Our Top 10 Leprous songs list looks at the work of a Norwegian band who have an amazing unique and interesting sound. They first formed in 2001 but had a very unstable line-up until the release of their first album Tall Poppy Syndrome in 2009. The album was positively received and acclaimed for its sound which was compared to progressive bands such as Pink Floyd and Tool. The band also performed as the live band for Ishahn of the black metal band Emperor who is the brother-in-law of the band’s vocalist Einar Solberg.
In 2011 Leprous released their second album Bilateral on which Ishahn made several guest vocal appearances. This was followed by Coal in 2013. In 2015 they released their fourth album The Congregation. This album got the band their first Spellemanprison award, which is essentially the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy’s. In 2017, they released their fifth album Malina which saw them experiment with their sound a lot, becoming a lot less metal and more alternative. After the release of this album they took some time off as a band they went to Sweden’s Ghostworld Studios in 2019 and spent the next months recording their next album Pitfalls which was released later that year. Their most recent album Aphelion was released this year.
Although they are generally regarded as a progressive band, they do not box themselves into any one genre as their music also contains elements of other genres such as psychedelia and even funk in places. As well as being influenced by metal bands such as Behemoth, Porcupine Tree, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Opeth, they also cite artists from other genres as an inspiration such as Radiohead, Massive Attack (who’s song “Angel” they have covered) and The Prodigy. This diverse range of influences all goes into the band’s music and comes out with an interesting result.
Here is a list of the band’s top ten songs.
# 10 – Bilateral
Kicking off our top ten Leprous songs is this track which is the title track of the band’s second album released in 2011. This song has an eighties metal vibe to it. It has a lot of very complex arrangements as well as a lot of symphonic elements to it. Although it has a retro feel to it, at the same time it still manages to sound modern.
# 9 – Contaminate
This next song is taken from the band’s third album Coal released in 2013. At nine minutes long, this is a progressive metal epic. The song mixes the black metal influences of the band with that of band’s such as Tool and Opeth. Einar Solberg’s vocals alternate between screaming and clean vocals before the song takes a complete U-turn halfway through where it almost becomes an ambient piece of music with the use of a Native American flute.
# 8 – Restless
Here is another song from Bilateral. The beginning of the song shows the band’s less heavier side. As it goes on, there is a more abrasive style to it. The album was recorded at both Ivory Shoulkder Studios and Juke Joint Studio with two producers Vegard Tvetian otherwise known and Ishahn and his wife Heidi Solberg Tvetian who is also Einar Solberg’s sister.
# 7 – The Valley
Here is another song from Coal that like the previous entry on this list from that album is also nine minutes long. At first the song makes use of synths and the song has a generally spacey feel that has a vibe that is quite reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Here is a side of this band where their experimentation really comes to the forefront.
# 6 – Echo
Here is yet another song taken from Coal that shows a non-metal side to the band and could be considered to be more post-rock. It is definitely a track where the band’s influences from acts such as Radiohead really comes to the forefront. It is also another track taken from the album that is nine minutes long.
# 5 – The Cloak
At number five we have yet another song to be taken from Coal (I like the album). However, this time it is not nine minutes long! Here is another song that see’s the band perusing a different style with this song having more of a nineties alternative rock sound to it. It almost see’s Leprous sounding quite mainstream, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
# 4 – Coal
The next song is the title track from an album of which you can probably guess the title. Here the band are going in a more traditional metal territory with a vibe that is quite reminiscent of the more epic tracks of early Metallica. It has an epic sound to it, almost having a middle eastern feel at times, whether that is intentional or not.
# 3 – Triumphant
Next up we have a song taken from the band’s fourth album The Congregation released in 2015. This album was recorded in Fascination Street in Sweden once again with Ishahn and his wife. This song is a plodding progressive rock number that recalls Tool in a lot of parts. It sounds quite a bit different to that of the material found on the previous albums.
# 2 – Forced Entry
At number two is another song taken from Bilateral. Here is a track that see’s the band going all out prog rock. The song has a mixture of everything, mixing a symphonic sound with that off full-on metal guitars and drums. Over the course of its ten minute length, the song goes through a lot of different sounds and musical styles.
# 1 – Silhouette
The number one track on this list is taken from the band’s most recent album Aphelion released this year in 2021. The album was recorded in a number of different studios across Scandinavia. Musically the album branches out a lot, featuring a cellist and violin player. It was produced by David Castillo and engineered by Adam Noble who have both frequently worked with alternative rock band Placebo. The album was not initially planned but was written and recorded during the covid pandemic.
Einar Solberg stated that several of the songs featured on the album were recorded during the sessions for their previous album Pitfalls. They originally intended to compile these songs together to make an ep. This plan was changed when they started to record more songs and felt that they would sound good on their next full length album. The album was met with a positive critical reception and charted high across much of Europe, with its highest position being number seven on the UK Rock and Metal Charts.