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Seven Impale

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Seven Impale Summit album cover
4.33 | 128 ratings | 8 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hunter (10:33)
2. Hydra (10:34)
3. Ikaros (9:26)
4. Sisyphus (13:22)

Total Time 43:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Stian Økland / vocals, lead guitar
- Erlend Vottvik Olsen / guitar, vocals
- Håkon Vinje / keyboards, vocals
- Benjamin Mekki Widerøe / tenor saxophone, flute, vocals
- Tormod Fosso / bass, cello
- Fredrik Mekki Widerøe / drums & percussion, banjo, vocals

Releases information

Label: Karisma Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
May 26, 2023

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy SEVEN IMPALE Summit Music

SEVEN IMPALE Summit ratings distribution

(128 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

SEVEN IMPALE Summit reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bergen's finest young band presenting its third album since 2013, their first since 2016. Have they finally realized their potential?

1. "Hunter" (10:33) delicate chromatic piano play opens this (as the hunter patiently hides from his prey). As the music and story progress, we are find ourself fully in the realm of the music of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR; comparison to the familiarity of the great epics of City of the Sun are equally unavoidable. The chaotic, multi-voice cacophony of the frenetic motif in the fifth and sixth minutes is a bit off-putting. And then there is the VDGG syncopated, oddly-time- signatured passage beyond that--before the weird Hawai'ian guitar and Santana-like "Oye Como Va" organ notes break open the even darker, heavier, thicker motif to follow. Man! The harsh Norse/Viking life-threads are still very much alive and ... proliferating (if not well). And they end on this note! What doom and gloom! And, I'm sure, they LOVE this! Powerful and masterfully complex--which I appreciate intellectually (and respectfully)--but it's just not my cup of tea. (17.5/20)

2. "Hydra" (10:34) this scaled-down Änglagård treatment seems so tame and accessible when compared to the previous spectacle. The choral almost-monastic vocals are quite interesting when paired and contrasted against the rather tame music below chugging away in a very straightforward 1980s lower tier metal (which reminds me of Peter Schilling's international hit, "Major Tom [Coming Home]" from 1983). As the saxophones and keyboard arpeggi take over the drivership we're enjoying the easy ride, but then, suddenly, at the seven-minute mark the band switches lanes and turns off onto a dirt road to speed through the countryside. The thick organ chords at the end of the ninth minute seem to connote the intrusion or competition of another entity--perhaps another vehicle on the same road-- but then the music seems to flow and drift off into a dreamy finish, so perhaps the organ power chords denote the accident--the end of the road, and the successive loss of consciousness and, presumably, life. Interesting and, by and large ... likable! (18/20)

3. "Ikaros" (9:26) rhythmically quite sophisticated, this song seems quite difficult to sing over as the vocals have a hard time enmeshing within the dense, often angular music. The rather wild and often-chaotic journey this song takes the listener on may, in fact, reflect the storyline of the famous tragic hero of the Greek myth. That does not, however, make it great. (17.5/20)

4. "Sisyphus" (13:22) more melodic and sensitive straight off the starting blocks, the pseudo-baritone singing voice that enters at the end of the first minute truly takes one by surprise--almost makes one laugh. But the vocalist remains committed and serious, so I am bound to give him a chance. The staccato and smooth instrumental passages between the vocal sections provide quite an interesting contrast with one another. The second foray into a vocal section is smooth, spacious, and jazzy while the vocalist now sings in a more familiar upper register before a pause that unleashes the full kinetic force of all band members--even the multiple voices singing the "higher" lyric. The chaotic Crimsonian release that occurs again as the protagonist has lost his boulder and it tumbles and rolls to the bottom of the mountain is intense and amazingly evocative of the frustration Sisyphus must feel. But he recoups, comes to terms with his sentence, and returns to the base of the mountain to take up his task once again. I can sense the resignation and futility in his spirit through the music--and then his utter resolve as he puts his shoulder to the boulder and begins pushing with his legs once again. As always, there is always a glimmer of hope: "Will this be the time? Will the gods finally have mercy?" In the ninth minute this all comes to a head as he approaches the summit with newfound hope and optimism (even an attempt at staying hidden--maybe sneaking in "under the radar" of the gods' notice). Excellent music. Excellent job of conveying the emotions and of this tragic "hero's" repetitious, circuitous existence. Full marks, Seven Impale! You've finally achieved/realized the potential we all saw in that astonishing debut album of yours! (30/30)

