Esoteric - The Pernicious Enigma review

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Band: Esoteric
Album: The Pernicious Enigma
Release date: April 1997

Disc I
01. Creation (Through Destruction)
02. Dominion Of Slaves
03. Allegiance
04. NOXBC9701040

Disc II
01. Sinistrous
02. At War With The Race
03. A Worthless Dream
04. Stygian Narcosis
05. Passing Through Matter

Pernicious - Pronunciation: \pər-ˈni-shəs\. Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin perniciosus, from pernicies destruction, from per- + nec-, nex violent death.

Enigma - Pronunciation: \i-ˈnig-mə, e-\. 1 : an obscure speech or writing 2 : something hard to understand or explain 3 : an inscrutable or mysterious person.

The Pernicious Enigma. Throughout their existence, Esoteric have dropped quite a few Doom-bobs on our detestable heads with little care for our well-being. "Hateful - drug influenced tortured doom" is their name for the specific sub(subsub)genre they created and to be honest: it covers their style pretty well. The Pernicious Enigma is pure contempt for the human race turned into a 115-minutes long sonic battlefield.

You're dragged into the vortex from the very first seconds. Esoteric know like no other how to play a heart-wrenching, beautiful opening lead which -inevitably- turns into pure hell. From the first song to the last we're treated to both stomping, mid-paced Death-ish Doom, complete with echoing, devilish growls and howls and to slower, 'easier' Funeral Doom with hallow, wavering leads and the screams of the lost and damned. I have never witnessed someone dying in flames, but I imagine the final shrieks of agony to sound similar to what Greg performs here.

Besides mind-numbingly insane music, Esoteric also show to have a knack for atmosphere. Samples of warfare heighten the mood in "Dominion Of Slaves" and "Allegiance" is spiced up with perhaps one of my favourite sample-moments in metal ever. (''What life? I got no life! I'm in the dark here! You understand? I'm in the dark!'') It may sound cheesy as hell in text, but trust me, it'll sound much better on disc. Much of the atmosphere comes from the odd mix, which places the vocals 'above' the deep droning layer of instruments, giving the vocals plenty of space to echo through the emptiness.

The Pernicious Enigma is the perfection of the style displayed already on Epistemological Despondency. After this album, Esoteric slightly changed their sound so if you're looking for the band in its rawest days, definitely check this gem out.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Written on 19.09.2010 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 133 users
20.09.2010 - 00:44
One motherfucking raw piece of adorable shit! If hell's torture machinery works with music, it works with esoteric!
Dec. 30, 1334.

...And the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
21.09.2010 - 10:31
proofread free
this was my third encounter with Esoteric I had already fully digested The Maniacal Vale and had high hopes for this and it did not dissapoint
It put me in a state of mind kind of like a trance with its somehow abyssal feeling
the highlights for me are the last three tracks and precisely Passing Through Matter with its despair filled psychedelic feelings my second favorite from Esoteric after Circle
He who is not bold enough
to be stared at from across the abyss
is not bold enough
to stare into it himself.
21.09.2010 - 11:23
Esoteric is one of the hardest bands to get into, but once you do, you won't regret it. Good stuff.

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