Extol - _Mesmerized_
(Endtime, 1999)
by: Alex Cantwell (7.5 out of 10)
To accompany Extol's brilliant 1998 debut _Burial_ [CoC #34] comes _Mesmerized_. It features one totally new song ("Enthralled"), a newly recorded version of "Prodigal Son" from the _Embraced_ demo, a previously unreleased song from the _Burial_ sessions ("Storms of Disillusions"), industrial remixes of "Burial" and "Renhetens Elv" by Sanctum, and an ambient remix of "Work of Art" by Raison d'Etre. The cover art is once again done by Kristian Wahlin, and is very similar in design to the _Burial_ cover, but with a different painting. The CD is a cool digipak and, like _Burial_, falls under the art direction of the brilliant Samuel Durling. The new song is a killer -- very technical, with many different parts. If this is a clue into the future sound of Extol, current fans will not be disappointed at all, because "Enthralled" is sleek and razor sharp. The immediately recognisable difference in the newly recorded version of "Prodigal Son" is that it is downtuned from where it once was, so it sounds much different. Disappointingly, the intro is not done with acoustic guitar like the demo version. The biggest change, though, is that they have created two entirely new parts in the middle of the song. "Storms of Disillusions" features guitarist Ole Borud on clean vocals, but they are distorted through the whole song, which adds an interesting atmosphere. This track also has a guitar solo in it -- something that they haven't attempted since their very earliest recordings. Although I think Cold Meat Industry's Sanctum has interesting music, I don't care much at all for these "industrial remixes" that they did here. Only a few riffs or vocal lines from the original songs ever surface in these musical dissections, and the final product seems patchy at best. The "Work of Art" remix by Raison d'Etre (also on Cold Meat) is actually really cool because it is basically just one ambient droning sound for the whole duration of the track, but as is stated inside, uses only original sounds, so I guess that they didn't use any of the parts from the original, and you sure can't hear any. While these industrial remixes are somewhat interesting, they take up half the CD -- valuable space that could have been used for more original Extol music, which is why I didn't rate this CD higher. Nevertheless, this is essential for the Extol fan and very recommended for other interested parties as well.

Contact: Endtime Productions, PO Box 17142,

(article published 12/8/1999)

1/10/2001 A Cantwell Extol: Death From the North
7/7/1999 A Cantwell Extol: Anointed For Burial
1/20/2005 J Smit 5 Extol - Blueprint
10/25/2000 A Cantwell 8 Extol - Undecieved
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