Total Time 43:55

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of truly modern progressive rock music with at least one song that would indicate the start of the fulfillment of the promise that City of the Sun seemed to announce ten years ago. Definitely highly recommended for the true prog lover--but only if you're ready to hear/see the progression of progressive rock music, not if you're looking for repetition, glorification, and tribute of and to the past.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars The album cover looks like something out of Lord Of The Rings. I still remember the buzz over their debut back in 2014 an album that ended up in third place on the collaborator's end of year list. Two years later came "Contrapasso" and this is my favourite. I feel like this 6 piece let their hair down here and while trying new things doesn't work out most of the time, here it does. A long seven year wait for "Summit" their third studio record which will no doubt be placed high on many year end lists. That VDGG/KC("Islands") sound continues. This band can be very powerful and they have a vocalist who graduated as an opera singer from one of the musical academies in Norway during that hiatus. The keyboardist is still here thankfully but became part of ENSLAVED during the break.

Only four tracks worth around 44 minutes and that opener "Hunter" is my favourite. In fact I could pick one song off of each of their three albums that would be my three favourite songs by them. "God Left Us For A Black Dressed Woman" from "City Of The Sun", "Lemma" from "Contrapasso" and "Hunter" from "Summit". "Hunter" is powerful and intense and that's just the lyrics. Hey the music too and man this guy can sing, so theatrical and would be a great Goth singer. You want to hear how heavy this band can get checkout this song after 8 minutes where we get to doom-like heaviness. Interesting quick riffs follow around 9 1/2 minutes in with organ over top. The words though, it's a gripping piece.

"Hydra" like the opener is 10 1/2 minutes long. Nice bass early and some fast riffs, sax too. There's a strange KING GIZZARD sound to this early on within the first five minutes that I cant ignore. Piano only before 6 minutes then it explodes with sax and more. Fast riffs are back. I like the final minute, quite uplifting. "Ikaros" was the single they released first and ironically my least favourite of the four tunes. Still a very good track that can get fairly dense. Some distorted guitar late, lots of sax.

The closer "Sisyphus" is the longest at 13 1/2 minutes. Man those deep vocals have character don't they as he almost speaks the words early on. Turns heavy with organ around 2 1/2 minutes before it all becomes smooth with vocals. Not into this or the similar vibe after 8 minutes. More heaviness and calms as this plays out. Another very good studio album from these guys. So impressed with the whole package here. A solid 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I confess I never heard of SEVEN IMPALE before, but as SUMMIT shot up the ProgArchives 2023 rankings they became impossible to ignore. Yet another successful act from Norway, but as the first listen revealed, they do not live off of creating the familiar seventies sound. In fact the most surprising ... (read more)

Report this review (#2968340) | Posted by Luis de Sousa | Sunday, November 12, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Since there isn't much variation in sound from song to song, I'm going to talk about this album as a whole: It's incredible! Now, eclectic prog has always been known for being one of the finest, most consistent subgenres within the progressive rock genre, and even on recent years fantas ... (read more)

Report this review (#2942005) | Posted by Nhelv | Monday, July 24, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Tops Seven Impale's historic debut. I like it when jazz kisses metal. Opera singer- Stian Ã?kland could feature his pipes, hitting perfect, pure high sea-blue, deep c-sharps. Instead, Stian Ã?kland varies his voice with each composition as he chisels his pipes to serve the concept carved out of eac ... (read more)

Report this review (#2934479) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Monday, June 19, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars SUMMIT SEVEN IMPALE I find it difficult to grasp how an album should approach the listener. In a way I always insist in the notion of a narrative, in the case of this particular album four cohesive pieces revolve around heavy prog pandemically infected by jazzier strikes. A hunter and three m ... (read more)

Report this review (#2933752) | Posted by santisoux | Thursday, June 15, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Seven Impale is a Norwegian sextet that plays a fairly dark, heavy, jazz-inspired version of progressive rock. In many ways, they bear a lot of similarity to Van der Graaf Generator, albeit with more maximal arrangements. It's been seven years since their last release, so when they announced this, I ... (read more)

Report this review (#2929091) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, May 29, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars With their first album City Of The Sun from 2014, the fantastic Norwegians presented themselves as one of the strongest pillars that hold prog rock and brought various music styles, such as 1970s jazz, Scandinavian metal, and eclectic/avant-garde progressive sounds, with touch of classical i ... (read more)

Report this review (#2928297) | Posted by newdawnofprog | Saturday, May 27, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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