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SEVEN IMPALE

Eclectic Prog • Norway


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Seven Impale biography
Six young men from Norway with a background in jazz and classical music were signed to Karisma Records. Influences they mention include Everything from Jan Garbarek and Side Brok Enslaved, Tool and Meshuggah.

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SEVEN IMPALE shows & tickets


  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at Locomotiv Club, Bologna on 3 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at CCO / Centre Culturel Oecumenique, Villeurbanne on 4 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at l'Ubu, Rennes on 5 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at Le Magick, Jambes on 6 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Attic + more at Tufnell Park Dome, London on 7 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at Gigant, Apeldoorn on 8 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Krakˇw + Seven Impale on 9 May 2015
  • Arcturus + Vulture Industries + Seven Impale + more at Divan du Monde, Paris on 10 May 2015

SEVEN IMPALE discography


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SEVEN IMPALE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 167 ratings
City Of The Sun
2014

SEVEN IMPALE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SEVEN IMPALE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SEVEN IMPALE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SEVEN IMPALE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 8 ratings
Beginning / Relieve
2013

SEVEN IMPALE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 167 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Imagine that '21st Century Schizoid Man' is a strip of photographic film. You know film, right? Most progheads should remember film. So imagine this classic song and some of King Crimson's other early heavy stuff is also part of this strip of film and now expose it to 'Nucleus'-era Anekdoten, develop it in The Mars Volta, and wash it with Pinkroom and voila! You have Seven Impale's 'City of the Sun'.

This is an easy album for me to get into because of all the heavy prog passages that crop up in every song. And I actually really love how the saxophone takes the lead throughout most of the album. We get a lot of slower and gentler passages and sections and at times a bit of piano or organ, and then suddenly there will be this total badass heavy prog section with bombastic guitar, saxophone, and one of those prog-a-licious odd rhythm meters. I just soak this stuff up!

I had a hard time placing Stian Okland's voice. It's soft and from the back of the throat like Anekdoten's male vocalist on 'Nucleus' but when it gets a bit gutsy it made me think of the singer on Colosseum's debut album except that that guy can sing from the abdomen. Then the Mars Volta similarity occurred to me, minus the louder screaming aspect. In any case, I think it works.

Only five songs here and one over fourteen minutes long with a total running time of about 46 minutes. That makes this album pretty easy to digest and after the first listen I already had a strongly favourable opinion forming. At this point I can't think of much else to say. It hinges on weird like The Mars Volta and Anekdoten hinge on weird. It also gets heavy like Anekdoten and Pinkroom get heavy. And it has its lighter side as well. Quite simply, if you haven't heard this PA 2014 top 20 pick (number 11) and you like the bands I mentioned above, then I recommend checking this one out. It's not quite five stars for me, more like 4.3. I'm sure there are plenty of members on this site who'd dig it.

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 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 167 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Seven Impale burst forth on "City of the Sun" with fresh ideas, incredibly complex music and have put the prog scene on high alert such is the impact of this debut album. The band take a blend of early Van der Graaf Generator whipped up with the cream of Mahavishnu Orchestra, and then glazed over with King Crimson eclecticism. When this is put in the kiln, the refining fire of jazz fusion takes on a very odd shape. This is highly original music with a razor edge of some of the more adventurous off kilter compositions you are likely to hear.

The unusual time signatures and sporadic fractured rhythms are jarring to the ear. Yet the dissonance is infectious as it grows on each listen. 5 tracks of unmeasured diversity and a potpourri of instrumentation. This is one of the delights of 2014.

'Oh, My Gravity!' is 10 minutes of off the wall jazz chaos. It jumps out of the blocks with saxophone bliss over intense out of sync percussion. Just as you relax into it's syncopation it diverts into 7/8 rhythms and then launches into a guitar lick that feels like Robert Fripp entered the room. The vocals are an oddity in themselves, feeling estranged and out of tune yet maintaining a jaded harmony despite the dissonance. The VDGG cacophony of sound is heard reminding me of their masterpiece track 'A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers'. The opening track builds in tension until the sound becomes layered with organ, heavy guitar riffs, and then Crimsonish stop start chops. A sheer delight on every level and a genuine surprise when discovering this album.

'Windshears' opens with quiet guitar plucks but this is a nice break after the previous madness. The jazz feel is prominent with grand saxophone soloing. I was even reminded of Miles, prog jazz albums such as "Bitches Brew". Eventually the atmosphere is dense and augmented by heavy staccato blasts of guitar and sax. It has a feel of classic prog and of course as such is a proggers delight especially those of us who like the more complex off kilter side of music. Diagonal produced an album like this and it became a treasure in my collection instantly.

