Extol - The Blueprint Dives
Century Media
Avant Garde
11 songs (49:44)
Release year: 2005
Century Media
Reviewed by Cody

Taking pages out of the playbooks of Opeth for its progressive elements, a combination of Cradle of Filth and the run of the mill metalcore act for the harsh vocals, and finally a couple dozen emo acts molded together to make up the regular vocals, Extol's latest release The Blueprint Dives is reminiscent of some motley doppelganger that splices bits and pieces of other acts and molds them into one sound. The problem with this is, it sounds ridiculously contrived and insulting.

This is my first exposure to Extol beyond hearing a few songs here and there, and after about 5 listens or so, I have been left feeling confused and utterly unsatisified. Extol, from what I have researched and have been told of the band, is one that is constantly changing from album to album, giving its fanbase something new and fresh. I find this to be fine, especially when they retain a fanbase that expects such customary actions from their band. However, sometimes when artists become so infatuated with the artistic merit of their art, they begin to shield themselves from criticism and live in their own little worlds that leaves their music making sense to themselves and few others only. Some might say that Metallica did this with St. Anger, in that they tried to produce such a poetic album defining the raw aggression in their hearts, that only they and their die hard fans understood; unfortunately, the rest of us poor schmucks translated it as tin cans and Elvis impersonations without guitar solos. No, I am in no way comparing Extol to Metallica, I am merely alluding to the fact that Extol put their heart and soul into creating what they probably consider an opus, while people like me merely consider it poop thrown against a portrait of the Pope, or one of those modernist paintings with a white background and a big red dot in the middle of it. To me, throwing poop against a portrait of the Pope or painting a picture of a red dot is absolutely a waste of brain matter...as is The Blueprint Dives.

When I listen to this record, I get the feeling I am listening to a modern rock group that has grabbed several records from the popular metal section at their local Tower Records in the effort to change into a progressive metal outfit. If a band like Dashboard Confessional or Coheed and Cambria all of a sudden started bringing in Cradle of Filth and Opeth influences, I would be "what the fucking" all over the place! When a band blatantly adopts sounds from other bands without forming their own sound, it is insulting to their own fanbase, and possibly to the fans and members of the other bands.

Despite never having been exposed to a full Extol record, I can honestly say I was disappointed upon hearing this. I have always heard mixed reviews about this band, but I always considered them comparable to Amorphis, who said "fuck you" to the naysayers and made the music they wanted to make, which made them a well respected and established band of the avant garde scene. Extol in actuality (at least on this record), attempts to play up the avant garde mystique by writing eclectic music that harnesses many different aspects of rock and metal and molds them together into some misshapen oddity.

For those who are big fans of Extol, all I can say is try it out and see what you think. Every fan I have talked to has said this album is different from their other stuff, and maybe that is what you expect from the band; good luck on your endeavor, for this band failed miserably for me. I have been given an album of a band playing songs that sound incredibly misplaced and not of their own.

Killing Songs :
Another Adam's Song
Cody quoted 50 / 100
Other albums by Extol that we have reviewed:
Extol - Extol reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Extol - Synergy reviewed by Crims and quoted 75 / 100
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