Leprous - Pitfalls
Leprous vocalist and keyboardist Einar Solberg comments on the upcoming album: /“We’re incredibly proud to announce “Pitfalls”! It’s the album no-one is expecting from Leprous. When you think you know where it’s headed, you’ll realise that you’re wrong. It’s not only by far the biggest production and musical departure we’ve done, but the also most personal and honest. The album has been written through one of my toughest years, where I struggled with depression and anxiety. No filters, no metaphors, just the truth. They say that writing music is therapeutic. but I would say that it’s an understatement. For me “Pitfalls” is the result of 1,5 years of learning how to get through the dark tunnel. The music has been my torch.”
There are nine songs in all, and for the frontman they are roughly divided into two halves. The first half of the album can be described as representing the poppier side of the band’s artistry. The second half is a lot more experimental and progressive.
I’ve no previous history so its a case of reviewing it from a single standpoint without referencing anyof their past work. What I will tell you immediately, is that I want to get hold of everything they have done before this, after just one single listen of this album. Its good. Bloody good. I immediately like the phrasing, tone, and falsetto of Einar Solberg’s vocals, akin to something I expect to hear on a Scandi thriller playing in the background. Both haunting and compelling ‘Below’ is a joy from its first to its last note. I can’t call it prog, or rock or anything in-between. It is what it is. ‘I Lose Hope’ is close to Royal Republic’s recent disco album, and the short choppy vocals combined with sparse use of guitar, and electronica show that these guys are not to be trifled with, or pigeon-holed. ‘Observe The Train’ has a lovely lilting chorus that’s instantly likeable. ‘By My Throne’ picks up the pace more than anything previous, and for me the tone is similar to Agnes Obel. Not your usual comparison I’d agree! ‘Alleviate’ involves strings, bongoes, and is as close to pop as a band like this Leprous will get.
'At The Bottom’ is a song you can’t fathom which direction it is going to go. Almost operatic, and balladic, its not conforming to any given structure. Again there are strings lifting the emotion of the song beyond the norm, before falling into something that Steven Wilson may curve ball you into. Its from this song to the album end where the experimentation takes place. ‘Distant Bells’ starts with a piano intro, with Solberg’s vocals drifting gently over the piano. I feel like I’m watching a very dramatic film, with the soundtrack to an emotional and downbeat section. Its achingly haunting, as it builds to its powerful crescendo. Theres one ‘rocker’ on ‘Pitfalls, and that’s ‘Foreigner’ , which has a synth section that is similar to The Prodigy’s ‘Funky Shit’ crossed with the melody of Rammstein. Finally we are onto the epic in length closer, ‘The Sky Is Red’ starts off with some fab drumming from Baard Kolstad, and a choir has been employed to sing over the vocals adding extra sound and depth. It has choppy riffing from guitarists Suhrke, Ognedal, and bassist Børven. They even throw in a guitar solo, to keep the purists happy, at least for one song. Its prog at its finest and a fitting way to finish off the album.
Thank you Leprous, you have a new convert.
I Lose Hope
Observe The Train
By My Throne
At The Bottom
The Sky Is red
Einar Solberg - Lead vocals / keyboards
Tor Oddmund Suhrke - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Baard Kolstad - Drums
Robin Ognedal - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Simen Børven - Bass, Backing Vocals