EXIVIOUS

Progressive Metal • Netherlands
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Hailing from the historic city of Utrecht in The Netherlands, Exivious were first formed in 1997 by guitarist/vocalist Tymon Kruidenier. After the release of a self-titled, two-song demo in 2001, the band was put on hold until 2006, when they made their comeback with a new lineup. “Exivious”, their full-length debut, was released in the summer of 2009, in 1,000 beautifully packaged copies.

Kruidenier is also a member of seminal outfit Cynic, and plays on their 2008 reunion album, “Traced in Air”; while bassist Robin Zielhorst has played with them on live dates, replacing Sean Malone. Drummer Stef Broks comes instead from the ranks of Dutch prog-metal outfit Textures.

Raff
Thanks to Raff for the addition and andyman1125 for the updates

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EXIVIOUS Discography

EXIVIOUS albums / top albums

EXIVIOUS Exivious album cover 4.03 | 18 ratings
Exivious
Progressive Metal 2009
EXIVIOUS Liminal album cover 4.07 | 3 ratings
Liminal
Progressive Metal 2013

EXIVIOUS EPs & splits

EXIVIOUS live albums

EXIVIOUS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

EXIVIOUS Demo 1999 album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Demo 1999
Progressive Metal 1999
EXIVIOUS Demo 2001 album cover 3.14 | 3 ratings
Demo 2001
Progressive Metal 2001
EXIVIOUS Exivious album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Exivious
Progressive Metal 2002

EXIVIOUS re-issues & compilations

EXIVIOUS singles (0)

EXIVIOUS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

EXIVIOUS Reviews

EXIVIOUS Exivious

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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tapfret
Fusion metal pinnacle Sub-genre: Progressive Metal For Fans of: Canvas Solaris, Allan Holdsworth, Return to Forever, Gordian Knot Vocal Style: None Guitar Style: Varied electric. Metal distortion but little in the way of "chugging". Use of swells for texture and plenty of clean tone. Keyboard Style: None that I am aware of. Percussion Style: Rock kit, occasional metal double-bass sound, never overbearing. Bass Style: Very tasty, warm fretless electric bass. Other Instruments: None You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you insist on vocals or are a genre purist of any sort.

Summary: The roots of Exivious are well documented. It is those roots that draw people to want to hear their self-titled debut album. But there is more - or perhaps less depending on context - to the band than what is implied by their roots. First and foremost is the fact that this is a 100% homegrown, do-it-yourself, self funded project. As we are well into the age that this is not only possible, but becoming the norm, we tend to find a lot of boiler plate production value that seems to limit the creative process. This is not the case with Exivious. While it is not hard to pick out derivative elements in this album, the presentation is wholly their own and finds a healthy niche in a genre that is now flooded with hybridization. The most simplistic description of style/genre would be fusion metal. I refrain from using the J word for fear of a purist attack, but jazz elements resound throughout the compositional structures, chord modulations and use of broad dynamics and textures. An instant injection of warmth of tone is provided by the use of fretless bass. The guitars, while unmistakably distorted at most times, are never content to ride power chords. Instead frequent tonal variations, key modulations and string ensemble-like volume swells provide a strong sense of contrast throughout the album. The use of these tools leaves the project not wonting of vocals. Exivious allows the music to tell the story completely. They use a seemingly simple device in a two-part intermission type song, "All That Surrounds", which ties the albums segments together and provides the cohesiveness of story. The first part gives a calming false resolution major chord sound that is unraveled by the more urgent "Waves of Thought" and "The Path", finally leaving the listener on an ethereal precipice with the minor and whole-tonal "All That surrounds, pt.2". The album again resolves with the upbeat "An Elusive Need". The album rounds out at forty four and a half minutes, a short album by today's standards, but containing not a moment of filler that permeates 21st century recordings. The sense of completeness as the album fades is to often missing in the majority of music in the last 20 years.

Final Score: I spent a good 18 months listening to this album trying to figure out if it was really the masterpiece I thought it was from the first listen. In fact, I am drawn more to this album as time passes. It has the perfect balance leaving the listener simultaneously sated, yet wanting more. No element completely dominates or submits. Tasteful and artistic. 5 stars.

