EXXASENS - Eleven Miles

Exxasens - Eleven Miles

9 songs
42:04 minutes
***** **
Aloud Music


Founded in 2007 by Jordi Ruiz, Exxasens from Barcelona is still a solo project that on the surface plays post rock in the vein of Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky. With a background in hardcore and metal, Jordi Ruiz escapes the pitfall of copying the typical slow-to-loud structures that is found so often these days in the genre. Instead he’s performing with a nearly heavy metal intensity, without ever foregoing the sense of dynamics which distinguishes your quality post rock album.

Exxasens released the two albums Polaris (2008) and Beyond The Universe (2009) on the Belgian underground label ConSouling before he found with Aloud Music a company in his home town. Unfamiliar with his first two records, I can only state that his new CD Eleven Miles is quite an astonishing experience, starting with Science Will Save Us, a great rocking intro that despite a piano melody is carried by the mighty guitars. The following tracks confirm this initial impression: Jordi Ruiz is a wholehearted guitarist, and he likes to put his instrument into the foreground. While the bass, drums and keyboards also play an important role, it’s his metal influenced playing technique that give eleven miles more gusto than what we are usually used to with the more generic post rock bands.

Although an instrumental album, the leitmotif is human exploration of outer space, which fits perfectly well with the slightly psychedelic orientation of the music. At times it feels like later Hawkwind or less solo-driven Joe Satriani trying their hands on post rock music. The songs usually run between four and five minutes, so there is no room for overly indulgent meandering. While that may prevent the album from losing its thread, it also displays a certain lack of daring. There are still some standout tracks like Constellation and Rise Up, two of the album’s heavier tracks, and after a couple of spins, I am convinced that Exxasens are always at their best when they mix their post rock with a heavy dose of metal.

Despite being a solo project in the studio, Exxasens are a fully fledged five member band when playing live. Eleven Miles consequently also strives for a band sound which works totally in its favour. If Mr Ruiz is able to increase the progressive element in the future, we will be in for something even more inspiring.

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