'Eschaton Horo' continues the shattered rhythms and features some intricate guitar licks and keyboard lines. The vocals sound like Radiohead's Thom Yorker in all respects. Very laid back on a high register. I love how the sax keeps interjecting and those chimes are gorgeous. This is the more beautiful side of Seven Impale. It still blasts into a crunching instrumental section. This is where the band take off and are at their best. The experimental nature of the music is intoxicating. It is always searching for new directions and explores these over tempo switches and audacious rhythmic figures. My dog didn't like it when they screamed out, and then it blazes away on a hypnotic motif till it settles into a haunting sax solo. The vocals return on a one note verse and it ends.

'Extraction' behind with insane guitar cranking over a wall of jazz cacophony. The melody here feels familiar and the vocals are at times aggressively executed. There are Hammond splashes, floating basslines, and a sizzling sax melody. The guitar solo is beautiful with delay and is joined by sax blasts. The music spins out of control until the organ ropes it back in.

'God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman' is a mini epic of 14:41 length and has as many twists and turns as a fairground roller coaster. It opens with guitar picking and a sax simmering over gradually building to a crescendo of keyboard interplay. The vocals remain laid back giving way to the sax solos and weird time sigs. The bass at times reminds me of the distorted bass on VDGG's "Vital". Their is a cool sax solo and some intense percussion. It gets into some bizarre territory with irregular metrical patterns. The metronome swings oddly as sax and guitar compete got domination. Vocals return to mediate between the duelling instruments. At 9 and a half minutes in the sound becomes raspy with staccato outbursts of music then locks into streams of guitar before coming to a tranquil place. The final melody is infectious and hooks into the brain to culminate in one of the most dynamic eclectic tracks I have heard in years.

It is difficult to convey the type of music on offer here but those who have heard the more adventurous side of King Crimson or VDGG should take delight in this album. I rate it as one of the albums of 2014.

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 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 167 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

5 stars Oh.My.Gravity!

A breath of fresh air and total shock. There is still life on planet earth. And there is still great music made by mere mortals but which can awaken emotions. This is the case with this young sextet from Norway that confirms that the Scandinavian scene is constantly on the up and dominating the progressive music of the new century.

What makes this album different from other very good ones is the combination of musical prowess and the apparent appetite to create something new, fresh, dynamic. Seven Impale seem to have 'studied' Peter Hammill and retained the best from his corpus of eclecticism, transferring it and adapting it to their own style. Not much of major chords here, this stuff is dark, heavy and aggressive. Distorted bass lines bring to mind King Crimson but the multiple melodic themes maintain a nice balance with the outright bursts of jazz improvisation and some seldom torrential over-complex avant-garde passages. Take VDGG and Panzerballet, shake them up, spin them round and you get the point.

Seven Impale can get carried away by their young enthusiasm and get off track with their experimentation that my mere-progger mind cannot necessarily capture (Eschaton Horo) but these are short and part of the deal that makes this package so imperfectly perfect. Special mention goes to Benjamin Mekki Wider°e and his delivery on the sax that ranges from smooth jazz to heavy fusion and some of the best passages I have heard played on the saxophone ever (check the last minute of Extraction).

If you are still wondering why 'God Left Us for a Black-Dressed Woman', pick up 'City of the Sun' and you might understand. This is the best album of 2014.

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 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 167 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars Seven Impale. One of the best new bands of 2014. They start off in fusion and then travel wheresoever they please, and do so with style and ease. Their whole album is wonderful listening from start to finish, showing off a range of genres and instrumentations. They come across as a proghead's dream, being heavily indebted to several past masters, notably Crimson and the Giant, but with their own modern and unique take on it that leaves one floored and then begging for more. "God Left Us For A Black Dressed Woman" has to be one of the tracks of the year in all music, as we smoothly fly through a beautiful, sax driven piece that makes us not mind that the Almighty has gone out on the town. And the guitars on it - perfect! Easily album of the year, even against "To Be Kind". This needs more love - yours - and you need it.

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 City Of The Sun by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.02 | 167 ratings

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City Of The Sun
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars An impressive album of refreshingly unique music that crosses many sub genres, including space-psychedelia, symphonic, heavy prog, avant-jazz and experimental/post metal. Wonderful vocals, very tight interplay among all band members with no one member or instrument really standing above any other--though the presence and performance of the saxophone is highly notable. This is complex music played so tightly. And the astonishing 14- minute epic, "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman," must be heard to be believed.

