[Review] Seven Impale – Summit

Seven Impale is a Norwegian band that offers Progressive Rock sounds with forays into Jazz and Metal. Their third album “Summit” was released on May 26, 2023 via Karisma Records and contains four tracks ranging from over 9 to over 13 minutes in length. The opener “Hunter” slowly plunges us into the album’s sounds with a piano intro in a musical crescendo that transforms with the entry of all the instruments into a granitic heavy jazz rock track. The vocal is dynamic and expressive and adds pathos to the sound, while the song evolves with intertwining hard guitar riffs and horns, with continuous tempo changes and very elaborate textures combining Jazz prog and Heavy Rock. The band is skilful in immediately immersing us in the musical atmosphere of the record, with a markedly personal imprinting, managing to combine tradition and innovation with compositional technique and performing quality. In the second part, the track develops with a continuous crescendo that accompanies us through the alternation of sung parts and instrumental sections until the finale. The following ‘Hydra‘ opens with an interweaving of keyboards and distorted guitar riffs, combining Heavy Rock and Jazz with a marked Prog accent. The elaborate structure denotes great attention to the compositional phase, enhancing the characteristics of all instruments, offering both melodies and refined solo inserts. The tempo changes allow the rhythm section to accelerate, while the track’s atmospheres have reminiscences of the Canterbury Scene revisited with a more heavy and markedly personal approach. The vocal parts fit well into the context of the song, interpreting the lyrics with passion, alternating with the instrumental sections where the band develops intricate textures with fine organ solo inserts and more. “Ikaros” is the ‘shortest’ in duration, still exceeding nine minutes. A distorted sound enriched by effects characterises the intro, before entering the heart of the song with an intricate rhythm section and a sound that is both heavy and complex. A more experimental facet of the band’s sound emerges in some passages of the album, with a fine use of effects. In the middle section, the band offers an instrumental section with the horns in great prominence, before returning to the vocals and a second part of the song that continues to explore the more avant-garde sounds of Jazz Prog. The album concludes with the epic track “Sisyphus,” which is over 13 minutes long, and continues to explore jazz prog sounds. The atmospheres in the opening part are darker than the previous ones, also accentuated by the vocal interpretation, intertwining with instrumental sections with fine duets between the keyboards and guitar, with the organ in evidence. Softer openings counterbalance the song’s more drawn-out ones, with solo wind inserts, hard riffs and continuous tempo changes that bring the sound to a very high level. Another fine record release by this band and another excellent album from the Karisma Records roster, always attentive to showcasing high-calibre artists. The band’s compositional and performing technique is enhanced in the long compositions that make up the tracklist, allowing them to develop a markedly personal sound that combines the more elaborate traits of Jazz Prog with forays into Heavy Rock. A recommended listen for all lovers of Prog with Jazzy traits, fresh and modern, with a very intense tracklist from start to finish.

Tracklist

01. Hunter (10:33)
02. Hydra (10:34)
03. Ikaros (09:26)
04. Sisyphus (13:22)

Lineup

Stian Økland / Vocals, Lead Guitar
Erlend Vottvik Olsen / Guitar, Vocals
HÃ¥kon Vinje / Keyboards, Vocals
Benjamin Mekki Widerøe / Tenor Saxophone, Flute, Vocals
Tormod Fosso / Bass, Cello
Fredrik Mekki Widerøe / Drums & Percussion, Banjo, Vocals

Seven Impale |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Karisma Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Soundcloud|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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