Review Summary: Another quality release from the leaders of funeral doom? You bet your ass.
Throughout their career, Esoteric have experimented with different formulas to create their own brand of funeral doom. Their debut album Epistemological Despondency
showed a very raw and exposed side of them. By the time they released Maniacal Vale
, they had polished their sound in all possible aspects and yet demonstrated their trademark aura of chaos. On Paragon of Dissonance
(as its title suggests) they take this chaos to the next level. By evolving their newfound style and adding more variety in their songwriting, Esoteric have created their most diverse, haunting and accessible album to date.
I will not delve much into the sound of the album; it is as it always has been. The guitars are thick, densely layered and deliver the aural assault expected when you combine doom and death metal. Greg’s vocals are still top-notch and he isn’t afraid to abuse them when necessary. The bass and the drumming, however, must get a special mention. Not that one can ever say that they ever lacked in this department, but because they have raised their game as a whole, the rhythm department sections have now become fascinating to listen to. They add that little extra touch that the band needed to demonstrate an overall evolution.
Those who have heard and appreciated The Maniacal Vale
will know what made it so spectacular. The music underneath was always simple but it was accompanied by complex melodies and transitions which just made it a joy (not literally) to listen to. Well, guess what? They’ve topped that as well. The music continues with the vocals on top and in the background you will hear brilliant guitar solos that perfectly synergize with the sinister sound of the album. The songwriting has so much more to it now that there is no way anyone could get bored listening to it. With the evolution of vision they have demonstrated, it would now not be wrong to call Esoteric the forerunners of funeral doom.
This album has everything you need and will need for the next month. With a running time of almost a 100 minutes, it may not be a simple listen but it doesn’t get more rewarding than this. This is highly recommended to all fans of metal in general and to those who want to listen to an album that might just top their album of the year list.