Leprous Bilateral

The second full album from Norway's Leprous (the artists that back Ihsahn, of Emperor fame, on his solo jaunts), Bilateral starts punchy and progresses with a ton of melody, movement and groove. In the midst of all that activity lay frequent hard turns into more aggressive, percussive territory, though the rougher terrain never lasts very long. Bilateral is warm and smooth more often than not; its tone and production values express some serious '70s prog appreciation, sometimes channelled through a light Opeth filter, with possibly a little jazz fusion tossed in. The vitality Leprous persistently express pushes their music towards the almost inescapably cheery, regardless of gloomy-sounding song titles or forays into minor modalities. Bilateral is never dull, but it's not quite profound either. (Inside Out)