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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Exovex - Radio Silence

A strong, melodic, and emotional combination makes it touching and an out of this world album that is raw and carries the torch and essence of both Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree. With two years in the making, the story of Radio Silence is set in the future about a man going through a deep dark depression as he is unable to cope with anyone through deterioration and finds himself in isolation. And the music itself, fits well throughout the entire structure.

It’s also based on the life of Bishop Sibond Alleman who in the 14th century lived in recluse at the Le Chateau d’Uriage in France. What Dale Simmons, the mastermind behind Exovex, is that he gave the musicians free rein on what would be perfect on the six compositions he wrote and it is a perfect delivery on what is brought to the table here.

Alongside multi-instrumentalist and lead vocalist Dale Simmons, he brought along drummers Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Devo) and Kevin Carlock (Steely Dan), Keyboardist Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree), and violinist and cellist Nicole Neely. Listening to this album, is almost like a movie inside your head and Simmons’ telling the story in a narrative format.

And the format itself between the combinations of the two, works extremely well. I can hear sounds of the Floyd from Gilmour’s guitar and the homage to Steven Wilson’s lyrics very well. And Simmons himself has done his homework very well on his research about the characterization and dealing with being alone and not finding help whilst being locked in their own paradise.

Not to mention the three centerpieces on the album that makes it listenable and touching. The opening tracks Stolen Wings and Metamorph are beautiful compositions with an emotional vibe. Guitars both electric and acoustic are almost have a psychedelic vibe almost as if it is going through a Leslie speaker. Not to mention the Synths creating the ambient cavernous atmosphere for an introduction.

What Simmons has done is to carry the inspirations inside his head. And the Gilmour-sque solos with a classical push that have a dramatic and powerful surrounding throughout. The emotional Seeker’s Prayer begins with a signal-like beeping intro as if there is hope for any chance of hope and survival. Simmons keeps the rhythm and the essence of the Floyd’s music and stays true to the visionaries for the first 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

And then, the tempo changes into melodic beats and an ascending harder edge followed by a solo in which in a brief second Simmons pays tribute to Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. It’s a very interesting touch, but it almost works very well to show Dale has done very well. This is my seventh time listening to Exovex’s Radio Silence and I have to say Dale Simmons has come a long way of becoming not just a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter, but more of a storyteller.

Tragic, poignant, stirring, and compassionate, Radio Silence is the album for Dale Simmons to capture those essence on isolation and being locked away in their Shangri-la with no hope of coming out, and I hope there will be more for Dale to see where the future will be next for him.

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