Sound — 9
A lot of you probably haven't heard too much about this band, but for those of you who don't know who they are, Exivious are a supergroup made from members of Cynic and Textures. It's obvious they wanted to keep this release a little on the discreet side (it's limited to 1000 copies and only available to order from the official Exivious site). Having pre-ordered mine a couple months back, I just received my copy, and wow, was I impressed. There is obvious influence from the past bands of this supergroup; Exivious's sound is what you would expect a meld of Textures and Cynic to sound like. However, I'm not being quite specific enough when I say that. This album seems more influenced by the Traced in Air Cynic rather than the Cynic of Focus. This is not just due to the lack of vocals. Death growls would seem out of place on this album. It never quite hits the same level of heaviness as Focus, and nowhere near anything Textures has written. However, that is not a complaint, but more of a description. When listening to this album, one should be expecting a wild ride through a plethora of experimental heavy metal songs, with many mind-numbingly complex riffs, and beautiful and surreal solos played elegantly by Tymon of Cynic and Michel Nienhuis, of Sengaia fame. The drummer, Stef Broks of Textures, lays down some very complex rhythms and grooves, but never causing the listener to become lost in fills or extreme self-indulgence. Robin Zeilhorst keeps a very solid bass line for most of the album, occasionally laying down a solo here and there.
Lyrics — 10
This is kind of a hard section for an instrumental album, but I'll utilize this space to talk about the album's concept, which is quite interesting. As described by the official site, this album is about the connection between all conscious entities that surround us, which leads me to the album art. Each album has a unique number attached to it, 1-1000 (mine happens to be 80). The mini poster packaged with the album has the same number of lines connected on it as your unique album, so no two albums have the same poster. I thought this was a neat idea, if I didn't explain it that well, there's much more info on it on the official Exivious site.
Overall Impression — 8
Exivious's debut album is not an album for anybody. This album will most likely develop a cult following over the years, never breaking into the mainstream. Although it is not the most listenable album, for anybody who loves the complexities of Cynic of Texture's music, I would consider this a must have. Also, anyone who is a fan of progressive heavy metal, as well as a little bit of jazz fusion, I would also talk about this album to them with high regard. Overall, I found the album to be quite impressive; it is the type of album one must listen to all the way through several times to take in all its glory. If that's something that sounds appealing to you, again, I would recommend it. If you don't fall into any of these categories, then I'd suggest streaming one of their songs, and give them a chance. Their type of music isn't for everybody, but if it is for you, then you certainly will not be disappointed. And lastly, if it were lost or stolen, I would buy it again in heartbeat.