We had to wait a long time for a new sign of life from the Norwegian sextet Seven Impale. Seven years after the eclectic Contrapasso there is finally the long-awaited third album. Titled Summit. A lot has happened since they released this album. The musicians were busy with life. Singer/guitarist Stian Økland graduated from the Grieg Academy as an opera singer and began his international career in this field. Keyboard player Håkon Vinje has joined Enslaved. Some of them got children, others have reached important milestones in their lives. It just happened.
On Summit Stian Økland (vocals, lead guitar), Erlend Vottvik Olsen (guitar, vocals), Håkon Vinje (keyboards, vocals), Benjamin Mekki Widerøe (tenor saxophone, flute, vocals) and Tormod Fosso (bass, cello) continued the characteristic style of Seven Impale which was chosen years ago. Combining jazz and progressive rock with heavy rock influences. The album has four long tracks to offer, which isn't asking too much either I guess. On Hunter, Hydra, Ikaros and Sisyphus you can hear a band which is most of all influenced by acts such as Van Der Graaf Generator, Meshuggah, King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Jaga Jazzist and Magma. The Norwegian musicians venture even further into the realms of psychedelic/progressive rock, while keeping intact their own musical identity inspired by the 70s, analogue warmth and lively atmosphere.
The album is full of confrontational music. Therefore not very suitable for delicate souls with an increased risk of a nervous breakdown. The melody is subordinate and irregular time signatures are the guiding principle. Those looking for complementary music should ignore this.
However Summit is still recognizable as a typical album of the band. It sounds more differentiated, fuller and simply more mature. The quiet moments are sweeter, the jazzy and hard moments all the more majestic. Seven Impale continue to follow the path of fusing classic progressive rock with nu-jazz and jazz metalcore elements. And they manage to do that more explicitly with each work. Highly recommended to people who like bands such as Van Der Graaf Generator, Meshuggah, King Crimson, The Mars Volta, Jaga Jazzist and Magma.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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