When Extol’s first album came out in 1998, the Christian hard music scene had been dominated by hardcore and the then-developing metalcore sound. This was being spearheaded prominently by labels like Solid State Records (a division of Tooth & Nail), and Facedown Records. Enter Norway’s Extol. No one quite knew what to do with them. Sure, there was still an active underground metal scene, but Solid State had not signed any heavy metal bands yet–only hardcore bands that dabbled in metal. But Burialwas a full-on heavy metal cacophony, bridging subgenres–progressive, black, thrash and death metal–often within one song. Take today’s track for instance. The over 7-minute opus spans a number of genres and sounds and yet manages to sound cohesive. It’s one of the most compelling metal songs of all time, regardless of worldview or genre.