Leprous - Live At Rockefeller Music Hall

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Leprous are a rare band in the modern music climate. Not just because they have a completely unique sound, but because they have built themselves up the old fashioned way, through a relentless cycle of albums and prolific but carefully selected touring. When supporting bigger artists was the right thing to do, that's what they did, making sure it was a suitable bill to be on so as to expose themselves to the right audience. The same was true of festivals and headlining club runs. Four full-length studio albums in six years, after their demo album Aeolia secured them their first deal with Sensory Records, have consistently built up their reputation for inventive, bold, progressive metal music, and their live shows quickly became known as impassioned, atmospheric experiences. Also like bands used to do decades ago, they've waited to release their first live album, instead of filling time with one too early in their career. In order to record one, they put on a special home-town show in Oslo, their biggest to date, and the result is virtually flawless. Bigger, wealthier bands than Leprous would have killed to have the mix Live At Rockefeller Music Hall has on their recent live releases. The clarity here is outstanding, courtesy of mixing by David Castillo and mastering by Tony Lindgren, and the band are on excellent form, especially singer/keyboard player Einar Solberg, whose vocal approach varies immensly throughout a song (think Daniel Gildenlöw). The only detractor some fans will find with this is the lack of some of their most popular material. There's nothing at all from Tall Poppy Syndrome, and key tracks from Bilateral are also absent. Instead they play almost the whole of newest album The Congregation, and several from Coal. It's therefore not as comprehensively representative as it could have been, but the band did this intentionally because they wanted to maintain a particular mood and atmosphere for the show, and deemed some of those other songs, albeit popular, not to fit. Song selection preferences aside, this is an outstanding live release.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Live Albums, Progressive, Quickplay Reviews,

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