The Bottom Line
- Strong keyboard presence.
- Songwriting has many twists and turns to it.
- Not a dull moment.
- Einar Solberg’s stellar vocal work.
- Released May 5, 2009 on Sensory Records.
- Leprous’ second full-length album.
- Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jonas Kjellgren.
Guide Review - Leprous - 'Tall Poppy Syndrome'
Every year, progressive metal has one album that takes the metal world by storm. 2007 was the year of Between The Buried and Me’s Colors; last year saw Opeth return in fine form with Watershed. While 2009 is still young, Tall Poppy Syndrome could be the surprise hit of the year. Leprous packs over an hour of music into eight tracks without a trace of a dull moment.
Each song flows with a purpose, never straying into needless guitar wankery or plodding melodies. While the average song is about seven minutes long, not one note is wasted. Leprous’ influences range from The Mars Volta to Beethoven, and everything in-between. The keyboard work of Einar Solberg dominates the proceedings, adding a classical and jazz element to the music that showcases the vast influences of the band.
Picking out one superb track is like deciding which Opeth album is the best; everybody is going to have their own opinion. Even when Leprous enters ballad territory with “Fate,” the band maintains a strong momentum that never ceases. From the fantastic piano outro on closer “White,” to the brutal riffing in the opening minutes of “Not Even A Name,” Leprous keeps the listener on its toes.
Tall Poppy Syndrome is an eye-opening album from a passionate band who knows how to write complex and compelling material. The first album from Leprous is one of the best albums released this year, nothing short of a modern-day progressive metal tour de force.