Leprethere – Tarnished Passion
Release Date: 24/03/24
Running Time: 32:40
Review by Dark Juan
Having been mocked unmercifully by Rory Bentley in the staff Facebook chat about my preambles not being at all relevant to the bands I listen to, I have decided to cock a snook at him and continue to campaign for him to receive the triple CD Symphonic Power Metal epic we have on our review books, that NO-ONE WANTS TO TOUCH. I would have done it, but haven’t, and this is because Dark Juan feels that he really would not have the vocabulary to adequately describe the singular brilliance of such a release. Rory does and Rory really, REALLY loves Power Metal in all its forms and Dark Juan is of the opinion that Rory should have it and it will be a labour of love for him and the review will end up being a fine and transformative piece of descriptive writing, of considerable interest to the reader and absolutely informative, seeing as Rory is ENTIRELY professional and would not AT ALL compromise the excellent standards of journalistic integrity we have at Ever-Metal.com. There would be absolutely no jokes about dragons and heroes with bulging thews and sticking their battleaxe where I wouldn’t put the ferrule of an umbrella. Oh no. Not from Rory.
Today’s spinning brain-masher on Dark Juan’s Platter of Splatter™ is from Minsk, in Belarus, from two chaps called Anton and they play a rather explosive blend of Math Metal and Progressive Death Metal with a bit of dissonance chucked in for good measure. It makes for a most interesting listen indeed.
Regular readers of the nonsense I put out and Ever-Metal.com foolishly publishes will know that Dark Juan is extremely turned on by any form of Progressive or Technical Death Metal because the combination of velocity, heaviness and sheer technical ability of the musicians (‘Worthless’ more than adequately demonstrates this, having four distinct movements in a song that lasts a mere two minutes and forty-five seconds, yet is cohesive and well written. Having an opening line of “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” is also a massive bonus) hits every pleasure centre in the lump of grey meat that serves as the brain of your favourite faux-Satanist and reduces him to a twitching, orgasmic mess in very short order. Mrs Dark Juan is very grateful for this because it means she doesn’t have to and she can get on with work. Work at this point is a fabric sculpture of a hare that she has taken a chunk out of and made it look like a geode on the inside. She asked whether she should give it a ribcage. I ran and hid.
Yes, Leprethere appear to have charmed your ersatz Metal hack somewhat. They effortlessly meld the brutality of Death Metal and the complexity of Prog and Math Metal. Think Necrophagist and Protosequence getting jiggy with Meshuggah and early Mudvayne. Now wonder what the resultant offspring would look like. I’ll wait…
Leprethere are very much a band of light and shade – for every full-on turbo nutter bastard of a song like ‘Consecration’, there’s a “slow” song in the vein of ‘Shining II‘. I really enjoyed the full bore enthusiasm of the performances on the album – it has that je ne sais quoi that lifts a record from merely competent to a labour of love. Guitar Anton flails the living fuck out of his guitar at all times, with his fractured, tortured, complex riffing forming a perfect counterpoint to the demented howling, screaming and lung-burstingly aggressive roaring from Vocal Anton, and the compositions of the songs show a worrying and complete disregard for the usual rules of tempo, rhyme and meter, such is the complexity of the songwriting. Tempo and key changes abound, the loud/quiet/ FUCKING LOUD dynamic is used to surprisingly sparing and effective… effect. Yes, I know. If you don’t tell anyone, I won’t.
Album opener ‘Shining I’ is a furious statement of intent rather than a song. It says that Leprethere are going to cudgel your brains with song structures that you need to be a member of MENSA to understand properly (there’s more than one sequence written in 13/8 time, for fuck’s sake) and simultaneously gut you with raw power. ‘Shining II’ is actually really quite reminiscent of the fucking amazing Earthtone9 and considering Dark Juan is a rabid fan of that mob of worthy British Math Metal manglers, this can be described only as a Very Good Thing. Vocal Anton’s performance also sounds not unlike the throat desecration of Karl Middleton at his finest.
It’s safe to state that Dark Juan is a bit of a fan of Leprethere’s music then. There’s not much negative shit to report on, really, because any demerits are outweighed by the sheer good humour and enthusiasm of the two Antons and their… alarmingly vigorous performances. The sequenced drums and bass, while not annoyingly so, are very obvious and the drums are especially artificial sounding, but to be fair, there are points on this album where I am not sure a physical drummer’s meat computer would be able to cope. However, Dark Juan is a fan of drum machines in music simply because they can take you into realms of musical insanity that human drummers can’t. See Godflesh and the Sisters Of Mercy and Necrophagist. Leprethere take Death Metal to new levels of hypertechnical ecstasy and then sustain it, seemingly with ease. The production of the record is actually pretty decent for a self-released album. The vocals are not overpowered by the spasmodic St. Vitus Dance of the music and the guitar(s) are decently produced and the overall sound of the album has a warm quality that hints threateningly at further dangers within – like the gates of Hell. My only complaint is that the cymbals are too low in the mix and they are frequently overpowered by rapid-fire thumping from the floor tom. The guitars are well mixed though and flit around the mix in a predatory fashion, moving from ear to ear and then smacking you right in the centre of the forehead before slinking away to lurk menacingly around the edges of the sound.
One can only hope that we hear much more from Leprethere in the future.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Запатэнтаваная сістэма ацэнкі пырскаў крыві Dark Juan для ўсіх нашых беларускіх сяброў) awards Leprethere 9/10 for an excellent record with jaw-dropping complexity and more than adequate firepower.
01. Shining I
02. Shining II
03. Shining III
09. Tarnished Passion
Anton Berezovskiy – Guitar
Anton Bandarenka – Vocal
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