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A nice way to evolve - 96%

Virella, April 3rd, 2005

Last year Extol surprised everyone with their new take on their sound, but now they continue to progress their style even more, and let me say that the direction this is going....is a great one! First of all, let me start with this warning: if you didn't like Extol's last album, you're not going to like this one at all! That's it, plain and simple. But if you liked their last album, well, this album will win you over with its melody and technicality. "Blueprint" is really a nice way to evolve their new sound. It adds even more melody to the music but without loosing their complexity. Extol still take risks in their music, and without a band doing that, how will music progress?!

Another aspect I love about them is their lyrics. Their Christian, but so what? You gotta admire that even though their surrounded by bands that write about satanic shit or other religious related themes just to seem rough, Extol still hold their ground. I'm not religious or anything, but I really appreciate that passion about them, you can really see that those lyrics are real, especially through their melodies, and that's the next thing I'm gonna talk about. This album is full of it, in some parts you really don't expect to hear melody but somehow they got it in there and it fits the music. These melodies really make this album shine, it's really beautiful. Sometimes you can hear the vocals full of anger or sadness, just full of emotion. They're not afraid to write about love either, "Gloriana" is a perfect example of that, a beautiful song. But my absolute favorite track has to be "The Things I Found", this song seems to have almost a dark feel to it at first, but when it reaches the chorus, all you hear is emotion flowing through the words, just amazing!

For me, the standout tracks are: Soul Deprived, From The Everyday Mountain Top, The Things I Found, and Essence. A fact that I almost skipped was that there's more clean vocals here than any Extol album before it. That's not a bad thing because this guy sings great, screaming or doing clean vocals, he hits it perfectly! Listen to "Pearl" for this, completely clean vocals in it. I love this album, so if you are an open minded metal head, get this!!