Exxiles is a 2012 Symphonic/Progressive Metal band founded by the ex-drummer
from Reign of Architect, Mauricio Bustamante. Very much like his
previous band, Exxiles makes use of a diverse group of musicians including Mike
Lepond of Symphony X, Chris Caffery of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
and Savatage, Marcela Bovio of Stream of Passion, and
quite a few others.
On May 26th 2015, Exxiles will be releasing "Oblivion", the first part of a
trilogy. I was lucky enough to be given an early listen to this album, and
let me say - it's a power house. This album utilizes a large array of
stylistic components spanning from good old kick-you-in-the-head heavy metal, to
a passionate waltz. These guys really dug through their musical strengths
and used them in a way that really works with the core elements of this album.
We hear a war drum pounding in a very distinctive rhythm. As it grows in volume,
a small male choir singing in a style that resembles a Gregorian chant begins.
A moment later, strings begin to accompany them and we can feel a clear build in
tension as we're hit with a powerful riff on the guitar. With two
opposing forces forcefully singing at one another, a tale of civil unrest
unfolds. This is "A Better Legacy", the prelude that will set
the mood of the entire album.
As the album progresses, it comes to a halt as we enter a bit of an
interlude in "Page of the Night". A much softer piece in contrast to the
blatantly heavy ones preceding it. With a little more than a piano, harp,
and strings, this song brings us through the mind of one of our narrator as he
ponders the evening, the night's sky, and a woman. This is sort of a
musical turning point of the album. From here on, we are able to hear the
softer parts of this album where all of the tension builds and releases. This is where we can really hear the beautiful soaring melodies being created
while still retaining the heaviness that is necessary to carry the core tone of
this album. We are fortunate enough to hear the beautiful and unmistakable
voice of Marcela Bovio singing a Mexican sort of waltz in "Llorona" as we
approach the end of this album.
For the last three songs, the symphonic portion of this album really comes to
life as we hear colors from various forms of string, brass, and percussion. The tensions are high at this point, and the barrier between sound and silence
is very effectively broken. There's an almost stern atmosphere
being created, and I believe this is accomplished by interjecting songs of very
different stylistic backgrounds about the album.
At last, we find ourselves at the end of this album, on the last song "Rise". This song possesses a wide spectrum of dynamic high and low points, with a whole
lot of story to tell. This is a really powerful piece of music, and acts
as a wonderful end to the album, as well as a bridge to carry on the next album
in the trilogy.
Overall, this is a really good album, and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It's definitely worth the time. Oh, and did I mention the Gypsy Jazz?