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Exivious - Exivious CD (album) cover

EXIVIOUS

Exivious

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.07 | 127 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Metal and jazz is what this album is about. Give Joe Pass a stomp box and Ray Brown an electric bass, team them up with Mike Portnoy, and it might be close, but even then it's a ludicrous comparison. Exivious is extremely hard to follow, but the musicianship throughout is top notch. At times there are mellow passages that give way to explosive metal ones, vice versa, and sometimes a smart blend of both. The biggest downside to this album is that while it's very entertaining and would definitely appeal to musicians, it isn't memorable at all, since there seem to be no motifs or themes to glue any of it together. Essentially, the whole thing is the same (with two noteworthy exceptions), and ultimately it sounds like one extended jam session.

"Ripple of a Tear" Fretless bass and heavy electric guitar tear through phases of gentle jazz segments and crashing metal sections. Ultimately, I find this similar to some of Joe Satriani's work. The arrangement doesn't sit still in one place for too long, which can make this piece difficult to follow.

"Time And Its Changes" Shimmering clean electric guitar teases the listener for a moment, and then the music abruptly becomes progressive metal in the richest sense. The bass generally maintains a simple rhythm, while the guitar solos over it.

"Asurim" Loud, screeching, and vociferous, this isn't my thing at all. The guitar effects, while admittedly creative, are downright annoying. The composition itself is also irritating, in that the seeming lack of coherence creates a barrage of noise.

"All That Surrounds: Part 1" After the belligerent previous track, a respite is sorely needed, and this track comes through in fine style. Lovely acoustic guitar charms the listener, as fretless bass works over and under it.

"Waves of Thought" Rapid fire drums and an awful lot of tempo and mood changes occur in this lengthier piece. The bass solo is kind of out there and not easy to follow, but the subsequent guitar solo, a very bright passage, more than compensates. The gentle chords at the end make for a lovely conclusion.

"The Path" The loveliness continues into this track, with soft swells of guitar. There's quite a bit of creativeness poured into this track, particularly in the way of drums, but it's one of the hardest to follow on the album.

"All That Surrounds: Part 2" Mystical clean guitar and atmospheric sounds meld together for this second part. This track is very must reminiscent of 1980s King Crimson.

"Embrace The Unknown" This is a jazzier piece, with some groovy fretless bass, but the heavy guitars enter eventually, and there's a lovely woodwind instrument for some desperately needed variety. The second half is mainstream progressive metal.

"An Elusive Need" The best guitar work is saved for the final track- it boasts the perfect blend of tasteful shredding (the pick attack is almost inaudible) and subtler passages. It's one of the best tracks on the album.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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