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Esthema: IIII

Esthema is an American progressive/folk outfit hailing from Boston. The band formed in 2006 and shortly after released their 2009 debut Apart From The Rest. That same year came The Hereness and Nowness of Things followed by Long Goodbye (2014) and their most recent effort IIII (2018). I had not heard the band before delving into their latest offering.

This is definitely pretty unique stuff as the band forges new paths into progressive and ethnic folk music. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern sounds, flamenco and jazzy bits all play a hand here and the musicianship is very good.

The album consists of seven tracks; four long suites broken up by three very short interludes. The first track “Be” begins with mellow acoustic guitar, very well played, before the insertion of violin. Ethnic flavourings are added, the use of oud along with flamenco guitar help in that regard and the tempo fluctuates between slow and faster assaults. The playing is superb and the song has a great ebb and flow. Of similar ilk is “Part of Me, Part of You” but with an even more ethnic bent, the violin and oud interplay is fantastic creating some fascinating soundscapes. The quicker rhythmic tempos highlight the band’s talent. The slower parts reinforce the careful use of restraint as the band plays in harmonious bliss. The soundscapes vary from dreamy to intense, allowing the quintet to fully explore their creative sensibilities. The other two long plays are excellent as well.

Esthema is recommended to prog fans willing to explore ethnic and folk sounds, perhaps stepping out of the box towards more intriguing possibilities. I really dig it.

Track Listing:
1. Be (11:17)
2. Interlude i (0:35)
3. Part of Me, Part of You (10:59)
4. Interlude ii (0:59)
5. Successive Waves (12:42)
6. Interlude iii (1:13)
7. Winter’s Solace (11:31)

Added: May 20th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 377
Language: english

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