ESOTERIC

Funeral Doom Metal • United Kingdom
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ESOTERIC formed in July 1992, after the gathering of five individuals, inspired to create dark, innovative music that was evocative to and expressive of the contents of their psyche. The lyrics and music are reflections and transpositions of their thoughts, philosophies, emotions and experiences. The music captures the essence of the word esoteric.

1993 saw the release of 'Esoteric Emotions - The Death of Ignorance' - a demo tape containing 82 minutes of hateful - drug influenced tortured doom with a total of 8 tracks. Almost immediately, this brought about an offer from Aesthetic Death to record a full length CD of new material.

In June 1994, ESOTERIC entered Rich Bitch studios in Birmingham to record 6 tracks (lasting almost 90 minutes). This recording was released as a double CD, titled 'Epistemological Despondency'. Soon after the recording of this album, Stuart (guitar) and Darren (drums) parted company with the
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ESOTERIC Discography

ESOTERIC albums / top albums

ESOTERIC Epistemological Despondency album cover 3.89 | 10 ratings
Epistemological Despondency
Funeral Doom Metal 1994
ESOTERIC The Pernicious Enigma album cover 4.32 | 12 ratings
The Pernicious Enigma
Funeral Doom Metal 1997
ESOTERIC Metamorphogenesis album cover 4.15 | 11 ratings
Metamorphogenesis
Funeral Doom Metal 1999
ESOTERIC Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum album cover 4.18 | 9 ratings
Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum
Funeral Doom Metal 2004
ESOTERIC The Maniacal Vale album cover 4.31 | 17 ratings
The Maniacal Vale
Funeral Doom Metal 2008
ESOTERIC Paragon of Dissonance album cover 3.66 | 9 ratings
Paragon of Dissonance
Funeral Doom Metal 2011
ESOTERIC A Pyrrhic Existence album cover 4.44 | 4 ratings
A Pyrrhic Existence
Funeral Doom Metal 2019

ESOTERIC EPs & splits

ESOTERIC live albums

ESOTERIC demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ESOTERIC Esoteric Emotions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Esoteric Emotions
Funeral Doom Metal 1993

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ESOTERIC Reviews

ESOTERIC A Pyrrhic Existence

Album · 2019 · Funeral Doom Metal
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siLLy puPPy
ESOTERIC is hardly the most prolific artist lurking about in the ever expanding world of metal music with albums roughly appearing every 4 or 5 years since 1994’s “Epistemological Despondency” and currently consists of band members Gordon Bicknell (Guitar, Synths), Mark Bodossian (Bass, Synths), Greg Chandler (Guitar, Vocals), Joe Fletcher (Drums) and Jim Nolan (Guitar). The band plods along through the decades crafting new releases as glacially as its unique brand of funeral doom metal oozes about with apocalyptic dirges slinking around like a sluggish serpent writhing in a frozen stupor.

The Birmingham, England based band returns with only its 7th massive album in the 27 years of its existence but with the exception of “Metamorphogenesis” and “Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum,” every other ESOTERIC album has yielded two complete discs of material which essentially adds an extra five albums tagged onto the official count. After a lengthy eight years since “Paragon Of Dissonance,” ESOTERIC returns with A PYRRHIC EXISTENCE which once again delivers another massive expanse of deathly funeral doom metal as yet another double album that believe it or not contains a mere six tracks.

Clocking in at over 98 minutes, yep, that’s over an hour and a half of A PYRRHIC EXISTENCE, every track is over 15 minutes long except “Antim Yatra” which is just shy of 5. Refusing to show any compromise in the psychedelic surreal metal that sounds like no other, ESOTERIC chose to open this new release with the lengthiest track “Descent” which at just shy of the 28 minute mark is longer than most EPs and an immediate warning for those who lack the patience of a meditative guru seeking enlightenment to pack up their bags and leave town. This is not a speed metal album after all. This is doom metal slowed down to a near cryogenic halt where tempos ooze by at a snail’s pace and ferocious atmospheric suffocation smothers every protruding guitar riff echoing in and out of existence.

Musically speaking, “Paragon Of Dissonance” tackled a slightly new detour for ESOTERIC which tweaked the playing style a bit, switched up the atmospheres in a somewhat familiar but slightly off congruency while delivering the expected soul-crushing funeral doom metal goods complete with the tortured growly vocals emerging from he depths of hell. On A PYRRHIC EXISTENCE the band seems to return back to the style delivered on albums such as “The Maniacal Vale” and while ESOTERIC has returned to a somewhat familiar overall sound, PYRRHIC is anything but a repeat of the past although a perfunctory spin of the uninitiated may not yield obvious differences.

ESOTERIC is a band that you have to adapt your entire being to in order to absorb its magnanimous delivery of incessant swirls of gnarled guitar chords, unstable atmospheric smokescreens and occasional rampages through an excitable bout of death doom outbursts. A careful listen will reveal that the album, while existing exclusively in the ESOTERIC zone, is actually quite diverse although it does take it’s sweet time in changing things up. This is what i call slow metabolism metal which makes those rare “hulk smash” faster tempos such as those in “Rotting In Dereliction” stand out even more. While it’s really easy just to sit back and meditate to any given ESOTERIC album, an active listen reveals a plethora of soundscapes interacting in a multitude of ways albeit like a taffy pulling context in the deep freeze.

