Review Summary: With an excellent lineup including members from Cynic, exivious craft a masterpiece, and a genre defining album.
* Tymon Kruidenier - guitar (Cynic)
* Michel Nienhuis - guitar (Sengaia)
* Stef Broks - drums (Textures)
* Robin Zielhorst - bass (Cynic)
Fusion metal is described as a relatively new genre in the metal world. Encompassing a wide variety of genres, fusion metal utilizes free form jazz and mixes it with a solid metal backbone. Yet this seems to have been done to death, right? However, after the first listen you begin to realize how truly unique and breathtaking the work as a whole really is.
The influence of Cynic is evident from the start. This is in no way a bad thing. There is a very Traced in Air vibe, and the production and guitar work greatly resemble that album. The signature Cynic-esque sound is there, but the album is empty of any vocals, thus placing the spotlight solely on the musicians. And they deliver in every way . Each member is an obvious master of his instrument. The guitarists take center stage however, displaying skill that is nothing short of awe inspiring. "Waves of Thought" is a prime example of how they are able to switch a tempo without the slightest of errors.
There isn't really a bad track on the album. "All that Surrounds" pts. 1 and 2 are the least guitar centered tracks, but offer an ambient break from the constant riffing and tempo changes. "Time and Its Changes" and "Waves of Thought" are the two standouts, filled with everything that makes this album so great. Unbelievable instrumentals, spontaneous time changes, and filled with jazz influences.
The tracks do not really have much of a flow to them, but the album has an overall concept: choices. The art supposedly are lines that make up the choices we make, and are in one way or another connected to each other. Aside from that, it is somewhat difficult to glean such a concept from the music. Yet the greatest part of the album is the fact that it can be heard objectively. It's music in its purest form, a piece of work that can be experienced by anyone, in any way possible.
The only fault that can be found in Exivious is it's appeal. Since the genre is relatively unexplored, many may have a difficult time really getting into it. It takes a few listens to appreciate everything that the album is, but once you do it really is worth it.
exivious have created something truly amazing with this record. Its an extremely varied excursion of true musicianship that will leave all those who hear it breathless.