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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cream - Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition – What comes to mind when you think of psychedelic blues rock? For me, it’s Cream. They were the most important UK rock band out of the 60s besides the Beatles and the Stones. Eric Clapton, Jack...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues