Extol
Extol


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (59 Reviews)
June 28th, 2013 | 64 replies | 10,794 views


Release Date: 06/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Extol is the glorious return to form fans have been hoping for.

I’m not one to judge bands based on lyrics, let alone metal bands. Most metal lyrics are indecipherable in the context of the music, which is perfect for me since I find the music itself to be the most fascinating part. Despite this, I was genuinely surprised finding out that Extol is a Christian metal band (even though extol does mean "to praise"). In a genre full of bands screaming about blood, gore, Satan, and the like, Extol manage to be just as ferocious and captivating as their competitors, if not more so, singing about the exact opposite. Undeceived in particular was an effortless coalescence of Opeth-style progressive death with heavy blackened undertones, exploring the genre’s boundaries from the most uplifting melodies to moments of sheer moroseness and despair. As far as I’m concerned, they could’ve been screaming about Satan reigning as supreme God of the new world the entire time and it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference – the music spoke for itself. The main difference between Extol and their competitors is that instead of succumbing to boring genre stereotypes, they sing about something they’re all truly passionate about, and this passion bleeds heavily into the actual music.

Musically, Extol continues in a similar vein as its predecessor, with progressive influences playing a much bigger role and blackened elements being few and far between. It’s safe to say Extol hasn’t lost a step since the hiatus – ‘A Gift Beyond Human Reach’ contains some of the happiest metal riffs they’ve ever recorded, sole interlude ‘Dawn of Redemption’ is one of the more subtle and beautiful ones they’ve written (albeit a couple minutes too long), and technically the band is as tight as ever. While no song is as outright haunting as ‘Undeceived’, the sense of gloom lacking on The Blueprint Dives is lingering in songs such as ‘Wastelands’ and ‘Faltering Moves’. Not much has changed vocally either – the screams are raspy and hollow, the singing is airy and elegant; however, contrary to early releases where screams mostly dominated the vocal department, on Extol harsh and clean vocals are split about equally. The abundance of singing, while overbearing at times, helps drive the songs with lush Devin Townsend-esque layered choruses (Open the Gates) and the occasional male choir effect (Unveiling the Obscure).

Oddly enough, the biggest problem with Extol is its crystal clear production – it’s so divinely polished that it nullifies the atmosphere the band used to thrive on. The overproduction compensates for the increase of progressive elements, which admittedly sound better than ever, but fans of Undeceived’s raw blackened approach will likely be disappointed. Regardless, it doesn’t take away from the magnificent songwriting, which Extol has always managed to bring in spades. This is a true return to form for the band – their ambition is as strong as ever, and while there are no real signs of experimentation, it’s essentially the sound carried through their four full-lengths melded into a compact 50-minute package. If you’re already a fan of Extol, surely you’ll enjoy this; if you’ve never listened to them before, now’s as good a time as any to start.



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
donovan909 (4)
A stellar release that sees Extol remind us just what we have been missing in their 8 year absence.....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013



19507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

didnt have a lot to say about this one. it is fuckin great though

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

Tyrael
June 28th 2013



20394 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the blueprint was great

how the hell is this a 'return to form'

Digging: Lantlos - Melting Sun

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013



19507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i didnt think much of it. plus they went on hiatus so

YoYoMancuso
June 28th 2013



10112 Comments


Sweet gotta pick this up

JokineAugustus
June 28th 2013



4875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good Review! Didn't know you dug this band. I like the crystal clean production, especially on the bass and drums. David is such a damn good drummer.

Digging: Trash Talk - 119

SadAndHolyGlow
June 28th 2013



1444 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Great review. I don't agree with you on the quality of it, but still......... pos.

Digging: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - IE

skoopy48
June 28th 2013



1308 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But your digging it...Anyway, really enjoying this, solid return to form and much better than Blueprint.

Epicenter
June 28th 2013



166 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, shit's really good.

BlackDragon
June 28th 2013



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad they came back to make another album... hopefully they make more!

Good review too.

JokineAugustus
June 28th 2013



4875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Best comeback album.

BlackDragon
June 28th 2013



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh hey there :D

KILL
June 28th 2013



67082 Comments


will check!

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

bloc
June 28th 2013



34491 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The average rating was boggling my mind earlier, but I see it going down now.

Vocals are terrible and the riffs are boring. Last album was good too.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

paradox1216
June 28th 2013



338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

can't stop coming back to this

Digging: Save Us From The Archon - Thereafter

Detritivore
June 28th 2013



260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013



19507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

your taste continues to baffle me bloc :p

cvlts
June 28th 2013



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

bits I've heard of this are pretty good

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

JokineAugustus
June 28th 2013



4875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Last album was good too"
lol

Undeceived15
June 28th 2013



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I can't stop listening to this album. Flawlessly executed.

BlackDragon
June 28th 2013



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Last album was good too"

I thought it was pretty solid, but not as good as their other stuff.



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