Though they began life as a 21st century progressive metal band, Norway’s Leprous have evolved to a point where their unique sound embodies elements of prog, metal, sophisticated pop, film music and more. Given the near-constant lineup changes from recording to recording, beginning with 2009’s Tall Poppy Syndrome, Leprous have embraced sounds and aesthetics inspired by a wide range of sources, from Porcupine Tree, Katatonia, Opeth, Radiohead, and Arvo Pärt to Marillion, Behemoth, Massive Attack, and Pink Floyd. Their dynamic performing style has endeared them to fans across the globe even as critics fall all over themselves trying to describe their meld of heavy riffs, expansive multi-part vocal harmonies, sweeping dynamics, lush textures and atmospheres, rhythmic syncopation, and hooky melodies. With 2012’s experimentally produced Bilateral and its ensuing tour, they crossed over to reach mainstream charts. 2017’s Malina showcased the band’s limitless creative reach and added elements of neo-psych and future funk to their idiosyncratic mix.
Founded in 2001, Leprous issued a series of demos before the release of their acclaimed debut studio album, Tall Poppy Syndrome, in 2009. A 2010 stint as the live backing band for former Emperor frontman Ihsahn — his wife is Leprous vocalist/keyboardist Einar Solberg’s sister — helped to further Leprous’ public profile, and in 2011 the group issued their highly anticipated sophomore long-player Bilateral, which featured guest vocals from Ihsahn. The brooding Coal arrived in 2013, followed in 2015 by The Congregation, the latter of which earned the group their first Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy Award) nomination. In 2017, Leprous issued their fifth studio long-player, the ambitious Malina, that softened their sound while simultaneously making it more experimental, and followed it with a long European tour. After leaving the road and taking a short break, Leprous re-entered producer David Castillo’s famed Ghostward Studios in Stockholm in February 2019 with mix engineer Adam Noble, and spent the next six months recording. They recruited a cellist, a violinist, and a classical choir for the sessions. The finished album, Pitfalls, was released by InsideOut in late October. It entered the Heatseekers chart at 17, higher than any of the band’s preceding albums.