JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 5/8/08
ESOTERIC / THE MANIACAL VALE
This CD actually came out in June but slipped though the net but luckily I discovered it, Esoteric are a British Doom Metal band, we are talking Heavy stuff here, played at funeral March speed, this is the sound of hopelessness and total despair, but man its so good.
The band have had several albums out over the last decade and deserve to be heard, as you would expect form a Doom Metal band all the songs are lengthy, drawn out affairs of mammoth proportions but thanks to the triple guitar line up, managed to keep your attention form wandering. The 20 minutes plus opening track “Circle” is typical and for Doom Metal the track is full of dynamics and explores the dark, negative emotions to their fullest extent. The track “The Quickening” is anything but quick, it’s slow, deliberate immenseness lumbers through your consciousness and is juxtaposed brilliantly by the delicate, simple, haunting melody.
This is not a CD for the casual buyer but If you like Revered Bizarre and are prepared to set aside the time, give it your undivided attention and get totally immersed in it, your patience will be well rewarded, the Doom genre may be Esoteric but like the band it will give pleasure, if given the chance.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 102 mins + 7 TRACKS
BLACK STONE CHERRY / FOLKLORE AND SUPERSTITIION
This is the 2nd album from Black Stone Cherry and if anything this one is even better than the first, the song writing and production are as good as it gets, not to mention the playing, these guys have really found their feet.
Their brand of Southern Rock is tinged with the commerciality of the Black Crowes and touches of Aerosmith that make them very lsi4enable and very radio friendly, there is not one track on here that wouldn’t sound good coming out of one. The other this you notice about the band is the lyrics the subjects are well chosen and very emotive, one listen to “Peace Is For Free”, or the powerful feeling conveyed on “Thing’s My Father Said” and you will see what I mean. The mix of up tempo Rock songs and the slower ballads is good and when these guys Rock they certainly do it with style as “The Ghost Of Floyd Collins”, “The Key” and “Soulcreek”, the latter really does have the Crowes influence coming through strongly, to great effect.
This is a fine follow up to their debut and side steps the difficulties some bands have with the 2nd album and proves it can be done if you have strong enough material and these guys have it with abundance, if you haven’t come across the band before this s a very good place to start, listen out for; “devil’s Queen”, the reggae chorus of “Sunrise”, “The Bitter End” and the euphemistic “Reverend Winkle”, this a damned fine album and BSC should be well proud of it, if you get a chance to see them, don’t miss it.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 53 mins + 13 TRACKS