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Esoterica - Aseity

by Salvador Aguinaga II at 24 February 2014, 1:46 AM

When I listened to both “Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy” and “A Slave's Ablution” I was ready to call “Aseity” as “In the Nightside Eclipse” done right. A. Poole, however, uses ambiance to appease the ears of the public instead of synth. But the main difference is A. Poole knows when or not to use these additional resources. The instruments along with the ambiance are well in-tuned with each other. I don’t feel myself riding along a spontaneous wave that disrupts the flow of my chi (so to speak). Then, we arrive at “Fever” where my vision of ESOTERICA rising to meet my theory fails. The prior songs built a certain idealistic perception about “Aseity”. But “Fever” dramatically ruined the sagacity.

Both “Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy” and “A Slave's Ablution” are dark and baneful compositions. Nathan Kite’s (aka The Many) mixing helped deliver a multidimensional listening experience as you delve into these tracks. These songs are spiteful. They seem to emit a force field akin to a stubborn entity that will not change in its darkness. The sound is primarily Atmospheric Black Metal/Ambient. In spite of that usually being quite the opposite of ABM, the mixing did alter the embodiment of these compositions. Both the vocals and ambience were secondary elements in the mixing. The rough recording qualities were foremost which made “Aseity” a difficult album to get into at first. But without these decisions both tracks would not have been as effective.

From “Fever” on, everything went downhill. I did not understand. When “Aseity” was completely heard I went back to the first two tracks and I still loved them. The album took a 180 and said “F you”. “Fever” is a decent song until it gets midway. The song immediately gets too emotional by exploring Post-Black Metal elements. My brain de-synthesizes and I start to wonder what the heck happened here. As I move forward, I noticed a complete deviation from the prior groundwork I believed ESOTERICA had set. More of the same came its way and even the mixing could not save it from damnation. In fact, the mixing did not work at all for these tracks. The mixing felt like a brick wall was in the way and I could not see the affirmation of the musicians’ choices.

The guitars had significant meaning in both “Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy” and “A Slave's Ablution”. They had a proper, almost Melodic Black Metal sound. But that’s not all. It was also infused with a low-tuned doom sounding anatomy.  This gracious sound was taken away as it commenced. Without it, the album had no substance or backbone. It was simply a catastrophic mess. The riffs took a hippy and optimistic approach. “Aether Communion” was a complete bastardization of unlikable riffs and showcases everything that went wrong with this album. Mind you, even “Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy” had minimal illustrations of higher-pitched riffs. They, however, were used promptly and artistically. It made me realize that the Black / Doom-esque riffs were essential to the sound. Without them, the mixing failed to adapt and ran dry.

The only things that stayed constant were the vocals and the recording qualities (maybe bass and drums too?). Of course, with an abrupt change in everything the recording became a nuisance as well. But the vocals were nice. They were set in the background putting the “atmospheric” in ABM. They were almost like these half-growl, half-shrieks that were likable within the album’s duration. A. Poole had these nice screams too. They sounded as if someone had stolen a newborn from an eagle’s nest and the mother was enraged. Maybe the fledgling left because they didn’t like “Aseity” either? 

2 Star Rating

1. Lessons in Forbidden Alchemy
2. A Slave's Ablution
3. Fever
4. Lethe
5. Womb
6. Aether Communion
S. Blackburn - Bass
A. Poole - Vocals, Guitars, Ambiance
G. Potenti – Drums
Record Label: Forever Plagued Records


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