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Esoteric: The Maniacal Vale

Envision a dark and gloomy castle. Everywhere in that castle is the stuff nightmares are made of. In the darkened corners is the creeping terror that lurks in the shadows. The staircase leads to unspeakable horrors. Wherever you may go, there is a sense of foreboding. Now, try and imagine what the soundtrack to this world might be. With a dark vision and a masterful stroke of musical, dare I say genius, Esoteric provides you with one of the most haunting and well crafted pieces of doom metal that I have heard recently.

This double CD package takes you on a journey through some of the most deeply disturbing yet compelling music of recent issue. With the duel guitars of Gordon Bicknell and Greg Chandler as the guides, Esoteric shows you how to go from oozing sludge pits to soaring gothic heights with their strange and powerful music. With Olivier Goyet's keyboards adding a regal majesty and Joe Fletcher providing a powerful display of stick work behind the drums, the sonic landscape is complete for the devilish vocals of Chandler. Greg's guttural growling and searing screams are the final pieces to the demented puzzle. His style and evil tone are the stuff that nightmares are made of. With a delivery that sounds like it comes from the pits of hell, Chandler is the voice that will have you turning on the lights and checking under the bed while the music is playing.

With a little over an hour and a half of music and only seven songs, each piece is given the time and depth to really grow and expound on the given theme. With two songs that go over twenty minutes each, (Circle and Ignotum per Ignotius), each is like a mini opus that take you on a trip through the tormented minds of their creator. The thing that got me though was they didn't seem that long. As the music plays, it carries you away and in doing so, keeps you so enthralled that you don't realize how long you have been listening till its over!

This is a mesmerizing work that can best be described as the horror movie where you cover your face but have to peek at it between your fingers. This is a work that will have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, but you will not be able to turn it off!!

Track listing:
Disc 1
1. Circle
2. Beneath this Face
3. Quickening
4. Caucus of Mind
Disc 2
1. Silence
2. Order of Destiny
3. Ignotum per Ignotius

Added: November 5th 2008
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2400
Language: english

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