After the release of Undeceived
, Extol knew they had achieved perfection. There was no possible way any band could ever create a better progressive death metal album, not even Extol themselves. They were in need of more musical worlds to conquer. Ultimately they set their sights on the realm of technical thrash metal, a subgenre which would be completely turned on its head with the release of Extol's masterful third album Synergy
in 2003. But Extol knew that such a sudden shift in musical direction would be jarring for fans, so out of the kindness of their hearts they released the 4 song ep Paralysis
in 2001 to bridge the stylistic gap.
After the short and frantic title track intro, Your Beauty Divine blasts its way straight into the hearts of listeners. This song is honestly as heavy as anything from Undeceived
. It is much less technical and doesn't feature any violins or other elements of proggy goodness, but it is a crushing and memorable experience nonetheless. Christer's leads near the end of the song are particularly heart-wrenching. It is no wonder that this song immediately became a staple of the band's live set. The third song is a cover of Believer's classic thrash anthem "Shadow of Death". This serves as a foreshadowing (hhheheheh) of the technical thrash direction Extol would take on Synergy
. It is a shame that Extol's cover version omits the original's eerie intro but I'm sure they had their reasons for doing so. The fourth and final track "Human Frailtie's Grave" is a bonus track featured on the Japanese edition of Undeceived
. Whereas the first three tracks of Paralysis
feature intimate production as if they were recorded live, this song features the polished production of Undeceived
and it always takes my brain a few seconds to get used to this shift in sound. However this is merely a minor quibble regarding an otherwise amazing ep.
For many years Paralysis
was out of print and could only be found on cd for a small fortune, but it has recently been made available on streaming services for younger generations of listeners who don't know what cd's are. Give this ep a listen, as it is a nice companion piece to Undeceived
and serves as an intriguing transitional release for Extol.