God damn, this could’ve been a great album. I’m not sure if it would’ve been album of the year, but it would’ve been somewhere in the 8 range. If only the first half was anywhere near as good as the second half. The first half of Congregation is basically watered down Opeth worship, which is basically the worst possible kind of worship. Everything about it is bland and unimaginative, and the vocalists especially contributes to that. There are these electronic elements that Leprous tries and it just doesn’t work at all. If anything it sounds sort of like modern Muse, which is never a good thing. The vocalist actually does remind me of Matt Bellamy a lot at times, which is actually one of the few good things about the first half of the album. And then track 7, Red, hits at it’s like an entirely different album. It was a bit hard to register at first, but as the second half went on I couldn’t help but think “god damn I really like this”. It went from sounding like Opeth and late Muse, to a heavier early Muse. The soundscapes were much larger and epic in scope, twisting your heart in ways most music doesn’t. Unfortunately, that’s only the last 5 tracks, and the tracks before that were so bland that I have a hard time giving this a good score. I would still check this out, as I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will be able to look past the first half and see the trust beauty of the last few tracks. I’m unfortunately not one of those people.