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EXOVEX

Crossover Prog • United States


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Exovex biography
EXOVEX is a project led by South Carolina singer/songwriter/musician Dale SIMMONS. Highly influence by PINK FLOYD, particularly David GILMOUR, SIMMONS also lists Steven WILSON and Peter GABRIEL as artists he appreciates.

For his first album, Radio Silence released in 2015, SIMMONS recruited Gavin HARRISON and Richard BARBIERI, both of whom had perfomed with PORCUPINE TREE, and drummers Josh FREESE(NIN, A PERFECT CIRCLE, DEVO, THE VANDALS) and Keith CARLOCK(TOTO, STEELY DAN, STING, THE BLUES BROTHERS BAND, John MAYER).

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Buy EXOVEX Music


Exovex Radio SilenceExovex Radio Silence
Special Limited Edition
Audio CD$10.99
$9.34 (used)

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EXOVEX discography


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EXOVEX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.70 | 29 ratings
Radio Silence
2015

EXOVEX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EXOVEX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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EXOVEX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Radio Silence by EXOVEX album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 29 ratings

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Radio Silence
Exovex Crossover Prog

Review by taylorm

3 stars Interesting and at times compelling album written and performed by Dale Simmons with help from guest drummers Josh Freese, Keith Carlock and Gavin Harrison and keyboard player Richard Barbieri adding another dimension. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the collective result often sounds somewhat similar to 'Fear of a Blank Planet' era Porcupine Tree. Simmons is good singer, and the lyrics are suitably powerful at times, poetic at others. Somewhat morosely, they chart sequentially the decline of a man into isolation and apparent madness. Simmons laces several tracks with some tasty guitar work and the hired band provide some robust backing. Of particular note is Simmons' control of dynamics: he knows well the art of leading the listener towards a ripping solo break. The weak point tends to be the lack of any notable musical surprises. I felt quite certain where the album was headed and sure enough, there were no left- turns to take us away from the guitar driven prog. This is not necessarily a weakness - the album has strong consistency throughout and the shifting of drummers is curiously not particularly notable. Yet those who want their prog with a dash of the unexpected might find it a little straight ahead rock.
 Radio Silence by EXOVEX album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 29 ratings

BUY
Radio Silence
Exovex Crossover Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars A surprising album. Here we see Dale Simmons, one of many of modern crossover prog's singer/songwriters, out to make an album about a man going insane with the help of a grab bag of modern prog's great drummers. Of course, this could've been a by-the-numbers, even boring, release - just see most of this year's "Hand. Cannot. Erase" to witness even Steven Flippin' Wilson falling into that trap - and at first, it seems like a one-two-three type deal with the first two tracks. In fact, for those tracks Simmons almost sounds like SWilson. But then, suddenly, "Seeker's Prayer" starts off, and you know that things are about to get serious. Now we see some uniqueness and energy from his compositions and playing. There's plenty of powerful guitar from then on, and the quieter sections are particularly interesting and beautiful. "Dead Reckoning"'s opening even features a nice EDM style opening beat. I can hardly fathom why Simmons would ever include the first two tracks in light of the rest of the album; maybe the power of the last four are supposed to be connected to the narrator's deteriorating mental state. But what's there is there, and most importantly, we have the great tracks. Simmons's guitar is the star of the show, but everyone pulls together well - even if, as the previous reviewer mentioned, the drummers don't pull out their special talents to add even more to the mix. A solid four star effort, some excellent tracks alongside some more middling ones, altogether worthwhile.
 Radio Silence by EXOVEX album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.70 | 29 ratings

BUY
Radio Silence
Exovex Crossover Prog

Review by buddyblueyes

3 stars Extra! Extra! Gifted guitarist and songwriter keeps up with Modern Drummer's Reader Poll results!

Keith Carlock, Gavin Harrison and Josh Freese are the drummers on this release? Well, someone's got their eye on drumming talent! Bravo to Exovex, a.k.a. South Carolinian Dale Simmons, for grabbing such immense talents on the kit. Dale's website bio states he's a fan of Porcupine Tree and that is apparent, not only grabbing Gavin, but also featuring Richard Barbieri on keys as well! You can acknowledge right away that PT and Floyd are big influences here. These are well crafted songs focusing on spacey guitar with orbiting themes of isolation, burden and woe. Radio Silence reminds me sonically of Ray Strattman's release from last year, The Lie Of The Beholder (a greatly overlooked album). As a matter of fact, many of the songs from Mr. Simmons are practically interchangeable with Roy's songs.

Besides the songwriting, Radio Silence has two great things going for it: a perfect length for listening and the album's continuity. I'm reading more and more how listeners and reviewers are growing weary of these 80+ minute albums. I'm starting to agree. I don't think I've yet made it completely through Kamasi Washington's "Epic"-ally long album (I thoroughly adore the album, however. 5 stars. Just too much ants-in-my-pants for one sitting.) Radio Silence is, however, a perfect, blissful 45 minutes long, and the songs flow effortlessly from one song to the next.

My only quip comes with the biggest selling point of the album -- the drummers. All three drummers have expressively unique voices and exceptional, distinct articulation on the drums. The type of drums they play, how they're tuned, and their setups all are quite different from each other, however, I have a tough time discerning who's who on these songs. The drums, tuning and tracking all sound the exact same. There were times listening to this I physically expressed: "break the chains, man!' [fist of defiance to the air!] There is a marginalization of the talent utilized, and their unique approach to the drums is completely lost on this album. This begs the question: what may have resulted had Keith been able to bring some of the jazzy touch and fusion creativity he used with Wayne Krantz; Gavin's signature beat displacements and crafty grooves; Josh's bombastic performance, a la A Perfect Circle? Could it have been so much more? Or, would that have disrupted the continuity?

Aside from the drums, Exovex could have also benefited from incorporating a strong bassist. There was almost no place where the bass lines stood out in any fashion, nor any part of the arrangements that focused around a strong bass line. Nitpicking? Perhaps. This album is a very straight ahead, rock-oriented album, the focus of which are vocals and guitar work, so in that regard it succeeds.

Aside from the two qualms, this is still a most enjoyable listening experience with all the right elements in place for a crossover progressive act. If you are a Floyd-inspired guitarist, you may find more here to enjoy, but drummer's beware -- this is not the Josh, Gavin or Keith that you are used to.

Wishful concert pairing: Dave Kerzner.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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