse. Porque la antepenúltima canción de 'Bilateral' cuenta con muy buenas melodías vocales y una base que, si bien no llega a ser de circo, sí parece sacada de un espectáculo dramático. Finalmente cierra el álbum 'Painful Detour', una canción que alterna partes lentas con otras más animadas, que parece que va a ir creciendo poco a poco, pero no termina de arrancar. Y así es, en definitiva, todo el disco; algo que no es malo ni mucho menos. Porque esos contrastes crean una tensión en la música de Leprous que hace que su estilo, ese a mitad camino de todo, sea interesante, muy interesante.
Nunca se sabe en esto de la música y su industria qué grupos acabarán destacando sobre otros, y mucho menos en lo impredecible de este estilo, pero hay que decir que Leprous es una banda que debería empezar tenerse en cuenta en el actual panorama progresivo. Y nada mejor para eso que este último disco suyo: diez buenos temas, un sonido propio y una bonita portada... 'Bilateral'.
Puntuación: 9/10
Miguel Esteban Rebagliato


No hay caso... la madurez es el factor fundamental en la explosión de cualquier banda hacia su sonido final. Esa es la madurez que alcanzo Leprous en unos pocos años, habiendo comenzado a componer sus discos teniendo apenas 20 años.
Hoy por hoy, los noruegos han logrado florecer su adultez con esta INCREÍBLE placa llamada ''Bilateral''.
Primero que nada quiero anticiparles que encontré en esta banda todo lo que Opeth me quito con su ultimo disco, que todos sabemos que ha sido bastante menos de lo que esperamos, o al menos en lo personal.
Luego de ''Silent Waters'' en el año 2004 y ''Tall Poppy Syndrome'' hace apenas 2 años, Leprous ha logrado darle el acabado final a su música que no ha dejado de ser violenta pero si mucho mas valiente en cuanto a lo estructural, a los arreglos progresivos y los cambiantes pasajes de su música.
Este disco ha contado con la participación de los noruegos de Ihsahn, a quienes ya he citado en el blog con su ultimo disco llamado ''After'' (échenle un vistazo!).
Al comenzar la critica comente que Leprous me ha traido a la mesa aquello que en Opeth nos hizo falta este año: VIOLENCIA Y PROGRESIVISMO.
Leprous tiene esa apuesta en forma principal, pero ofrece las oscuras melodias tipicas de las tierras escandinavas...y también mas que eso.
En muchos sitios he visto que se lo ha catalogado como uno de los iconos de este 2011 que lamentablemente se nos esta yendo muy rápido, y digo lamentablemente porque ha sido un año de notables lanzamientos y revelaciones como en esta ocasión.
Tuve la oportunidad de escuchar en el pasado dos de sus obras, pero ninguna logro sacudirme de esta manera. Solo hizo falta llegar al track 2 bautizado ''Forced Entry'' para darme cuenta que estaba enfrente de un disco que no va a pasar desapercibido entre todos los fans del metal progresivo, avantgarde, death, sludge y sus derivados.
Una de las facetas mas evolucionadas de la banda en general, ha sido el protagonismo de la voz de Solberg quien redujo notablemente sus aportes en lo gutural, pero amplio su registro y matices de una forma voraz. Leprous tiene la magnifica capacidad de alternar lo muy heavy con lo muy melódico y que casi no te des cuenta del cambio... una hermosa paradoja en el mundo musical que tanto disfrutamos todos.
Detrás del sonido, hay un trabajo excepcional de todos sus músicos, pero voy a resaltar el trabajo de su baterista Tobias Ørnes Andersen por ser tan pero tan tecnico y violento a la vez.
Gente, una vez mas, un disco que no tiene absolutamente nada de desperdicio. El mundo progresivo crece en forma exponencial, y cada vez tenemos mas bandas a las cuales esperar y ver crecer.
Quizás Leprous represente el sonido progresivo del siglo que acaba de comenzar, creo que esta muy bien encasillarlos en el Avant-Garde, ya que son una banda bien vanguardista.
Violencia,melodia y progresivo... una de las mezclas que mas gustan.
Les dejo la canción que me compro por completo... ''Forced Entry'', y la otra obra maestra es la que cierra el disco, ''Painful Detour''. Un disco redondo... pero con este nivel de músicos, ESPERO MAS!.
Puntaje: 9
mauroprog

Tras la agradable sorpresa que supuso el excelente "Tall Poppy Syndrome" hace dos años, se esperaba con muchas ganas el nuevo trabajo del Leprous.
Lo que puedo decir es que los noruegos no han decepcionado y nos han vuelto a regalar otra magnífica colección de temas en su particular estilo a medio camino entre el rock progresivo de los setenta, el hard-rock de sabor americano y el prog-metal más técnico. Y es que ahí está el secreto de Leprous, nutrirse de las excelencias del pasado y disfrazarlo de presente con una destreza asombrosa.
Producido por su "jefe" Ihsahn, en esta ocasión el grupo apuesta un poco más por las atmósferas sinfónicas y texturas de diferente color, mientras que la dureza metálica quizá no abunda tanto. Aunque cuando se decantan por la tralla lo hacen con un punto más de violencia. En todo caso los noruegos dan un paso firme en su proceso evolutivo, siempre manteniendo sus signos de identidad. A destacar también el trabajo de este gran y versátil vocalista que es Einar Solberg.
Las joyas de este álbum son para mi gusto dos. "Thorn" con brillantes cambios de ritmo y muchos matices, y "Waste of Air" dinamita metálica a muchas revoluciones incluido solo de sintetizador que parece extraido de los propios Genesis. Sin olvidar otras grandes piezas como "Forced Entry", "Restless", "Mb. Indifferentia" o "Mediocrity Wins".
Los tres últimos temas quizás no son tan destacables como el resto aunque sí suficientemente buenos. En todo caso estamos ante un trabajo tan grande como el anterior, que confirma a Leprous entre los grupos más en forma de la escena progresiva actual.
Ferran Lizana

