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ALBUM REVIEW: Malina – Leprous

Since they burst onto the scene in 2006 LEPROUS have been going from strength to strength and now with their sixth studio release on the horizon, 2017 could well be the year that they gain the recognition they so rightly deserve.

Malina is due for release on August 25th via InsideOut Music and it see’s the band take a more experimental approach, toning down the distortion in favour of a refined polished sound. This becomes quickly evident with album opener Bonneville which commences with a very melancholic yet soothing demeanour with calming layered vocals and an overall more minimalistic composition which sparks into life as powerful drum arrangements play a large presence accompanied by jarring downtuned guitar tones. The pace begins to heighten as second single Stuck kicks into motion with its steady alluring bass lines, razor sharp clean riffing and huge sing along chorus which is one of many memorable moments along the journey.

Frontman Einar Solberg has the incredible gift of being able to grasp the attention of the listener with immediate effect and a perfect example of this is throughout From The Flame. His powerfully evocative vocals harness such raw emotion that you feel an instant connection with the vibe of the song and the less is more guitar work provides the perfect accompaniment.

Captive showcases some of the more quirky time signatures and intricacy that LEPROUS have became famous for providing some of the most energetic displays on Malina and considering its overall complexity it still manages to achieve a very personable and approachable feel which is a feat of genius in itself and this sentiment continues into third and most recent single release Illuminate which is destined to become a staple of their live sets which are already jam packed with anthems.

Leashes brings a brief halt to the positive, upbeat mood of its predecessors to provide one of the most vivid and expressive displays the band have to offer with a masterful combination of moving vocal passages and tranquil guitar work before transitioning into the bludgeoning opening to Mirage. The vocal prose and dense bass lines work brilliantly and are very reminiscent of PORCUPINE TREE‘s Bonnie The Cat providing a spine chillingly dramatic atmosphere. Malina continues the melancholic aura with its almost mournful, sombre approach before Coma shifts the momentum up a gear with its infectious grooves and thunderous drumming.

Last but by no means least The Last Milestone brings to album to a close with its phenomenally diverse textures as Einar exhibits one of the best performances of his career, the intensity in his voice is palpable and it has all the qualities of a high budget film score. You feel like you are being transported through a cascade of emotions and the spectacle provides the perfect conclusion.

Malina feels like we are witnessing the rite of passage for LEPROUS, their musicianship seemingly knows no bounds as they continue to further push their abilities and the boundaries of progressive music creating such an incredibly imaginative and thought provoking collection of compositions. You know you are witnessing something special when it feels like a seemingly impossible task to even comprehend highlighting significant tracks as they are all so varied in their arrangements and display such unique qualities you couldn’t consider instilling any form of preferential treatment. The songs are memorable, approachable and possess such an addictive quality that you instantly feel the need to revisit their endearing and relatable nature.

 

Rating: 10/10

Malina - Leprous

Malina is set for release on August 25th via InsideOut Music.

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