1. "Oh My Gravity" (9:49) starts as a jazzy stop-and-start piece that picks up in intensity in the second minute before shifting to a melodic ballad in the vein of the heavier side of FROGG CAF╔. The male vocalist sounds to me like something between RADIOHEAD's THOM YORKE and TODD RUNDGREN. Around the six minute mark the spiraling, swooning music sounds a lot like some of the louder stuff from MOTORPSYCHO's The Death Defying Unicorn. This feel continues into the seventh minute when organ and horns take turns embellishing the staccato music. The bare-bones, bluesy final 45 seconds is bizarre but so cool! A powerful and surprising opener to this unusual album. Very high marks for compositional prowess and instrumental performance. (9/10)

2. "Wind Shears" (6:32) opens in a very psychedelia/spacey 1960s way. Then at the one minute mark it settles into a jazz groove with first sax and then jazzy guitar and Hammond organ filling the lanes over the rhythm section. Clavinet is added for a GentleGiant-like bridge before a polyrhythmic KING CRIMSON "Discipline"-like weave appears to support a brief ghost-like vocal. At 3:20 the sound gets much heavier over the same arpeggiated weave, nearly drowning out the still-soloing sax and organ. This is just like TOBY DRIVER (Kayo Dot/Maudlin of the Well)! At 4:05 things get quiet and sparse again, with the music vacillating from soft and delicate to heavy and abrasive. A very melodic kind of psychedelic big band section plays out for the final minute. Again, bizarre but so cool! (9/10)

3. "Eschaton Hero" (8:29) opens with some guitar, keys & sax riffs repeated over latin percussion. At 1:00 everything settles down into another quiet section with a delicate vocal in Stian ěkland's upper register. Beautiful chorus/bridge at 1:47 gives way to an unpretentious bass solo before settling back into the delicate vocal music. Same awesome bridge at 2:49 leads into a heavy section into jazzy chaos--all performed over the most simple, calm drum play. At 4:52 it gets even heavier as it plods along for a minute in support of a fuzz guitar solo. Finally the drums start to play--to match the frenzy of the rest of the band--then everything stops so the band can yell "Yay!" Then a variation on the previous frenzy picks back up until 7:05 when everything settles back down into the soft groove of the initial vocal section for a dirty sax solo before letting Stian finish the song out in his high voice. Well conceived and performed, just not my favorite. (7/10)

4. "Extraction" (6:34) begins with another odd intro of two or three parts before settling into the vocal support section--which begins heavily before falling into another RADIOHEAD-like bluesy section. At 2:20 a neat Hammond section leads back into the heavy full band section that opened the vocals, then, again, drops off for the beautiful support of a multi-voice- supported section. At 3:45 a very smooth, stripped down electric guitar solos, until there is a full return to explosiveness at 4:20. A bouncy "O Yo Como Va"-like Hammond section at 4:40 gives way to a kind of Latin weave before falling back into the heavier rock weave from the first vocal section to end. (8/10)

5. "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman" (14:12) opens with another KC "Discipline"-like weave that morphs and flows, polymorphs and grooves for two and a half minutes before decaying into a simplified form for a bluesy ROBERT PLANT-like vocal section. This song's amazing vocal performance could also be compared to some of the finest MATTHEW PARMENTER/DISCIPLINE works. Some incredibly powerful sections in this song--especially the multi-voice vocals in the eleventh minute and the following heavy full-band part. A very DISCIPLINE-like soft section then ensues with a slow build to an awesome crescendo and frizzed finish. The song evolves, shifts, twists and turns and surprises throughout. Again there are several parts that remind me of MOTORPSYCHO's Unicorn. Without question this is one of the best prog "epics" of the year! (10/10)

Aside from the above references to Motorpsycho, King Crimson, Radiohead, Toby Driver, Matthew Parmenter/Discipline, the overall impression this album leaves me with is similar to that of DIAGONAL's eponymously titled debut album from 2008. SEVEN IMPALE's City of the Sun is a wonderful collection of masterfully composed, executed and recorded songs.

A 4.5 star album that I can't see giving anything less than five in that it is a treasure for the ages!

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 Beginning / Relieve by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Beginning / Relieve
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

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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 Beginning / Relieve by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Beginning / Relieve
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

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.

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 Beginning / Relieve by SEVEN IMPALE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
3.38 | 8 ratings

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Beginning / Relieve
Seven Impale Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

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 Tusm°rke 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 ěkland. 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.

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