Radio Silence is the debut from prog ensemble Exovex, the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist/composer/songwriter Dale Simmons. He's joined on this project by Porcupine Tree members Richard Barbieri (keyboards) and Gavin Harrison (drums), drummers Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails/A Perfect Circle/Devo) and Keith Carlock (Sting, John Meyer, Steely Dan), plus Nicole Neely on cello, viola, and violin. Simmons himself handles all vocals, guitars, bass, and the bulk of the keyboards.
Much of the album is comprised of modern day progressive rock in the style of Porcupine Tree or Steven Wilson's solo work, with a healthy nod to vintage Pink Floyd, so expect plenty of soaring guitar solos, spacey synths, alluring melodies, and melodic vocals. Simmons is a fine guitar player, and he gets plenty of room to stretch out on tracks like the lengthy opener "Stolen Wings" and the dreamy "Metamorph". "Seeker's Prayer" is heavy on layers of synths and textured guitar chords, with the vocals delivering some catchy pop melodies before giving way to a burst of angst and a sizzling guitar solo. The haunting "The Last Orbit" is a moodier piece, the lush instrumentation and floating vocals sweeping the listener to tranquil horizons while Freese's tricky drum work really sizzles. Fans of Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour will love Simmons' tasty guitar leads on this track. The slow build of "Dead Reckoning" eventually leads to a bombastic pay-off with some heavier riffs and engaging vocals, and the near 9-minute closer "Daylight (Silent Key)" offers up lush arrangements and gorgeous vocal melodies before Simmons bursts in with a deadly guitar solo that again brings to mind David Gilmour.
Dale Simmons has done a fine job putting together a solid, enjoyable modern prog rock album, heavy on pop melodies, dreamy atmosphere, and sizzling guitar work. Seek this one out folks.
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1) Stolen Wings
3) Seeker's Prayer
4) The Last Orbit
5) Dead Reckoning
6) Daylight (Silent Key)