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4.15 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1999


1. Dissident (17:17)
2. The Secret of the Secret (15:11)
3. Psychotropic Transgression (11:47)

Total Time 44:15


- Bryan Beck / bass
- Gordon Bicknell / guitar
- Greg Chandler / vocals, guitar
- Steve Peters / guitar
- Keith York / drums

Guest Musicians:
- Tom Kvalsvoll / Vocals on "The Secret Of The Secret"

About this release

Full-length CD, Eibon Records
August 1999

Thanks to progkidjoel for the addition and siLLy puPPy for the updates


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A full length-album by anyone else's standards, a mere EP compared the massive monoliths of funeral doom metal that Esoteric usually deliver, Metamorphogenesis is perhaps a good place for novices to dip their toes into Esoteric's sound at this stage of their career. Somewhat less spacey than the preceding album (The Pernicious Enigma) and more aligned with traditional funeral doom metal, it's easier to digest than a lot of Esoteric's work, but at the same time I do miss the extent to which you can just lose yourself and swim around in their double albums here. Try it out, but bear in mind that Esoteric isn't quite Esoteric unless there's an overwhelming amount of it.
There's some changes going on with Esoteric's third album, 'Metemorphogenesis'. One minor detail is that frontman Greg Chandler has picked up a guitar, which would become a permanent arrangement. The bigger change is that there's only one disc! Esoteric have been known for releasing two CD albums; but here, there's only one. There's only three songs, each of them getting progressively shorter in length for only 44 minutes of music. Maybe that will make this album easier to get into for outsiders.

Upon pressing play, there's one other little difference from the past albums: there's no creepy/spacey sounding intro. All the instruments and even vocals are going right from the get go at the beginning of "Dissident". Of course, we still have the same funeral doom sound with echo vocals and haunting lead guitar, but the production on this album has improved since 'The Pernicious Enigma'. Though starting out a bit fast, the initial pace begins to slow at 3:44, eventually reaching a slow section filled with atmospheric weirdness provided by keyboard notes and ambiance that Esoteric is very well known for by this point. They play around with that mood for a good while. Around the 10 minute mark, the rhythm guitar chugging starts to progressively get faster, but there's still lead guitar and/or keys to make it sound alien. Eventually, the sped up chugging gets really, really hypnotic before it stops a little after the 13 minute mark giving way to ambiance and noise going on for the last minutes of the song.

Yep, it's Esoteric's musical mind-fuckery at it's finest, but there's still two more songs.

"The Secret of the Secret" (what the hell kind of name is that?) comes next. It starts with slower, calmer spacey guitars with the pace with 1:15 signalling the intro of funeral doom chugging. Afterwards, the next big variation comes in at 2:45 with the tempo picking up slightly and the keys and/or guitar playing a scary lead line before the riff drops and music changes at 3:20. That scary, faster music comes back at 4:50. After it goes away again, the music that comes in to replace it is silent guitar playing with noise until the funeral doom music comes back in with a more melancholic tone that is maintained for the rest of the song with something of an extended spacey guitar solo playing to amp up the atmosphere.

All that is left is "Psychotropic Transgression". Another sorrowful sounding piece, the pace doesn't change too drastically, but there is another one of those extended spacey guitar solos among all the other atmosphere until the 7 minute mark where it all begins to quiet down and slow up keeping that pace for pretty much the rest of the song. Aside from the steadily changing atmosphere from the lead guitar and keys, there isn't much changing at this point, but it's funeral doom. What did you expect?

Esoteric is moving into the modern funeral doom sound with this release, and this transitional album is really quite astounding. Obviously, it's not quite as excellent as the legendary 'The Pernicious Enigma', but definitely better than the still great 'Epistemelogical Despondancy', making 'Metamorphogenesis' a most excellent addition to Esoteric's legacy.

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