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A tough cookie. - 70%

Blackgoat038, April 3rd, 2009

This is by far Extol's worst release. They have slowly but surely been working towards a lighter sound. Extol is an overall progressive metal band. Burial and Undeceived had much black and death influence. Then with the release of Synergy, they stripped most black/death influence in favor for a more thrash influence. And now, with The Blueprint Dives leaves most metal influences for a predominately progressive rock/metal sound.

Now, here's where this starts getting difficult. This is a good album. There is much to be found; great melody and atmosphere. If you didn't know it was Extol, this would be great release, but there in lies the trouble. I'm not one for getting overly upset and giving 0-20 ratings when a band changes there sound, especially Extol, because they do it with each album.

This album got a 70 because, overall, it is a good album. Much more depressive than other releases, but overall the progression of the album is very nice. I really don't feel like reviewing each song, because I just don't want to evaluate each one. But this is a solid release. Good production, solid tracks, etc. The only problem in the song department is that every song isn't really that much of a stand out song. Every song on each album preceding this one was very good and stood out, even the filler's. (Pretty much not making them fillers, but interludes)

This album did not get higher than a 75 because it IS Extol. This is a band who have given us some of the best metal since the mid 90's. Every album leading up to this was exceptionally incredible. The Blueprint Dives just seems much less Extol, and a little less inspired.

Hopefully this much "softer" period for Extol will end, because nothing would make many Extol fans out there happier than for them to regain some of their older sound. Overall, this is a solid release, but from a band who can chew off much more than they decided to bite. If you're a fan of light progressive metal with many alternative influences, then definitely check this album out. If you loved Extol for their ability to perfectly combine prog with black/death/thrash, well then don't even listen, because you will be gravely disappointed.