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As the christian metal bands are collapsing in the global metal scene, many excellent bands strive to present something memorable and unique to the world, one of these excellent bands is the Norwegian group Extol. After about eight years of deadly waiting, the band has returned with the self titled album "Extol", with mighty performance and highly memorable melodies, to give the christian metal scene a brand new start for the upcoming years. "Extol" is the fifth full-length album for the band, and its the first album for the band to be released by Indie Recordings, after releasing the albums "The Blueprint Dives" and "Synergy" by Century Media.
As we can clearly hear in this record, the band has dropped a lot of guttural vocals that have been used in the previous album and used more crispy and cold black metal vocals that have reminded me of the album "Burial" (that I really admire). The clean vocals that have been tainted by the progressive spirit are very excellent here, the combination of vocal ranges and aggression are merged together in this album to impress all the listeners of progressive metal and death metal. The grand level of professionalism and technicality of the members have helped them to make this record one hell of a record, the fast drumming and the alternative tempos can catch your attention in moments, and the tasty breakdowns are very highlighted. Most of the tracks have the same complex progressive and death metal structure, and tracks like "Open the Gates" and "A Gift Beyond Human Reach" can reach inside the deepest part of the listener's mind with these angry drumming and well composed riffs. Tracks like "Wastelands" and "Betrayal" are the perfect way to start diving into this record, this dangerous dive would take hours, so make sure you'll stay alive through the whole album.
I consider this album a very intelligent release, because the efforts that have been given to design such a complex and technical fabric of christian death metal is not something that can happen every year in the christian metal scene, with magnificent compositions and genius performance and crystal production, nothing can go wrong. The guitar solos and the progressive moments of riffing and vocaling are excellent here, the fans of Opeth and The Faceless will like every single moment here, though the harsh vocals have gone toward the black metal ranges rather than the death metal direction. I met a lot of people that refuse to give such albums a listen just because of the christian lyrical theme, I am gladly asking these people now to go to hell, and listening to the tracks of this album on their way there, because this is one of the best progressive death metal releases of the year, and it sums the discography of Extol into one mighty record, give this album a shot and you'll never forget it.
The huge range of influences are obvious in this record, and the resultant created a never-ending journey of progressive and extreme music, with veteran sound and matured production, nothing in the world can force you not to like the cleverness of the sound that has been created in this record. The fans of old school death metal may not like this record, because it doesn't have any old school death metal riffing, but a modern sound of death metal and progressive metal are presented here, so try not to get into the wrong door and start whining about it. This album is highly recommended and I will be waiting more success for this group of veterans.
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