Every time LEPROUS release a new album, it seems their fans discuss and disassemble every detail of the record, even upfront when knowing only the two or three advance-singles. The hottest discussion always seems to concern the question if Leprous are still prog or metal, or pop/rock nowadays or something completely different, and why they don’t stick to their previous style. Well, people, I guess it’s about time to detach from any genres. “Genres are shit anyway”, frontman Einar Solberg stated lately. It is obviously time to follow the only path that there is with Leprous: It means to be openhearted for letting the Norwegians surprise you. One thing is sure: they will always do what their heart tells them. Leprous will never try to stick to a certain style or to write something just to please their fans, but they will progress in regard to composing and singing skills and musical accompaniment.
Although the new album “Pitfalls” is based on a certain lyrical theme, which deals with a time of anxiety and depression of singer Einar Solberg, the songs musically vary quite from each other. There are swingy, easy-free tracks such as “I Lose Hope” that seem to be perfect for being performed live on stage, while other songs such as “Foreigner” or “By My Throne” indeed have a poppy character. Those catchy grooves get intermitted by tracks like “Observe The Train” or “Distant Bells” which are very melancholic, slow and gloomy, but at the same time an amazing listening pleasure thanks to incredible songwriting and an outstanding vocal performance. Regarding “Distant Bells” one of Leprous’ fans stated that it felt like listening to Leprous for the very first time, that’s how unique it is. Furthermore, the fans are fascinated by the wistful cello lines of Raphael-Weinroth-Browne on some tracks, but especially on “Distant bells”. This song envisions the most beautiful flirt between a piano and cello that we all have heard in a long time. Yet, also an in-depth violin sound gentrifies some of the compositions.
Another fact worth mentioning is the progress that the musicians made from the previous albums to this one. All of them contribute their best musical skills to emphasize the vocal lines and the highlights in the composition in the most attractive way. It’s like all of them being the best possible unity that a band can be to support the optimal outcome.
Many listeners who already had to deal with depression will feel connected to the album, being catapulted from the saddest emotions to some more uplifting ones, being twirled around between the highly intensive tracks like “At the bottom” or “Below” to the more uplifting ones such as “Alleviate”. Leprous were not getting tired of yielding everything that’s needed to bring their visions alive. Even a chorus was hired for the 11-minute track “The Sky Is Red” which is the most bizarre track on “Pitfalls”. This will probably make some listeners feel overextended. But, either way, “Pitfalls” is far from being ordinary or trite. It will give you not less than sophisticated listening pleasure throughout all levels of emotions. Only the sky is the limit.