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As Ex Eye, Colin Stetson, Shahzad Ismaily, Greg Fox and Toby Summerfield form an "unholy union," unleashing sonic avalanches of freeform metal and noise. Colin Stetson has a particular talent for testing the limits of human endurance. The American composer and musician has worked with everyone from Bon Iver to Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed and The Chemical Brothers.
Stetson made waves with New History Warfare, a solo trilogy of torrential force for alto and bass sax that left listeners stunned and raw. It should come as no surprise, then, that his newly formed group Ex Eye is unsparingly powerful. The live project, which debuted in 2016, assembles a cast of hugely accomplished musicians and probes the outer reaches of experimental music, metal and noise. Percussionist Greg Fox of avant-garde black metal band Liturgy sets a blistering pace, bassist and synth player Shahzad Ismaily and The Body guitarist Toby Summerfield conjure up dense bodies of sound that envelop everything in their path, and Stetson blazes a new frontier for the alto sax. In less skilled hands, the sheer physicality could be overwhelming, but the four members' mastery of dynamics—listening closely to one another and trading roles, applying pressure and letting in the occasional gust of air—means even the most monstrous riffs redeem rather than devastate.