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Recommended listening. - 85%

Justin_Bork, March 2nd, 2005

Extol's fourth album 'Blueprint' is a good one. The songs seem more song oriented as apposed to the off the wall technicality of the past, which to fans probably spells disaster, but 'Blueprint' is no album to fret about, there's a lot of good on it.

Extol are using clean vocals more than ever now, but still have quite an abundance of harsh vocals. Some say the clean vocals sound a bit off, but honestly I think they sound great, and add an aura to the music, which is probably what the band intends here.

In terms of musicianship, less technical then it's counterparts to be blunt, but still quite technical and well played. Extol aren't susceptical to the term 'sellouts' just yet. While much more accessible, the band still has it's integrity intact.

As for the songs, I'm impressed for one, they all have atmosphere and personality. Where some lack in being catchy, other's make up for it, such as the lead off track 'Gloriana' or the single 'Pearl'. Speaking of 'Pearl' it's easily the most radio-ready song the band has done to date, which isn't a bad thing at all, as the song rules. A few songs aren't very memorable and don't really stand out, but they're not bad songs by any means. Also, the harsh vocals are used at odd times in some spots so that seem annoying, and frankly a bit obnoxious, this can be overlooked though.

In conclusion, I would recommend this album to you. It's easily Extol's most accessible album to date, and has a few songs you really don't want to miss out on. Although it has a few minor weakspots, it's a strong album. So go and check it out, you may just like it alot.