Sometimes, metal guys just want to play jazz-fusion...that is seemingly the case with the Dutch instrumental band Exivious, whose 2009 self-titled debut received high praise here and all across the internet. Jump ahead a few years and the band are back with their follow-up, the equally strong Liminal. Featuring guitarists Tymon Kruidenier (ex-Cynic) & Michel Nienhuis (Dodecahedron), Robin Zielhorst (ex-Cynic) on fret-less bass, and Yuma van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence, The New Dominion) on drums, Exivious offer up striking, highly progressive metallic fusion music that never bores or ventures too far off into aimless territory. Highly complex yet flowing, Liminal sees weaving guitar and bass melodies twisting and turning around each other, the drums following along every step of the way but keeping it all grounded. "One's Glow" is a perfect example of this, as the arrangements just grab hold of you and take you on a mind altering journey. Nothing here is overly heavy, but there's just enough crunch in the guitar on some of the songs to keep this in the metal camp, yet when the band goes for some soaring, thought provoking melodies, as on the gorgeous "Alphaform", it's classic jazz-fusion/prog-rock all the way. "Deeply Woven" features some fast, staccato riffing and blazing, Allan Holdsworth inspired lead lines, and "Movement" is as beautiful an instrumental track as you are going to hear, with lush, lilting guitar patterns accompanied by sensational fret-less bass lines. What better way to close this hot CD than with "Immanent", a raucous meeting of Holdworth & Meshuggah, featuring deep, acrobatic grooves and jaw dropping guitar flights.
I also have to mention that Exivious are now signed to Season of Mist, which is a great place for them to be. If you like adventurous, classy instrumental metal/fusion, Liminal is an album you need to seek out immediately.
2. One's Glow
4. Deeply Woven