Album Review

Esthesis – The Awakening: Album Review

Unsigned French Prog rockers release their first full-length album The Awakening. Their tranquil ambient music has already received international acclaim and a spot on the PROG magazine sampler.

Release date:   14th November 2020

Label: unsigned

Format:  Digipack CD / Streaming

This is the chill-out prog album of all chill-out albums, heavily influenced by 70’s British Progressive Rock.  There is an extremely cinematic tranquil feel all through and the mood is set immediately with the sixteen-minute opening track   Downstream which has more than a small touch of Us And Them.

No Soul To Sell is about as heavy as it gets and hots up as it progresses through the song with some heavy guitar riffs that rattle along at pace,. There’s a brief Floydian interlude before the pounding riffs return interspersed with gunshot drum runs.

Esthesis like to develop their music so be prepared for 6 to 10-minute pieces but the patience is rewarded.  High Tides showcases a crystal clear vocal and then a beautiful piano medley accompanied by long keyboard chords creating an isolated and desolate atmosphere.

That’s followed by an acoustic opening with just guitar and vocals, then a staccato drum is added before a dreamy accompaniment develops into twirling Asian melodic keyboard. After a brief return to the calm melodic tones, a heavy upbeat conclusion brings this ever-changing piece to a conclusion – just like the title, Chameleon suggests. 

Cracks of thunder open the title track but then just drench yourself in the placid drifting soundscape. A similar atmosphere exudes in the final track, Still Far To Go which is the highlight of the album for me. One that wouldn’t go amiss on an early Yes album with majestic keyboards and anthemic vocals.

The album has already received acclaim all over Europe and Esthesis headed the ‘best-unsigned band’  category in PROG music magazine in December 2020. All the tracks are written by their French vocalist, keyboard and guitarist Aurelian Goude who is ably assisted by  Baptiste  Demares on guitar, Marc Anguil on bass and Florian Rodrigues on drums. 

This musical gem is ideal for whiling away a free hour you may have and if it was suggested that there was a missing Floyd album around the Meddle to Wish You Were Here period then it would be credible that this was it. I mean that as a compliment to the high quality of composition and musicianship. Derivative it may be and as a young group they have time to develop a more individualistic sound but derivative doesn’t have to mean poor because The Awakening is far from that.

Esthesis online: Website / Facebook / Youtube / Instagram / Bandcamp

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