Shades of Pale: The Next Big Thing in Death Metal?

Extinction in Progress are an alternative death metal band from Finland. The band have released a couple of EPs, with the latest coming way back in 2015, but are finally putting out their debut album tomorrow. I have heard their singles off the album already and was impressed by them. I cannot wait to hear what they have to offer with the full release!

After an epic, almost power-metal intro, ‘Cold, Part 1’ rips into a thrash riff that reminds me a lot of late 2000s Machine Head. The vocals fit perfectly over the top, being hardcore-inspired screams before getting into low gutturals as the instrumentation gets pure black metal for the chorus. It drops down a bit for a lower bridge, the vocals being the death metal equivalent of a whisper. After a brief drop-out to just guitars it explodes into a HUGE riff. It also features some of the most disgusting vocals I’ve heard in a while. It’s fantastic. The added (albeit not too focused on) female vocals added a nice touch in the middle too, a beautiful reprise from the brutality for moments. They also all combine together to make for one hell of an epic conclusion. Awesome. Playlisted.

Part 2 of the track continues on the same energy and aggression, but at the same time is noticeably slower and sluggier in parts. How the band manage to pack the same anger into these parts is impressive. They go hard enough round them still to live up to their death metal label. The riff that kicks in in the middle had my face screwing up, it was fantastic, but doesn’t last nearly long enough before the band drop down to just clean guitars and actual whispers. However, the atmosphere generated is amazing and eerie, and it builds up slowly into a MASSIVE ending. Both parts are impressive and Cold in general is a masterpiece of black/death/any other metal. Check these out!

If you like this, check out our Gomorran review here

‘The Wedding’ jumps straight into the verse, the harsh vocals kicking in over a quick, technical riff. It again gets black metal AF in the chorus, a staple of the band so it seems, and a welcome one. The blast beats are insane. This track pulls no punches, going hard through the verses and choruses. It still manages to drop down to an awesome, slower clean riff. The dynamics the band put into their song keep it interesting and, as a newer fan of the genre, I definitely appreciate the tracks changing up and not being an all out assault. Still, it isn’t long before it explodes into the heaviness again, punching the listener in the face respectfully and repeatedly until the end. Great stuff!

‘The Loudest Silence’ opening on a quiet, clean intro was a fun little bit of irony. However, while it may not be the fastest track on the album by a fair margin, it is certainly still HEAVY. It carries the same energy as Gojira’s ‘Heaviest Matter in the Universe’; two tracks that explain exactly what you are going to be listening to. And also two tracks that throw every insane riff they have in their arsenal together. I love it.

And then what do they do? Make it jazzy in the middle and add a fucking sax. Horns in metal (especially death) is my weakness, and this was done perfectly. This even beats out that At the Gates track from last year that did a similar thing. As if I couldn’t have loved it any more. Safe to say this will be my favourite track on the album, another that easily makes the playlist!

‘Ashes’ opens on a bouncy as he’ll riff that almost sounded metalcore more than anything. Especially when it kicked in. It’s also a minute in before any vocals come in, another couple of amazing riffs being thrown in in between for good measure. I do have to say though that outside of these riffs nothing stood out to me too much about the track. I felt the same about ‘Feasting Upon a False God’, too, though the interlude track between the two, ‘Limbo’ was a great little atmospheric piece. It gave the listener a bit of breather and set the scene perfectly for the following track.

The next track is more of the same while the closing track, ‘Motherload’ goes massively black metal. It’s heavy, plodding and filled with extreme metal screams and growls. The guitars were a particular highlight too, setting a creepy, atmospheric atmosphere from start to finish. Between that and the dynamics shifting from stripped back, quite parts to heavy, double-bass-peddle filled highs, this is one hell of a conclusion to an album. It feels huge and massively epic. We live in a time when bands struggle to finish an album well (in my opinion), but Extinction in Progress nail it here! It also helps that the band go prog as fuck out of nowhere, the track clocking in at over 10 minutes. It’s prog done right too, ever changing and evolving to keep it interesting. If you check out any tracks from this album, make it this and the opener.

Overall: This was great! As a recent convert to death/black metal, this is one of the best things I have heard so far. The instrumentation is off the charts and the screams were damn impressive. And the ups and downs kept it constantly interesting, as well as adding plenty of feeling and atmosphere to it. I can’t wait to see where the band go from here, and hopefully it’s to the UK for a tour…

The Score: 7.5/10