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Seven Impale

Eclectic Prog

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Seven Impale Beginning / Relieve album cover
3.45 | 16 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mind Riot (1:21)
2. Blind to All (6:50)
3. Beginning / Relieve (6:28)
4. Measure 15 (3:27)
5. What Am I Sane For? (6:47)

Total Time: 24:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Fredrik Mekki Widerøe / drums
- Erlend Vottvik Olsen / guitar
- Stian Økland / vocals & guitar
- Tormod Fosso/ bass
- Benjamin Mekki Widerøe / saxophone
- Håkon Vinje / organ, Rhodes & synthesizer

Releases information

2013 Karisma Records

Thanks to Epignosis for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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SEVEN IMPALE Beginning / Relieve ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SEVEN IMPALE Beginning / Relieve reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Beginning / Relieve' - Seven Impale (6/10)

I've said it many times before: Scandinavia is one of the best places for progressive rock in the world. For whatever reason, the pastoral, dreamy and proficient sounds of the classic prog legends have found a home in Northern Europe, and bands like Anglagard, Wobbler and Tusmørke have been keeping the flame of vintage progressive music alive. Add to that list the Norwegian rockers Seven Impale. Only recently coming to my attention through this first EP, this proficient collective of musicians are fit to scratch the musical itch of anyone looking for the familiar fusion of the old and new. "Beginning / Relieve" may not add anything particularly fresh to this tried-and-true formula, but excellent musicianship and production values have me thinking we'll be hearing some great things from these guys in the future.

At just under half an hour in length, "Beginning / Relieve" is not quite enough to get a full idea of the band's potential, but their musical objective is clear from the start. Seven Impale introduce themselves through the squealing of saxophones, playing atop a metal riff that could be likened to a more restrained Meshuggah. Although it sounds like a strange or uncomfortable combination, Seven Impale's eclectic mix of sounds never feels overtly contrived. Compromises are made when necessary; the band's occasional 'metal' elements are never allowed to overpower the lighter parts, and the jazzy elements are maintained as mere accompaniment to their rock foundation. As seems to be the trend in progressive rock today, there's also a psychedelic element, which manifests itself mostly through the sparse vocals, offered here by guitarist Stian Økland. Above all, Seven Impale are reminiscent of some of the harder-rocking bands in the classic prog scene. Though not nearly as dissonant or oppressive as King Crimson, there is that sense of calculated aggression here that you do not often hear in some of Seven Impale's lighter-hearted contemporaries.

Seven Impale succeed most notably in their musicianship. Particularly with regards to the fusion-infused drumming and saxophones, the band's shared musical education is quite evident. Unfortunately, the band's style doesn't feel particularly fresh; although there are some 'modern' sounds present like metal, the majority of Seven Impale's sound is derived from classic bands, namely King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator and Jethro Tull. The apparent tribute could have worked wonders, but it does not feel like Seven Impale integrate the old and the new in such a way where the two schools begin to really compliment each other. Although their musicianship and high standard of production make for some pretty engaging moments, "Beginning / Relieve" ends on a note of feeling like the songwriting process was slightly undercooked. Although there's the impression that the entire album is meant to be heard as a single piece of music, the flow of musical ideas is inconsistent. Everything from violin-laden tenderness to hard rocking psychedelia are handled with impressive skill, but Seven Impale haven't quite found the adhesive necessary to make their ambitious collection of styles work.

I'm not entirely convinced with Seven Impale's first effort, but it's clear to me that this band have a ton of potential. I would not be surprised within a few years to be hearing this band mentioned with the same sort of regard and admiration as Wobbler, Anglagard, or any other one of Scandinavia's greatest progressive icons. I shall be keeping an eye on this band with anticipation.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band SEVEN IMPALE was formed in 2010, and is a six man strong ensemble. "Beginning / Relieve" is their first ever EP, released by Karisma Records while the band is recording material for their first full length album.

The most noticeable fact about this band is that they have jazz and jazzrock at the very core of their excursions. The bass and drums in particular adds a distinct jazz flavor on most movements, with the saxophone an additional instrument used to either add that stylistic touch or to emphasize it. This is done in a number of different manners though, albeit perhaps somewhat similar in approach.

Mind Riot is a brief construction that opens with staccato riffs and distorted saxophone as the key instrument motifs, shifting to something more of a brass rock oriented, dark and eerie piece. Blind to All is a more intense but smooth affair blending jazzy vocals, organ and intense sax soloing on top of a darker guitar driven foundation, gradually easing up on intensity for a frail lead-out. Beginning/Relieve alternates between gentler themes and intense metal-tinged sequences sporting myriads of instrument layers and a massive soundscape.

Measure 15 is a gentler effort that sports acoustic guitars, violin and cello as the supplemental features to the lead vocals, while final cut What Am I Sane For opens in a more delicate manner with bass and sax as the central instruments prior to a shift into a darker toned, majestic landscape with some intense brass rock or metal details as a nice little detail prior to ebbing out on a gentle organ and keyboards construction.

Almost 25 minutes of constantly changing and developing themes and movement, with a firm foundation in jazzrock but stretching from gentle chamber rock to almost industrial inspired, dark and brooding and energetic displays. That's the nature of Seven Impale's highly eclectic and spirited debut EP "Beginning / Relieve", and one to seek out by those who really enjoy jazzrock being taken in fairly innovative and most certainly intense directions as well as those generally fond of challenging musical escapades that aims to disrupt or stretch stylistic conventions and expectations both.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
3 stars If Seven Impale are anything, they are eclectic. That much is for sure. This Norwegian band starts their debut album "Beginning/Relieve" with some very odd grooves, and they don't stop until the end of the album. It's a welcome change of pace, as we are treated to some solid music here that borders on ridiculous somehow. All the while, however, the band makes it work. Sometimes, I'm not even sure how.

I particularly enjoyed two things. First, the singer has a unique, higher-pitched voice that makes the most of the strange chord progressions. It takes some effort; but, once you get it, the music just feels right. I also enjoyed the incredible saxophone. Sax has never been my favorite instrument, but I've been loving it lately. The last half of this album has much saxophone, and it even drives the songs sometimes---highly impressive.

With that said, this isn't an album I will listen to for years to come or anything like that. The music is solid, but misses the mark often. This band, however, has potential and some great ideas, and I know we'll see more of them. Give this album a shot by all means.

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