Peter B. : You take: five musicians with the broadest of tastes and the hunger to create melodic, symphonic, progressive, very technical yet aggressive thrashy metal. You get: Extol. These five Norwegian guys totally surprise me with their latest album "Synergy”. Sigh... where do I start?
Extol is a band formed by two brothers, Peter (vocals & acoustic guitar) and Christer Espevoll (guitars) who teamed up with drummer David Husvik. Add (later parted but recently rejoined) Ole Borud (guitars & vocals) and Jon Robert Mjaland (bass) and the band is complete. Extol plays thrashy metal with lots of symphonic structures, jazz influenced parts, beautiful melodic parts with multiple vocals and aggressive fast parts with dito vocals. The band contains highly skilled musicians who don't hold back on strange breaks and structures, without drowning in inconceivable patterns. Don't you get the picture yet? Maybe it helps when you try to imagine yourself a mixture between the obstinacy of a band like Voivod, the jazz-influenced escapades of a band like Cynic, and the aggression of a band like Darkane (especially vocalwise). Add to this some hardcore influenced (vocal-) parts and the feel of a band like Fates Warning or Rush and the picture will get clear.
I have to admit that I find it very hard to explain Extol's music in a simple way. I just can't do it. On the other hand this must indicate that this band just is hard to capture within the existing categories of today's metal. The band sounds energetic and the album just sounds very good. The band teamed up with Borge Finstad in the Toproom Studios in Oslo. This man is also responsible for the sound of bands like Borknagar, Solafald and Mayhem. Extol's "Synergy” will probably end up in my personal top 25 of this year. I hereby urge you all to go listen to some of the sound files, which will be online soon according to the information on their website. Remember the name Extol, because we will be hearing from them!