Review by Adam M on April 28, 2014.
This is interesting black metal that has a harsh edge combined with avant-garde ambitions. The music is always crisp and well performed throughout. There is a nefarious aura that is carried through as well that manages to be somewhat compelling. The occasional saxophone also makes an appearance which could draw comparisons to Ihsahn or Shining. It’s the avant-garde element that pushes towards Arcturus territory that makes for such an exciting listen.
Just when you keep thinking the release will be normal black metal, the band pushes in a different direction. The new Behemoth might be the favorite for a death metal influenced black metal platter with their recent work, but this is more appropriate for those hoping for a strong innovative and progressive flavor within their black metal work. The great influence of jazz and blues on the music always takes it slightly into left-field. The biggest problem with the disc is the harsh aspect it provides. Fans of Mayhem may enjoy this more than I do as the album does invoke comparisons to recent material by that band as well. However, the more raw black metal is always given an opposite of progressive elements that makes it balanced and open to many different tastes of music.
This is not an easy listen and will require many tries to enjoy it more. Once accustomed, the brilliance of tracks like 'Land Of No Water' comes out. That particular track has plenty of layered guitars that weave a web of brilliance over you. There are plenty of other highlights, but that one stuck out. Fans of many different styles of black metal and progressive music should find a lot to like on Extance.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10