A happy accident.
I found out about Esoterica purely by accident on Instagram. The advert was a snippet of their title track ‘In Dreams’. I was fascinated with the band instantly and reached out to them on Instagram to tell them how awesome I thought they were (fanboy moment right?). Shortly afterwards, the guys contacted me to ask for a review, telling me I had free reign to pick any track from their new album. So, for me, it obviously had to be the title track, as that is what started my love affair with Esoterica.
Four notes are played on the piano leading to the guitars, bass, drums and strings dropping in to create a slow and romantic yet grungy, dark and gothic feel. The bands that immediately came to mind upon my first listen were OSI, HIM, Cradle of filth and a hint of Evanescence and Drowning Pool.
Whilst listening to ‘In Dreams’, I could immediately tell that each musician in the band had spent years perfecting their craft. Their musicianship was evident in the product they had produced. The members of Esoterica were not playing over each other, and whilst this seems like a basic rule to follow, not many bands follow it and I also think that not overplaying your instrument reflects a healthy amount of respect amongst each band member. In this track (and the whole album) the band work as a real team – and I really like that.
The vocal, whilst elegant, soft and gentle at times, compliments the weight and depth of what the other band members are doing. At 2 minutes 40, the drums and bass take a break and allow the introduction of synth-pad, vocal harmonies, and a distant sounding guitar to take the song to its destination. It was at this moment where I thought “ok, how can this get more awesome?” and just at that instant, the rest of the band come in and simply kill it for one final chorus.
The drums, bass and guitar stop at 3 minutes 57 seconds and allow the vocal and a pad to finish the song.
Look, anyone that knows me will know I am a glutton for this sort of music (I mean, my favourite band is Dream Theater for fuck sake. An orchestra with a metal band is like sex in my ears), but when I listened to Esoterica, I felt the band were not mimicking those that had inspired them. They had taken key ingredients of their influences, mixed them up and turned them in to something quite imaginative and unusual.
For me, this is like (as previously mentioned) OSI, HIM, Cradle of Filth, Evanescence and Drowning Pool meets Symphony X, Opeth and Porcupine Tree.
Overall, a lovely bland of a well crafted song, backed up by a sound engineer that clearly knew what they were doing in the studio.