Extol - The Blueprint Dives

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8307-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:33:00


What is it supposed to be?

Mixed messages abound as black delivery wars against Christian intent, creating a paradoxical musical malaise?.


What it is:

Not as hyperactive or overtly technical as its predecessor (Synergy), Blueprint labors under the yoke of expectation. Black/deathly vocals deliver bleak self-remonstrations, while clean voices speak of the faith, promise of hope, and eternal salvation available to all through faith in Christ (albeit couched in ambivalent terms - perhaps so as to not offend or openly proselytize?). This is strident, jagged progressive thrash; brash, articulate rhythms combine with clean guitar textures (often within a single song), vacillating between stuttering discord and ardently emphatic cadences... forcing the listener into a nadir of choice?.veer into a chaotic moribund whorl, or allow the message of hope to transfigure?

Vocals: My frustration with this (and all of the other) bands that feel compelled to juxtapose death/black vocals with clean knows no bounds. Is it lack of imagination that forces talented musicians to resort to this most egregious of clich?s? Surely there must be a better way to articulate rage, despair or fear?. The clean singing offers some respite from the rasps, but shallow, lack-luster compositions ("Lost In Dismay") that focus on clean singing, reveal an inherent weakness for melodic direction. Throughout the disc, the clean singing, while welcome relief, underwhelms.

Guitars: Technical, tightly played, rhythmically intricate and hopelessly devoid of any character. The rapid-fire staccato approach is impressive, but the guitars have been relegated to the rhythm section, with few notable exceptions. Like many twin-guitar bands, the guitar arrangements focus on unison playing rather than incorporating any real "divisi" (separate parts arranged for clarity of harmonic articulation between similar instrumental groups in an orchestra).

Keyboards: Predictable, subtly ubiquitous but overshadowed by the gnarled guitars.

Drums: Superbly played and articulately recorded.

Production: Dry and visceral.

Rating: Average. 3.75/5 (the vocals are the bane of this and all similar bands)

Summary: Strong musicianship lends credence to Extol's message (one that needs to be propagated in the metal community as the only alternative to the hopelessness prevalent in the majority of the music in this genre), but the impact is lessened and the message somewhat obfuscated by the vocal delivery.

Standout tracks: "Gloriana"

Gloriana (3:25) / Soul Deprived (3:26) / In Reversal (5:37) / Pearl (2:55) / From The Everyday Mountain Top (3:46) / Another Adam's Escape (4:36) / The Things I Found (6:24) / Lost In Dismay (5:14) / Essence (3:43) / Void (5:38) / The Death Sedative (4:55) / Bonus track: Riding For A Fall (3:44)

Peter Espevoll - vocals
Tor Glidje - guitars
Ole Sveen - guitars
David Husvik - drums
John Mj?land - bass

Guests: Anders Saloman Lidal, Magnus Westgaard, David Wallumrad

Burial (1998/2000*)
Mesmerized (ep) (1999)
Undeceived (2000)
Synergy (2003)
The Blueprint Dives (2005)

Genre: Death-Black Metal

Origin NO

Added: May 16th 2005
Reviewer: Jan-Mikael Erakare
Artist website: www.extolweb.com
Hits: 1244
Language: english


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