EXIVIOUS Liminal

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Liminal" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Dutch progressive/fusion metal act Exivious. The album was released through Season of Mist in November 2013. The band´s 2009 self-titled debut album was a self-released affair limited to 1000 copies. A great album that one and hopefully the deal with Season of Mist will bring the band´s music to a wider audience. Exivious have existed since 1997 but went into a hiatus after releasing a couple of demos. They reunited in 2006, but it wasn´t until guitarist (and former vocalist) Tymon Kruidenier joined Cynic for the recording of their 2008 comeback album "Traced in Air", that most people heard about Exivious (bassist Robin Zielhorst is also credited for playing live with Cynic). The rest of the lineup consist of Yuma van Eekelen (ex-Pestilence) on drums (who replaces Stef Broks, who performed in the debut album) and Michel Nienhuis on guitars.

The music on "Liminal" continues down a similar instrumental progressive/fusion metal path to the path the band also tread on the debut album. To my ears the songwriting has improved and the music as a result sound more well thought out and mature. The album as a whole also features a great flow. The tracks are generally very dynamic in nature, featuring both flashy fusion metal sections with blistering jazz scale guitar solos, but also more atmospheric and mellow parts. The greatest asset is how well Exivious work as a unit though. All instruments are qually important in the soundscape and there is an attention to detail that´s intriguing. These guys really understand that flashy playing usually becomes old fast when it´s not paired with well written compositions. And the compositions on "Liminal" are exquisite. Very tasteful yet powerful, melodic and challenging. The addition of saxophone on "Deeply Woven" is just another well tasting spice for the stew, but it´s actually hard to single out highlights as all material on the album are equally strong. I guess the atmospheric "Alphaform" deserves a special mention, but otherwise this is an album that deserves to be listened to as a whole.

To go along with the well written music, the listener is also treated to an incredibly well sounding production, which really brings out the little intriguing details in the music. The sound production may be clear and powerful, but it´s also organic sounding, which is yet another asset to my ears.

"Liminal" is through and through a brilliant release. The musicianship are on a high level (these guys sound at ease with playing the technically challenging sections. Everything just sound very natural and never forced), The sound production is very strong and the songwriting intriguing and powerful. There is nothing in this world that can hold me back from giving "Liminal" a deserved 4.5 star (90%) rating. An absolutely brilliant release this one.

EXIVIOUS Exivious

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Exivious" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch progressive jazz/fusion metal act Exivious. The album, which is limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies, was self-released in May 2009. Each copy features a unique mini-poster.

Exivious are probably best known for featuring former Cynic members Tymon Kruidenier and Robin Zielhorst, but the band go back as far as 1997 and have released three demos before the release of this debut album. They started out as, what I would characterize, a Cynic clone, but soon dropped the growling vocals and became a fully instrumental unit.

While the music features metal elements like double bass drums and some relatively hard edged power chord riffing, the music style is at it´s core jazz/fusion based. To my ears this is jazz/fusion first and progressive metal second. The musicianship is outstanding on the album and even though this is a self-released album, the band have managed to produce an album with a good professional sound quality. The tracks are complex, featuring multible sections and changes in dynamics, a fusion based rythm section and some really well played guitar solos and themes.

"Exivious" is actually quite the impressive release by the Dutch, and if you enjoy jazz/fusion with a metal edge, this is definitely a recommendable purchase. A 4 star (80%) rating is warranted.

EXIVIOUS Exivious

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Exivious' - Exivious (9/10)

As the genre of metal has virtually reached its creative peak, attempts have been made to crossover this relatively extreme sound in music with many other genres, most notably being classical music, and jazz. As one could guess, many of these attempts to transform the sound of heavy metal into something else fall through and only come out half-baked, perhaps showing potential, but often fail to do anything that has not already been done before. Exivious' full-length debut comes at a stage where jazz-metal fusion has already been up and running for almost twenty years, and some could argue that it was perfected shortly afterwards. Regardless, there are few acts I have heard that incorporate the two styles as fairly together as does Exivious, and along with a better performance than I could have hoped for in an album like this, 'Exivious' is one of the best instrumental metal albums I have ever heard.

