Album Review: Seven Impale – Contrapasso

Seven Impale - Contrapasso

Seven Impale’s 2014 full-length debut album City of the Sun really set the stakes high for the modern prog newcomers. Having crafted a flawless masterpiece of proportions that few bands ever reach with a debut release, it would be difficult to write a follow-up that would satisfy the aggregate of rabid fans yearning for music that was even better.

What is an intelligent thing for these Norwegians to do in that case, then to change the rules?

Contrapasso is a brand new offering from the sextet from Bergen out via Karisma Records on September 16th, and comparing it to its predecessor, this new outing brings 20 minutes more of their versatile work. The way I see Contrapasso is that it’s exactly the same thing that an extraordinary artist does after releasing the total masterpiece. The only way to hopefully trump City of the Sun would be to build on it and expand with an epic encompassing an entire body of work. Sounds familiar?

Seven Impale

Although it’s progressive rock that runs deep through Contrapasso, Seven Impale further develops their hunger of experimentalism, delving into jazz, rock, but it also explores within the metal genre, throwing in plenty of riffage worthy of the that label. While Seven Impale still isn’t necessarily a metal band, Contrapasso is not afraid to experiment with different genres. There is psychedelic music here, a dose of post-rock, funk vibes, and more, all creating the sound which melds progressive tendencies with pop sensibility, and beautiful soundscaping.

After a handful of listens, what required a lot of rewinding and relistening specific parts of the record, it was clear that the band definitely exceeded my expectations, which were pretty high due to the debut’s excellence. There are a lot of details and flourishes in the music that would be impossible to detect without some profuse, and dedicated listening.

For what it is, Contrapasso is a haunting, and beautiful piece, it takes a life of its own. It’s a steady contender for any album of the year list, if one gives it the time, it will certainly grow on you.

Pre-order Contapasso from Bandcamp.


01. Lemma
02. Heresy
03. Inertia
04. Languor
05. Ascension
06. Helix
07. Serpentstone
08. Phoenix


* Stian Økland – vocals, guitars
* Fredrik Mekki Widerøe – drums
* Benjamin Mekki Widerøe – sax
* Tormod Fosso – bass
* Erlend Vottvik Olsen – guitar
* Håkon Vinje – keyboards


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