First, the facts:
Exivious are Tymon (Cynic) on guitars, Michel Nienhuis (ex-Sengaia) on guitars, Robin Zielhorst (Cynic) on bass, and Stef Broks (Textures) on drums. Quite the pedigree when it comes to technical, progressive metal, these musicians have been around the block and it shows on this impressive debut of complex, instrumental music.
Call it progressive metal, jazz-fusion, fusionmetal, prog-rock with an edge...whatever. These guys now how to play, and play they do here on Exivious, but they also know how to craft some catchy melodies and place them in between all the bombast and technical wizardry. The spectre of Allan Holdsworth looms large on this release, as both Tymon and Nienhuis have the 'great one's' style down pat, and inject their own, more metallic elements into the fray, evident on such hot fusion tracks as "Ripple of a Tear" and "Time and Its Changes", each piece featuring plenty of dazzling, legato lines that intertwine and weave around each other, with ripping, complex rhythms perculating underneath. Zielhorst's bulbous bass steals the show on the dissonant "Asurim", a song that also features some wicked, almost King Crimson styled jagged guitar shards, while the gorgeous "All That Surrounds: Part 1" is a beautiful,laid back number that lets the band's prog and jazz sensibilities come to the forefront.
Uptempo prog-metal is all the rage on the intricate "Waves of Thought", a real thrilling number for all who like 'stop-start', complex riff-o-rama. Just an amazing piece and one of the many highlights here. The space rock number "The Path" is another winner, an atmospheric piece with layers of tranquil guitar work that almost sound like keyboards, and some nimble drum work from Broks on one of the few breakout moments. "Embrace the Unknown" is another jazz-fusion piece, lovely guitar-synth lines delivering a floating, dreamy feel before some metallic fury briefly breaks into the mix, and closer "An Elusive Need" is just a spectacular number that incorporates influences from Rush, Dream Theater, and UK, with plenty of sizzling Holdsworthian guitar solos and blinding rhythms.
Super stuff here from a virtual 'all-star' ensemble that's going to make some serious waves for fans of instrumental progressive metal. If you dig acts such as Blotted Science, Behold the Arctopus, Planet X, Cynic, and the like, this debut from Exivious needs to be at the top of your CD shopping list.
1. Ripple of a Tear (7:30)
2. Time And Its Changes (4:39)
3. Asurim (5:31)
4. All That Surrounds: Part 1 (3:38)
5. Waves of Thought (6:24)
6. The Path (5:45)
7. All That Surrounds: Part 2 (3:39)
8. Embrace The Unknown (4:44)
9. An Elusive Need (4:39)