Exposé Online banner

Seven Impale — Contrapasso
(Karisma KAR117, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-12-09

Contrapasso Cover art

I’m not sure how this band got their name — perhaps it’s a joke, since there are so many death metal bands in their part of the world (Norway) with similar names. Maybe the name gets them booked for shows with Grimfist, Hades Almighty, Twin Obscenity, and the like. Once there, it would be readily apparent to concert-goers that Seven Impale are an entirely different species of beast, but hopefully the quality of their performance would avert a violent reaction in the crowd. Or maybe I’m way off base. Seven Impale is, in fact, a talented jazz-rock band with a wide range of influences. At times, the combination of keyboard and saxophone, along with the complex arrangements and sense of humor, have a bit of RIO or Canterbury flavor, though the inclusion of a dose of heavy classic rock dispels that on short notice. The rock element brings a resemblance to Motorpsycho, but Seven Impale tends to stray further from song forms than Motorpsycho. Other comparisons that occur at various places during these nine tracks include Qoph, Anekdoten, Panzerpappa, and some prog metal band I can’t place. But the combination of all these divergent styles is really striking, and makes for a smile-inducing listen. They’re always coming up with something new and unexpected, and they’ve got the smarts and chops to pull it off. It’s impossible to single anyone out — it’s the aggregate impact of all the players together that makes Contrapasso so successful. This is one case where a chugging metal guitar doesn’t turn me off, both because the notes and rhythms are relatively cliché-free and because it’s used to back leaping melodies on keys or sax. Expect the unexpected, prepare to be surprised, and just sit back and enjoy.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Seven Impale

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hanggai - He Who Travels Far – Since their 2008 debut CD, this band from Inner Mongolia (currently resident in Beijing) has become a world music festival favorite, playing WOMAD, among others. That release blended the earthy sounds...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues