Extol
The Blueprint Dives


3.5
great

Review

by RATCHET SKANK 777 USER (203 Reviews)
January 9th, 2008 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Extol have changed their sound for better or worse and released a pretty good album.

Extol is a Christian metal band hailing from Oslo, Norway. This might be surprising to most considering Norway's metal scene is littered with a never ending supply of anti Christian acts dating back to the early nineties. I knew sooner or later that someone would counter against all these bands trying to prove how evil they can be. Along with "Antestor", another Norwegian metal band, Extol seemed poised to break the barriers of what Norwegian Metal should sound like. In the past, Extol have experimented with some of the heaviest styles of metal. Traces of black metal, melodic death metal, and thrash can all be heard in their latter disks. With the "The Blueprint Dives" Extol took a big risk, stripping down their sound into a more technical yet atmospheric approach. Many fans standing from either side of the religion fence could quickly point out that Extol have sold out. This is for the fact that the flame of old has been nearly extinguished.

"The Blueprint Dives" has expanded upon previous ideas into a more atmospheric style of music. The metal is still there, carried out by the heavy riffs, harsh vocals, and solid drumming. It's just that the sound has evolved into a Deftones approach. Peter's clean vocals are reminiscent of Chino Moreno although not as executed as well. Personally, his voice fits the music well but after a while it can become grating. His harsh vocals have lost the fury and aggression shown on past albums and now resemble a more desperate and forced growls. Normally this wouldn't go well with me but the music has adapted to benefit the vocals. The guitar work is pretty good despite the recent change in sound. Riffs are plenty heavy as well as providing melodic notes for the music, but abandon the death metal roots of old for a more progressive approach. Instead of relying on the guitar to provide the crunch, it now plays the part of providing the atmosphere.

Extol have balls to experiment as much as they have done on this album, obviously not worried about how fans were going to take it. The vocals resemble Chino in the sense of how much emotion can be carried in his voice, almost providing the vocals as an instrument. The harsh vocals have been significantly been reduced compared to older albums. A good song to hear how Extol have progressed vocally would be "The Things I Found", a dark droning track that features Peter's desperate screams being performed magnificently with a wall of guitar providing the base of the song. Like I said, the harsh vocals have been downplayed and his clean vocals have become more prominent. Not spectacular by any means, Peter still excels at providing a lot of emotion with his voice. Some might find his voice to be too nasally or whiny although not treading emo levels, I still think he does a great job of adding a sense of realism to the music. However, I tend to think his singing might be the downfall as well. As the album progresses, the tone of the vocals tend to drag and might irritate the listeners. I wish that he retained his style of old but I still commend him on trying something new.

The guitar work of the album is played pretty well. Riffs are catchy and still bite but now seem more focused on providing melodies to paint a backdrop of emotion. Tor Glidje and Ole Halvard are talented guitarists who have been listening to their fair share of Opeth. Plenty of inspired metal riffs intertwine with acoustic interludes, just adding another layer to the cake. The drum work is pretty balanced out, blending well with the guitars and the vocals. Although the kit has slowed down to merge with the new style of music, David Husvik plays a lot of cool drum patterns. Standard fare but executed well, fills, cymbal crashes, and such give way to wailing vocals and heavy guitars. The bass’s role is less prominent in the music as the others but can be heard at times. Wrapped around the music is tight production that captures the instruments at their peak.

Extol have released an album that you will either love or hate upon the first listen. I know this because it seems I’m the only on this site that seems to appreciate this CD. Fans of Opeth or Deftones or music in general should give this a ring. I applaud Extol for pulling new ground but I just wish they had retained some of the old that made Extol such a fun listen. This album has it's bright moments and it's dark moments so give it a few runs and decide for yourself. 3.4/5

Pros:
Updated sound, atmosphere portrayed is pretty solid.
Vocals.
Guitar Work.
“The Things I Found” and “Pearl.

Cons:
Vocals.
Some tracks tend to drag.

