STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 14087-11101 LABEL: Century Media FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Greg Sammons
This album marks a transition for Extol, from the Christian marketplace to the mainstream. It was released both in the mainstream, through Century Media, and in the Christian marketplace through Solid State - their next album will be solely released in the mainstream. Somehow I doubt that will affect their sales or their message/lyrics in a negative way at all, though. Century Media in fact claim that this is Extol's heaviest album to date: wrong! Although heavier moments do happen, this album does as a whole feel much more melodic and radio friendly - highlight track "Pearl"' best demonstrates this. In no way does this take anything away from the creativity and quality of this release, it simply demonstrates another dimension of this band - that perhaps die-hard fans may not be so keen on. With two members out and two new members in, Extol have taken the band to the point where you could debate whether they are still "metal" at all. I personally think they are but taking much more influence from the prog metal bands - as Fire Fly did on their last album. In fact comparisons with Fire Fly continue further, in terms of longevity and musical evolution - both too have musical creativity and individuality by the bucket load. Both come from somewhat thrash roots too, something that would not be noticeable on their latest albums. However, one thing Extol do much better is deal with the dark side of metal. They even do a couple of nods to their one-time tour mates, Opeth, on a few songs. Fire Fly almost definitely produced the 2005 British Hard Music Album Of The Year, whilst Extol produced the 2005 European Hard Music Album Of The Year - beating Blindside and Mammuth with relative ease.
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