Y por si hace falta más comentarios pero pensado principalmente para nuestros visitantes que no hablan español, aquí algunos comentarios en inglés...
A fantastic metal album that has really grown on me!
Some of my readers may have realized that my attitude towards metal in general is a bit skeptic, since it is not a genre I dominate, nor really love. However, there are some bands and albums that really do something to me after some listens, and when that happens, believe me, I am more than happy. This sensation has returned with this album, so Leprous should be proud because before officially releasing their new album, they have already fans of it. Important to clarify that I've received it from Inside Out as a digital promo, that is why I already listened to it.
Leprous was actually an unknown name to me, my knowledge is actually pretty limited, I know they are from Norway and that have been together for more than six years. Also, that with the release of "Bilateral" they are reaching their third studio album, which I am sure, will be a complete success amongst metal and prog-metal fans. This album features ten songs which together make a total time of 58 minutes.
The first track is "Bilateral", a four-minute title-track which seems to start aggressive but actually offers a gradual progress. The voice is excellent, the potential and strength that the music suggests caught my attention since the first moments. Also, I like a lot the bass sound (all over the album) and the wonderful use of keyboards. This is a great opening theme.
"Forced Entry" is the longest song, reaching more than ten minutes length. It is an awesome track, full of colors, textures and emotions, also full of time and tempo changes that take you to different scenarios, without losing interest in any moment. The band here shows a deep creativity, so their compositional skills are clearly first-class, evidently. Both, the completely instrumental and the voice-led passages are great, one can truly enjoy and appreciate what the music offers, no matter if you are familiar and like metal or not.
"Restless" is a shorter track that starts slowly with nice guitars and vocals, and after a minute explodes giving a powerful sound, an angry scream accompanied by technical and skillful guitars. Despite it is a short song, the complexity shown here is evident, and wonderful. "Thorn" has a great drums sound, constant and always in the right moment. Complexity and technique does not really mean lack of feeling, and here you can prove it. A couple of aspects worth mentioning: one is that I am surprised with my tolerance regarding death or growling vocals, which I normally repel, here they appear in moments, but I like it; and the second is the brief (but rich) use of trumpet, which makes a pretty cool combination with the metal style.
Now, I've terribly fallen in love with "Mb. Indifferentia", a six-minute track that shows a different face of Leprous, at least for the first minutes. I love how the song is gradually progressing, adding different elements and creating wonderful atmospheres. All the instruments seems to be working for themselves, but at the same time all work for all, great bass lines, a soft guitar sound and constant drums, along with a delicate piano and wonderful vocals. After three minutes acoustic guitar appears and produces a different ambient; seconds later there is a moment I totally love, with only the drumsticks and a cool guitar that put me the image of a fresh place with water running. Now, the tranquility all of a sudden disappears and an explosive voice enters accompanied by an emotional and heavier sound. Honestly, this may be my most played song for the last two weeks. Amazing!
With "Waste of Air" the band returns to their powerful, fast and technical sound. It can be listened since the very first drums note and of course in the running of the track itself. I am still surprised with myself, because I really tolerate the death vocals, which are more evident here. The keyboard sound is hypnotizing, and the aggressiveness implemented here will surely make you move your head. Here a detail, the bass sound reminded me of Magma, curious, and I don't really know if Leprous know those French proggrers, but I had to say it.
"Mediocrity Wins" has a softer sound, with nice synth effects as background, cool bass slaps and a different (and not my favorite) vocal style at first. After two minutes the normal voice returns and with his emotional tune produces different sensations. It is great to appreciate how in just a few minutes the band manage to morph in several occasions and how they put a vast amount of elements in their music.
"Cryptogenic Desires" is the shortest composition here. The keyboards remind me a bit of Riverside, and the music in general can be linked to acts such as Opeth or Enslaved. This is a nice powerful short song. "Acquired Taste" starts with piano, drums and vocals, later bass and guitars join and together start building up an interesting structure that little by little progresses until reaching a climax. Once again, the vocal work is outstanding.
And finally "Painful Detour" gives us eight last minutes of this excellent album. Fast drums and guitars complemented with the lead guitar, opening the gates to the powerful voice and the other instruments. It is great to see the song's inner (and several) changes without breaking the structure, I mean, you can listen to several mini-songs and enjoying each one of them, but at the same time linking them in order to create that body, that full-length track. This is an excellent track that finishes an excellent album.
I am still surprised with the effect that Bilateral caused on me, and I love it. This will surely be an album easy-to-love by progressive metal fans. My final grade will be 5/5 stars.
Enjoy it!
Guillermo H. Urdapilleta

When a band has a name like Leprous and comes from a Scandinavian country (Norway, to be exact), it would be logical to assume that the band is playing some type of death metal or black metal (or perhaps a blend of the two). The word "leprous," as defined by Encarta's World Dictionary, means "having or relating to leprosy" or "resembling the physical symptoms of leprosy, especially in being pale or scaly" -- and that is exactly the type of dark, twisted, not-so-cheerful name that a death metal or black metal band would typically have. But no, Bilateral is not death metal or black metal per se, even though it has some extreme metal overtones from time to time. Like the band's previous outing, The Poppy Syndrome, this album actually favors a melodic, intricate blend of progressive metal and alternative metal. There are some harsh moments on occasion, and Leprous provide some extreme black metal-style rasp vocals from time to time. The vast majority of the vocals, however, are clean vocals. Bilateral rocks aggressively, but for the most part, Leprous are heavy without being heavy-handed, and their intricate, nicely crafted material continues to blend '70s influences with '90s and 21st century influences. Clearly, this 2011 release is not an album that goes out of its way to sound like it was recorded 25 or 30 years earlier; one hears old-school progressive rock influences like Pink Floyd and King Crimson on "Mr. Indifferentia," "Mediocrity Wins," and other melancholy selections, but the influence of Tool, Mr. Bungle, and Opeth demonstrates that Leprous are hardly oblivious to post-'80s rock. Bilateral is another solid outing from this Norwegian prog metal/alt-metal combo.
Alex Henderson

2009 saw the Norwegian band Leprous enjoyed some underground success with 'Tall Poppy Syndrome', an album that impressed me somewhat, but rose to the tops of many prog metalheads' year-end lists. Suffice to say, I was not able to fully jump on the hype bandwagon for Leprous back then, seeing their music as maybe a little cheesy and being proggy for prog's sake. Nonetheless, I was made very aware of the band's immense potential from that album, and I figured that it would only be a matter of time before these Norwegians released something that would blow me away. Sure enough, come 2011 they finally have made an album that places them among the frontrunners of the new wave of progressive metal.
'Bilateral' may be something of a tough pill to swallow for those that most enjoyed 'Tall Poppy Syndrome', but for me, Leprous seems to have addressed all of the problems I had with them before, while retaining their good qualities. The most evident development for them has been largely in terms of ambition; what they are willing to do with their sound. There have been some steps taken toward a more sporadic style. The songwriting is more packed with ideas, some of them quite experimental and unexpected, although the memorable melodic component of Leprous is not toned down at all. 'Bilateral' is quite a bit to take in all at once, and I am finding that it is very much a 'grower' album; the constant flow of ideas can make it a little disorienting at first, and while the flow between these ideas can sometimes be a tad off-putting, the sheer excellence of the melodies and newfound weirdness makes Leprous all the more interesting of a listen.
As one might judge even by the surreal album cover (whose artist is also known for composing some of The Mars Volta's artwork), Leprous is not afraid to try new things. The title track contrasts remarkably layered vocal hooks with a mellow section of deep electronics. 'Painful Detour' is a slower, powerful song that gives the 'epic' impression of Muse as it hits its climax. 'Thorn' even shows the band's friend Ihsahn (from classic black metal act Emperor) doing a quick vocal cameo before letting a trumpet solo pop up for a moment. All of these things come as a huge surprise at first. While I would say at this point that Leprous has found their own sound with this album, they do remind me of a younger Pain of Salvation here, in the sense that they are a prog metal band that is focusing more on emotional impact and surprises rather than the sort of power-metal derivative that many newer prog metal bands go for. The Pain of Salvation comparison hits its peak with the vocal technique of Einar Solberg, whose diverse vocal register and complex ad-libbing accents his performance in a way that really reminds me of Dan Gildenlow.
'Bilateral' shows that even if the melodic side of prog metal has withered in recent years, there are still ways of making it sound progressive without falling into all of the prog pitfalls. Leprous still isn't completely fargone from the genre, but they have taken some adventurous steps here that really see my respect for them as a band skyrocket. 'Bilateral' is one of the few masterpieces of progressive metal that I have thus heard in 2011, and being very much of a 'grower' album, I can only see it holding its ground as the year grinds on.
Conor Fynes

