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Extol - Extol CD (album) cover

EXTOL

Extol

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.16 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Extol" is the self-titled 5th full-length studio album by Norwegian based progressive extreme metal act Extol. The album was released through Indie Recordings in June 2013. Extol were formed as far back as 1993 but has been on a longer hiatus as this is their first album release since "The Blueprint Dives (2005)". They reformed in 2012 as a trio consisting of Ole B'rud (Guitars, Bass, Vocals (backing)), Peter Espevoll (Vocals) and David Husvik (Drums). The former mentioned makes a return to the fold after he left in 2004.

The music on the album is predominantly mid-paced progressive extreme metal with what I would characterize as atmospheric alternative rock/metal sections featuring clean singing. The latter reminds me slightly of Porcupine Tree or something in that vein. The vocals are predominantly raspy sneering type vocals though. Somewhere between black metal styled vocals and aggressive death/thrash type vocals. References to acts like Death, Meshuggah, mid nineties Invocator, Enslaved, Cynic and Believer (both because of the music style but also because of their shared Christian beliefs and lyrical themes) come to mind, but Extol are actually quite a unique sounding act.

One of the things you notice right off the bat when listening to "Extol" is the high level musicianship. These three guys are very well playing. The raspy extreme metal vocals are not as varied as I could have wished, but the cleans are both well sounding and well arranged with harmonies. The sound production is on the heavy side. It's clear, powerful and professional sounding, but it's like no matter what pace the tracks are played in, the sound production makes them sound heavy and mid-paced. So even though there are actually a couple of faster paced sections on the album, my overall impression of the album is that it is very heavy sounding. There's an almost futuristic sounding atmosphere about the album that's hard to describe on paper, but it's obvious that Extol are influenced by a lot of different artists and genres and they make those influences work in their favour. Death, thrash, black and progressive/alternative rock metal elements are all heard throughout the album.

This self-titled comeback album is a high quality release on all parameters. Great sound production, intriguing songwriting and flawless musical performances all around and a 4 star (80%) rating is a matter of course.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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