No matter how many generic death metal bands are out there doing what Grave and Entombed did twenty years ago, I find Puteraeon’s debut full-length The Esoteric Order a crushing album that indeed doesn’t offer anything new, but satisfies the needs of old school Swedish death metal fans - that is, if you’re not stuck with only the originals.
The Esoteric Order offers a heavy load of 13 tracks laden with rumbling - sometimes almost doomy - guitar sound and generally slow or mid-paced battering. Tracks like ”Whispers of the Dead” are exceptions when it comes to the tempo, that example having one of the only fast blast beats of the whole 56-minute package.
There’s almost nothing innovative about the riffs that follow the path of their influences very closely, and while I respect the loyalty to the original style, one hour is a tad too long running time. ”The Innsmouth Insanity” compensates a bit, being an instrumental that includes some evil clean guitar sound too. Still I think that reducing maybe three or four songs would have made a more enjoyable and less dulling experience.
In spite of all the negativity expressed in the paragraph above, that doesn’t take away the sheer power of the riffs. Also, the production is top-notch, even if some old schoolers could complain about its modern touch. All this, plus the Lovecraftian artwork that is to my taste, makes The Esoteric Order a nice album that I will be spinning every now and then in the future, so that three stars are certainly deserved.