Leprous performing in Milan in 2017, during their Malina Tour.
Inside Out Music/Century Media
Tor Oddmund Suhrke
Esben Meyer Kristensen
Tor Stian Borhaug
Tobias Ørnes Andersen
Leprous is a progressive metal band from Notodden, Norway, formed in 2001. The group was founded and is led by singer and keyboardist Einar Solberg and guitarist Tor Oddmund Suhrke. Their style is often classified as progressive metal or progressive rock, but encompasses a wide array of influences and sounds.
After releasing several demos with relatively unstable lineups, the band released their first studio album, Tall Poppy Syndrome, in 2008. They subsequently gained prominence as the live backing band of Ihsahn (who is Solberg's brother-in-law), who, in turn, contributed on several Leprous records as guest singer or producer. Their acclaimed 2011 album Bilateral led to further attention. After two albums which followed the same musical direction, Coal (2013) and The Congregation (2015), Leprous took a more rock-oriented and less metal approach with Malina (2017), their first record not to feature harsh vocals. Their albums have received mostly positive reviews.
The band's roster solidified by the time they recorded their debut album, Tall Poppy Syndrome in August 2008. American label Sensory Records signed the band and released the album in May 2009. Alex Henderson of Allmusic praised the band's debut for moving past the "staunchly pre-90s mentality" of contemporary progressive metal by blending the influence of Pink Floyd and King Crimson with alternative metal bands such as Tool.
The album received positive reviews while the band gained attention as the live band for Emperor's former frontman, Ihsahn, whose wife is the sister to Leprous vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg. In 2010, Leprous appeared at ProgPower USA and ProgPower Europe, and later supported Therion on their European tour. After that tour, the band announced that they had split with bassist Halvor Strand, who was replaced by Rein Blomquist.
At the end of February 2011 the band announced that they had signed with Inside Out, with worldwide distribution through Century Media. The band's debut for Inside Out Records, Bilateral, was released on 22 August 2011 in Europe and a day later in North America and featured artwork by American surrealist Jeff Jordan and Spanish designer Ritxi Ostariz. The album featured a guest vocal appearance by Ihsahn and trumpets by Vegard Sandbukt.
On 20 May 2013, Leprous released Coal. Vocalist Einar Solberg described the album as "a more melancholic and darker album than the more playful Bilateral. By darker, I don't mean more aggressive, but more severe. There is still a big range in the dynamics, but no jumping between different moods within a song."
On 5 May 2014, the band announced the departure of drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen. He was replaced by Baard Kolstad, who played with Leprous throughout their 2013 Coal tour. The statement also revealed that the band was working on material for their next album.
In early June 2014 Prog magazine Radio Show on Team Rock Radio in the United Kingdom published tour dates for an Inside Out records showcase featuring labelmates Haken, Maschine and Leprous for Autumn 2014 in the United Kingdom and Europe.
On 25 May 2015, the album The Congregation was released via Inside Out Music. A video for the track "The Price" was shot and then released on 8 April. On 30 April 2015, another track of the album, "Rewind", was released.
Musical style and influences
Leprous' style is typically classified as progressive metal or progressive rock and singled out for its progressive elements, peculiar harmonies, singing style, and blending of different genres. Their sound has also been categorized as experimental rock, avant-garde metal, and pop. However, the band's members do not affiliate themselves with a specific genre.
Einar Solberg and Tor Oddmund Suhrke, who are the only constant members in the band's line-up, are their main songwriters. Solberg claims inspiration from Radiohead, Massive Attack, Arvo Pärt, Susanne Sundfør, Behemoth, and The Prodigy in addition to more analogous progressive bands such as Porcupine Tree and The Dillinger Escape Plan. For his part, Suhrke cited The Mars Volta's Omar Rodríguez-López, Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, and The Dillinger Escape Plan's Ben Weinman as his four biggest guitar influences.
- Einar Solberg – lead vocals, keyboards (2001–present)
- Tor Oddmund Suhrke – guitars, backing vocals (2001–present)
- Baard Kolstad – drums (2014–present)
- Simen Børven – bass, backing vocals (2015–present)
- Robin Ognedal – guitars, backing vocals (2017–present)
- Stian Lonar – bass (2001–2002)
- Esben Meyer Kristensen – guitar (2001–2003)
- Kenneth Solberg – guitar (2001–2003, 2003–2004)
- Truls Vennman – drums (2001–2005)
- Halvor Strand – bass (2002–2010)
- Øystein Landsverk – guitar, backing vocals (2004–2017)
- Tor Stian Borhaug – drums (2005–2007)
- Tobias Ørnes Andersen – drums (2007–2014)
- Rein Blomquist – bass (2010–2013)
- Martin Skrebergene – bass (2013–2015)
- Silent Waters (2004)
- Aeolia (2006)
- Arthur, Ty. "Einar Solberg Of Leprous Talks New Album Bilateral, Working With Ihsahn, And More". www.metalunderground.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
Einar Solberg: StarOfAsh (Heidi) is my sister, so I would definitely say that we are rather close, hehe. The reason why Ihsahn choose us as his backing band was because we’re already a rehearsed band which he knew he could trust. It was a win-win situation for both him and us. He can just meet up on rehearsals to an already rehearsed band that actually manage to play his music, while we get to play with one of the greatest artists in the metal genre.
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