Coal is the fourth album of the Norwegian prog metal band Leprous. After a couple of listening sessions I must say that this album is a lot 'darker' than the previous albums Aeolia (2006), Tall Poppy Syndrome (2009) and Bilateral (2011, see review). The eight new songs offer a lot of diversity; however, you can better skip the last track Contaminate Me as it contains screams and grunts due to the guest 'vocals' of one Insahn, who is said to be a death metal icon. In my opinion Contaminate Me is a complete misfit and it really devaluates the entire album since the other songs are rather good. Opener Foe is a true classic prog metal track and The Valley is another highlight of this album, although it's rather complex due to the many changes in time. Chronic will be released as a single which might turn out rather well as this song really has an addictive chorus. My favourite track is Echo, the longest one on the album. It's a real treat to my ears; listen and enjoy. Coal is a good album for fans of Riverside, Pain Of Salvation and Devin Townsend. However, beware of the final track!
*** Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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