I was not sure what to expect when I first heard this band. Despite Liminal being the band's second record, and with the talent involved, I had not heard of Exivious until I heard a promo from this record. I was instantly interested in what the band would offer. Instrumental music can be hit or miss to me. At times, the bands or solo artists try too hard to show off, and get too flashy. Or, the music is too dull and I miss the vocals. In some cases though, such as Scale The Summit or even a band like Pelican the instrumental music works so well on its own, and doesn't need anything else.
This album falls in line with the latter. Purely instrumental music that doesn't sound pretentious or feel like anything is missing. Given the members involved, you can expect a very jazz influenced style. In fact, the emphasis is on the jazz aspects, and it's almost hard to consider this "metal" album in a strict sense. There are some heavier sections on the record, but for the most part, the album is laid back. Not a "Pump you up" record by any means.
Nothing about that is bad though. It's a nice change from all the Doom, and Black metal normally in my rotation. From the beginning of Entrust One thing is certain, no one can doubt the musical chops of these players. The fretwork is very damn good, but never comes of as flashy for the sake of it. Everything is very well written and works within the context of each song. Also, the bass is a big player in this album, which I love. It is very audible, and provided the perfect backing and "meat" for the drums and atonal guitars on top of it.
Track three, Alphaform picks up the technical playing a little bit more from the prior tracks, and track 4. Deeply Woven has a nice heavy intro the other songs to this point had lacked. Further, it also features a saxophone section, which is beautiful and expertly done. Personally, the rest of the album doesn't stand out as much to me as the first four tracks, but it is by no means bad. I just was hit more by the first half of the album.
Continuing that idea, the last song on the album Immanent leaves me with a slight sour taste in my mouth. The song itself it strong, but I feel it lacks having a real big climax that I feel the last song on any album should have. There should be something big to leave the listener with, and I feel this track misses the mark in that department. However, the actual playing is still top notch, much like the rest of the record.
The biggest thing I appreciate about this record is the restraint. The members can obviously all play technical, intense music if needed. However, this isn't an album to just show off. Even with the jazz influence, and various ideas being explored from song to song, everything works within the context of the album, and nothing ever feels overdone or exhausted. The focus is on the actual songs. The writing is incredible and every passage in the album makes sense and flows wonderfully. Despite a few flaws with some songs not standing out as much to me, and the lack of a climax, this album is very well done. It may not be a "metal" album in the strictest sense, and it may not be for everyone, however for anyone interested this should prove to be a rewarding listen. I will warn some to be weary, this is definitely for an open minded listener that doesn't need flash and scales being played at one hundred miles an hour song after song. Listen to this album and decide for yourself if it's for you here.
Killing Songs :
Entrust, Alphaform, Deeply Woven
|Neill quoted 75 / 100|
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