Metaldays - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Progressive metallers Leprous from Norway was a band that had come recommended from several reliable sources. As they were playing the Metaldays festival, I figured there really wasn’t a better opportunity than this to get acquainted with them.

“What a beautiful festival you have here!”
- Einar Solberg (vocals/keyboard)

Leprous didn’t have a whole show as such, but were in a way present in the capacity of support band for Ihsahn, whom they were also acting as live band for. Because of this they only had a short 30 minute gig for themselves, which really wasn’t much considering that they were 15 minutes late on getting the show started!
There was a small crowd hanging out in front of the Metaldays main stage though, waiting for the show to begin. If they were interested in Leprous or just Ihsahn fans looking to get a good spot wasn’t really to tell, they didn’t show much enthusiasm at this point. Then again, it was still early in the day, counting Metaldays time that is.

Frontman Einar Solberg and drummer Tobias Ørnes Andersen were already on the stage before the show, preparing and getting their gear in order, but they were soon joined by the rest of the band and without further ado the show commenced.
Leprous kept things rather tight, didn’t have much choice did they, and sadly almost all crowd contact was forgone for the sake of making room for the music. They were allowed to stay on for ten more minutes than scheduled so that in the end they only missed five minutes, but out of a total of 30 minutes that still is a considerable amount.
This of course put a lot of pressure on the music to deliver the goods, and sadly it didn’t. Maybe things would have been better had I actually known their material from earlier on, but a large part of the point of a festival gig is to reach out and grab an audience that wasn’t there before, and on this point I fear Leprous completely missed the mark.
Of course, it didn’t help matters along that the sound was so terribly put together so that all of the finer details I assume they put into their songs were gone with the wind, but this is something that can easily happen at festivals and you, as a band or an artist, need a contingency plan. Leprous didn’t have one, probably didn’t even have time for one.

Luckily, the audience was if not super enthusiastic then at least forgiving, and the band managed to pull a few good shouts of appreciation out of the Slovenians, especially so at the beginning of the last song. Then again, maybe this was because people knew the Ihsahn gig was drawing nearer, and indeed it began almost as soon as the song was done. Why not, the band and the gear was in place, all that was needed was a new frontman.
Now, I wouldn’t say that Leprous was a complete loss, I was rather impressed by the groovy playing of Andersen, but as a whole this was definitely not the proper way to start a festival day and despite all of the encouraging words the band has had on the way, I lost all interest of pursuing them further.

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