Extol has been popping up on best-of lists for 2013, and now they can add NPR as a notch in their bedpost. Lars Gotrich (nice last name) placed Extol’s self-titled release on their list. Because they believe “numerical ordering is silly,” the accolade is the list itself.

But eight years later, Extol returned with a remarkable self-titled album that makes sense of its diverse discography. Extol does what Extol does best, mostly because guitarist Ole Børud’s back in the fold, composing exploratory riffs that zig when they should zag, while retaining a certain amount of stateliness to the complex structure of songs like shapeshifting epic “Wastelands” and the impressive ballad, “Faltering Moves.” Gotrich

The band does not often tour, and this self-titled album was their first one after years of silence.

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Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.


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Imperial Triumphant - 2021

Alphaville’s Metal Renaissance

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At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.


Photo by Ashley Osborn

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