Esoterica
The Riddle


4.0
excellent

Review

by Yeahtoast USER (19 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2010 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The UK’s answer to Tool?

Rising form the lonely suburbs of Surrey in the UK, eccentric prog rock outfit Esoterica are determined to make their own unique mark on the genre. Many would argue that this mark has already been firmly established and with a John Fryer (Nine Inch Nails, HIM, Depeche Mode) produced debut under their belt, few within the strong following that they’ve acquired would disagree. Following a succession of tours and festivals which has seen them share stages with the likes of HIM, Marilyn Manson and Korn, the band now return with their follow up to 2008’s The Fool and are here to show anyone who wasn’t interested before just exactly what all the hype is about.

This strenuous touring schedule has served the band well and has ultimately led to the development from their Goth roots to fashion a unique sound, one exclusive enough to demand the attention of fans and critics alike. Now encompassing elements of classic rock and prog-metal, Esoterica hit harder than before and seem assured to attract new fans to their already impressive posse. Not only do they combine these fundamentals to make something entirely strange and new, they do so in impressive style. Sounding relevant and catchy throughout, here we find an intriguing, highly accessible band creating impressive atmospheric music in their own style.

Kicking things off in explosive style with “Scream”, a razor sharp riff introduces us to the type of guitar work Esoterica have to offer, progressing from where they left off in 2005. Tobias Keast then marks his arrival on the album, verses which are driven along by crisp drumming, staccato effects and a fuzzy guitar riff. Stylish backing vocals between verses and a clean sounding breakdown towards the end make this a great album opener. “Tomorrow I Won’t Remember”, the album’s second single after “Silence”, is only slightly mellower but progresses in intensity. With a catchy chorus line and a psychedelic interlude, this is an album highlight and will certainly go down a storm live as well. Which brings me to the title track; The Riddle. This is a song most listeners will either love or hate and your opinion on it may define your experience with this album. Extremely mellow, atmospheric and withdrawn compared to most of the album. I find this to be a beautiful masterpiece with yet another powerful interlude, this time reminiscent of “The Hollow” by A Perfect Circle, however, many people have been swayed by it’s mellowness in a negative manner and found it to be the polar opposite; boring.

So much do Esoterica have to offer by way of diversity, massive song structure and quite brilliant production, that a track by track review may have done The Riddle more justice. However, I decided against this as I could ramble on about the layered and intricate nature of each track until the cows come home. Album closer “Watch This Drive” makes the best of the otherwise useless ramblings of George W. Bush in crushing fashion, closing the album in style with speed and heaviness.

Esoterica have produced an excellently crafted record full of intricacies that will appeal to a wide spectrum of music fans. Atmospheric production, an impressive if somewhat delicate vocal performance, steady drum patterns and an overall imposing guitar work all round make this album so appealing. While there are several disposable songs on here, the exact tracks will vary from listener to listener depending on which elements are most appealing to the individual. There is no doubt the band will tour this album as extensively as they did their first, and one can only imagine their fan base will expand vastly and rapidly due to the diverse nature and quality of the music they create. An excellent record from a band who’ve clearly worked hard for the success they’ve obtained.



Recent reviews by this author
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user ratings (15)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Yeahtoast
May 2nd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry it's a bit long, I think I said everything I needed to though. Don't expect many people to take an interest in this review but I felt the album deserved it and it's definitely worth checking out.

Sowing
Moderator
May 2nd 2010


44008 Comments


very good review, i'll check them out. listened to a few 30 second samples on itunes and so far they sound like a more accessible version of tool

Yeahtoast
May 2nd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Sowing, does anyone want to give a reason for that neg or are just being a douche?

Sowing
Moderator
May 2nd 2010


44008 Comments


its people being douches. i just got like 4 negs today on old reviews for no reason haha.

Yeahtoast
May 2nd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man that's shit, seriously. Something really needs to be done about this kinda stuff around here, I'm fed up.

Sowing
Moderator
May 2nd 2010


44008 Comments


its not worth battling for. tbh approval rating means next to nothing and the more you fight for it on forums, like i just did, the more people will just neg you

Yeahtoast
May 2nd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah true. It's just really shit, people work hard on their reviews and dicks just come along and neg them.

iswimfast
May 2nd 2010


1526 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. You sold me, checking this out as we speak.

Yeahtoast
May 2nd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks buddy, glad I perked your interest! Let me know what you think.

cb123
May 3rd 2010


2235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this wasnt to bad, but i much preferred the sound they had with their first album. i might give this more of a chance to sink in though

nastynick
May 3rd 2010


853 Comments


Is your only goal in writing reviews to impress people? You're so worried about getting positive or negative votes, it comes off as sad and desperate.


Btw, I still pos'd

Yeahtoast
May 3rd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

LOL, no? As I already stated above it's just shit in general when people have nothing better than to neg people's reviews....y'know, it comes off a bit sad.

TheSmilingCreep
May 3rd 2010


137 Comments


Here, have another neg

Yeahtoast
May 3rd 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow

Obfuscation24
May 8th 2010


3939 Comments


Nice review man, pos'd
Just started listening to these guys, and theyre fucking great

Yeahtoast
May 8th 2010


2041 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! I've liked this album for a while it gets better everytime I listen to it.

anarchistfish
July 21st 2011


30369 Comments


got both their albums on CD. probably should give them another listen

anarchistfish
November 12th 2012


30369 Comments


whoever produced this should be shot



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