For years, Norway’s metal scene has been synonymous with church burnings, murders and extreme black metal music. However, Leprous, from Notodden in Norway’s south, blow that stereotype away. Leprous are currently touring Australia supporting their new album Malina, which is a different style from their earlier darker metal records. This new album brings a vocal range quite different from the past, allowing the rest of the band to expand musically too. Last night, we were able to witness this live at Adelaide’s Jive Bar
First on stage were local boys Colibrium. Soon to be heading into the studio to work on the sophomore album, the boys have spent the last two years fine-tuning their craft and it certainly shows. Their set was impressive and the rhythm section had a bluesy vibe. Chris Gard has always been an impressive vocalist amongst a gifted band but last night I sensed a step forward in their sound.
Adelaide chaps Dyssidia were up next and these boys have taken leaps forward since we saw them live last year. Throwing in their new song ‘Good Grief,’ which had a killer bass intro, alongside crowd favourites like ‘An Absolute Severance,’ they played liked this was their last show ever. It was an electric performance.
Melbourne band Alithia came into this show with a handicap: no vocalist and down a guitar player. Yet they took to the stage with a performance that was heavy, groovy, electric and mesmerising all at once. Guitarist Nguyen Pham captivated the audience and all in all you were left feeling like the band never had a singer anyway.
Finally Leprous took to the stage with a set list favouring their new album Malina. ‘Bonneville’ and ‘Stuck’ opened the show and the crowd swarmed to the front of the packed venue. Their music was dramatic; soaring one minute through the voice of singer and keyboardist Einar Solberg, then swooping low through the driving drums and guitars.
By the time ‘Mirage’ was performed, circle pits were happening as the crowd lost themselves in the music and the moment. If they finished the set there, it still would have been an epic show but the boys went for the jugular and finished us off with ‘Slave.’
Leprous will be back for sure and when they do, you better be there with a drink in hand, letting their music take you to places you didn’t know existed—and we don’t mean Scandinavia.
Photo: Irene Serrano