Extol is a Christian metal band that are not for the faint of heart. They truly are a HEAVY metal band. The music is complex, fast and heavy. To say that the vocals are extreme is an understatement. Extreme metal vocal stylings may not be for everyone, but Extol contains some of the best in the business.
As a long time fan I really can not say enough good things about Extol. This extreme metal band out of Norway is absolutely phenomenal. To date they have released five albums and two EPs. Every release contains some of the most exceptional metal that I have experienced.
Some have described Extol as a progressive death metal band. On the surface this description of the band could apply. However, that tag does not tell the full story of Extol’s brand of metal. A more apt description would be progressive extreme metal. Extol’s music combines the influence of death metal, thrash metal, black metal, doom metal, classical music and progressive rock.
Throughout their career the members of Extol have displayed stellar musicianship. As songwriters they excel, producing well crafted and challenging music. Over the course of their albums they have written some crushingly heavy riffs. Peter Espevoll has consistently produced exceptional extreme metal vocals. Ole Borud provides cleanly sung vocals as a contrast. From album to album they have experimented and progressed.
Here is a brief overview of their five albums:
Burial (1999) – The band’s debut album. The album combines all of the influences mentioned early. But the sounds of black metal really have a foothold here. This was a stunning debut album.
Undeceived (2000) – The second album suffers slightly from some inconsistent songwriting. But Undeceived contains some of the band’s absolute best songs. The prevailing sound of Undeceived is death metal. That said Ole Borud has much more opportunities to sing on Undeceived. Burial may be a better album, but Undeceived is so much heavier.
Synergy (2003) – This one caused quite a bit of controversy when it was released. Not only did the band cut their hair, an absolute no no at the time, but they also changed their sound. Synergy is Extol’s ode to thrash metal. Black metal and death metal are present but scarce here.
The Blueprint Dives (2005) – The band experienced a major lineup change. Ole Borud and Christer Espevoll opted to exit the band. Not only were they the band’s guitars, they were also the main songwriters. As one might expect The Blueprint Dives has a very different sound. New additions Tor Glidje and Ole Halvard Sveen fit in quite well as they brought new sounds to Extol’s extreme metal. The Blueprint Dives could best be described as alternate metal. Peter Espevoll’s extreme vocals are still present, but overall there is much more singing on this album. After touring to support the album the band decided to call it quits.
Extol (2013) – The reunited Extol are now a three piece consisting of Ole Borud, Peter Espevoll and David Husvik. After a five year layoff the band returned with their heaviest album to date. They combined and improved the best elements of their previous albums to produce this spectacular metal gem. Pristine production, exceptional songwriting, stellar musicianship all help to create one of the best metal albums in recent years. Ole Borud’s clean vocals really shine on this album.
The last few years have been quiet in the Extol camp. The members have been busy with other projects of late. I greatly look forward to another Extol album in the near future. This band is just to good not to put out new music.