Overall Score: 7/10 Riffs: 7/10 Melody: 8/10 Evolution: 7/10 Pros: Reminiscent of Ghost Reveries era Opeth while forging its own path Cons: Nothing groundbreaking
Extol are a norwegian extreme metal band recently re-formed after a period of inactivity, their latest self-titled effort sees the band bringing in producer Jens Bogren – who has worked with bands such as Opeth, Paradise Lost and Enslaved. Opeth offer a good reference to the sound of this self-titled effort; death metal utilizing dark and light textures although where Opeth will build up dynamics into a devastating climax Extol can feel disjointed – particularly in the first half where the contrast between the darker and lighter textures feels more like an interminably long splodge of grey.
All this changes at about the halfway mark where ‘Behold the Sun’ rears its head, its disorienting, technical riffs overlapping with soothing clean vocals, this marks the moment where Extol really come into their own. Despite the earlier comparison with Opeth, Extol are no carbon copy as they regularly overlap light and shade creating powerful polarities within the music and eschewing the extended, but masterfully executed dynamics of Akerfeldt and crew.
Extol are definitely worth a listen if you’re hankering after Blackwater Park/Ghost Reveries era Opeth but have played aforementioned records to death. Its similar enough to push that big progressive metal button but sufficiently unique not to seem like you’re listening to a tribute album.
Extol’s “Extol” is out now on Indie Recordings.