A dynamic complex album with stunning song structures and musicianship. Leprous are new to me so I had no idea how this would sound. I liked it from the start to end. Some of the playing on this is stunning musicianship and the vocals in particular are dynamic. Each musician has a chance to really shine and it is innovative how the songs change time signatures without warning and keep the listener on the edge. The ever present metal riffing guitars pervade the album and there are moments of true ambient beauty. Here are the tracks as I heard them which should explain what to expect.
1. Bilateral - The album begins with a very strong fast beat, great layered vocals from Einar Solberg and melodic metal with powerful riffs. Nice clean vocals sound a bit like Muse and the song really jumps along driven by classic guitar riffs. One growl at the end signifies that there will be some of that too.
2. Forced Entry - Sheer bliss, with a weird time sig and effect with the guitars, blazing away. The feeling of a 70s psych prog band at first, Solberg's clean vocals are wonderfully executed. There are strange fast electronic pulsations under the veerse that slow out of sync, and then a strong steady beat for the melodic chorus reminding me of fates warning or Symphony X a bit. A nice high falsetto in the next section, incredible harmonies are strikingly similar to perhaps Pain of Salvation and then a death metal growl just to punctuate the dark atmosphere. The odd time sig on distorted guitar to follow is amazing, it is totally off kilter but is consistently so and works against the other instruments. The work of bassist Blomquist and drummer Andersen is a key feature. The Meshuggah rhythms stop and a spacey ethereal sound follows on harmonic guitar. Like the next part, "you will need me tonight," so what is this song about? "Take your time, I will give, I will give you mine, give me signs that I need to grow, rest in peace, let me connect to my shawl to your heart," really love the track, it is a mini epic that grinds along, "I fought my way," screams the vocals, and a divine lead break sliding up and down the scales augments the virtuoso musicianship. Great riffs follow from guitarists Tor Oddmund Suhrke and Ã?ystein Landsverk that are very chopped and fractured. The next part is like Riverside's ambience with threatening metal breaking through, and the vocals are estranged and filtered, "take my crime, see the sense of time". It gets extreme towards the end with very heavy guitars and a wall of sound made up of layered guitars and screeching vocals sung with incredible force. Highlight of the album and one you should check out.
3. Restless - This begins with a strange polyphonic rhythm and lots of nice harmonies. The vocals are really great, "render a purpose to be at peace, find out who you want to be". After this the track gets heavy with death growls and clean vocals trading off. It is never overdone though and the death growls are kind of part of the experience. I normally hate death growls but here the band only use them to show aggression every now and then, and it is never too much for the ears. The vocals are very well accomplished with a lot of mixing, layering voices over and merging together to create quite a strong presence.
4. Thorn - A horn that sounds like an Indian temple call blares out. Then a steady beat and guitar swells take over as the verses begin, about a beast, "eating his way from inside". The slow doomy feel is punctuated by the horn effects. The chorus is an infectious melody, I try to get to sleep but nothing gets me by, the thorn inside pushing me to lie, regret the future, regret the future today." The time sig changes and there is a quirky lead break from Landsverk and Suhrke. There are some very interesting riffs that stop and start and at times a chaotic time sig takes over. The instrumental break is an excellent blend of guitar, and synth. After some chilling vocals, a trumpet plays, then an extreme metal section with a death metal feel. It breaks and then an odd time sig plays out the rest of the song.
5. Mb. Indifferentia - This begins with weird synth notes and then an organ sound, like the 70s chimes in. Solberg's serene vocals take over with true beauty and some inspired high falsetto work. The guitars of Landsverk and Suhrke are peaceful, and the ambient atmosphere is augmented by the sweet lead guitar tones. Blonmquist's bass work is exemplary, and I love the way he keeps a rhythm while the guitars play a different melody. The spacey psychedelic feel is noteworthy too. This one reminds me of Riverside, and it even builds to a heavier feel towards the end, especially when Solberg screams, "do nothing at all!"
6. Waste Of Air - The heaviest track at first absolutely hammers along with extreme speed metal blasts and manic double kick drumming. It settles into a strong beat and death metal vocals that are overlaid with high and low growls together. A strange passage of synth and guitar chugging along follows. The spacey synth swirls are awesome against the machine gun riffing, sounding more industrial than the rest of the album is way heavier. This continues with a hypnotic repeated motif over a fast beat. Psychedelic style vocals break over and some dark low choral voice beneath. It builds to a heavier feel and a quirky melody. More death growls lurk around the next bend and the song even speeds up in rhythm with Slayeresque speed picking. The growls get more aggressive and though I am not a fan this is so diverse than the rest of the album it is startling.
7. Mediocrity Wins - While I am just getting over the hammer smashed onslaught of the last track, this one begins with electronica and sparkling synths generating ambience. Then a wall of sound of synths come in with some unusual overlaid spoken chants in rap style droning on one note. The rhythm is moderate with the electronic effects constant and some vocal intonations. The verses eventually begin with Muse like vocalisations hitting high notes and forced phrases. A distorted riff locks in with cryptic time sig meter, and then more aggressive growling chants begin. I am reminded of Tool for some of this or a darkwave style; "Sing the song with my own voice, take your place, mediocrity wins."
8. Cryptogenic Desires - The tight machine gun riffing begins and then short blasts of speed palm mute picking. The verses are quickly sung in rhythm with the guitars. It builds with aggressive screeches and then breaks into a quirky passage with chopping guitars and blastbeats of drum and bass at intervals.
9. Acquired Taste - A title that may explain the album, begins with piano and crystal clear breathy vocals from Solberg; "Enjoy the restrictions, be glad you can feel the sting, silent compassion won't lead to anything". The next part builds with consistent twanging guitars up the scale and Solberg very passionate on vocals that cry out from the soul. The next part is more like King Crimson's Fripp with fractured time sig; and stark melancholy vocals "stay in the cold you will see someone else will leave your mark, to be sold so you're free". One of the key features is the vocals that have an amazing range from low to the highest register. The lead break is terrific that follows, very emotive and soaring. It breaks to allow a piano to play a simple melody and end it.
10. Painful Detour - The last track features more odd time sig distorted riffing. The track clocks over 8 minutes and has a myriad of detours and twists and turns. The vocals are the same as last track, clean to high falsetto in choruses; "Time elapsing, storm running out, ready to doubt, hide from the open turning to stone." After the loud raucous chorus there is a break in the meter and the track shifts into beautiful passages of ambient passionate vocalisations. The guitars compete in battle with the ambience and a soundwave of off kilter drum patterns over a steady melody is a dissonant attack on the structure. It breaks into a rock steady beat and some delightful organ embellishments. The twin guitar playing over the synth is a highlight demonstrating the tension and release in Leprous' style.
To conclude this is an excellent album with some incredible musicianship. The inventiveness of the song structures and diverse approach to the music is refreshing. I can recommend this to those who like a heavier style of prog with loads of innovation and experimental nuances embedded within. It delivers on many levels, with complex, speed metal, dextrous guitar playing, and well executed vocals throughout.
Scott Tuffnell

