MetalBite Review by Allan on 8/4/2005
Since their inception in 1994, Norwayís Extol
have slowly stepped out of the shadows. Beginning with their debut, Burial
in 1998, they introduced us to their approach to death metal, expanded upon in 2000 with itís follow-up, Undeceived
. In 2003 we heard again from Extol with the release of Synergy
, showing them once more alluding listeners by adopting a distinct thrash element. Now theyíve given us The Blueprint Dives
, a testament to the groupís ambitious endeavors, once again evading any preconceived notions we might have had of them, while still delivering what is easily one of the very finest albums to come out this year.
Granted, both guitarists from the Synergy
album left since then. However, former member Tor Glidje and Ole Sveen, both of who have been active in other bands, replaced them. While Synergy
was filled with thrash energy and complex guitar work, Extol
has taken those elements away for The Blueprint Dives
, opting for a more metalcore approach. Ah yes, if I were you and hadnít heard this album yet, Iíd begin to weep as well. The last thing we need is another metalcore band. However, that is only a fraction of what Extol
bring to the table. Furthermore, Extol
take elements of hard/metalcore that have been driven so far into the ground by redundancy and breath life into them, imbuing old ideas with new ways.
The Blueprint Dives
really is a continuation of Synergy
, without as much metal guitar work. The band still exercises their fine ability to mix things up with blistering, odd rhythms, going every which way while somehow managing to stay coherent and cohesive. The songs, while atypically structured, are well written. Furthermore, The Blueprint Dives
is an album that comes together best in its entirety.
As always, Extol
implement their aptitude for melody, be it in the guitar work or otherwise. What are also worth noting are vocalist Peter Espevollís hauntingly lubricious clean vocals, a facet of the music that has become most prevalent on The Blueprint Dives
. Catchy yet unpredictable and clever, theyíre one of the defining features of the album and one of itís greatest highlights. To top things off, the production is stellar: heavy and full with good clarity.
Honestly, I couldnít say enough good things about The Blueprint Dives
. It probably wonít catch on because itís a bit different, and is bound to alienate many Extol
fans, but despite that, itís one of the greatest albums to come out this year. Please excuse my overt subjectivity on the subject, but Extol
kick profuse amounts of ass; The Blueprint Dives
shows how and why.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
out of 10