A Formal Apology to Leprous and the Album Coal

Back in 2013, Leprous released their much-anticipated follow up album to Bilateral – very much anticipated by myself, especially. I had stumbled across this band because of their collaborative works with another musical idol of mine, Ihsahn, and I completely fell in love with the sonic emanation that was that album. It was a life-changer for me, completely standing apart from all the other music I was listening to at the time – or even since. I have never found another band that even comes close.

Did you know the greatest Steven Wilson guitar solo of all time was actually recorded by Tor Oddmund Suhrke?

So they released Coal…. and I didn’t like it. I don’t know exactly what about it I didn’t like. Maybe I was a complete shit-head that thought it should sound just like Bilateral? I listened to it and tried to have an open mind, gave it a few spins, and decided that aside from a few kind of cool tracks I didn’t really like it. I even gave it a “meh” review on my Facebook or whatever I was writing on at the time, and even just this January trashed on it a little more in my top 50 albums of the last decade (it was the only Leprous album that came out in that era that I didn’t include.), which is also included in our book! That opinion is in print in several places I’m afraid. Subsequent releases obviously I enjoyed immensely. I have still absolutely loved the band and shared their music with anyone who would endure my gushing over this band. (Probably the majority of whom didn’t even bother checking them out…)

Anyway, being the completely devoted fan that I am to this band… when I actually found friends interested in listening to them, I wished there was one of those “This is…” playlists on Spotify like they have for so many other artists, so I could just link them to that. There wasn’t one. I guess they’re not quite big enough yet for that. So I made one. And being the kind of music lover that I am, I encourage people to form their own opinions about the music and not just copy mine, so I knew I needed to include songs from every release. And that got me to listen to this album again…

And oh my god. I absolutely fucking love this album. I want to weave it into a blanket and wrap myself up in this forever. I wonder what the hell was wrong with me in 2013? I think maybe I just didn’t get it. It’s definitely more experimental and adventurous, and I daresay even more so than its successors, The Congregation and Malina. On the surface, it doesn’t seem as heavy. It’s also surprising to me that some long-term Leprous fans are now balking at how much pop influence there is on their latest release, Pitfalls, when that influence was incredibly present on Coal.

My opinion that many of us extreme music fans are really just insufferable fuck-heads with shitty opinions stands, myself included! But at least, here, I will admit my fault. I’m sorry. I was wrong! Coal is a great fucking album. Every track is a total work of art. This is my formal apology, please forgive me, Leprous. Friends? ‚̧

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