The Esoteric Subverter

Proudly boasting former members of Coalesce and Today is the Day, among others, the Esoteric have unfortunately never quite hit their stride, releasing album after album of near misses and admirable attempts. Subverter sees the group successfully diversifying and polishing their sound while still allowing plenty of room for the almighty chug and indeed, improvement. The production is earthy, setting the record apart immediately while showcasing Marshall Kilpatric’s impressive percussive skills and tempering vocalist Steve Cruz’s abrasive shriek to a less caustic middle ground. Musically, while their previous output leaned towards noisy metallic hardcore, Subverter allows their more abrasive influences room to breathe, regularly injecting effective bursts of melodious rock’n’roll, traditional d-beat and even brief electronic nuances. "Destroy, She Said” introduces the Esoteric’s new approach on a slightly stale, uninspired note but the proceedings perk up a bit with "Science is Sexy” and positively ricochet skywards with the up-tempo, rollicking "We Will Not Be Convinced.” "Don’t Waste Guts” is the clearest indication of an altogether new series of influences entering the picture, featuring Roman Numerals/Season to Risk vocalist Steve Tulipana laying down a melodic refrain worthy of Hum or the finest ’70s art rock. Many congratulations to the Esoteric for finally fleshing out their sound the way it desperately needed to be. One can only hope the next release will fully realise the dynamics and potential merely hinted at on Subverter. (Prosthetic)