So here's the skinny. Exovex, from a phonetic pronunciation of a mathematical equation, is the project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dale Simmons, of whom I have little personal or professional information. But for his debut album, Radio Silence, he hangs with some heavyweights from the prog world: Josh Freese (NIN, A Perfect Circle, Devo) and Keith Carlock (Sting, John Meyer, Steely Dan) on drums, and Porcupine Tree members Gavin Harrison on drums and Richard Barbieri on keyboards.
Excepting the guest talent, Simmons handles most everything else, notably vocals, guitars, and synths. Radio Silence is somewhat of a concept album. It's kind of complex and mysterious, and you can read more about it on his web site. Suffice to say it has to do with some dude choosing a life of isolation and seclusion and then dealing with it's consequences.
Alternatively, the music isn't all that mysterious. This is classic melodic and progressive rock, with a slight bend towards metal at times (the latter half of Dead Reckoning comes to mind here). Simmons admits influence from Steve Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, and David Gilmour, and you'll hear those influences throughout. The timbre of his guitar leads towards Gilmour yet without cloning him. The songs, their arrangements, are more ambitious and dense than complex. This is not overly technical music. Simmons seems to want to work more towards creating an atmosphere, even some sort of musical vision, with each composition rather than dazzle you with technical wizardry. The result is a body of songs that offer both intrigue and entertainment. Ultimately, I looked forward in each song for Simmons' guitar lines and leads. As said earlier, like Gilmour, he's got that dramatic expression with solos that are epic and soaring. Best example: in the core of Daylight. Stunning stuff. Alternatively, his leads can be softer and warmer as in the last part of Stolen Wings. Bottom line: I liked Radio Silence. This is a fine first effort from Dale Simmons, and hopefully the beginning of more to come. Recommended.
Dale Simmons' Exovex project and Radio Silence offers some classic progressive rock made pleasing by some dramatic, even epic, guitar lines from Simmons.
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