Just when you think you’ve just heard about everything in metal, a band like ESOTERIC pops up. And if I may make so bold: ESOTERIC is unlike any band you have ever, ever heard before.
Suffering, madness, dread… those are some of the words that come to mind when you’re listening to ESOTERIC. “Metamorphogenesis” is like an ill-dream: layers of chaos and nightmare dripping all over each other, mind-wrenching walls of noise, psychedelic soundscapes and violent metal. There are long sequences of eastern-flavoured soloing, Doom-laden riffs and noisy outros. The realm of ESOTERIC is filled with death, despair… and beauty.
There are roughly 44 minutes of music on “Metamorphogenesis”, only three songs and each of them varying between 17 and 12 minutes. The disc kicks in rather violently with “Dissident”, which is one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever heard. ESOTERIC’s trademark wall-of-sound hits you right from the beginning with lots of agonizing screams and menacing solos going on. The tension is somewhat relieved after a while and “Dissident” almost comes to a halt with a slow, depressing mid-section. From here on, the pace quickens into a long psychedelic outro and culminates with 3 minutes of noise and static. ”The Secret of the Secret” is my favourite song on this album. There are many tempo changes and mood swings, with some very ethereal bass work in the middle.
The last track is “Psychotropic Transgression” which has a beautiful psychedelic solo at its centre. When the final note waves out of hearing, you’ll feel like you’re 10 years older. “Metamorphogenesis” is like a work of modern art. I’m sure many people would call this an “ugly” album, but to me, this is a thing of supreme beauty.
For the love of Doom, buy this album! (Online March 24, 2004)
Guest reviewer Ben Meuleman