without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
I have been a huge fan of extol for several years. I love the creativity, the technicality, the progressive aspects, and the heaviness of all their music. Synergy and Undecieved are definitely on my top 10 metal albums of all time.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from The Blueprint Dives. I knew it would be a change. All Extol albums are drastically different from eachother, so a slight change in style or sound would not have bothered me at all. By the time I was through the first track, Gloriana, I knew that Extol was no longer the band that I knew and loved. Their sound has changed to that of a mainstream, melodic band that can hardly be considered metal. If you are new to Extol, please DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM. Pick up a copy of Synergy or Burial to start with. This album does not reflect their style or technicality in any way, shape, or form.
As I made my way through this album, the fact became clearer and clearer to me: this band has changed into something completely different. Sure, the clean vocals are done nicely and the recording quality is outstanding, but it is nothing like the older, heavier Extol that I remember.
If this album was done by any other band, I would say that it is a good listen and that it is worth at least checking out. The melodies and the songwriting are bearable, and peaceful to listen to. But this album is closer to modern prog rock than death metal. The ongoing theme of Christianity is nothing new, and the melodic chord progressions are understandable and even catchy at times.
I'll give Extol a break for trying something new, something softer. I'm sure that all bands attempt this at one time or another, for better or for worse. I give this album a 65 rating, simply because it deserves to be recognized for it's melodic qualities and composition. Like I said before, if you have never heard the band Extol before, please do not listen to this album. Go buy yourself a copy of Undecieved and see for yourself what this band is capable of