Norway's revered metal outfit Extol, once lauded by The Wall Street Journal for their "sonic whirlwinds of guitar mastery, relentless drumming pace, unpredictable rhythm transitions, and guttural vocal prowess," have made a thunderous comeback with a pair of fresh singles.
This marks the first new melodies from Extol in ten years, and the resurgence is made even sweeter with Christer Espevoll rejoining the lineup.
Now, enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the progressive brilliance of "Labyrinth of Ill" and "Exigency." These tracks hint at Extol's much-anticipated live return since their 2014 hiatus and give a glimpse of the musical treasures to come.
Each bandmate — guitarist Ole Børud, frontman Peter Espevoll, the returning maestro Christer Espevoll, and percussionist David Husvik — shared their perspective on the fresh compositions.
Børud enthuses, "The new songs have that perfect blend of hooks, quirks, and melody, coupled with the distinct flavor of a lineup featuring David, Peter, Christer, and yours truly. And top that off with an excellent mix from Jens Bogren. I'm very happy,"
Echoing the excitement, Peter Espevoll states, "I can't believe it's been a decade since we released the latest Extol album. I'm really stoked about the fact that Christer is on board again! It kind of feels like the good old days!"
"The way we wrote 'Labyrinth of Ill' took me back to the good old days," says Christer Espevoll. "It has the distinct impression of all members baked into a recognizably unique Extol cookie: Brutal riffing and tight, yet floating rhythmic section, meeting pleasant melodies, and atypical metal harmonies, topped off with a slightly outside guitar solo that leaves you wanting more, all in classic Extol fashion. I can't wait to continue this new Extol chapter!"
"'Labyrinth of Ill' has definitely renewed my faith in Extol and our ability to play rock music once again," shares Husvik. "Who doesn't wanna go to church when they hear the 'Patience' passages play ping pong with Ole's guitar solo? Brutal, but at the same time disturbingly cozy."
Formed in 1993, Extol quickly became a sensation in the extreme metal panorama with their ingenious blend of technical proficiency, melodious undertones, and profound lyrics. As the years rolled by, their unique style matured, absorbing elements from progressive metal, black metal, thrash, and other eclectic genres. Albums like Undeceived (2000) and Synergy (2003) showcased convoluted musical arrangements, whereas The Blueprint Dives (2005) treaded a more experimental, prog-rock path while staying true to their metal essence, earning them a coveted Norwegian Grammy nod.
Through lineup reshuffles, Extol's dedication to challenging musical norms never wavered.
Their 2013 eponymous album, Extol, garnered widespread praise for its intricate craftsmanship and pioneering spirit, cementing their place as global metal luminaries. Their enduring influence continues to ignite the passion of budding metal artists around the world.