Esotherisst’s Progressive Metal is polished and has a modern sound and production.
You Have Never is the first song. It’s the shortest of the three and it has a kind of Threshold-style, although this is mainly in the music rather than the vocals. The guitars are rhythmic and solid, with the leads and melodies used to add colour to this strong base. The singer has a good voice; it’s relatively low in the mix and used in an understated way throughout.
The second song is How to Fly and this is the longest track here at 6 minutes in length. This has more of an epic feel than the first one, with stronger keyboard backing and reminds me of Kamelot in some ways, although a more restrained, Progressive version and still tinged with a Threshold feel. Frenetic guitars and hyperactive keyboards are the centrepieces of this track and really drive home the Progressive tendencies of the band, like the 70s have been dragged into the modern day. This is bookended by lighter, more relaxed sections where the singer really comes into his own.
The final song is In Winter’s Arms. This continues the feel of the second track with an epic introduction and then a lighter verse, (although without the extended Progressive workout in the middle that the second song boasted). This is a theme developed throughout the 5 minutes playing time, ending on a softer note to finish.
The weakest link for me in this is the singer, although that sounds worse than it is. It’s not that he has a bad voice, quite the contrary in fact; I just feel he is slightly lacking in confidence and needs to develop a little more presence and force in his delivery. This is not insurmountable though and he has the necessary attributes for success, they just need to be brought to the fore a bit more. This is only a minor quibble though, and might actually be less about the singer himself and more due to the recording – the music has such a strong production that he can sometimes sound overshadowed.
Overall, Esotherisst have impressed me with this release. With a few tweaks to the songwriting and vocal delivery their début album should be an extremely strong release if this is any indicator.
Give them a listen.