After being blown away by their debut 'Tall Poppy Syndrome', this was a much anticipated album for 2011. And I must say that I'm not disappointed. Leprous built further on their songwriting and playing strengths, and also dropped their extreme vocals almost entirely, which I find a wise choice in their case.
Leprous are probably the most exciting thing in prog metal since a long long time. I may prefer Riverside but Leprous dares to cover more ground, with keyboards that avoid traditional neo and prog metal cliches in favor of a more modern approach. The keyboards are maybe comparable to Porcupine Tree's Barbieri, who also favors texture and original sounds above the usual twiedeliwiedelie keyboard runs. So far with the Porcupine Tree references, as the guitars, drums and vocals are far more metal and more prog then Porcupine Tree. The sound is fuller, heavier and more metallic, and vocalist Solberg just has the perfect voice. Could I compare him to a cross of Daniel Gildenglow with that guy from Haken? Something along those lines maybe.
The masterpiece of the album is the 10 minute 'Forced Entry', one of the few tracks to feature prominent screaming during the finale. But its built up so strongly that even the most sever clean-vocals purist should admit how this makes sense here. The remainder of the tracks are shorter but always keep an element of surprising, twisting known song formats inside out and spicing everything up with everything that can be expected from prog metal, such as haphazard time-signatures, scenic songwriting and over-the-top theatricality.
Leprous is a unique band that succeeds in marrying the attractions of classic prog metal with a fresh approach that is aggressive and modern, avoiding both the cliches and the cheese, and remaining entirely fascinating throughout the entire album. I'm pretty sure this is one of the best Prog Metal albums of recent years. 4.5 with an option to rise higher over time.
Karl Bonnek

5 stars Leprous. I love you. I really do.
What do you get when you take the vocal prowess of Pain of Salvation, the metal brutality of Opeth, the keyboards composition and catchy-ness of Riverside/Porcupine Tree. (okay im just naming off my favorite bands here but that is vital to my overall point! Leprous is my newest favorite among my handful of all time favorites.. the ones i just described above.
This album is so much more than i wished for, even after salivating at the mouth from their first effort Tall Poppy Syndrome. When i heard TPS i kept thinking.. could this be?? Is this my new obession??? Yes. And this album is that obession, along with this band. Im so excited that I get to see a band grow from not-so-humble beginnings. Leprous blows me away.
Why is this album so amazing? What makes this band so good?
Other reviewers have explained it better than i can, and more than i'm willing to spend the time to expand on anyway
do yourself a favor and discover another prime example of the new generation of prog taking steps into the history books with this band
Masterpiece. nothing less.
Ryan McBride

Probably the most accessible and melodic example of 'tech-extreme metal' (if in fact this album can still be categorized as such) I've heard since NEGURA BUNGET's 2006 masterpiece, "Om." The songs are theatric--at times stage-like--and the lyrics quite comprehensible (with out crib sheet) and sung at a pace more akin to QUEEN or A PERFECT CIRCLE, instead of the frenetic psycho-pace of UNEXPECT. I am enjoying this album ten times more than Tall Poppy Syndrome--though I appreciated the skill and freshness of the latter. I still feel the fresh and unusual approach to song delivery of this band--and the skill of the performers-- especially Einar's vocals. A strong four stars--perhaps even in line for some recognition for Top 10 of 2011 status.
Drew Fisher

8/10
Thanks to "Bilateral", Leprous is now one of the most original, creative, and artistic metal bands out there.
"Tall Poppy Syndrome" was considered one of the best albums of 2009, and fans were expecting something maybe not as emotional and overall able to surpass it. I wasn't exactly in love with the sophomore LP, but there were moments in it that completely amazed me. But it is with "Bilateral", their third album, that I fell in love with Leprous.
"Tall Poppy Syndrome" was a pretty mature album, that showed the talent of the band and gave them a pretty distinct style. With "Bilateral", they reach a new level: they are now one of the most innovating, creative, and artistic metal bands out there. More experimentation, more synths that accompany the music, an Einar Soldberg that has never sounded so powerful and emotional ( some times he actually sounds a bit like Jonathan Davis), more complex rhythms, which often include several time changes. Overall there's a much wilder and visceral feel, and the progressive elements are very highlighted, not only in the keyboards, but also in the structure of the songs, despite being generally shorter; they're much more dense with music than "Tall Poppy Syndrome" and they never seem like they are running out of ideas, while in the previous album it felt like so in a few points, just for the sake of making the song longer.
If there is one thing that Leprous stands out for, that is songwriting: there are so many unbelievably well done hooks in here, and always they are strengthened by Einar's voice, that I can't stop praising. The album is extremely solid, and contains a lot of variety as well: there are powerful songs with some quirky arrangements, softer, utterly emotional ones, more jazz influenced tracks, and so on. It is a great collection of prog metal gems, each one in its one way. The ten minutes of "Forced Entry" is the magnum opus of the band, amazingly structured and containing an unbelievable, breathtaking vocal performance. The opening title track is another great moment, a perfect introduction for the album, a sort of prologue to all the things that will soon be heard. The three songs in the middle of the album, the incredible climax of "Mb. Indifferentia", the aggressive yet very provocative "Waste Of Air", and the building tension of "Mediocrity Wins" make an amazingly solid trilogy together. "Cryptogenic Desires" a paranoid but fun short track, the final two songs are both overall calm and don't have much of a climax, but once again have a great emotive force, especially the finale, the eight minute "Painful Detour".
"Bilateral" takes prog metal and bends it with originality, creativity, and amazing musicianship. An album that basically redefines the genre as we know it, and would possibly become a classic for the years to come.
Nick

