Review Summary: An album that will make your ears bleed and make you not care about it at all.
This album is what the invisible oranges gesture was made for.
Now, as mentioned, this is a massive album; not just in length but in sound as well. And Esoteric
did not take any steps to hide this fact. It should not come to a surprise to anyone that Esoteric revels in casting forth crushing wave after crushing wave of deafening distorted guitar and with a pace the rivals the slowness of time. You have Greg Chandler and Jim Nolan simply just forcing their way through your ear canals, backed by Mark Bodossian on his down-tuned bass of death, slugging to create a perfect example of why funeral doom is one of the heaviest genres the bigger umbrella of metal ever cast off. However, there are some switching points through the first half; all of a sudden we have medium-paced death metal riffs, a few psychedelic interludes and what have you. This should not come as a suprise though as this is Esoteric and they have done all the way through the career; it just seems a lot of prominent on "Paragon of Dissonance". Especially during the longer tracks, Abandonment and Non Being. I mean, after about two minutes of droning, the last track mentioned suddenly picks up a marching drum beat and a guitar solo.
I make it sound like I've never heard funeral doom before, right? I know that all the stuff I just mentioned of course has it place in such a down-tempo genre of music but, for me, it sometimes puts me on a slope with this album; you don't know where you have it. Luckily, when Esoteric are good with their feedback, their reverb and their heavy sound they are really ***ing good.
The second part, however, is much more unforgiving. It is a three tracks of roughly the same length, all about fifteen minutes of unrelenting doom riffs and slow drumming. This is what I came for. This is where Esoteric gets me every time and I go into full metalhead mode. When this album is heavy, it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the heaviest album I've heard all year. It slams you down and just keeps on pushing until all the bones in your body have been turned to dust by the sheer force of sound eminating from two guitars, a bass, a drumkit and a growling madman.
In conclusion, what you have here could easily be a contender for metal album of the year. However, seeing as funeral doom metal gets a bit niche at times, I'll just note that if you like heavy music, if you are prone to the famous insivible oranges stance, then this is right up your alley. Plus, if you are a fan of doom metal and haven't heard Esoteric, now is a good a time to start as any.