Saturday 7 December 2013

Exivious - Liminal (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 8/11/2013
Label : Season of Mist

Liminal, album track listing :

1. Entrust 06:27
2. One's Glow 04:38
3. Alphaform 04:52
4. Deeply Woven 06:54
5. Triguna 05:10
6. Movement 04:53
7. Open 06:34
8. Immanen 06:04

Bio :

The quartet was founded by Tymon Kruidenier with a clear vision to amalgamate jazz fusion and metal in previously unexplored ways. In a first phase, a number of demos experimented with different approaches: ‘Demo 1999’, ‘Demo 2001’ and ‘Exivious’ (2002). The next phase witnessed the band gaining a stable line-up, which came to fruition in 2005 and still included Stef Broks on drums. EXIVIOUS' self-titled and critically acclaimed debut was released in 2009. Yet instead of following up on their success, Tymon and Robin joined CYNIC in 2010, putting their own band onto a hiatus. After leaving the US Prog legends, EXIVIOUS was born again with a renewed sense of purpose and vigor. As Stef had meanwhile fully committed to TEXTURES, he was replaced by Yuma van Eekelen. In 2011 the Dutch started to perform live, playing festivals and joined OBSCURA and others on tour. At the end of 2012, EXIVIOUS kicked off a crowd-funding campaign for their upcoming album ‘Liminal’ and reached their goal within a week. ‘Liminal’ captures emotions, while conveying feelings and experiences in a way that instrumental music rarely explores. It's experimental, original and most importantly, immersive, drawing the listener into a world of sound that is at once challenging and intriguing. Dive in deep and chill out!

The Band :

Tymon Kruidenier (ex-Cynic) | Guitars
Michel Nienhuis (Dodecahedron | Guitars
Robin Zielhorst (ex-Cynic) | Fretless Bass
Yuma van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence, The New Dominion) | Drums

Review :

Like the Supercollider, the Netherlands’ Exivious have sought to smash two dissimilar things together and see what the results are.  Naturally, an experiment by mad scientist and former Cynic member Tymon Kruidenier to combine jazz fusion and metal into one would of course create some explosive outcomes.  Not to mention some pretty phenomenal musical pieces! 

Following on from their self-released eponymous debut in 2009, ‘Liminal’ is now here and ready to take you to unparalleled heights.  Look to the skies: that’s where Exivious is going to take you. 

For a totally instrumental album, this thing has scope that beggars belief.  ‘Liminal’ is eight tracks of expansive, experimental, at times eyebrow-raising, and wholly gripping fusion music.  Take album opener ‘Entrust’, for a fine example: starting off so minimally, guitars and cymbals meekly registering their presence in the room before their flamboyance bounds forth from them with a burst of self-confidence.  The piece reminds me of Polish prog warriors DispersE, but with a certain extra bit of tension that Cynic fans will find happily familiar. 

If there is one enduring thing to take away from listening to this album, it’s that experimentation is the key to success: be it ‘Alphaform’s flowing, flying musical escapology, ‘Open’s almost Flamenco-inspired beat and solos, or ‘Movement’s otherworldly, ethereal ambience leading to dark dreams, everything on show here is made to play with the musical form and to evoke a response from your mind.  Exivious is music that makes you want to explore. 

My pick of the bunch would have to be ‘Deeply Woven’, the fourth track and the longest on the album, clocking in at a shade less than seven minutes.  It’s frantic, for one thing: everyone is really laying down some serious licks on this, striving for the very best in their playing abilities and pulling it off with aplomb.  The guitars fairly whip up a distorted storm, Yuma van Eekelen’s drums terrify me with their merciless attacks, and Robin Zielhorst’s bass shimmies and slithers with snake-like intent.  Masterful work and a treasure for any fan of the indefinable yet oddly marvelous. 

Considering this new album was funded by Exivious’s fans, Tymon and cohorts have really used every penny given to them wisely, and invested it in this beautiful oddity.  To say what they’ve done is prog is inaccurate; to say that it’s metal is too vague.  Rather, they’ve thrown into ‘Liminal’ all their passions, excitements and inspirations and cooked up something that is beyond compare.  This is music without boundaries, without barricades and without limits.  Go with Exivious on a journey to new lands of imagination.  Be sure to send us a postcard while you’re there!

Words by : Chris Markwell 

You can buy it here

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