Peter Espevoll - vocals
Tor Magne Glidje - guitar
Ole Halvard Sveen - guitar
David Husvik - drums
John Robert Mjåland - bass



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user ratings (94)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Confessed2005
January 9th 2008


3314 Comments


I think I've heard some of their older stuff. My friends likes them, got me interested via their myspace. Nice review, I might look into this album.

DWittisarockstar
January 9th 2008


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I didn't like this at all.

rasputin
January 9th 2008


14550 Comments


great review, however christian black metal doesn't sound too inviting.

jrowa001
January 9th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this has some good tracks. i used to have another one of their newer albums which was a bit more mellow i think but i dont have it anymore

this might be that album i dont have anymore...yep it is i just checked my itunes. their older albums were pretty goodThis Message Edited On 01.09.08This Message Edited On 01.09.08

BallsToTheWall
January 9th 2008


44607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album has no black metal traces left. Older albums are much heaveir and melodic death and black influnced. Still, there are still some solid bands to find regardless of the lyrical content or the christian tag. To me, it's just the music, if it's christian and sounds good, then i'll give it a try. Antestor, Renascent, Crimson Moonlight, Immortal Souls and to a degree, Mortal Treason are bands worth checking out.This Message Edited On 01.09.08This Message Edited On 01.09.08

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

jrowa001
January 9th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^^Crimson Moonlight are great. Mortal Treason's album Call To the Martyrs (i think thats whats it called) is pretty good too. nobody should listen to Mortification though, theyre a joke

Wizard
January 9th 2008


19501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I’m the only on this site that seems to appreciate this CD

Count me to that list too.
Great review, you really did this album justice. Plus, your recommendations for this album are my favourites too!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

BallsToTheWall
January 9th 2008


44607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you. Yeah there are some pretty good bands out there if you know where to look.

Wizard
January 9th 2008


19501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've only heard this album by these guys. I first heard Pearl on the Century Media website, and it just sounded way different than alot of the other metal bands I was listening to at the time.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2008


16434 Comments


Not a fan really of Christian Black Metal, but this review was good enough to make it sound worthwhile.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

BallsToTheWall
January 9th 2008


44607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I suggest you check out Undecieved by this band. Back to their heavier, less experimental roots.

Metalikane
January 9th 2008


851 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like their older stuff better, but this is still a good album. Pearl is a beautiful song.


nobody should listen to Mortification though, theyre a joke




Anything they've done in the last decade is pretty sub-par, but some of their early stuff rocked. Check out Break the Curse, the self-titled, or Scrolls of the Megilloth for some good Mort.

pizzapie88
January 10th 2008


30 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

This is probablly one of the worst albums I've ever listened to.

botb
January 10th 2008


9718 Comments


Extol is brutal, it's funny how they change their style almost every album but it's kind of cool too.

BallsToTheWall
January 10th 2008


44607 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I could see how Pizza, vocals tend to grate after a while, but there are some pretty good tracks here. Yeah too bad Extol didn't retain much of their older roots with their next change in style, if that was the case, this would have been a stronger.

eggsvonsatan
January 22nd 2008


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Awful album. I bought this after hearing one of Extol's previous records (which I loved), when i put this in my CD player, i got through about 4 tracks and never listened to it again. Complete waste of $15

AlexTM510
March 12th 2009


1403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is really underrated.This Message Edited On 03.12.09

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Relinquished
July 7th 2009


25187 Comments


This is alright in the first listen.

donovan909
December 24th 2011


24 Comments


Love Extol. Reviewer failed to mention their former 'clean' vocalist left the band prior to this release. So his replacements on the guitars simply don't have the chops he had, and the lead vocalist trying to pull of the clean vocals just can't do it. This is not Extol, this is a different band entirely, in a musical sense. Since the principal songwriter and co-vocalist left, it would have been wise to change the name of the band, rather than go from black metal to 'this' and not sh*t on their legacy.

JokineAugustus
February 12th 2012


6204 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Definitly my least favorite of theirs. Loved Burial, Undeciever, and especially Synergy.

Digging: KEN mode - Reprisal



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