If I had to describe this album using only four words, I would say: “the simplicity of complexity”. It is amazing how Leprous has made huge steps from their last album, presenting a totally different result this time around. They seem to have followed the path they took for “The Cloak”, but with even more melodic parts, more clean vocals, and plenty of complex riffs.
In general, “The Congregation” has dark and mysterious vibes that someone might expect just by looking at the artwork. One thing though that isn’t predictable by looking at the artwork is how clear everything sounds. The carefully chosen guitar tone flawlessly blends with the vocals and the innovative synths.The drums are also at the perfect volume level to show all the technical patterns Baard is playing without ending up annoying to the listener. It is also noticeable that this time there a lot more of synths in the background, something that for me is a pleasant surprise.These synths double the guitars without making it too complex and hard to follow.
The album starts with the repetitive, yet surprising “The Price” which is combined with “Third Law” and prepares the listener for something they have never listened to before. Those two songs with the odd timed riffs (especially the opening riff from “Third Law”)and the melodic vocals are the perfect opening songs for creating a dark and powerful atmosphere. The album continues with some calmer songs that preserve thedark ambience,and throughout it, “The Flood”, “Slave”, and “Moon” are outstanding for me. As an ending, Leprous masterfully chose “Down” and “Lower” which offer the needed blast to close this album. There is also a bonus track called “Pixel” which combines a lot of progressive riffs and powerful parts and could easily fit in as another song of the album (and not a bonus track).
Concluding, this album is one the best albums for this year so far. It has everything a progressive album needs.
Highlights: The Price, Third Law, The Flood, Moon