Call it a sickness. Call it sheer stupidity. I have to admit that I have a soft spot I my heart for The Esoteric; I have ever since I saw them open for Coalesce a few years back. I remember remarking to my brother and friends that they reminded me of Coalesce (this was also the tour that Cory White of The Esoteric played guitar for Coalesce). Ever since, I have watched this band progress from the heavily Coalesce influenced outfit that they were into the band that they are today. Undergoing several line-up changes, notably drums and vocals, the band has soldiered on to create a plethora of records. Subverter is The Esoteric's second full-length for Prosthetic. It follows their "break through" album With the Sureness of Sleepwalking.
"Destroy She Said" kicks off Subverter with an interesting guitar tone that is rather effective at drawing the listener in or at least forcing the listener to take notice. There is a very subtle, mid-paced riff that breaks into a very noisy, clang-y part; this contrasts pretty well with this smooth main riff. The song itself is arranged in a fairly standard manner but fades out on a noise that sounds mechanical. "Science is Sexy" has a nice off time intro that gives way to a strummed section, adding some color and fullness to the track before heading back into the off time section. At first listen, I thought that the more measured strummed section was cheesy, but the more it came back, the more that I realized it that it gave the song a different timbre that seemed to work for it. The song arrangement is fairly standard fare again, however.
"Language is a Virus" has a bit of an odd electronic flavor to it. The synthetic drum machine introduction was kind of bizarre. When "Shipyards of Foreign Cities" kicks in, it has an almost grand feel to it, but The Esoteric just misses at pulling it off. There are a few good guitar leads, but there is something that just keeps missing, but the song has potential. I could see it being interesting played in live situation. "Our Exquisite Corpse" has a bit of a melodic edge to it that The Esoteric pulls off pretty well. The song also has a spot that the album's initial guitar tone pops back in for a short bit. There is a neat break that contains what sounds like a unique bass sound during an off time rhythm. "Nothing Remains the Same" contains some decent off time riffs that keep things interesting. More of the same can be found on "You are the Execution." "Clone Culture and the Cut-Up Method" ends things on a quick paced, off time mode that also contains a hint of melody. The track is actually pretty damn good. In my estimation this song might just be the proof that the Esoteric might actually be finding their own voice.
I'll be honest. The Esoteric has been disappointing me ever since 1336. It just seemed like they were grasping at popularity to me and for some bands that is okay, but these guys had potential and that is why I have been disappointed with them. However, Subverter has some real interesting rhythm work on a few of the tracks and "Clone Culture and the Cut-Up Method" is a real bright spot on the record. Hopefully, the departure of guitarist Cory White doesn't affect the progression of the band.