Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 3:42:31pm ET

 


Artist: Esoterica
CD Title: The Fool
Label: Something.To.Listen.TO
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 7-12-05

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The new full-length album from Britain’s Esoterica ought to be quite the treat for fans of Tool and A Perfect Circle. Not only does lead singer Tobias have the same type of emotive, acrobatic tenor as Maynard James Keenan – capable of alternating suddenly between throaty rage and sensitive whimper – but the band’s arrangements share Tool’s melodic heaviness and A Perfect Circle’s tendency toward complex, progressive songwriting. “Valium,” for example, is quiet and moody, with thin guitars whining through layers of effects processing, but the song blends without pause into the alternately quiet and bellowing rock of “Pushing Providence.” “Samples” also shows a mastery of dynamics; with its up-front bass line and choppy rhythms, it’s an example of what the so-called “nu-metal” sound could accomplish if it weren’t for bands like Limp Bizkit and Dope ruining it for everyone. Produced by John Fryer, who’s worked with everyone from Nine Inch Nails and HIM to This Mortal Coil and the Cocteau Twins, this album is mixed brilliantly, of course, emphasizing the standard rock palette of drums, bass, guitar and voice, but it also adds atmospheric effects like the chiming keyboards on title track “The Fool” and a hint of classical cello on the outro ballad “Close Your Eyes.” With enough of a radio-friendly modern rock sound to appeal to a wide audience and enough songwriting chops to please pickier listeners, it’s clear Esoterica are going places. Check them out now, and you can say you were a fan before they were famous.

Visit www.eso1.com for more information and music downloads.


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