Leprous' unique brand of extreme progressive metal took listeners by storm with 2009's Tall Poppy Syndrome, and Bilateral proves that these Norwegian lads are far from slowing down. On their third album, Leprous expands even further upon the foundation set by their first two releases, resulting in an album that is both entirely unique and still distinctly their own. Bilateral is a mature, innovative, and simply breathtaking tour de force of modern progressive metal; this is the sort of album that is bound to amaze any open minded fan of progressive metal. Bilateral took quite a few listens to 'click' with me, but its genius songwriting and ambitious attitude does eventually shine through in a brilliant way. Anyone who thinks that modern progressive metal only consists of copycats and clones better take a listen to Leprous - these guys have the goods!
While Leprous is best described as progressive metal (which is, admittedly, the best tag I can come up with too), you'll find much more than you may have bargained for on Bilateral. Throughout the album, I hear touches of symphonic progressive rock, technical metal, avant-garde metal in the vein of Mr. Bungle, quirky prog rock a la Gentle Giant, Faith No More-inspired funky metal, and even various styles of jazz. This is an eclectic and one-of-a-kind album for sure, and the first thing that springs to mind when discussing Bilateral is probably the early works of Swedish prog metal act Pain of Salvation - while Leprous is certainly more wacky and unpredictable than Daniel Gildenlöw's brainchild, their influence does shine in the vocal harmonies and sheer eclecticism of this release. Bilateral is also rather dependent on (somewhat) short and compact compositions, rather than long and drawn-out epics. Each of the songs moves extremely fast, so it can definitely take a few listens before Bilateral's genius begins to unravel. Once it does, though, it's hard for me to think of this as anything but an absolutely stunning observation. Factor in the top-notch musicianship and crystal-clear production, and it looks like we have a winner across the board!
Bilateral is a very different album from Tall Poppy Syndrome, but I'm sure it will have just as much (if not more) of an impact on prog metal fans worldwide. One look at various review sites across the web, and it appears that my prediction is pretty accurate. Leprous have crafted a great album on nearly every front with Bilateral, and even though it does feel a bit disjointed from time to time, this is one of 2011's highlights if you're interested in unique and modern progressive metal. 4 stars and a very high recommendation are deserved.
Jeff

The most common comment about this album seem to be that it's a grower. And I have to agree with that statement as I didn't even like it after one listen. Well after about 7 listens I do appreciate it a lot more but I still don't like the vocals, and instrumentally i'm far from being impressed. I'm in the minority though as many seem to be blown away by this latest release from this Norwegian Metal band.
"Bilateral" has this epic intro then it settles in with vocals. Not a fan of the multi-sounding vocals here and elsewhere. The song kicks in and out throughout. "Forced Entry" has an interesting intro then it settles with vocals. Riffs and higher pitched vocals follow. Some nice drumwork 2 1/2 minutes in. Reserved vocals a minute later then it kicks in at 4 1/2 minutes as themes are repeated. "Restless" has this beat as vocal melodies join in then vocals. It kicks in at a minute. Multi-vocals later. "Thorn" has a strange sounding intro then a beat with keys takes over. Vocals follow. It's fuller after 1 1/2 minutes. Somewhat growly vocals from guest Ihsahn after 3 minutes then guest trumpet.
"MB Indifferentia" is a laid back tune with reserved vocals. It turns more passionate late. "Waste Of Air" kicks in right away with double bass drumming then rough vocals. Great sound after 2 minutes when the vocals stop. They're back 3 1/2 minutes in. "Mediocrity Wins" is very proggy because it seems to have it all even a rap-like section. "Cryptogenic Desires" is catchy with a beat and almost spoken vocals, then it kicks in as contrasts continue. "Acquired Taste" opens with piano and desperate sounding vocals as it builds. It continues to shift though. I like the instrumental ending. "Painful Detour" is by far my favourite track. I really enjoy this and can't help but think of how good a whole album like this would be.
A good album but it just doesn't do a lot for my tastes.
John Davie

Remarkably appetizing progressive metal.
As nothing more than an occasional dabbler in the metal part of the prog spectrum, Bilateral is a tantalizing mix of all things great about it, while avoiding the (for me) less digestible bits. A clever concoction of atmospheric and emotional Riverside-ian soundscapes, dry, speedy and precise tech riffing, outstanding gritty and sticky heaviness and a clear, but never overwhelming or excessive melodiousness, this is an eclectic and elegant sampler of many of the sounds the genre has to offer. Without other comparisons intended, I even hear touches of the animated, jittery energy of post-hardcore now and then. Vocally, it's quite a diverse effort as well. Ranging from soothing and clear beauty to harsh screaming and near-growl territory, often in rich, emotive and layered arrangements, there's something for everyone here.
But Leprous are more than just adroit combiners of styles. The song-writing is top-notch, fusing these parts into complete pieces of music that never feel contrived or forced. As such, disparate influences seep into each other both admirably and seamlessly making the end result feel fresh and rather creative when all things are said and done. Moody, urban "emo-psych" synthesizer atmospheres, classic organ sounds and inventive, modern electronics of more alternative rock and metal gladly and successfully intertwine with disciplined and aggressive guitar textures and brutish, sluggish riffs. When presented with a fair bit of symphonic sensibility, an emphasis on texture, gifted use of hooks and a peevish unpredictability both in song-writing and in sound detail (why not some jazzy trumpet here and some funky bass there?), you end with a crisp and tight yet bombastic grandeur that I find myself strangely and surprisingly enamoured by.
Dynamics are outstanding and both individual songs and the album ebbs and flows musically and emotionally. It's a vivacious and soaring journey through Porcupine-ish atmospheric melancholy all the way to blistering double bass drum onslaught. From the tender and melodic to the dirty and brutal. And as so often when these kind of fusions are presented to me as a listener, it's the way it melts away boundaries and makes it all feel natural that really seals the deal. You could certainly argue that most of what is done on Bilateral has been done before and in purer form and that the band is simply playing it safe in a prog metal no-one's land, but that is doing yourself a disservice. If you like me stand ambivalent to both the more traditional prog metal as well as the more extreme expressions of the genre, this is exquisite stuff. And that's just the icing on the cake to be honest. Bilateral is a great album on its own. And that's what truly matters.
Not really what I usually fall for, but Leprous are, apparently, doing things right.
Quality and craft.
4 / 5 stars.
Linus W.

