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Excellion: Unseen

One thing about picking up on bands from some of the farther reaches of the music world, is the realisation that genre boundaries and conformity mean less to those exposed to wider cultures and traditions. Mexico may not exactly be the most remote, or indeed unexpected region from which I've reviewed a band although I think Excellion may be the first however neither is it exactly known for its rock or metal scene.

Hence the Unseen EP, the fourth release from the band, finds a confident melding of ideas and structures. Unusually there's little, or more to the point, nothing, in the way of 'ethnic' or 'local' sounds incorporated into the Excellion atmosphere. Instead this band confidently take math, djent, prog and, well, whatever else takes their fancy, and build their own vision around it. Over the years this band have been together (their debut, Haunted Days hit in 2009) they have toured with acts such as Black Veil Brides, Miss May I, Haken and TesseracT and while all four do reveal a side to what this quartet have to offer, it is the latter two that maybe feel like closest bedfellows. The darting schizo nature of the heaviness and 'light' reminding of TesseracT, while the proggy mixed with heavy bent of Haken is a recurring feature throughout. And yet there's a modernness to what's on show here that neither of those acts turn their hand to.

"Unseen pt II The Heart Of The Sapphire" reveals a flitting style in which mellow themes are quickly turned to heavy hammer blows, while the more straight ahead "Unseen pt I In Search Of Infinity" illustrates they can also hit with less refined slaps. Jose Macario from The Arcade Fire shows up on "Diablo Jr." and Joliette's Fernando does likewise on "Unlucky Charms" but to be fair, right across the five songs Excellion are never shown up by their guests. That said, the vocals from Frozen Chava may well prove to be an acquired taste, his harem scarem approach a little tiresome at times and there is a point where you wonder if Excellion could stretch their ideas far enough to hold you down for a full album (if that really matters anymore?). Yet these are both more nagging niggles rather than deal breakers on what is a reasonably impressive and engaging release.

Track Listing
1. Unseen pt I In Search Of Infinity
2. Unlucky Charms
3. The Courier
4. Diablo Jr.
5. Unseen pt II The Heart Of The Sapphire

Added: August 29th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Excellion at bandcamp
Hits: 1066
Language: english

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