Scandinavian progressive metal tends to have a certain grandiosity and bombast about it that seems unparallelled by the rest of the world. We’ve been singing the praises of this particular subsection of music for some time now, what with Ihsahn, Enslaved, SHINING, Vintersorg, and more coming out over the years with strong records that capture the region’s unique musical nuance. One band in particular that has engrained themselves as a part of the growing attention brought to the region is Norway’s Leprous. Breaking out with the critical hit of their sophomore record Bilateral in 2011 and gaining notoriety as Ihsahn’s designated live band, they became a band to watch in 2013 as they prepared their follow-up, Coal. It’s certainly one of our most anticipated records this year, and we’re proud to present the band’s first single from the album, ‘Chronic,’ below.

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Chronic‘ is a majestic song, taking cues from Leprous’ early stylings on the underrated gem Tall Poppy Syndrome, and combining it with the production and finesse from their magnum opus Bilateral. A 7-minute ballad that is dark yet uplifting, it hearkens to the grandiose stylings of Queen, but with a characteristic Norwegian touch. In this context of the whole record, frontman Einar Solberg elaborates, “Coal is 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.”

Coal will no doubt end up on many best-of lists this year if ‘Chronic‘ is any measure, and with personnel from co-producers Heidi Solberg Tveitan and Vegard “Ihsahn” Tveitan or Mnemosyne and mixing and mastering by Jens Bogren and Tony Lindgren respectively at Fascination Street Studios, the album will sound as huge as the band envisioned.

Coal is due out in North America May 28th on Inside Out Records.

– JR


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