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Symbolon Obscura: Esoterica

Symbolon Obscura is an American progressive rock project led by Michael DeMichele. The band’s first album, a self-titled effort was released in 2013. The band followed that with Monument Valley (2015) and have recently released their third disc titled Esoterica.

DeMichele talks about his love for progressive rock in the liner notes and also mentions the album’s concept of symbols and their hidden meanings. The band shows plenty of promise but there are also a few problems which I have to touch on. First of all the vocals. DeMichele’s vocals are not horrible but they aren’t great either as they come across rather flat. His guitar playing, on the other hand, is quite good. Also, some of the transitions and change-ups could have been a little smoother. Okay, how about the good stuff? Well, as I said earlier DeMichele is a fine guitar player as he lays down some pretty solid riffs and solos. He also dabbles in keyboards where he is quite proficient as well. He even adds drums on a couple tracks.

The instrumental title track begins the disc with an opening synth salvo and layered keys. It’s a nice track, if a little short. Next is “Martyr For Science” and its opening blast of heavy guitars. The heavy riffs are my favourite part although the keys are nicely done too. On “Labyrinth” the sound is more progressive, heavy neo perhaps, and good contrast between the heavier riffs and softer interludes. Some of the transitions sound a bit clumsy but overall this is a pretty good track. “Awake In The Solstice” is a decent heavy rocker (except for the vocals) with ripping guitar and keyboard solos. “Zodiac Circle” features some adventurous guitar work but again it’s the vocals that make this less enjoyable.

While DeMichele is certainly a talented player and there is promise here, the overall feel of this disc is slightly amateurish. The first order of business is to get a different singer and go from there.

Track Listing:
1. Esoterica
2. Martyr For Silence
3. Labyrinth
4. Awake In The Solstice
5. Zodiac Circle
6. The Tower
7. Solomon’s Knot
8. Universal Dance

Added: January 21st 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band at CD Baby
Hits: 535
Language: english

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