So this afternoon the soundtrack of the work was the 2013 release from Exivious – Liminal. When I first spotted the album on the iPhone at the beginning of the afternoon, I didn’t even remember downloading it to the phone let alone where I saw the album in the first place!! I had a vague memory of the album being on the ProgArchives’ list of Top 2013 Albums, but I wasn’t sure, then the music started and I was sure that I saw the album at ProgArchives! The album is in fact on the list well hidden down at number 86, tucked between the Neo Prog of Ego and the Psychedelic Space Rock of Drago. <(Note to self – Neo prog of Ego – check them out)
Exivious was founded by Tymon Kruidenier, who wanted to bring together jazz fusion and metal. ProgArchives labels the band as Tech/Extreme Prog Metal. Their label Season of Mist labels them an instrumental prog/fusion metal band. According to their website…..
The sound of Exivious is hard to define; it operates in a space where metal meets fusion meets post-rock and still is none of the above. The band blends a wide variety of musical genres into a coherent, unified sound that’s driven by the incredible chemistry shared by the band members.
Exivious’ self-titled debut album was released independently in 2009 to critical acclaim
……with reviewers calling it “a genre-defining album” (Sputnikmusic.com), “an incredible album which emanates class and skill” (Avant-gardeMetal.com) and “easily…one of the top releases of 2009” (Prog-sphere.com). Full Biography
But it took another three years until the band’s second album was released. Part of the reason for the length of time between albums was Tymon and Robin’s commitment to US prog metal band Cynic which brought a move to the United States and forced Exivious to go on hiatus. But Tymon and Robins quit Cynic in 211 and moved back home to the Netherlands picked up where they left off and released Liminal in 2013. Tymon Kruidenier (ex-Cynic) and Michel Nienhuis (Dodecahedron) on guitars, Robin Zielhorst (ex-Cynic) on fretless bass and Yuma van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence, The New Dominion) on drums.
Here’s what Andy Webb writes in his review of the album at ProgArchives:
Tymon Kruidenier, the lead guitarist, had a single goal for this album: to make the most organic, pure-sounding Exivious album he possibly could. Every sound, instrument, and atmosphere on the album was to be organically produced from a real instrument without a single synth or computer involved, and the entire recording process was to be done live with real amps, mics, and set ups. No PODs, Pro Tools fiddling, or triggered drumming at all were to be seen on the album. In the end, 2013 saw the release of the band’s follow up, and all of what Tymon promised was true – Liminal was the band’s best offering yet, and is perhaps the most organic sounding metal album I have ever heard.
Of course, calling Exivious a metal band is a bit of a misnomer. The band is really a fusion band with metal elements, and Liminal shows this time and time again. Gorgeously crafted riffs revolve around delicately arranged jazz chords, any chugging that occurs is really only an accent to some form of jazzy arrangement, arpeggio, or solo, and if a drum line ever started to sound “heavy,” it was only to develop a crescendo which would eventually break into some gorgeous arrangement of guitar melody. Songs like “Deeply Woven,” “Movement,” and “One’s Glow” show the band’s impressive grasp on this dynamic. Full Review
Under Concepts on the menu at their website the band writes this about the concept of Luminality…….
Liminality (from the Latin word limen, meaning “a threshold”) describes the stage in a transformation where the state of origin is being dissolved and reconstruction into its new state can begin. A state where all superfluous qualities are released and only essence remains.
This phenomenon sparked the band’s interest as they became aware of its existence in their compositional process. For Liminal especially, Tymon and Michel have been working from a very intuitive place. Trying to capture and convert raw emotions, situations, or any inspiration for that matter, into music. It was all about extracting the essence, be it on a conscious or subconscious level, and reconstructing it into musical information. Read More
Deep thinkers they are, eh?? Anyway the albums is full of great music with lots of soaring guitars and then changes in tempo and sound that lead to melodic and peaceful passages. Overall, I think I listened to the album twice and enjoyed it the whole time. At one point, I caught myself walking down the hall in my office playing “air drums” hope no one was watching!!
Here’s “Deeply Woven”from Luminal.