Esoteric – The Maniacal Vale (2008)
As I am the “doom metal guy” of our team I decided to have a look at the newest release of Season of Mist by the band Esoteric. Their new record is called The Maniacal Vale containing 2 CDs but only 7 tracks divided amongst them. This already proves the first point: doom metal bands tend to write long and slow-paced songs. Esoteric are no exception to this rule as two of the 7 tracks are over 20 minutes long each. The music features the typical drum parts with low guitar riffs that are enriched with the melancholic melodies of the lead guitar. Greg Chandler growls and screams his pain into the microphone, contributing to a truly depressing and negative atmosphere. I tried my best to dive into The Maniacal Vale, which is not an easy task considering the impressive song length. “Circle”, the first song of the record has little variations except for a quiet part in the middle and started to schlep after a while. I know that doom metal is supposed to be monotonous and slow, but this is a bit much. But then things change a bit and the third track “Quickening” finally incorporates atmospheric noise, violin sounds, which are broken through by the heavy guitar riffs, creating a wall of intense misery to wallow in. The song intensives the longer it gets and really is a true masterpiece of doom music. The final track of the first CD “Caucus of Mind” has a faster pace, and speeds up to a death/black metal kind of thrust. It gets ripped in two after a few minutes, breaking the energetic experience with once again slow and heavy riff guitars. The experience is quite unique.
Popping in the second CD I was surprised; “Silence” features semi-clean guitars playing a melody of both sadness and happiness entwined. Of course this innocent air is broken by the traditional doom elements of Esoteric’s music but nevertheless it seems to fit this time. “Order of Destiny” is in my opinion the best song as it features all the best elements of traditional doom metal and still manages to include some extravagant guitar soli and breaks. The album is topped off with the second 20 minute opus, which is a lot more varied than the first one.
All in all this is a good record if you are looking for something to drink a nice glass of absinth to, ponder the futility of the human existence and don’t mind the extreme length of the songs and the tendency to repetition. Happy depression!
~ by cnspiracy on June 28, 2008.