Review

EX EYE Ex Eye

Album · 2017 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Unitron
By first look, it would be easy to mistake Ex Eye's debut studio album as some sort of atmospheric black metal album. However, you may notice by looking at its entry on this site, there are no vocals and rather horns. No bass either, instead using synth. So what should one expect from this? Well, you can't really expect much until you listen to it...

...and once you do, there's a bit of conflict that may come with a full listen. I must say, that when you first start the album, it's hard not to get addicted to the first song. Damn is it catchy, and gets you hooked. I'd describe it as space metal, sounding a bit like what may be a classic Hawkwind cut. The drums are the main star here, with a steady locked in groove that keeps the foot tapping and just the right amount of fills to give it the right amount of flavor, all courtesy of Liturgy's Greg Fox. The more you listen though, the more that the rest of the instruments stand out. It all blends together and grooves, but the horns, guitar, and droning synth bring in a nice chill vibe to the whole thing.

Unfortunately, this first song tricks you into thinking that this will be an amazing spacey instrumental metal journey of a catchy variety. The rest of the tracks (on the physical release), while retaining a similar atmosphere, are more of an avant-garde and slightly jazzy black metal sound. They just kind of drone on and don't have enough to differentiate themselves from one another. Occasionally there will be an interesting drum fill, but most of the time it's on black metal auto-pilot. This is at it's worse on Anaitis Hymnal, which is easily the worst song on the album. Ever want to hear really generic atmospheric black metal with no guitar to be heard? Then this is for you, as it is dominated by a synthetic yet blaring atmosphere with pretty constant double-bass drumming. The horns also sometimes present a problem. While barely audible on the aforementioned track, they are often too avant-garde for my tastes. I would have liked to hear some more catchy melodies, or more of the perfect blend of instruments from that first song Xenolith.

The physical release excludes the fifth song, don't ask me why as it could easily fit on the disc. This song is pretty great, and is easily the second highlight of the album after the first track. While the first few minutes sound like the horns are dying a painful death, skip ahead and it starts to sound like some cool experimental electronic track before letting the guitar shine in the style of an old school 70's rock jam. You don't hear too many awesome old school guitar jams these days, so it's welcome to hear. After that, you finally get to hear a return to the catchy space metal vibe of the first track, just a bit slower and doom-sounding this time around.

Overall, this is certainly an acquired taste. For those who love experimental space rock, the first and last tracks are probably some of the best of 2017 that you'll hear of that variety. However, the rest of the album is only for fans of avant-garde noodling or atmospheric black metal blandness, which I certainly am not one. Either way, avoid the physical release. Ordinarily, I would never say that, but in this case it's a rip off. Not including a song that could easily be included makes zero sense. If these guys hone in on the sound of the first and last tracks, I think they could make something really great next time around. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
Tupan wrote:
8 days ago
Man, I love this album, one of the best releases from this year!
siLLy puPPy wrote:
14 days ago
I like this one. It's more of a transcendential experience than anything. It's one of those albums where having a firm foundation in jazz music is rather essential otherwise it may come off as aimless noise. Ah well, it's definately an acquired taste :)
Unitron wrote:
14 days ago
MMA's Reviewer's Challenge November 2017, album selected by mlkpad14

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners
Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
Buy this album from our partners
Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Barn Mathcore
IDYLLS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Desolate Gods Death Metal
FATHER BEFOULED
Buy this album from MMA partners
Thoughts From A Stone Technical Death Metal
COMA CLUSTER VOID
Buy this album from MMA partners
Hostile Deathcore
TYRANTS
Buy this album from MMA partners
Grief Deathcore
TYRANNUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Metal MP3 download/stream

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online