EXTOL - Burial
Solid State

Here’s a fine example of the adage: “If you want the good stuff, you have to import it from Europe.” Well, okay…it’s not really an adage, it was just overheard from my uncle. And he was talking about beer at the time. But the sentiment works here for extreme metal as well.

Extol’s first label release (End Times in Europe, and Solid State…for some reason…here in the States) grabs you by the neck with the sheer bombast of the opening instrumental “Into Another Dimension”, and after a quick sound clip of a babbling stream to lull the listener into a brief moment of false security, it then proceeds to rip out the throat with the blackened thrash metal attack of “Celestial Completion”, breaks the spine with its musical changes and styling, and then whips you around like a flaccid rag doll. And that’s just the first tune, mind you. By the time your given a brief respite with a flute interlude, you realize there’s ten more tracks of this kind of brutality to go through, and when the song starts back with the merciless pummeling of the senses, you don’t care. The entire disc is a masterpiece, sending chills and tingles of ecstasy down your spine. Extol’s mix of metal styles- ranging from thrash, black, forest and doom- are masterfully crafted. The vocals range from spine-tingling shrieks, scary growls and clean sung. Lyrically, they’re both upfront and metaphorical. Some of them are sung in Norwegian, but that shouldn’t matter to the basic metal fiend. Hands down, one of the classic metal albums released from the cold white north…