Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Exivious
Release date: 8 November, 2013
Playing time: 45:25

When I had interviewed the ex-drummer of Exivious he hinted that the second album would be very different from their first monumental piece of work. Four years have passed since then but only now is the sophomore album finally with us. And rather than being ‘different’ or not, I’d say the new album is an evolution of a similar musical approach, i.e. creating music on a relatively open slate.


A quick parenthesis: Exivious is an instrumental project currently featuring members/ex-members of Cynic, Pestilence and Dodecahedron. From a very wide angle, the music could be described as an unstable marriage of Jazz Fusion and Metal.


“Liminal” is perhaps more atmospheric, layered and sonically expansive than the “Exivious” album (2009) even though you can still recognise the band. Comparing “Liminal” to the second Cynic album would not be entirely amiss. The album is intense and technical, furious and emotional. One of the things that struck me is that the music gives you space to exercise your own imagination (something that extends to the artwork and song titles) but you can also let the music take you wherever it wants. Besides boasting a high level of musicianship, the album is also remarkably creative – as in, for instance, ‘Deeply Woven’ where the band makes use of sounds atypical to Metal.


Robin Zielhorst has an incredible ear for melody – something that can rarely be said for bass players. His playing is deeply expressive, even when unleashing himself on some furious passage. I’m not sure who plays what with regards to the guitar work but the legato of Tymon Kruidenier and/or Michel Nienhuisguitar reminded me of Steve Vai and helps give the album a Fusion feel while the chords/riffs of numbers such as ‘Open’ and ‘One’s Glow’ provide a Rockier edge to the music. Drummer Yuma van Eekelen is jaw-droppingly incredible and takes his previous exploits with Pestilence to another level.


Each track in “Liminal” has its own personality. Possibly the one that impressed me most was ‘Immanent’, which feels like an explosive concotion of Shred, Funk and some indefinable eeriness. All compositions have the propensity to reveal new elements with each listen. And I love that in music. Part of me hopes Exivious remains ‘merely’ a project – where the music is unconstrained by deadlines, excessive style expectations or contractual clauses. Another part of me, however, wants to tell the world about this music.


Subliminal stuff.

01. Entrust
02. One's Glow
03. Alphaform
04. Deeply Woven
05. Triguna
06. Movement
07. Open

08. Immanent
Label: Season of Mist
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 90/100
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 28 November, 2013
Website: www.exivious.net