Extol: Extol

Norwegians return to sing the gospel after seven years away

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This Norwegian Christian progressive metal crew split up in 2007, but clearly the draw of the road proved too much for them as they’re picking up where they left off with their fifth album.

They’re a band with a distinctly kitchen-sink approach to their art, mashing together frontman Peter Espevoll’s death-metal rasp with dreamy prog melodies and a relentless thrash march from the get-go. Their faith is splashed in neon across the whole album, the band vowing in lead single Open The Gates to ‘enter through the gates of righteousness’ – although it’s all presented aggressively enough to have Saint Peter crapping himself in fright before letting them through.

Ministers, meanwhile, turns Slayer inside out and uses their riffs for their own pious means. In truth, there’s little here to have progressive scene-leaders like Opeth looking over their shoulders. For all its good intentions, bar Dawn Of Redemption’s thoughtful, string-drenched interlude, Extol hardly shifts out of a single gear, but it’s worth a listen for those who like their genres bobbing around in a big old melting pot.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.