When describing the sound and music of this band, it is very useful to point out that the guitarist and lead man of this project Tymon Kruidenier is a member of the legendary progressive death metal act Cynic, helping to make one of my favourite albums 'Traced In Air' as incredible as it was. For anyone who has heard that album, the same style of melodic, yet highly technical riffs translates well onto an even jazzier template. The music here is completely instrumental, and for the style that Exivious are playing, that is a good thing; having vocals to work into this music would have been a confusing and distracting move. Instead of the progressive death metal that Cynic played, think of something quite a bit more mellow, yet retaining every bit of technicality. As opposed to a metal album with hints of jazz as I was expecting, Exivious finds themselves dead in-between the two genres. The music is constantly shifting gears and dynamics, light on recurring ideas but heavy on complexity and dynamic flow. Think of Pat Metheny at his most complex, amp up the heaviness, and you begin to get an idea of what Exivious is about.

One thing that could be complained about here is the apparent lack of melody in the music, and while there is certainly nothing here that a listener will find themselves humming along to, there is more than enough here that keeps a listener engaged and interested in what the band is doing. Although there is a definite focus on keeping things technically impressive, Exivious plays their material with a surprising amount of feeling, thanks in no small part to the sort of freedom that the jazz style gives its musicians. On top of the main course, there are respites from the technical jazz metal, sometimes taking the form of mellow sections within songs, but most notably being the pair of interlude tracks called 'All That Surrounds', which each form a masterful ambiance using laid-back tapping easily reminiscent of Animals As Leaders. These comprise the most accessible slice of what Exivious is about, and the rest of the album takes quite a bit more time to really become involved with. At first, 'Exivious' is an album that while a technical marvel, seems to meander around and scarcely leave the starting grid. My first impression with the music was certainly wrong though, and while the music of this band may only appeal to those who are able to appreciate both metal and jazz, it stands as being one of the most enduring masterpieces of the metal fusion genre, and I can only hope that they do not stop with their debut.

EXIVIOUS Demo 2001

Demo · 2001 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"Demo 2001" is the debut demo by Dutch technical/ progressive metal act Exivious. At the time this demo was released Exivious were totally unknown but that has certainly changed with frontman and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier´s temporary membership of legendary US technical/ progressive metal act Cynic. At the time of the release of this two-track demo CD Exivious was a three-piece act with Tymon Kruidenier on guitars and aggressive/ raspy vocals, Jan Henningheim on guitars and vocoder vocals and Iwan Hendrikx on drums. The lineup that recorded and released Exivious self-titled debut full-length studio album in 2009 includes yet another temporary member of Cynic in bassist Robin Zielhorst and Textures drummer Stef Broks.

To say that the two songs on this demo CD reminds me a bit about Cynic would be an understatement on the grand scale. This IS Cynic. Well not completely but the similarities are so many that I will go as far as to call the music on this demo a tribute to Cynic. The two songs are actually pretty good and the production is also pretty strong for a demo but it´s hard to come around the fact that Exivious were a total Cynic clone at this point in their career. The aggressive vocals sound one to one like Tony Teegarden, the vocoder vocals sound similar to Paul Masvidal´s vocoder vocals, the death thrashy riffing, the new age jazzy sections and even the guitar solos have similar sounds and choices of notes as the ones Cynic play on "Focus (1993)".

All the clone talk aside the two songs on this demo are actually rather impressive and fully showcase what a talented act Exivious were even this early on. They would soon ditch the vocals completely as heard on their 2002 demo which is fully instrumental and while I usually prefer music with vocals I think it was the only wise choice for Exivious. Had they continued down the path they started on "Demo 2001", they would never have escaped Cynic´s shadow. A 2.5 - 3 star rating is deserved for this demo. If you can´t live with the almost scary similarity to Cynic you´ll probably rate it lower.

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