Year of release: 2019
Released by: Season of Mist
Rating: 9,5 / 10
ESOTERIC do not get tired to delight and amaze. Some groups cannot be spoiled by anything: they spat on the demands of publishers, any obstacles and calendar dates. Starting with the first demo, ESOTERIC always certainly deliver brilliant music. They do this quite rarely, but every album, except for “Metamorphogenesis”, has such epic proportions in every aspect that it leaves a lead for several years ahead. While you still penetrate and discover new facets, the next record is on the way.
Another amazing ESOTERIC quality is the ability not to sour. A funeral death doom is actually a very boring and limited genre. It has a lot of cool albums and bands that cope with the tasks, but the musical side always comes down to about the same thing. If you heard the conditional FUNERALIUM, PROFETUS or EVOKEN, you can assume that you have grasped the basics. Only a few are capable of writing really interesting music in this genre; of those who approach ESOTERIC level, only MOURNFUL CONGREGATION comes to mind. ESOTERIC does not invent anything new, but by combining the basic elements, each time they achieve success. These people do not need to stretch the feedback from each hit on the strings for two minutes to fill a gaping void of mediocrity with it.
“A Pyrrhic Existence” is the fruit of another such combination. At first, the album poses as melodic, immediately creating a contrast with the 8-year-old “Paragon of Dissonance”. I would describe that album as ghostly, this one seems more lively and tragic. But only at first glance; very soon ESOTERIC rush to the favorite psychedelic distances, purged by the whistling wind of subconscious flows. Then it returns to the ground with beautiful acoustics, suppresses with heavy riffs, twists you with a tight wire of solos. And all this only for the first song, which lasts almost 28 minutes. The second song suddenly continues to surprise with its speed, unfriendliness and ruthless pressure, although the melancholy beauty is also present in it. The line under the first disk is brought by a tiny ambient instrumental for 4 and a half minutes. In total 48 - already more than enough for a full-length album, but it's just a beginning for ESOTERIC.
The second disc begins with “Consuming Lies”, a traditional thing in every respect. Typical ESOTERIC with recognizable riffs and an unhealthy keyboard background. The next song contains an unexpected move in the form of a rhythmic segment referring to progressive metal, unlike anything the British had done before. The final composition for a long time pretends to be a melodic mourning song, but ESOTERIC would not be themselves if in the end they had not let everything down into a screaming black abyss. As always, the misanthropic message of the band is read through music even better than through texts. In truth, ESOTERIC's lyrics have always aroused mixed feelings in me. It works in tune with the music, that's a plus. But to read the outpourings about something like “I see purple spots and feel bitterness” individually is extremely boring. Even worse are texts like the one written for “Consuming Lies”: shy social statements are the last thing this band needs. And they, unlike psychedelic lyrics, integrate into ESOTERIC music just as unreliably as a wooden window in the hull of a submarine. One way or another, ESOTERIC music is so strong, independent and expressive that the shortcomings of the lyrics are not able to somehow affect it.
The new ESOTERIC monument was released on Season of Mist in the format of a double-disc mediabook and triple vinyl (they finally deigned to invest - other publishers released the previous albums on vinyl). CIS's Satanath and Mazzar - excuse me, Kattran - were expectedly afraid to swipe at such fat and settled on a more budget version of a double six-panel digipack with a booklet. I acquired one for myself in the collection, which I do not regret at all - the release turned out to be quite decent. Although the entire design of the album is cleverly composed of enlarged fragments of the cover, it looks great, because the cover is beautifully detailed. See more on a video. By the way, on April 3-4, ESOTERIC will perform in Moscow and St. Petersburg: local people, do not miss.