Leprous is a progressive metal band from Notodden, Norway, formed in 2001. The group was founded 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 2009. They subsequently gained prominence as the live backing band of Ihsahn , 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 and The Congregation , Leprous took a more rock-oriented and less metal approach with Malina , 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, Starofash, 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.
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