The third release of a great band. One more step ahead, firmly heading to the Olympo. The evolution of Leprous' music is constant. From creative tech-death prog metal in their debut AEOLIA, followed by the more complex and subtle (yes it can be in spite of the powered background) TALL POPPY SYNDROME, they got to this BILATERAL, in which the music has become more melodic and closer to main stream compositional Prog. Here the tech-death has been reduced to a few well-placed bits and the voices by Solberg have gained a prominent place in the structure of the tracks. At times, one may feel some have been composed to be sung, which is not very Prog... unless the voice plays music, and this is the case here. Excellent. This guy is becoming one of the greatest singers. I never liked the voices to be a main point in Prog music because the instrumental composition tends to reduce and degrade. It is not the case in this album, but let's keep an eye on it for the future. In this album there are new ambient elements substituting for the excellent piano interludes in the first AEOLIA, I miss the rough freshness of the starter, but I'm afraid it has gone for good. The band has sophisticated quite a lot, the roughness flipped into bombastic, but their creativity is at the highest, so we rather do not complain. Thorn, Mb Indiferentia, Waste of Air, Acquired Taste, thay are all great compositions, actually there are no weak tracks. All have talent inside.
Oscar Poito

"Bilateral" is the second studio album by the Norwegian metal act Leprous.
I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of the progressive metal genre. There is just something about it that I can't really explain, it just prevents me from really getting into it.
However, I love everything about this band.
Unlike other bands (which I can express some sort of distaste for), this band has done nothing that I really dislike. In fact, most of their releases are perfect, especially this and their most recent album, "Coal". I know a ton of people really like "Tall Poppy Syndrome", but honestly the album didn't really affect me as much as "Bilateral". It could be from the fact that the track 'Acquired Taste' was the first piece of music I heard from the band. I instantly fell in love with it and it's parent album.
One of the things I love about Leprous is the way they can shift and change their music in such a creative way, that their more unique than most bands I can name. This album really expresses that.
While most Leprous tracks are seven to eight minutes, the tracks on "Bilateral" range from three minutes to six minutes. I feel that instead of having an entire album dedicated to long epics, short(er) songs give way for more creative input. Each track has more time put into it and less filler to take up space on it. Even when they do have a longer track on this album, it is done well. The longest track, 'Forced Entry', is pretty great in the way of vocals and instrumental value. Two great songs that are favorites of mine are the previously mentioned 'Acquired Taste', and the titled track 'Bilateral'. Both are great songs and I highly recommend them for anyone wanting to get into Leprous.
One thing I'm totally thankful for is the removal of the constant screaming that was highly present in "Tall Poppy Syndrome", along with now absent organ. Now it's in the right place and actually sounds good.
Anyways, I totally recommend either this for anyone who wants to listen to a great progressive metal band like Leprous.
Go give it a listen.
aglasshouse

