Label: Aesthetic Death (CD) / Self-released (digital)
It’s great when a band and label recognise that there’s a hunger for their early, out-of-print work. Such is the case with the original demo by extreme funeral doom band Esoteric, Esoteric Emotions – The Death of Ignorance. Seeing the high prices it was fetching online, and the increasingly poor quality of copies available, the decision was taken to give the demo the reissue and remastering treatment it deserved. Available as a special edition CD, Esoteric Emotions is a work of colossal misery, heavy both musically and emotionally, and has stood the test of time well.
For a demo, it’s remarkable how much Esoteric Emotions asks of the listener. These eight songs are all long – the shortest is eight minutes in duration – and there’s no let-up in its glacial tempos and suffocating atmosphere. There’s a distinct death-doom feel to the music (rather than strict funeral doom), and the short moments of light that are visible through the blackness only emphasize just how oppressive a listen Esoteric Emotions is, to the point where it becomes almost ambient, such is its overwhelming nature. And yet, for all the challenges inherent in such a release – 78 minutes of glacial extreme doom is a tough ask for anyone – Esoteric Emotions is a hugely rewarding listen, and set the stage for a truly excellent band to go on and release some superb albums.