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The Esoteric Subverter

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01. Destroy, She Said MP3 02. Science is Sexy 03. Language is a Virus 04. Shipyards of Foreign Cities 05. We Will not Be Convinced... 06. Don't Waste Guts 07. Our Exquisite Corpse 08. Nothing Remains the Same 09. You Are the Execution 10. Clone Culture and the Cut-Up Method
2006 Prosthetic Records
Our score 7

by Kirby Unrest
1/7/2007

Though recently marred by personal tragedy when their home/recording studio went up in flames February '05, the band was able to solider on and I am glad they did because while Subverter is far from my favorite record of the year, it does kick out solid metalcore in the mid-90's style with some modern touches, but steers clear of clean singing, big shiny choruses and any trace of the Gothenburg sound riff-wise. Many are not aware that this group has been around 10 years plus and features current/ex members from innovative bands like Coalesce and Today Is The Day, though they didn't gain much notice outside certain circles (Lambgoat included) and the local Lawrence, KS scene until they signed with Prosthetic and released With The Sureness of Sleepwalking. Not a bad album, but I felt they went a little too much with the times, whereas Subverter is angrier, heavier and not afraid to go outside the lines, even when some of those moments off the path don't lead anywhere. The Esoteric primary asset is producing songs that wouldn't sound out of place on any given 90's hardcore label, especially the early material released by Second Nature, Trustkill, Ebullition, +/-, and Indecision. It's pretty refreshing to hear passion and rage like that again; problem is, Subverter gives in on a few too many occasions to the current state of metalcore. "Science Is Sexy" has some nice melodies and a good breakdown, but comes off a little forced before diluting into a short electronic segue entitled "Language Is A Virus." Not too bad but nothing spectacular. "Shipyards Of Foreign Critics" reminds me of Seattle greats Botch and so-so outfit Harkonen mixed with "How The Gods Kill"-era Danzig charm. "We Will Not Be Convinced" slams in with crusty HC (think Left For Dead meets Tragedy) might while "Our Exquisite Corpse" is in the same vein but a bit more post hardcore melody seeps in ala Quicksand or Far. "Nothing Remains The Same" like the aforementioned "Shipyard" has punch and sass but drones on toward the end. "You Are The Execution" starts off right but kind of stalls in the middle and loses its intensity though I heard shades of early Adamantium, Countervail (especially psyched on this influence as they remain one of my five favorite bands), and Eyelid, while "Clone Culture" thrashes like the technical fury of Torn Apart battling it out with the sludgy brute force of Disembodied, though not as well as either of those bands. The audio is above average, but kept a bit more to the basement as opposed to the high rise Hollywood treatment. Hollow in spots, but full-bodied where it counts. Bass is hard to hear, but I love the drum sound. There are no lyrics, but what I did make out (and from what I remember in the booklet of The Sureness of Sleepwalking), these dudes write lyrics worth reading at least once, and the vocals that project them are a perfect fit. The interior art is wonderful; dark fantasy images. It would have been cool to see this expanded upon. Bottom Line: The Esoteric are a phoenix in the literal and figurative sense; they've been down and out many times and continue to rise. Subverter shows more promise than their previous album and this is a sign of something good; perhaps they will continue on to make something great. If not, it's still a nice way to go out.

16 comments

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YAWL IM ARNOLD_ 11/9/2006 11:30:38 PM

first post f*ck u vvvvvv whoever posts next


xtroyx_ 1/7/2007 10:09:09 PM

i love run-on sentences so much they make me want to read the whole thing over twice while thinking about how much i like the record the band put out, even though the band really sucks, which is why no one has heard about them until recently: because they suck; and their record label isn't much better and i'd really like it if one day Prosthetic could put something out worth listening to.


anonymous 1/8/2007 1:07:59 AM

took u long enough to review this shit.. bitch... March 2nd the esoteric in Ottawa


jefferson_ 1/8/2007 3:26:14 AM

this band is LITERALLY a phoenix... it is LITERALLY a band comprised of mythical birds... pretty niffty


Cory_ 1/8/2007 5:43:51 AM

his band is LITERALLY a phoenix... it is LITERALLY a band comprised of mythical birds... pretty niffty posted by jefferson () on 1/8/2007 3:26:14 AM I loled at this and then this came to mind: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


Kevin Gillian_ 1/8/2007 8:02:41 AM

Wow. This may be the worst review I've ever read on this site.


anonymous 1/8/2007 8:10:05 AM

This review really is on par with a 3rd grade book report.


anonymous 1/8/2007 11:10:08 AM

There are lyrics included on this album. It's printed the same color as the background, and you have to tilt the booklet so the light catches the letters. All the name-dropping still doesn't tell me shit about this record.


insideyou_ 1/8/2007 11:15:43 AM

you kids sure cry a lot


booyah_ 1/8/2007 5:27:17 PM

I counted 14 bands you compared this band too...and 12 were in one paragraph. Is this review about telling us what this cd sounds like or about how badass your musical taste is? this was also f*cking poorly written. literally phoenix is LOL material


simonbyronbrody_ 1/8/2007 7:03:41 PM

way to mention Trustkill and Ebullition in the same sentence as though they were anything alike in the 90s or ever. you sir: are; a .... douche-guzzler.


nevermindthatshit_ 1/8/2007 8:30:01 PM

worst band ever??


bigego_ 1/9/2007 1:03:07 PM

dude, over half the bands you said they drew influences from i've never listened to you ass hole, and i'm probably not the only one. suck it


Jayson_ 1/9/2007 3:53:41 PM

Wow...I don't usually post on these things and I hate to shit in a dude's cereal, but this review is really bad. Help yourself to an English book. Oh and, "so-so outfit Harkonen"? f*ck you. Die.


hunter_ 1/10/2007 2:34:13 PM

You might want to take your own advice, Mr. English.


rod_ 1/25/2007 3:48:01 PM

normally i hate it when reviewers get bashed, but this one deserved it. kudos to the 3rd grade book report.