Review LEPROUS ‘Aphelion’

Leprous, the Norwegian prog metal passionists from Notodden, started in 2001 and it took a while before the big day of releasing the debut came. After having published two demos, it happened in 2009 that Leprous premiered with ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’. The album was a stepstone towards inking a deal with Inside Out Music, the label that releases Leprous albums since then.

Leprous is gaining momentum since a while and especially the last three longplayers also scored chart entries, showing a growing fan base. To keep things going in this positive direction, the band worked on a new album called ‘Aphelion’. 10 Songs and a running time of 56 minutes provides a lot of well-created songs, pieced together in three different studios.

The new album is a product of circumstances. The band originally planned an EP but since the availability of time wasn’t the issue, Leprous decided to go for a full-length longplayer instead.

Another aspect is that this album was done differently, starting with the songwriting. Some songs have been nearly ready while other tunes have been created with a more improvisation mindset in the studio.  Last but not least there are some songs where also fans had a chance to contribute. From all these facets one can say that ‘Aphelion’ is a different album and still 100% Leprous.

One of the key characteristics of Leprous is without any doubt the voice of frontman Einar Solberg. Equipped with a wider vocal range and being able to use it for the expression of feeling and emotions is a key pillar of the Leprous look. To mention two songs that shows the vocal range as well as the music poles of Leprous on this album is talking about the opener ‘Running Low’ and the closer ‘Nighttime Disguise’. ‘Running Low’ is the bold start into ‘Aphelion’. After a heartbeat-like beat kicks things off it is Solberg’s vocals that impress right away. What starts calm and intense evolves to a powerful opener that shines right away.

‘Nighttime Disguise’ instead is a monumental ending with emotions and feeling being the driving force. It is a dark song though that rounds off a very personal album that lyrically addresses mental health and anxiety.

‘Aphelion’ is Leprous seventh studio album. It feels like the different creative process in a chaotic time has pushed the band to a next highlight. Being forced to leave the comfort zone is not always a bad thing and here it has been one element for coming up with an album that amazes.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Running Low
  2. Out Of Here
  3. Silhouette
  4. All The Moments
  5. Have You Ever?
  6. The Silent Revelation
  7. The Shadow Side
  8. On Hold
  9. Castaway Angels
  10. Nighttime Disguise

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: August 27th, 2021

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