AlbumsNovember 29, 20116,231 views

The Esoteric A Reason To Breathe


01. Our Best Elvis Yet 02. Strategy of Luck 03. Worth The Wait 04. Eye child 05. Flight of the Botlfy
2002 Crash and Bang Records
Our score 8

5/9/2002

From Lawrence, Kansas comes The Esoteric, which features guitarist Corey White, who now pulls double-duty between the aforementioned unit, as well as the newly reformed Coalesce. Let's get one thing straight: anyone who can receive a CD of Coalesce songs minus the guitars, overdub the guitars in practically a day (see our Coalesce interview, where Sean Ingram verifies this), play it perfectly, and take over guitar duties for the band has to be good. But White is only a part of the whole that is The Esoteric, and the rest of its players are just as formidable, making the overall unit quite excellent. The Esoteric display a level of technical precision that's comparable to their current-day counterparts Burnt By The Sun and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Although there is a hint of Coalesce influence (White has noted that he grew up listening and watching Coalesce), the band mixes various styles ranging from serene, atmospheric, almost eerie guitars to grinding blast-beats. For instance, "Our best Elvis Yet" begins with clean guitar strumming, but then bursts into rapid-fire drumming and complex guitar lines. The track then begins to twist and turn in between crunch, a bit of offbeat rhythmic riffing and drumming, math metal, and some Coalesce-style guitar grooves. Most of the songs on this EP display these elements or variations, such as palm-muted riffing, guitar picking and intricate guitar leads. For all the band's aggressiveness, it is not limited to the constant grind and barrage of riffs and double kick. Several tracks include melodic guitars ("Strategy of Luck," "Worth The Wait," and "Flight of the Botlfy"), while one song ("Eye Child") has an almost sludgy stoner passage within. And while The Esoteric mixes things up, the group makes it sound so easy, as transitions between song segments do not feel forced. It's almost as if you can anticipate the shifts. In terms of musicianship, it's top-notch. Honestly, I don't think there is a miscue by the guitars and vocals, or a misplaced drum fill. Everything is incredibly tight considering how rapid the song tempos can be. The guitars are mechanical-like in their riffing and grinding, the drumming is complex and constantly moving, and when everything is put together, it's perfect. In terms of the record's overall production, it's quite clean. The mix is adequate. I think the guitar tones may be a little overwhelming at some points, drowning out the bass at times, but it's a minor complaint. The drums are very crisp, and the growling vocals (which remind me of His Hero Is Gone at times, but a bit less throaty) are clear. The layout for the record is simple. Because of the plastic case packaging, the actual cover art is under a thin sheet of plastic, similar to a DVD case. The cover is a photo of three young children amid a field stargazing in the evening. The liner notes and credits are typed on a small white sheet of paper and folded within. On an interesting note, the drummer's name is not listed within the credits. Whether it's a mistake or an interim drummer, someone should be credited because the drum work is incredible. The lyrics are introspective and personal, but subjective in some cases. Bottom Line: Any fan of technical metalcore with a grind edge has to pick up this CD. The music isn't generic at all, the musicianship is quality, and the songwriting and arrangements are excellent. Be on the lookout for this band going forward. They're ready to tear things up, and they've already started with "A Reason To Breathe."

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champ10n_ 10/10/2004 11:53:23 AM

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natas-101_ 4/3/2005 3:45:02 AM

This singer used to play bass and sing in this band, http://www.myspace.com/hitmanunion If you liked this you might also like that.