^^^ I almost never bother to seek out or listen to leaked albums, nor do I generally attempt to buy or listen to new releases right away for that matter, even from my very favorite bands. My thinking is this: once it is released, there is plenty of time to listen & enjoy.
Buuuut.....in the case of Pale Communion...an Israeli friend who I met on the Prog Nation cruise posted a link to the album on the Prog Nation at Sea fb group today...,and I decided to take the plunge. I totally fell in love with it from the start. While generally I am a total Opeth "can do no wrong" fan girl, I most definitely prefer some Opeth albums over others. I enjoyed Heritage a fair amount for example (although I probably haven't listened to it in quite a while - a year maybe?)....but this Pale Communion immediately stands out to me as something very, very special (in my book in the world of late 20th century/early 21st century Prog rock/metal) - akin to Opeth's Blackwater Park, Porcupine Tree's In Absentia, Pain of Salvation's Be, Enslaved's RIITIIR, Haken's The Mountain, Riverside's Second Life Syndrome, Spock's Beard's Beware of Darkness, The Ocean's Pelagial, Agalloch's The Mantle, Tyr's Land and perhaps just a few more.