Exivious – Liminal (Season of Mist)Wednesday, 27th November 2013
Comprised of recent Cynic and Pestilence cast-offs, Exivious bottles up the fusion-y, airy, and progressive side of both bands (more Cynic than Pestilence), but goes the all-instrumental route. Frankly, it’s not very exciting stuff; one starts to feel like they should roll up into a nice, comfortable hammock with lemonade to the side rather than be taken by cool instrumentation and the like. In fact, the band’s sophomore effort Liminal drop-kicks the long-spoken adage that “There’s no such thing as background music.” Fact of the matter is that this really is background music. Waiting room-ready background music.
The pair of Robin Zielhorst (bass) and Tymon Kruidenier (guitars) were key players in Cynic’s Traced in Air era (or should we say “air-ah?), capable enough on their instruments to be plucked from obscurity by Masvidal and Reinert. Therefore, there’s no lack of textured, well-calculated happenings here (the flow of “One’s Glow” isn’t bad; same for “Deeply Woven”), but the songs have a way of congealing without separation. There’s nary a moment here of excitement. It just sounds like a bunch of dudes huddled up in their rehearsal room, incense burning, sandals on, just jamming out as a couple of wayward musicians come in from down the hall, ready for a toke, and maybe a post-song joke or two. That’s how loosy-goose Liminal feels.
Of the various mutations instrumental metal has endured, Exivious’ take is probably the most lifeless, even though there is an ample supply of quality playing. Perhaps it’s a product of how mellow Cynic has become. There has to be some rub-off…Liminal might be the result.