Overall the compositions on A PYRRHIC EXISTENCE are outstanding with an excellent interplay of guitar parts in conjunct with the roaring synth driven atmospheres. The desperation of Greg Chandler’s vocals has never been more effective and the constantly evolving composiitons zigzag around like a drunken sloth finding its way out of a cornfield maze. While ESOTERIC had mastered the art of crafting massive sprawls of apocalyptic soundscapes from the very beginning, PYRRHIC only reinforces that the band is in no danger of losing its touch. Listening to an ESOTERIC album may be the musical equivalent of driving through the never-ending deserts of Nevada with one mountain range ceding into the next valley of sagebrush filled land but it’s this very spareness that allows the subtle elements to become ever more cherished. To sum it up, this is a triumphant return to funeral doom glory.

ESOTERIC Epistemological Despondency

Album · 1994 · Funeral Doom Metal
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siLLy puPPy
SURREAL METAL 101

There were some bands that jumped on the bandwagon of a certain trend and ran away with it and then there are those that knew exactly what they wanted from very start. Birmingham, England’s ESOTERIC are amongst the latter as they quickly distinguished themselves from the ever expanding doom metal universe into the extreme melancholy of the early funeral doom metal world. Along with early pioneers Thergothan, Skepticism, Funeral and Mournful Congregation, ESOTERIC excelled in the total submersion into the ultimate depressive atmospheric snail-paced dirge metal that ceased to exist in the physical world and opted to sublimate into a more hallucinogenic state of mind where echoey power chords take on droning characteristic accompanied by ethereal and wickedly depressive ambience to create some of the most surreal metal ever to exist.

ESOTERIC meant business as their career began and has revolved around slow and doom-laden metal that takes its sweet time to unfold its freeze-dried fury around you only to captivate your soul and entrancify your spirit into a phantasmic surrender of the will. Even with the demo “Esoteric Emotions - The Death Of Ignorance” the Birmingham band was all about sustaining a depressive atmosphere for over an hour. The demo clocked in at an astounding 82 minutes and was the prognosticator of entire career as every ESOTERIC album since has been a double CD fortified with endless drifting action of depressive doom metal action that is the equivalent to a sonic Salvador Dalí copulating with the early potentials of Black Sabbath and the countless emulators that emerged in their wake.

EPISTEMOLOGICAL DESPONDENCY is the debut album of ESOTERIC which appeared after their demo tape made a huge impression on the personal at Aesthetic Death Records who realized quite quickly that they had a rather unique musical entity on their radar. After all the legalities ensued, ESOTERIC recorded their debut album and set out to create one of the weirdest and most demanding albums of the mid-90s. While based in the world of doom metal mostly due to their molasses flowing guitar riffs and distortion to forever techniques, ESOTERIC is somewhat of a hybrid between the early 90s doom metal of Skepticism, Evoken and Pantheist cross-pollinating with some sort of sluggish ambient electronic band such as Coil with valium-esque synthesizer laden keyboard riffs that take the term “downers” to a whole new level.

ESOTERIC has been quite exemplary in their ability to tweak their sound ever-so-slightly on album after album but they proved themselves worthy quite well even on this gem of a debut that not only immediately separates them from the pack of death doom and funeral doom progenerators but also displays an emotional depth of character that few were capable of experiencing during the day of production. EPISTEMOLOGICAL DESPONDENCY is like no other of the day. This album is literally capable of causing extreme depression and suicidal thoughts much like legal drugs that have been promoted since. Personally i have no need for such chemical mind inducing intruders when such sonic therapy such as this exists. Literally nothing else before or since can compare to ESOTERIC’s bizarre and surreal take on doom metal and this debut is the perfect introduction to the phantasmagoric sonic reality of this strange band. ESOTERIC is one of my all time favorite bands and this debut reminds me why that is so time and time again. Do start here!

ESOTERIC The Maniacal Vale

Album · 2008 · Funeral Doom Metal
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mlkpad14
Brilliant!

I'm a little bit of a newbie to doom metal, but so far I love the thirty or so albums I've listened to... And this is the best one!

Each piece flows beginning to end and into the next. The atmosphere this album explores is crafted in the most beautiful way, and the layering adds so much to the pieces. The heaviness is so heavy it's awesome!

I can't wait to hear the rest of this band's work, but I doubt it'll be as good as this... Honestly, I'm just baffled by this masterpiece!

To conclude, I really liked this album - everything about it!

ESOTERIC Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum

Album · 2004 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Warthur
Subconscious Dissolution Into the Continuum is a case of evolution rather than revolution; it essentially finds Esoteric working their way further down the cleaner-sounding and more experimental trajectory that had started with Metamorphogenesis. Like that album, it's somewhat shorter than the epic slabs of funeral doom we've learned to expect from Esoteric, and that works to its favour, allowing them to tinker with an unusually subdued atmosphere for them without the album outlasting its welcome in the way it might if it had been padded out to the double CD length of some of their more epic works. The end result is another solid release.

ESOTERIC Metamorphogenesis

Album · 1999 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Warthur
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.

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