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Seven Impale - Contrapasso CD (album) cover


Seven Impale


Eclectic Prog

3.89 | 117 ratings

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5 stars It's not often that I find myself doing such an about-face on an album. The amount of crow that was eaten during the second listen of Seven Impale's 2016 release, Contropasso, was staggering. I found myself fighting considerable bias toward the retro sound of their 2014 release, City of the Sun. I suppose as a self-proclaimed avid progressive rock listener, such bias should not be rote. The initial listen to the album found me considerably disappointed at the comparatively modern sound. But as further listening occurred, the textures and dynamic composition of the album shine through. So much so that it has become apparent that this is the album of the year for 2016, in this reviewer's humble opinion.

Vocalist / guitarist , Stian ěkland has a voice that, while being very enjoyable and dynamic in City of the Sun, became quite a bit more eclectic in this release. The style could be best described on the previous LP as having an almost late era Jon Anderson quality to it. And while that sound was present at times in Contrapasso, it was also contrasted by periods of very goth, almost Peter Murphy style deep vampiric tones. Almost to the point where I thought a guest appearance was being made by fellow Norwegian Czral of Virus/Ved Buens Ende. Additional sections of soaring glam metal style vocals are also present. It is a very deeply rounded conglomeration of vocal styles that deeply textures this release. its a facet of progressive music that can often lead to the downfall of a great album. In this case augmenting it substantially.
Adding to the, dare I overuse the word, eclecticism, are the arrangements themselves. While the aforementioned overall feel is less retro than City of the Sun, the aspects of arrangement are still very classically Progressive. The instrumentations tend to be quite a bit heavier than the previous release, to the point that one could almost understand the occasional "metal" label that's put on the album by various music media outlets. But the amount of contrast in both volume dynamics and tempo are undeniably Prog. Even in the darkly oppressive Languor, and almost electronica sound of Phoenix. And then there's the saxophone, which was almost trademark to the sound of Seven Impale on City of the Sun. Here we find it not so much subdued, but blended and far more complimentary than in the previous release.

As time goes by I find myself becoming more and more of a Norweig-aphile. But even in a country that is standing out as a flagship of fresh Progressive rock in the 21st century, Seven Impale have shone through a rather thick field of creativity. Contrapasso is one of, if not the quality release of 2016 and is easily recommended for any Progressive rock library. 5 bright stars.

Tapfret | 5/5 |


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