The Scream
Bilateral is a shining example in the most literal of terms. As an avid music listener and someone who writes for and about many new artists, I will regularly get questions from bands who have released a debut about how they can improve their sound. And for those that released 'good-to-decent' debuts, I can normally give good advice, and avoiding the sophomore slump is not such an issue. It's the bands who release stellar debuts that I have a hard time giving advice to, and they have a hard time releasing something past their debut.
Of all the great debuts that there have been, I really can't think of a single band who has topped their first album. I find that bands will either slowly build up to their best work from a weaker first couple of albums (see Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Opeth), or they will release a phenomenal debut that already has a distinctive sound, and fail to repeat it over and over again (see The Mars Volta, The Reign of Kindo, Dead Letter Circus, even Dream Theater if we forget about When Dream and Day Unite). Leprous, with Bilateral, are the only band in the entire world that, to my knowledge, have avoided this.
Of course, I guess I should point out that perhaps the reason Leprous topped Tall Poppy Syndrome is because they are not part of the latter group, but the former, because I'm ignoring Aeolia in my equation. And yeah, I guess the fact that Aeolia was a full-length demo and actually housed some pretty decent tracks means that it was their debut as opposed to Tall Poppy Syndrome, but still think the feat remains, because Tall Poppy Syndrome was treated as a debut. When Leprous exploded onto the prog metal scene, everyone just called it their debut and gave the same sort of praise that a debut of that calibre would gain. So the feat remains. When you release a breakthrough album that gets praise about its uniqueness and character, it can be extremely difficult to try and capture those same fans, whilst at the same time moving forward and creating a different album, while at the same time keeping the musicality and composition the same level.
The impossible truth is that Bilateral somehow sounds like the same Leprous that produced Tall Poppy Syndrome, yet it is also a completely different record. On first listen, you'll hear it and go "yeah, this sounds like Leprous", but after a while, and a bit of comparison, you realise how different it is to Tall Poppy Syndrome. The most obvious difference here is the absence of Einar Solberg's delicious and incredibly intricate piano. Those who know me know that piano is my favourite instrument by a good length, and I will always praise a band for its use, especially in the context of rock or metal music. So weird then, to think that with the amazing piano on Tall Poppy Syndrome, and its near complete absence on Bilateral, that I believe this album to be the superior. But to be honest, I didn't even notice. I didn't finish this album and go "oh damn, where are the awesome piano parts", and in fact I didn't even notice for a good time, until Coal was released and the piano returned. There are brief appearances here during "Acquired Taste" and "Painful Detour", but nothing compared to the lengthy solos or dominating rhythm parts on its predecessor. And the reason I didn't notice the piano here is simple ? because the melodies and performances from the other instruments are just too good.
The second track here, "Forced Entry" is undeniably Leprous' best song yet, and is generally one of the best prog metal epics I have ever heard, especially in the second half. The song begins with a rather angular and weird riff, but soon breaks into a fantastically catchy groove, pushing 4/4 time to its extreme limits until it's basically not recognisable. The song's chorus drives the energy even further up, which is possibly the reason this is such a brilliant piece of composition, because of the way the energy is kept alive for ten minutes. Within just four minutes, the band have strung together multiple melodies that are all stellar on their own, from the epic "rest in peace" to Einar's falsetto "help me survive", and yet together, these pieces make for something truly exceptional.
But as much as the first half creates a ton of energy and runs through a good number of melodies and motifs, it's the second half that really kills me. After a short break and a light keyboard part, the band strike an absolutely awesome 7/4 groove, possibly the best I have ever heard in that signature, and Einar pulls out some of the best vocal melodies he has done over the top. It really impresses me how all of these lines are in some variant of 7, changing each bar and keeping in line with the odd rhythm. Sounding this natural in an odd signature is something that really impresses me in prog metal, something that bands like Dream Theater have never managed. This part of the song has Einar panting out some rather strange and disturbing lyrics ? my friends and I once joked that "Forced Entry" was a rape analogy, but after we proceeded to read the lyrics, it really didn't seem like a distant possibility. The lyrics scream of obsession and addiction, and although some of the lines may be calm, in context they are quite disturbing, "Bring me home, shut the door, send me a glimpse of the future once more. Settle down, go to rest, sit back, relax?."
Oh.
Oh.
Wow.
What the hell was that?
Jesus.
Is he making that with his mouth?
The sound that Einar Solberg makes at 8:43 in "Forced Entry" is the greatest noise ever made by a human. This is a fact.
I have yet to find someone who has not been impressed by The Scream. Even people with basically no knowledge of music and no enjoyment of metal were impressed, and I use it as pure evidence toward my case proving Einar Solberg as the best vocalist in the planet. It's so raw, yet so stunningly pitched. It's in a range that is neither falsetto nor standard, it both has pitch and has none. I managed to get it once, or at least I believed I did, by drinking a massive amount of coffee and blocking the back of my throat with phlegm to create a second diaphragm. It's like a falsetto note with masses of vibrato, done in a black metal scream fashion. Actually, it's unlike anything I have ever heard, and trying to explain with words is pointless. My point is that it is phenomenal, and the cherry on top of one of the best songs ever written. Or is it just?
I love the way that after The Scream, it just goes straight back in. Back to that fantastic bridge verse, back to that fantastic groove. The energy I mentioned before has quadrupled; the song is now so full of it that it has its own gravitational field. I love the way that Einar amps up the intensity in the second part though, somehow topping the first. He sings the awesome "knowing how long you've made me wait" line with such brilliant finesse, perfectly stressing the slide at the end, building up until?
It happens again.
And it's bigger.
Ok, ok, scratch that, this is the best one. The second scream. So often, when I was first getting into this record, I completely forgot about this part, because The Scream just seems like the logical climax, and this took me completely by surprise. I remember when I was very small, we used to draw graphs of the 'intensity' of a novel or short story, so we would know what a climax was and what a denouement was and all that stuff. If this song was drawn on one of those (very scientific) graphs, The Scream would bring it to the other side of the room, and The Second Scream would punch a hole in the wall and continue the scale out to halfway across the damn ocean. It's the cherry on top of another cake that is sitting on top of the previous cherry from the previous cake. By the time the opening riff comes flying in to finish the song, I'm out of breath. Hell, I'm out of breath just writing this, and I'm currently in a biology lecture.
But The Scream is not the only reason Bilateral tops its predecessor. Sure, Einar has found his ground as the best vocalist on the planet, which is concrete evidence of this album's achievement, but there is the not-so-concrete evidence of the band's songwriting stepping up as well. As I have said, I should prefer Tall Poppy Syndrome, given my boner for piano (especially piano-heavy metal music), but this album trumps it in nearly every way with its composition.
Take a track like "MB Indifferentia", and its counterpoint on the previous album, "Fate". It's clear these track are linked in their lack of harsh vocals, in their rock-centric musicianship, and jazz- influenced verses, as well as Einar's use of falsetto. "Fate" was one of the weaker songs on the debut, but still contained a blistering midsection, great solos, and an obviously stellar performance from Einar. But on MB Indifferentia, everything is turned up to 11. While the song is far more linear than Fate, and is missing the epic midsection, it makes up to it fully with the biggest climax you can imagine (if you pretend that Forced Entry didn't exist). Einar belts the wonderful melody he sung so solemnly earlier in full look-how-much-better-I-am chest voice range, reaching far above what us normal folk could ever dream of hitting without falsetto. It is more or less the best melody they have come up with ? solemn when it needs to be, yet epic and grandiose in the finale. And to top it all off, The Scream returns, for one last bow. I'll admit though, there's a minute or so in the first half that could have been cut, and the entire song could do with a bit of trimming, structure-wise, but everything is forgiven by the final minute.
But it's not just the two outstanding songs here that show improvement. Nearly half of the songs here are better than the best song on Tall Poppy Syndrome, with my next favourites being the closing duo of "Acquired Taste" and "Painful Detour". The former is the only track to have the piano of the debut throughout, and gains its high position from the absolutely beautiful chorus melody (especially in its final rendition), whereas the latter gains its praise from being just plain awesome. Calling back the previous album's "White", it holds great energy throughout the track, utilizing one of the catchiest choruses the band have created, and even features some nice doubling of sax and falsetto vocals in the bridge, but the track really reaches its stride with the blistering ending to the bridge, with Einar reprising The Scream once again over a wall off intense double kicks.
Although I really do not wish to bore everyone by going through every track on this record, I should give a mention to "Waste of Air", or more specifically, how it nearly ruins the album for me. It's not a bad song, but every time it comes on, especially following such a fantastic track as Mb Indifferentia, I let out a massive sigh of "oh not this bitch again", before settling down to tolerate it for five and a half minutes. I guess there's something kinda cool about a random section of blast beats, and the bridge has a very weird 17/16 vocal part that Einar dominates, but on the whole, the album would be better without it. The only other track that I'm not a huge fan of is the opening title track, but it does its job in introducing the album and building into Forced Entry, so it is forgiven. "Mediocrity Wins" is also an interesting track, although not necessarily bad or great. Its main point of interest is the 7/8 beat poem/rap that Einar does in the verses, which is just another vocal style to his repertoire, and it's especially impressive when he layers it with some of his semi-harsh screams on top.
Bilateral is the peak of Leprous' career, and it one of the best records in progressive metal, full stop. It still has flaws, and is certainly not perfect, but the combination of the ambitious and unique style with stellar songwriting with Einar's newfound ability to create such a fantastic noise make this a modern classic in every sense of the word. Despite this, I honestly would not recommend starting here with Leprous ? Tall Poppy Syndrome is a more accessible record, and I also believe everyone should hear Leprous' marvelous feat in topping that record, something that is still nearly unheard of in music (to me, at least).
9.5
Gallifrey

Norway's Leprous are tough to pigeon-hole, but tech/extreme is a lesser part of their identity. Some songs follow the catchy prog metal a la Dreamtheater template so common these days. Others remind of textured alternative rock with its fragile-to-powerful dynamic. And then there are traces of their extreme metal origins, with occasional blast beats, dissonant atmospherics and screaming vocals tearing thru the proceedings. In short, they are diverse enough to be worth a listen, but not consistent and don't hold enough surprises (if you don't count extreme metal suddenly, and often irritatingly, punctuating otherwise normal songs) to be great. Or perhaps the problem is a lack of identity at all. Because sometimes it feels like the only thing reminding this is the same band is the impressively ranged vocal of Einar Solberg.
Rubén

