Brit ex­treme doom le­gends make a rare out­ing in the Nether­lands

Kerrang! (UK) - - Reviews -

■ The en­gi­neers at Google don’t use as much tech­nol­ogy or as many but­tons as Es­o­teric em­ploy tonight. The stage re­sem­bles mis­sion con­trol, with banks of count­less ped­als seem­ingly cov­er­ing ev­ery free inch. But then, this isn’t pop-punk, and to ex­plore the sonic depths to which Es­o­teric plunge, you need such a huge lex­i­con of sounds to come out of the three gui­tars and bass up there. And vol­ume. Lots and lots of vol­ume. You also imag­ine that if you went to the places the Birm­ing­ham doom le­gends’ crush­ing songs take you too of­ten, you’d start go­ing weird, mean­ing this one-off out­ing is a par­tic­u­larly big treat. But it’s not sim­ply the brute power of their slow-mo­tion dirges as they crawl out of the amps that makes this such an at­tack on the senses. There’s also a hyp­notic, med­i­ta­tive qual­ity to the riffs as they re­peat and build seem­ingly ad in­fini­tum, adding a lit­tle more each time to pile on the weight in a more sub­tle, sub­lim­i­nal man­ner. It is, quite sim­ply, a stag­ger­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and a tri­umph from one of the Bri­tish me­tal un­der­ground’s most se­cre­tive bands. We’d ask for more, but pro­longed ex­po­sure might be dan­ger­ous to both ears and mind. NICK RUSKELL

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