Long-time fans of Soundscape will possibly remember our glowing review of Seven Impale’s debut City Of The Sun that was posted just over two years ago, so it will come as no surprise to learn that we have eagerly been awaiting their second album with bated breath. Did it live up to our high expectations? Well, absolutely!
Contrapasso pretty much picks up where City Of The Sun left off, and what’s particularly great with Contrapasso is that with this album we get nine tracks in comparison to the five we had on the debut – but Seven Impale haven’t exchanged quality for quantity, as each track is individually stunning whilst also merging together to form a stunning piece as a whole.
Seven Impale are masterful at blending different approaches, styles and genres together, and the versatile vocal approach from Stian is very engaging throughout, with energetic rocky approaches juxtaposing well against smooth lulls, powerful emotive moments and much much more. A particular vocal highlight comes very early on in the album with the performance during the opening track Lemma, where he sounds akin to a preacher at certain points. The section in the middle with just vocals, synth and drums is incredible, and it definitely helps to open the album with a bang and grab your interest!
Once again the use of saxophone in the album is magnificent and it really adds a lot to the music, no matter whether it’s playing a lead or supporting role. It’s especially good in Convulsion, which is one of the ‘heavier’ tracks on the album, and the listener is immediately presented with a wall of noise where everything moves in-sync before the saxophone has a little solo moment ahead of the vocals kicking in. The sax then takes more of a back seat for a while in a supporting role, and then the track strips back and you’re treated to a lush sparse section where it takes centre stage with the synth line and the different instruments go back and forth for a short while, which is massively enjoyable to listen to. (Also, the song is aptly titled in itself, as it somehow manages to feel like a convulsion due to the masterful musical performances from each member!)
As a whole, this album is absolutely incredible. Seven Impale haven’t just equalled their fantastic debut – they’ve surpassed it and have reached new heights with Contrapasso. Absolutely stunning work again.