2000, Solid State
With its sophomore full-length release, Extol has crafted something that is quite memorable and enjoyable. Under the thick layers of heavy, chaotic, yet beautiful and damn good death/black metal, the band finds many different ways to touch and impress the listener. The best quality of this release is that the music is highly original and each song has its own distinct personality.
The opening track, Inferno, kicks off with some razor sharp, intricate riffs, courtesy of guitarists Christer Espevoll and Ole Borud. Drummer, David Husvik lays some amazing drum fills [0:16-0:20], after which the music gives in to the mournful violin [0:39-0:45], which along with acoustic guitars plays a substantial role throughout the record. All this makes the first few minutes of this song a breathtaking experience and a good indicator for things to some. Singer Peter Espevoll confidently spits his venom, as his vocals go from screechy black metal to low grunts, aided by clean melodic vocals of second guitarist Ole Borud. If I could compare the 'harsh' vocal delivery to anyone else, I would have to say that Extol's vocalist reminds me quite a bit of the singer from ZAO. This however, is not the only similarity that both band share [well, both of them are also signed to Solid State]. Just like their label mates, Extol is a Christian band, spreading the word of Christ through their music and Extolling their master. While this might turn-off some of the metal buyers who hate to be preached to [I know that I am one of those people], one should let the music speak for itself, as Extol delivers as much brutality as many of the most blasphemous bands in metal today.
Overall, the music on Undeceived is very well written and quite complex, as Extol has created something that will please fans into everything from Carnal Forge to Opeth. The most important thing will be the willingness to give this talented band a chance and not immediately give it a tag of 'Bible-thumping' metal, which the band does not deserve.