Esoctrilihum
Dy'th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath


4.2
excellent

Review

by Papa Gnocchi STAFF
May 30th, 2021 | 68 replies


Release Date: 05/21/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: snakes on the brain…

French born Esoctrilihum is a workhorse. In just five years of activity the band, or rather sole member, Asthâghul has released six full-length records. It’s almost staggering to think one individual has the drive to release this much music, but it becomes a more poignant feature considering Esoctrilihum’s tendency to smash through more than an hour’s content and maintain such a brilliant, consistent trajectory. Running it back, it seems that French born Asthâghul is on an approximate tenth month release cycle, barring the act’s two 2018 full-lengths and the EP with little to no down-time between subsequent releases. It would seem that while we sit here and absorb the latest of sauntering black metal riffs and haunting, recurring melodies, Esoctrilihum may already be concocting a new composition, gripped already by an occult ritual involving latent synth and discarded snare skins.

Or just maybe the guy is curled up in the embrace of an armchair?

In having such a prolific release rate it’s natural that Dy’th Requiem For The Serpent Telepath would be compared to the records left just over the hill, particularly that of Eternity Of Shoag which stood massive and towering in a world of run of the mill black metal. As listeners look closer to the present a few things become clear about Esoctrilihum in 2021. Namely, ...Serpent Telepath is candid with its repetition, spending less time snaking around its motifs a la The Telluric Ashes of the Ö Vrth Immemorial Gods; bringing its furor into a controlled and free flowing state. In tune with the project’s new focus, the album’s orchestral sections take centre stage often becoming the smooth juxtaposition to Asthâghul’s snarky croak while providing ample ground for the band’s more molten death metal approach to carry the clear melodicism and bleaker, blacker sections. In this manner, ...Serpent Telepath is more approachable and easier to absorb by the casual listener.

A few problems emerge from the mystic depths to which ...Serpent Telepath caters, particularly when it comes to the brick walling of the band’s ever present soundscapes and the occasional mixing issues. For the former, Esoctrilihum’s penchant to throw everything at a wall (sonically) for the better part of seventy seven minutes is daunting and while little earworms make their way out of the riffs and the near boom of the snare, the nuance can often become lost behind a wall of riffery and similar vocal snarks (no matter how idyllic these features may be for long time fans). The album’s mixing issues however, stem from the fact that everything pushes for the centrelight. Take “Agakuh” for example: the drums snap out from cavern, burrowing a clear path through single note riffery, but the rest of the record’s larger sounds quickly take over somehow pushing this massive percussive sound somewhere to the back. It’s just one instance where Esoctrilihum’s massive energy is being pushed, squeezed and jostled before finding a place near the front of the stage.

Where ...Serpent Telepath shines however, is in its pacing. Sure, the new album carries itself well past an hour’s runtime, but in itself it’s broken into four distinct chapters. The first of which, Serpentine Lamentations of Death launch the new album as if they’re three sides of the same coin. “Ezkikur”’s near bombastic surge into being, while Asthâghul barks out rituals evenly. “Salhn’ takes the vocal progressions and continues them in orchestral strings. This is the repetition of an idea that glues itself to the listeners’ mind, like an earworm that simply won’t let go. The second (and strongest) of ...Serpent Telepath’s chapters, The Secret Doctrines of Transmigration is a testament to the riff. “Baahl Duthr” throws around some of the year’s more beastly riffs, while enjoying the same occult-ness found on the tracks before it. “Agakuh” is particularly cavernous, providing some real depth before closing the section with a frenzied “Eginbaal”.

From here things get a little… wonky. While we’ve just about already heard everything ...Serpent Telepath has had to offer so far, listeners are really only at the halfway point of the new record. The one-two-three punch of “Dy'th”, “Craânag” and “Zhaïc Daemon” cover ground between niches of death metal, dungeon synth and black metal featuring poignant, introspective piano lines. Still “Hjh'at” finishes ...Serpent Telepath in resounding form. For an hour plus listeners have been slammed and carried by the newer, more approachable aesthetic found within Esoctrilihum’s sixth studio full-length, but it’s these last moments that bring the first and fourth chapters together; a snake biting its tail—a requiem complete. I find the new focus on melody and hook has come positively for Esoctrilihum as a whole and yet, there’s not quite enough here to bridge every part of this near eighty minute epic together. Overall, ...Serpent Telepath isn’t flawless, but it is expansive, interesting, and full on.




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user ratings (69)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Not "snakes on a plane".

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


1358 Comments


Y E S
Good stuff Nocte. Muchos excited, band slaps

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

muchos slappos



edit: bandcamp thingo added.

Elynna
May 30th 2021


953 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is neat. Need to give this a couple of more spins before settling on a rating, but i'm feeling a strong 4. Those fadeouts are weird though

Digging: Hautville - Mater Dolorosa

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

How some of them just... cut out?

Sowing
Moderator
May 30th 2021


38414 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I enjoyed this quite a bit. The vocals are weird and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing yet. Baahl Duthr makes me feel like I could fight off an army on my own. Probably will 4 this soon. Great review, keep introducing me to good metal.

Digging: Darkside - Spiral

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Hi Sowing,



Yeah the guy has a sort of individual bark/snarl which has become a bit of a staple for his albums. I think it's got a lot to with the phrasing, they're often quite rhythmical, like another instrument rather than a spotlight, stage center of "here's a mystical story".



Feel free to let me know how you go with the sentiment. I think you're onto something with all these recent metal experiences. Dvne has really awoken something in you!

combustion07
May 30th 2021


8640 Comments


Bands past 3 albums absolutely slay. Excited to jam this one

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Let me know how you go : ]

garas
Contributing Reviewer
May 30th 2021


6216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album cover of the year.



Very precise review. Personally I loved how it turned out - the mixing is a bit odd indeed, but the more synths in it = the more I like it.

Digging: Oublieth - l'Ombre du Royaume en Cendres

bloc
May 30th 2021


66195 Comments


That album cover is sick

Digging: Hiatus Kaiyote - Mood Valiant

StickFeit
May 30th 2021


1676 Comments


Album cover is metal AF

osmark86
May 30th 2021


10758 Comments


fooken hell this guy is prolific.

Dedes
May 30th 2021


7720 Comments


I love what I've heard in the past from Esoctrilihum but it's definitely a little difficult to latch onto with just how wildly intricate everything is.
This sounds like something I might dig a lil more though. Also sweet review dawg you're machine lmao

R4zor3dge
May 30th 2021


1235 Comments


Good review man. Can't wait to check this given how good Eternity of Shaog was.

PortalofPerfection
May 30th 2021


2518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely need to check this.

Digging: Noctule - Wretched Abyss

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Makes sense

quetzal
May 31st 2021


379 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

now THIS is why i listen to black metal



esoctrilihum putting every damn band to shame

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2021


14525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

that's a 5 folks.

quetzal
May 31st 2021


379 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

there's no way anyone could ever claim that i give out 5s way too freely and easily i mean i barely ever 5 albums



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