Esoteric - A Pyrrhic Existence
Season Of Mist
Funeral Doom
Disc 1: 3 songs (48:10) Disc 2: 3 songs (50:05)
Release year: 2019
Esoteric, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

Another molten blast of pure liquid doom metal, Birmingham's finest are back with a seventh full-length. And as those familiar with the project will know, this isn't a listen to be undertaken lightly, this only being Esoteric's third longest release at nearly ninety minutes in total length, and an opening track at over twenty-seven minutes; patience is the key! Yet those fans of doom metal's most extremist offshoot will be in rapture as the ponderously heavy riffs that open Descent ring out and the hateful, oppressive atmosphere begins to stroke your ears. Greg Chandler's dry, choking growl is as inhuman as ever and holds your attention as the music ebbs and flows, sometimes reducing to mere feedback before building again. It really takes off at around the eight minute part, echoing screams atop a psychedelic morass before fading and returning in a more melodic, somehow more melancholic fashion, never as simple as it may seem. Esoteric are an easy band to meditate to but the more you focus on the music itself the deeper it becomes, the subtle psychedelic keyboards that scurry along the bottom of the soundscape and fusing so well with the swirling, almost oceanic guitar feedback. And the guitar leads themselves, when they finally hit, are unimaginably beautiful in contrast to the surrounding ugliness, arriving at the peak of Descent and feeling like a religious experience.

After Descent, the comparatively short Rotting in Dereliction's fifteen minutes seem to fly by, the track living up to its name in ugliness of sound as the beauty of the previous track is stripped away and even a little death metal is allowed in as the riffs briefly take on a more strident, pressing tone. By the end, the keyboards are dominating, smoothly moving into the double-album's shortest piece, instrumental Antim Yatra, almost entirely ambient with militaristic drum beats and some piano, too ominous to be a breather. And although you might think ninety-plus minutes of funeral doom could grow repetitive or boring, the band keep things fresh with little touches like those strange, scraping riffs in Consuming Lies, almost catchy and definitely showing that the genre has room for experimentation. The psychedelics seem to be on the up in the following Culmination and by the time closing fifteen-minuter Sick and Tired rolls around you could be forgiven for feeling the same. It's a wonderful piece of doom, however, building in a post-rock fashion with plenty of melody before the screaming starts, switching to a more psychedelic, almost whooshing Hawkwind-y vibe as the riffs and growls herald a turn back to funeral doom territory. It's certainly one of the more dramatic tracks, with plenty of riffs and screams, but there's still much space taken up with the more ambient side of the band's sound. And although ninety minutes of music is enough for anyone, there's something that keeps you coming back for more. Another classic Esoteric release, this more than lives up to the promise held in the band's name.

Killing Songs :
Descent, Consuming Lies, Sick and Tired
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Esoteric that we have reviewed:
Esoteric - Paragon of Dissonance reviewed by Charles and quoted 90 / 100
Esoteric - The Maniacal Vale reviewed by Goat and quoted 93 / 100
Esoteric - Metamorphogenesis reviewed by Dee and quoted 85 / 100
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