Acquiring the taste.
I am not on the heavy side of prog, so at first I was a bit afraid to listen to this album. But I am glad I did. Of course, the album is a bit heavy, but not so heavy as exptected. What makes 'Bilateral' fascinating is the sophisticated composition of the songs, with their well thought over intros, the structuring within the songs that fit well, their change of tempo and dynamics, mellow piano interludes, and overall good arrangement of the instruments.
Most of the vocals are clear and even amazing virtuosic singing. It reminds me, not in timbre, but in style of Deep Purple's Ian Gillan. I sincerely hope that Leprous' singer does not damage his vocal chords like Gillan did. Somewhere, on 'Thorn', you can hear a bit growling (it seems, that no artist of the tech/extreme genre may afford to avoid it). Normally I am annoyed by growling, but here it fits very well in the atmosphere of the song.
'Thorn' is also the song, which contains a trumpet! Apart from that, the instrumentation is quite conventional with guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, but the trumpet gives the album and additional exotic touch. Overall, the not very distorted guitars often play nice melodic chordal breaks or delicated riffs.
If there is one thing I'd like to criticize, then it is, that I wished that the drums would play a bit more independently from the bass. The drums plays too much along the bass lines and sounds sometimes a bit uninspiring. Otherwise this album would be perfect.
My personal favourites are Mb.Indifferentia, and, fitting to my attitude to this album, Acquired Taste.
Formentera Lady

Impressive!! The norwege band as done it again. The follow up after Tall Poppy Sindrome is just a music evolution tha is stuning track after track. They use a formula that I would like Opeth to use. Less growling and more clean vocals. Forced Entry is by far in my opinion the best track in the album. Restless is a more comercial oriented track, The there is the heaviest track Waste Of Air, the awesome bass played track Mediocrity Wins, the epic Acquired Taste and fantastic tracks like Cryptogenic Desires, Painful Detour turn this an addicted album and in my opinion is Leprous masterpiece.
Ricardo Gonçalves

Sometimes, a person finds an album that seems to be tailored to their exact musical tastes. Sometimes, a person falls in love with an album that fits their current mood. And sometimes, a band just knows what they are doing. The aforementioned person is me. The band is Leprous.
I'm quite familiar with the "popular" and "less popular" progressive rock and metal bands from the last forty or so years, so I have a pretty good idea what to expect when I acquire a something new. But "Bilateral" caught me off guard. I have never heard an album quite like this one; I'm having trouble comparing Leprous to any other band in my library. Perhaps the bastard child of Between the Buried and Me and Korn? I don't know, my comparison is just as ridiculous as any others I've read, and I've read some comments/reviews that were way off basis. I find myself asking all too often, did that person listen to the same album I did?
In three words, Leprous is heavy, melodic, and emotional. It is difficult for me to fit them into a genre. Prog? Sure. Metal? Eh, kinda, but they don't follow the traditional metal structure. Unfortunately distorted guitars alone do not qualify a band as metal. Tech/extreme? There is nothing overly technical or extreme about this album. The songs rely too much on layering, building, and clean vocals.
In my opinion, the vocals are the driving force of this album. The guitar solos are few and far between; the ones that do make an appearance leave wank at the door. They tend to sneak up on you, and build up to the next vocal entrance. Each instrument creates a nice layer, and together the band members create a progressive atmosphere quite unlike any I have heard before, which is surprising considering how much power chord chugging they implement.
The writing in this album is nothing less than stellar. Leprous doesn't dwell on any passage too long, which is apparent in their relatively short songs (at the very least, I didn't get bored). They found a way to take all of the goodness from prog, remove some of its unnecessary complexity, and compact it into ten 4-10 minute tracks. They know when to stay on a decent riff, when to add another layer, when to suavely bring you to the climax, when to hit you over the head with an epic chorus, and how to bring you back down to a state of how the hell did they just weave that intricate web of awesome. Among the plethora of power chords and chugging that I've heard in quite possibly every modern band, this band has an additional sense of depth and simplicity that is unparalleled in my experience.
While I do highly recommend "Bilateral", it seems to be hit or miss with most people. It's probably my album of the year, thus tilted from 9/10 to 5/5 stars.
Paul

WOW, this is the album of the year for me. I have listened to this album once or twice a week, since, BILATERAL, was released. I can't get enough of this album. Leprous have shocked me. I liked, Tall Poppy Syndrome, but BILATERAL is an absolute Masterpiece. Very few album over the last few years deserve a Five Star, IMO. Everything is Flawless on this album, but man does Einar Solberg steal the show, he has a set of pipes. Vocalist of the year. Playing/Touring with Ihashn must have sparked a fire in the members of Leprous. Every song is a Highlight. That is why I believe this is a FIVE star album. Progressive Avant Garde Rock/Metal at it's finest.
Prog_Rocks

King Crimson, Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation, The Mars Volta, Faith No More, Devin Townsend, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Post Rock, Tech/Extreme, Metal, Jazz, Experimental, heavy rock, etc... How can you fit everything that influenced you in nearly an hour? And be genuine, something new? And keep a solid song structure? And really prove that you are an exceptional musician with bright future? And deliver a weird, multi-layered but most of all progressive album? And in the future your name will be mentioned as an influence, in a list like the above? And ... and .. and ...
Well say no more, these guys from Norway did it. You get polyrhythms (lots of that, trust me), melodies, growls, smooth parts, heaviness, craziness. Each track is in a different category but the good thing is that all have the bands signature. After the first spin you will wonder "What was that?". A couple more and you will be hooked, fiddling on the details of each song.
All the reviews mention the great work of the band's vocalist. I can't argue with that, it is an astonishing performance. Apart from that I can only add that I am in awe of the rhythm section. Impressive work!
In the search of Album of Year 2011 this one takes a different approach. The balance of avant-guarde / mainstream music in this is pure gold and this is something that we need in prog. So, for this reason only, 5 stars and my respect.
Sophocles Papavasileiou

Leprous is a new name to me in the Norwegian band flora, but they have released two highly rated albums before this album. It seems like this album is breaking them big time.
Leprous is blending in a lot of outside influences into their progressive metal. Everything from Abba to other pop music bands to some cheesy Las Vegas crooning stuff to symph prog and eclectic prog. The base is prog metal, but the pizza filling is everything else.
The vocals is mainly clear vocals as in the Muse vocalist..... whatever his name. Then they also include some death grunts and death metal blasting as textures now and then. And Muse, what little I have heard by them, is a good reference. The sound is full of details and texture. The soundscape is big and bigger than a metropolis. Big is best, the motto seems to be. Then again, this music is pretty innovative and impressive too.
I am not a big fan of this music and remains sceptical. But I gladly admit that what Leprous does is probably symphonic prog post 2000 and symphonic prog without any Genesis/Yes/Camel connotations. That has to be applauded. OK, they are still metal, but I understand where their logic.
I repeat; I am not a fan of this music.... normally, that is. But it is very obvious this album has qualities you will rarely find on other albums. It takes a bit time to get into the music on this album. But it is a sign of quality that several melody lines is working around in my head. It is therefore an infectious album. Hence it is a great album from a band who will break out of the underground and go big with this album. Recommended to those who think symphonic prog died in 1979.
4/5 stars
toroddfuglesteg

Ya saben dónde encontrar el disco, realmente se los recomiendo, pero si están con dudas, por las dudas tienen los videos para escucharlos mejor y decidirse ¿los odian o los aman?



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