- Einar Solberg – vocals, keyboards
- Tor Oddmund Suhrke – guitar
- Øystein Landsverk – guitar
- Baard Kolstad – drums
- Simen Daniel Børven – bass guitar
What was once the backing band for Emperor singer, Ihsahn, has been taking the Prog Metal world by storm one album at a time! The Norwegian four piece, Leprous, started back a few years ago in 2001 and has been continuously growing in their instruments and gaining notoriety of their own. Up until recently, they were the backing band for Ihsahn, whom most of you recognize as the voice of Emperor, he occasionally makes an appearance on their albums; so they didn’t end in harsh terms or anything just different schedules. In 2009, the band released their first full length LP Tall Poppy Syndrome and was compared to the likes of Pink Floyd and King Crimson for their musical style. Now six years later, they are releasing their fourth full length LP The Congregation, but do they still hold that special formula that got them started almost 15 years ago?
The album kicks off with the ever strong song “The Price” that starts off with a Djenty, Protest the Hero-esque riffing that flows into their psychedelic sound rather well. Vocalist/Keyboardist Einar Solberg really captivates the listeners with his soothing voice which lures you in, though that will change throughout the album as does the stylization of the songs to come. I really have to give Drummer Baard Kolstad props for writing such technical drum riffs while still maintaining to keep up and mesh with the vocal patterns of Solberg. On the first song released by the band “Rewind” (or at least teased by the band), Ihsahn makes a special appearance toward the end of the track to turn beauty into chaos, which brings a whole new dimension to the listener. The very next track, “The Flood,” has a heavy bass presence (played by Simen Daniel Børven), once the main part of the song kicks in and continues through out keeping your head bobbing till the end.
Guitarists Øystein Landsverk and Tor Oddmund Suhrke round out the lineup and really put some emotion into every song to make it their own. “Slave” has some of my favorite guitar work through out the album, while all songs are great, “Slave” stands out above the rest as a song they really put their heart and soul into. What makes it stand out to me is that it starts out like a Rush outtake that turns out to be one hell of a beast in the end! To answer a question I asked earlier on, Yes they still have that special formula that started almost 15 years ago. Through out the lineup changes they have only grown and picked out the best lineup for their band and I believe this is one of the strongest albums they have released to date.
Congregation Track List:
|1.||“The Price (Official music video)” (Einar Solberg & Baard Kolstad)||5:14|
|2.||“Third Law” (Einar Solberg & Tor Oddmund Suhrke)||6:19|
|4.||“The Flood” (Einar Solberg & Tor Oddmund Suhrke)||7:52|
|6.||“Within My Fence” (Einar Solberg & Martin Skrebergene)||3:17|
|10.||“Down” (Einar Solberg & Baard Kolstad)||6:26|
|12.||“Pixel (Bonus Track)”||5:16|
RIYL: King Crimson, Haken, Ihsahn
Rating: 5 out of 5