Ok, it’s time for another series, don’t you think? This article is the first in a series of what I would call “Classic Christian Albums with an Incredible Message.”
First up in this series is an album that for a long time I considered to be the best Christian metal album of all time. Heck, I kinda still feel that way. And that album is “Undeceived” by Extol. I would assume that most IVM readers are at least somewhat familiar with Extol, but just for the fun of it, I’ll do a short recap on the band before I get into the beauty of the album.
Extol was a black metal band from Norway. They put out 4 full-length albums and 2 EPs in Norway, all of which were licensed for release here in the States by Solid State Records. Undeceived was released in 2000, their 2nd full-length album. They only toured the States a few times, but that was way more US touring than any other European Christian Black Metal band that I’m aware of. They started in the late 90’s and broke up around 2006 or so.
Undeceived was a metal masterpiece because it achieved a dark beauty which isn’t easy to conjure. Extol was a very technical band, and that appealed to my mind. They also used a fair dose of strings and acoustic guitars to add some emotional depth to their sound. The vocals included screaming and great singing. And the riffs were absolutely stellar, forming a mesmerizing web of technicality and melody in front of an uber-heavy backdrop.
The message of the album was very honest and gritty. The title track tells the story of a girl in a very dark place, presumably about to do something awful, who is invaded by the glory of God. Other songs praise God in unique fashion. Then there are contemplative instrumental tracks which speak their own message to the soul.
I still love this album and I would encourage anyone that can at least tolerate metal to give it a listen (it’s on spotify for crying out loud!) and absorb the most beautiful metal album of all time.