Hailing from Barcelona, Spain, Exxasens started out roughly twelve years ago as a post-metal/post-rock band. Across their body of work, they have continued to refine their sound, aiming to encapsulate soundscapes from space on top of everything. Some four years after their latest release comes Revolution. It is the band’s sixth full-length record and it is basically exactly that – a revolution. While simplifying things, they have diversified their palette of influences, with no sacrifices being made in terms of overall vibes.
Revolution features a fairly uniform blend of progressive rock, post-rock, shoegaze, dream pop and space rock. Of course, it would come rather naturally to blend all of these together, if you’re mixing various genres. But what is really nice, is the cohesiveness and organic flow with which all of it is put together. While most of the songs stick to their respective corners, some stir more of these elements together. Personally, I preferred the older material, but I always welcome a calculated risk which strongly shifts an established sound; that is, if it is properly done. I’m happy that this is the case here.
The album has a fluid flow, moving seamlessly from one song to the other. The production value, while not markedly better than before, facilitates said flow and keeps everything in its place clearly and nicely. Songs like “Massachusetts”, “Revolution”, “Autumn Storm”, and “Air” hearken to older material, managing to keep things fresh alike. None of the songs insist on one particular stylistic rendering. Rather, each features a little bit from another area, emphasizing the aforementioned diversity. These are also the more rock/metal oriented songs present.
The more softer side of the record can be found in the rest of the songs. “Twenty One Years and a Day”, “A Space Odyssey”, “Dreams are Over” and even “Eden’s Place” are comprised of a blend of space rock and shoegaze, with dream pop sprinkles on top. These songs introduce us to a side of Exxasens that has never been seen before, and I must admit – it works quite well within the context of the album. Songs like “Bye Bye Moscow”, “Inside My Brain” and “Since I Met You” bridge the stylistic gap between the aforementioned and the heavier ones. These tracks are rooted more in post rock and shoegaze, with variable proportions of each coursing through them.
Exxasens may not be reinventing anything with Revolution, but they made a bold move with this shift in tonalities. Such bold moves are rarely done by bands, especially when they have several albums behind them. Even more rarely do such gambles pay off for the bands. Exxasens prove that with a forward thinking mindset and good taste, it is not only possible to do so, but achieve something authentic in the process. All I can say is that I’m looking forward to more from these guys.