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Self Titled
December 2009
Released: 2009, Self Released
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

Exivious is a super group composed of members of Cynic, Textures and an ex-member of Sengaia, the Dutch metalcore band. The band’s self-titled debut is described by the band as Fusionmetal, reflecting the combination of metal and jazz on the album. Only 1000 copies were released independently to preserve the creative freedom and musical vision of the band. Fans that are unable to obtain a physical copy of the album can stream it in its entirety from the band’s MySpace page.

Where to begin? For starters, the band claims this is an album of jazz fused with metal, but to myself and probably most fans it sounds like standard progressive metal minus the vocals. Granted, there are plenty of instrumental passages in progressive metal, but vocals at least help to distinguish the tracks from each other. Distinguishing one song from the next is only possible by glancing at the track number on your player. “All That Surrounds Pt. 1” is silent for the first forty-four seconds before gradually building into a floating, dream-like song; my personal favorite of the album. “All That Surronds Pt. 2” likewise is silent for the first forty seconds, before transitioning into a quiet and atmospheric song that is not significantly different from Part I. Inexplicably, yet in keeping with the progressive metal cookbook, the songs are not sequenced together but are separated by two tracks! The rest of the album consists of complex and note dense passages, mathematical time signatures, start and stop spaces, and a host of other progressive metal clichés. Bright spots would be the stunningly clear production levels and the obvious talent and skills of the band.

Exivious have written an album for themselves, other “serious” musicians, and a handful of fans that love the instrumental passages of progressive metal but can do without the vocals. Respect is sought, and respect is grudgingly given mainly because this has been done before and better (by bands with vocals). However, one has to admire a band whose artistic integrity is more important to them than selling records or garnering a huge following. Doubtless, this album will gain a passionate cult following, but for the average metal fan this is not even remotely essential. Exivious should be sought only for its adherence to art for arts sake, because it is an album that is emphatically not for everyone.
Track Listing

1 Ripple of a Tear
2 Time and Its Changes
3 Asurim
4 All That Surrounds Pt.1
5 Waves of Thought
6 The Path
7 All That Surrounds Pt. 2
8 Embrace The Unknown
9 An Elusive Need


Tymon - Guitar
Michael Nienhuis - Guitar
Robin Ziethorst - Bass
Stef Broks - Drums

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by Erich

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