If you’ve been searching for concerts where the boundaries separating musical genres are swept away, or at least pointedly ignored, Space Gallery was the place to be on Sunday evening. The three acts on the bill have bona fides in several varieties of rock – various strains of metal, prog and experimental rock, mostly – but also links to jazz and classical music. And they are not hesitant to follow their influences wherever they lead.

The main draw was Ex Eye, the latest project of Colin Stetson, a busy saxophonist who, apart from his own albums, is known for his work with Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Laurie Anderson and Tom Waits. Ex Eye uses growling drones, feedback, machine-gun drumming and sheer noise to create works in which the insistent, assaulting energy of metal takes on an almost symphonic heft.

The support groups took very different, notably quieter approaches. Guitarist Jordan Guerette, from the Portland band Falls of Rauros, played gently turned chamber music with his quintet, Forêt Endormie, which brings together electric guitar and keyboard, violin, cello and percussion. And Nat Baldwin, formerly of the Dirty Projectors, sang gracefully quirky, jazz-tinged songs, including several from his 2014 “In the Hollows” album, accompanying himself on the double bass.

Stetson is the kind of player whose musical interests are so broad that you never know quite what to expect when he turns up with something new. The three volumes of “New History of Warfare” he released between 2008 and 2013 are filled with rhythmic experiments, morphing electronic textures, intertwined spoken and sung passages, and explorations of the deep tone and assertiveness of the baritone sax. But he also devoted an album, “Sorrow” (2016), to a heavily electronic but texturally fluid reconfiguration of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 3. And on his latest solo album, “All This I Do For Glory” (2017), his saxophone lines are woven into an electronic edifice built of looped beats and quasi-Minimalist synthesizer figures.

Ex Eye is unlike any of those projects. A collaboration with guitarist Toby Summerfield, keyboardist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Greg Fox, Ex Eye released an eponymous debut album at the end of June. At Space, the band played the album from start to finish, keeping fairly close to the recorded versions, but with room for some vivid improvisation and interplay, most notably between Summerfield’s guitar shredding and Stetson’s alternately controlled and unhinged alto and baritone sax solos.

Summerfield’s playing, in fact, was far more vivid at Space than on the recording – especially in the final two pieces, “Form Constant; The Grid” and “Tten Crowns; The Corruptor,” thanks to a sound mix that put him more out front, less bathed in reverb. Ismaily’s keyboard contributions, on the other hand, are more nuanced on disc; live, they are often swept into the roar of the full ensemble. Fox’s magnificently varied, high-energy drumming is equally vivid in both forms.

Hearing through that roar can be challenging at first, but if you surrender to it, the droning figures that begin several of the pieces gradually give way to varied rhythms and chord progressions, and subtly shifting textures. And the overtones and feedback sometimes yield phantom sounds – the illusion, for example, of a distant choir, floating over the crackling ensemble drone.

At the ensemble’s bottom end, the intense focus of Stetson’s rhythmic baritone sax figures sometimes called to mind the grandeur of early King Crimson, or suggested what an idiosyncratic group like Morphine (also built around a baritone sax, but given to lighter textures) would have sounded like if it had become a metal band. Mostly, though, Ex Eye is sui generis: Just when you’re tempted to think of it as pure metal, Stetson’s saxophone reminds you that it’s really something more complex and undefinable.

Allan Kozinn is a former music critic and culture writer for The New York Times who lives in Portland. He can be contacted at:

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