Twenty years ago, a little-known Norwegian band released their debut album to an unsuspecting metal underground.
The days of Leprous being known as Ihsahn’s band are long behind them. Now, this Norwegian band proves that every new release is better than the last one.
This is definitely not the kind of music I could listen to so many years ago. My mind was set on listening to more brutal music. Death/black metal and thrash metal ruled my ears and I wouldn’t give a band like this a second thought. However, I feel like once I hit a certain age I knew good music was hard to find. With that in mind, I arrived on time at the venue, when the first band took the stage.
The evening was opened by Maraton, a Progressive Pop band from Oslo. Highly energic and having a good vibe, Maraton debuted without much introduction.
Maraton is the result of four young men with a desire to create something that most Norwegian bands do not dare. Energetic and catchy, but also uncompromising.
I especially enjoyed the vocal parts that I consider well crafted and somehow elaborate for the metal area. Hope to see them soon again.
Next were Klone. For the second time in Bucharest, they opened the show with “Yonder” taken from the album “Le Grand Voyage”.
They characterize themselves as an introspective and atmospheric rock band from Poitiers, France. I enjoyed the video projections which accompanied their show; they were appropriate and induced a state of tranquillity. The music was intense especially the bass and guitar parts which abounded with reverb and drop sections. The voice again is a standout part of this live performance.
“In recent years, French atmospheric rockers Klone have built their name on making music that’s as deeply introspective as it is sonically powerful. Le Grand Voyage, the sextet’s first release for UK post-progressive specialists Kscope, is an album brimming with that sense of searching and self-discovery, its 10 tracks living up to its name in unabashed no-stone-unturned existential exploration.”
The band characterise their music:
“Our music allows the listener to travel and ask, ‘What is the spirit? What is the matter?’ and those kinds of questions,” says guitarist Guillaume Bernard. “The title refers to the wandering of the mind. It all came our singer [Yann Ligner] who came up with something in English like ‘The Great Journey’. We all liked the meaning but weren’t sure how it sounded. Eventually, we realised it would be easy enough for people to translate and understand in our native tongue.”
Much of the inspiration on stand-out tracks Breach, Keystone and Hidden Passenger came from pondering the great philosophies of life, those eternal unanswered questions like who we are, where we are going and, ultimately, what happens next. It was the uncertainty and confusion surrounding mortality, the notion that something or nothing awaits us, which felt like an unlimited creative playground for the French art-rockers.” (Credits to Klone)
“Me and Yann were watching documentaries about near-death experiences,” continues the Klone guitarist. “We’re no specialists on the subject, but we found it exciting to think about. Our music is really connected to the universe. We used a lot of reverb, almost as if we were to touch everything in space… we wanted our music to resonate in the cosmos!”
In between band changes, I noticed a remarkable amount of good music such as Tool and Ulver; for me, this also contributed to the overall success of the evening.
It is not the first time when reviewing a Leprous show. And it is definitely not the first time attending one. I believe Leprous is one of the “most seen” live bands for me. However, I will continue to attend their shows every time I get the chance.
The show was part of the promo tour for the new Leprous album- “Pitfalls”.
The first song was “Below”. The atmosphere was already ecstatic. However, there’s enough firepower to move forward. The next songs were “I Lose Hope” and “Stuck”, a new opportunity for the crowd to sing along. Needless to say that the energy was incredible.
I rarely say this, but keyboards is another highlight for me. Einar Solberg does a fantastic job on the new album.
Einar was the author of a palindromic episode when he was talking about his willingness to talk between songs, talking between songs. Everything flows so well in the new Leprous album, and “Alleviate” shows this.
For the encore, Leprous played “The Price”, “Slave” and “The Sky Is Red”.
A lot has changed in the Leprous land since 2001, but every time I had the opportunity to see them live, a new chapter is written.
Overall, I really liked the show. Each song is beautiful in their own right. Do yourself a favour and listen to those bands every time you have the opportunity.
Another Leprous live review: HERE
2. I Lose Hope
5. From the Flame
6. MB Indifferentia
7. Observe the Train
9. The Cloak
10. Distant Bells
11. The Price
13. The Sky is Red
Photos by Gheorghe Paraschiv