Saturday, December 26, 2009

Music Review - Extol - Burial

I'm not going to beat about the bush on how I feel about this album: this is the single best tech/death/black metal album ever created. Suffocation,Brain Drill, Necrophagist, Pitbulls in the Nursery and the entire tech-death scene can bow down to this absolute masterpiece. Let me state it again: this is, bar none, the greatest album of technical extreme metal ever made. Period.

I've heard a lot of metal in my time, and I've heard lots of technical death/extreme metal. Lots of boring, fast, hyper-technical, mindbogglingly boring metal. Extol is not one of those bands. The level of ferocity and savagery in this album has yet to be rivaled by any band currently active (except maybe Nile, but that's another review); I have never heard such a brutal combination of pure heaviness, technical wizardry without being boring, feeling and, to re-use a previous adjective, brutality. From the insanity that is "Burial", "Embraced," and "Celestial Completion," to the sad and somber "Tears of Bitterness," the folkish-black metal "Renhetens Elv" and the crushing "Work of Art," not a single song is filler or out of place.

The technical ability of the band-members absolutely is second to none here, but the two things I want to praise the most are the drumming and guitars. David Husvik put on a drum performance that, in my opinion, has not been rivaled since this albums release. Insane blasting, crazy double bass, slow, bombastic rhythms and ridiculously time changes are all just another day at the office for David, and he handles all this and more with the utmost ease. Guitars, handled by Ole Borud(who also handled the amazing clean vocals) are just as brilliant as the drums; fast, technical, and heavy, all without being retarded shredding or mindless technicality.

Vocals are flawless. Brutal, deep, shrill, and again, a performance that hasn't been equaled.

As I said before, this is THE extreme technical metal album. Released in 1998 on Solid State/Tooth and Nail records, this album stands as one of the greatest metal albums of all time, rivaled by few if any others. While their follow-up albums would all be very different and receive much criticism, with Burial, Extol cemented their place in metal history as one of the greatest bands to ever exist.

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