Skip to main content

Progressive Rock Review: Exovex-Radio Silence

Release Date: 14thMarch 2015
Label: Digital Release (CD available from website)

Exovex is a new progressive band formed by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Dale Simmons. The debut album, Radio Silence, has recently landed on The Ancient Ones’ desk for review, and Dale’s credentials are very interesting. As a singer, songwriter, guitarist and front man for several bands since the early 90’s, he has traversed a wide spectrum of musical areas from prog/art rock through to jazz and funk.

The album, Radio Silence, has taken around 2.5 years to complete and release and as with many solo projects, there are a few guests to help the project along. The band assembled for Radio Silence includes, Dale (vocals, guitars, bass), Richard Barbieri (keyboards, synths), Josh Freese (drums), Keith Carlock (drums) and Gavin Harrison (drums). The three drummers are very experienced musicians, Josh with NIN, A Perfect Circle and Devo, Keith with Stings’ band, John Meyer and Steely Dan and Gavin with Porcupine Tree and King Crimson. The other guest, Richard on keyboards also plays with Porcupine Tree. 

There is a concept running through the album and it focuses on the downward spiral and final demise of a man due to the physiological and physical effects of a long-term, self-imposed isolation.

Radio Silence is a 6 track album with a playing time of around 44 minutes, with the longest track, “Seekers’ Prayer” running on for 9:35 minutes and track 2, “Metamorph” is the shortest with a track time of 5:06 minutes.

As I have often pointed out, the opening track to an album has a key role to play, in that it has to set the scene for the rest of the album. How does the opening track, “Stolen Wings” (9:18) fill that role? The start of this track has some very subtle atmospheric setting sounds which slowly evolve into an excellent guitar passage. The rest of the band fills in neatly behind this as the vocals put in an appearance. The music paints an amazing aural soundscape and there are hints of old and new influences. The older influence would seem to be Pink Floyd/Dave Gilmour and the newer influence, that of Porcupine Tree (Richard and Gavin possibly?). “Stolen Wings” is not much under 10 minutes in length, but seems over far too quickly and has certainly grabbed the listener’s full attention. The track exits in a similar fashion to the start with those atmospheric sounds.

“Metamorph” (5:06) has an excellent acoustic guitar into electric guitar start, with the vocals appearing early in the proceedings. The lyrics are very clear and interesting, but the overall highlight of this track is the sublime guitar breaks.

A sound of morse code signals introduces “Seekers’ Prayer” (9:35), and another section of soundscape painting with bits of garbled radio voices in the background. Around the 2 minute mark, we are treated to some excellent guitar (a la Dave Gilmour) over a building background. The vocals appear as we move past the 3 minute point and fit the scenario perfectly. There are a few sections which up the volume and the power of the voice to continue the storyline, but like a security blanket, that guitar sound returns reassuringly.

“The Last Orbit” (5:51) has a piano/synth introduction that heralds in the acoustic guitar, as yet again a small smile of satisfaction crosses the listeners’ face. The vocals are treated to have a distorted/echo tone to them before reverting to “normal.” “Dead Reckoning” (5:21) has a very percussive start with more of the acoustic/electric guitar phrases. Double tracking the voices make this track different to those that have gone before, but surprisingly, I found that this track seemed to miss out on the “grab factor.” I’m not sure exactly why, but I found this the weakest track on the album.

Final track, “Daylight (Silent Key)” (8:30) restores the album to its winning ways. Superb guitar, excellent vocals and a terrifically atmospheric sound makes the disappointment of the previous track fade quickly. After a long midsection with more stunning guitar, the sound drops away around 6:15 minutes, leading into one of those excellent atmospheric sections which evolves slowly into an orchestral soundscape to take the album to its conclusion.

Overall, Radio Silence, is a stunning debut album by Exovex which is certainly worth adding to your collection. Check it out, hand over the money and on subsequent, and frequent, listens, allow yourself to contemplate where Dale might go with album No. 2.

Thought I would throw in a little explanation of the band title just before I go. The guest musicians were allowed to “do what they thought would best serve the song” and Dale comments that this “unknown creative variable” made Radio Silencewhat it is. A quick delve into mathematics for a moment, to explain that a “known function” in math can be written as f(x) and pronounced f of x, but if it is x(x) or x of x (Exovex) then the outcome is unknown. Here endeth the math lesson.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Stolen Wings, Metamorph, Daylight (Silent Key)

Stolen Wings
Seekers’ Prayer
The Last Orbit
Dead Reckoning
Daylight (Silent Key

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

June 8, 2015

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

British Post-Punk Veterans 1919 Return With A Brand New Masterpiece Of Darkly Melodic Goth Rock, FUTURECIDE!

Los Angeles, CA - Like the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes, British post-punk band 1919 have gone through Hell and back over the course of their harrowing career, but they keep returning stronger than ever! Founded in 1980, the band released its debut album Machine in 1983 and one EP a year later before calling it quits. However, the band reformed in 2014 to great acclaim, performing numerous tours and at festivals across Europe. Then, tragedy struck as the band’s founding guitarist Mark Tighe was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and succumbed to the disease in January 2017. Tighe insisted that the band should carry on without him, which they have done in finest form with their newest effort Futurecide. The album, which will be officially released on April 12 via Cleopatra Records, features brand new compositions and includes special guest performances by Tighe as well as former member Steve Madden, who also passed away this year. The first single, “Anxiety,” was released at the en…

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY December 13, 2018

With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.
Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.
For those of you unf…