ESO
The Fool


4.0
excellent

Review

by Yeahtoast USER (19 Reviews)
August 27th, 2010 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: UK prog-rock outfit deliver an impressive debut that quickly became a success within their local scene.

Founded in Africa and now based in Surrey in the UK, Esoterica have made quite a name for themselves since releasing their debut album, The Fool, in 2007. Having received a large amount of European radio airplay, it was no surprise their unique style of progressive rock quickly gained momentum and acquired a solid fanbase extremely quickly. Having toured with big acts such as industrial giants Nine Inch Nails, Esoterica’s success is an achievement that cannot be denied by even the most ardent skeptics. The band introduced a new sound to a scene that was crying out for something special; with none other than John Fryer as producer, from the start, it was clear Esoterica were determined to fill this void with something unique, and in some fashion.

Immediately attracting comparisons to Tool and A Perfect Circle, Esoterica set out to show they are not a replica band by any standards. Musically, The Fool is quite a different approach to prog-rock than any others have attempted in the past. The gloomy atmosphere that is the central thread running through the album facilitates the hypnotic vocals of Tobias Keast perfectly; often harmonizing with some simple drum patterns, his vocals create spacey passages that not only keep the album flowing at a steady pace, but often generate a sense of ambiguity and anticipation. The dark guitar melodies of Matthew Diver and Bari Parrott give The Fool a genuine sense of rawness and though at times their play may be simple, the emotion contributed by both is something that is easily sensed by the listener. Their style contrasts between simple leads, slow progressive play and several stomping hard rock riffs. The two undoubtedly give the album its diversity and manage to maintain a formula of never allowing two songs to manifest in the same manner; ensuring every song adds a new layer and a more diversifying texture to a fascinating album.

The crisp production values on display enhance the murky atmosphere that Esoterica invoke through their music and, most notably, through the lyrics and the manner in which they are delivered. Songs such as “Salvation” are a prime example; here we learn of the inner turmoil of Keast when it comes to religion and people’s hypocritical infatuation with the subject. A simple eerie guitar lead is overlaid by Tobias’ distinctive vocals and a straightforward drum pattern. An ominous weighty guitar riff then transcends into one of the albums many sky scraping choruses. The catchy “Life Is Lonely” again deals with the singer’s despair, this time with the loneliness of losing someone and his attempts at numbing the pain. An enormous chorus and some of the album’s best guitar and drum work as well as s truly emotional display from Tobias make it a highlight and displays the true talent of a band whose sound appeals to an array of genres.

With The Fool, Esoterica have delivered a wholly impressive debut. One that injected a new source of diversity into a music scene that was struggling for any sort of true creative uniqueness. A fact quickly realized and understood by the multitude of fans who took solace in the band’s progressive, often spacey hard rock sound. A sound that appealed to such a vast range of demographics not only because of its accessibility, but due to the organic nature of the emotion portrayed. Esoterica were set for big things and The Fool only cements their place as the leaders of a new generation of UK prog bands.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DoubtGin
August 27th 2010


6754 Comments


"With the fool, Esoterica have delivered a wholly impressive debut"

capital letter for the album titled; only one I found while going carelessly through this

I've listened to The Riddle (thanks to you) and its pretty great, might check this one out too

Yeahtoast
August 27th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Underrated band/album.

Yeahtoast
August 27th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for pointing that out. To be honest, this was only at about a 3 from me a few weeks ago, I thought The Riddle was far superior in almost every way, but this is now my favourite by them. If you liked The Riddle you should love this one man, well worth checking out at least.

JustJoe
August 27th 2010


1399 Comments


Yes! You wrote a review for it! I've yet to listen to it though. I got sidetracked with something else the day you rec-ed it to me. =/

Yeahtoast
August 27th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hehehe I remember the day Joe, think it was on one of my early morning lists complaining due to lack of sleep. It's all good man, you should definitely check it out though, it's a bit odd but quite excellent

JustJoe
August 27th 2010


1399 Comments


As soon as school stops raping my face, I'll give this its due listen.

Yeahtoast
August 28th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Judging by your ratings you should enjoy buddy.

cb123
October 14th 2010


2059 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

dam dude i didnt see ya did this review to...well written, great album

Yeahtoast
October 18th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dawwwg

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 12th 2012


22075 Comments


just realised how much this sounds like a perfect circle

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers



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