Thursday, December 29, 2011

Esoteric Paragon Of Dissonance

Esoteric Paragon Of Dissonance

(Season Of Mist Records)

By: Chris Davison

Shamefully, as the resident doom-head around these here parts – and even more to the point, a Brit, to boot, I haven't heard any Esoteric before. As it goes, Esoteric are a long serving outfit from jolly ol' Albion, (well, in this case, not so jolly), who have been plying their unique brand of miserablism since 1992. As this is my first foray into their catalogue, I won't be able to talk with any confidence about how it stacks up to their other releases, of course, but perhaps I will be better placed to give an objective opinion about the album.

Paragon Of Dissonance is a full on, double CD voyage into the very heart of doom. Represented here for your listening displeasure are wrought, emotional journeys into descending to the absolute nadirs of misery and despair. The slow, languid voyages through landscapes constructed from slowly strangled riffs, echoing, deep vocals and the occasional false hope of the cymbals accompanying the funereal drum beat will transport your psyche to places that it does not entirely wish to be. Compared to this opus, My Dying Bride sound like they play upbeat Europop, such is the relentless atmosphere of utter and complete hopelessness and despair. Each song literally crawls along, with the components of the track accompanied by some tasteful and not overpowering electronic keyboards. Each injured anthem staggers onwards like it has had its back broken, and is being forced towards some extremely distant finishing line.

If all of this sounds like the painful opposite of fun, then I have done my job accurately in reflecting what Paragon Of Dissonance is; a gut-wrenching journey into the opposites of positivity and hope. The massive production does provide punch and clarity to the sound, which for the record, sounds absolutely terrifying on headphones.

As 2012 approaches and as I am supposed to be thinking ahead and planning for all of the false life-affirming lies that I will inevitably tell myself, Esoteric have produced the brilliant sound of the bleak depression that lies behind a raging hangover. Bold and horribly cathartic.

Esoteric MySpace

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