As soon as I embraced the Leprous 2011 DPRP recommended album Bilateral,
I only wanted one thing more: to see them play this album live! And tonight they finally are here with the penultimate show of their European Progressive Assault Tour.
Bringing along two Scandinavian and one Andorran band to support them.
Rumour has it that at least one band member of each band seemed to be somewhat ill near the end of the tour.
Beside that this night might become a little version of the ProgPower Europe festival, as three out of four bands have played there.
Two of them this year, Leprous back in 2010. So there are a lot of questions to be answered.
Will the shows be influenced by illness? Will this night feel like a ProgPower 2?
Will the great voice of Leprous’ singer Einar Solberg hold at the same quality of the studio material?
And for me the most intriguing question: would Nehl Aërin (avantgarde progressive metal band Akphaezya) be jealous of us being here?
The first band to appear on stage is Ørkenkjøtt, an extreme progressive(?) metal from Norway.
Though very pleasant to look at all that’s happening on stage, musically I am not impressed at all.
And I think most of the ‘crowd’, about only twenty to thirty people present, will agree.
The band clearly enjoyed themselves because they didn’t give a shit about the number of people watching.
So, never a dull moment with these weird guys.
They roll over the floor with all sorts of costumes presenting us not to bad but also not very original extreme metal.
I would like to strike out the progressive label they’ve given themselves.
This band, hailing from Andorra, was the special opener for the ProgPower Europe festival just a few weeks ago to commemorate the tragic death of Mikko Laine the year before.
The audience had grown to about fifty by now and could watch and enjoy a heavy set of progressive metal.
A growling singer of quality here, supported by a clear voiced keyboardist.
Highlights of the show were the first song, a brand new track called Flying Sea Dragon, and a humorous Star Wars Medley where two Loch Vostok guys were added briefly.
A really sympathetic band of really interesting quality.
Flying Sea Dragon
The Endless Path
Star Wars Medley
Shin-Ken, Part I
Fall to Rise
Next on stage is a Swedish band that I had never heard of before.
Loch Vostok started with maybe seventy spectators.
Anyway, this turned out to be a sometimes even heavier set then the previous bands Ørkenkjøtt and Persefone did produce.
Which is quite an achievement.
The singing commuted between grunt and clear vocals.
The singer / guitar player’s own remark “I can’t help I’m a f**ng Pigmy” nicely explained how he felt himself lost on stage amongst some true giants,
his fellow band members. Think of rather straight and heavy progressive metal that initiates head banging by default.
A very enjoyable set.
Setlist Loch Vostok
Twilight of the Dogs
A Mission Undivine
And finally (really, three “support bands” is a little over the top) Leprous enters the stage.
Although this band deserves a real sold out venue, it didn’t look so awfully empty anymore.
An entry with an adequate opener, Forced Entry, that shows us these fine young Norwegian guys exploding in sound and energy.
Head banging and jumping all over the place right from the start whenever possible.
The set consists mostly of songs out of their latest album Bilateral and a few older ones.
I personally like the Bilateral songs over the older ones from Tall Poppy Syndrome much and much more because of their extensive progressive uniqueness.
The older tracks being rather straight metal songs.
It is this aspect that launched Bilateral into my 2011 album top 10 as well as in a 10 out of 10 rated DPRP album review.
And on stage Leprous succeeds in transcending that progressiveness by even daring to slightly alter many songs successfully.
Fine improvisation if you like. That together with the strong and unique voice of dreadlocked Einar Solberg.
To my surprise and pleasure he proved to be able to maintain his great vocal abilities in this live setting in almost every song.
Hence one of my questions is answered positively.
With Acquired Taste as a lovely encore this was a really excellent performance.
So, as an answer to one of my other questions; Yes, Nehl Aëlin will indeed envy us.
The only downside I have to mention is the sound being way too loud.
Sometimes guitar or other details belonging to the complex compositions got totally eroded by vast bass and drums only.
Waste of Air
No trace of illness on stage.
And a night to enjoy and above all with Leprous to remember.
But to be a second Progpower Europe you’ve got to have a great atmosphere…