Teramaze: Esoteric Symbolism

When a band or record label says an album sounds like Tool, Metallica, Soilwork, and Devin Townsend, you can’t help but be skeptical and want to at least see if it matches up to such high expectations. This album…. does meet some of that hype – no doubt about that – but some of these listed influences are NOT accurate. For one, there is absolutely no Tool influence at all at least on Esoteric Symbolism. Perhaps older albums accomplish this but this isn’t a review of the band’s discography so we’ll have to stick with Esoteric Symbolism. As a Tool fan, it hurts to be disappointed like this which really digs the grave deeper that no other band can really replicate Tool but this review isn’t about Tool disappointment so let’s move on.

 

The progressive metal of Devin Townsend, however, is loud and clear and the beautiful vocals and melodies from Soilwork carve out a pretty good sound. At times, the vocals sound a bit more power metal-y which is normally a huge no-no but in this case, Brett Rerekura is very impressive and sounds very similar to Anubis Gate’s vocalist, Henrik Fevre, who is a fantastic power metal vocalist. Look for the moments where he adds some gruff into his voice,  as they really propel the song’s value forward. As with any progressive metal album, the guitars must be nitpicked like your fat uncle at Thanksgiving on the turkey. It should be expected that they get pretty experimental and technical and in some some songs they stay as tame as rock which is a bit of a buzz-killington but in others they let loose and not like Animals as Leaders but like catchy Devin Townsend. It feels that as Esoteric Symbolism gets deeper and deeper into the songs, the more the experimentation comes out, especially on “Darkest Days of Symphony,” which is probably the best song on the album. More experimentation and fun time signatures would have been appreciated but there isn’t much to rag on here.

 

 

Many metalheads might be hesitant to hop on the Teramaze train with them being a Christian band and all and that’s fair – when metalheads look for metal, they generally avoid heavy worship-music, such as the kind at hip and try-to-be-relevant Christian youth centers, but there is no explicit worship here and it’s rather subtle so don’t let it stop you from enjoying their music. As with other issues, sometimes the songs focus on the chorus and in that sense, feel a bit too much like rock hits. This is especially true with some songs focusing too hard on the chorus.  The drums are good but they really don’t really do much other than set rhythm and beat and whatnot. Just like the guitars, some more experimentation would have been appreciated. Other than these issues, this album is pretty good and Australia should be proud to have these chaps on their turf.

 

Teramaze Official  Facebook

Written by Cole Olson

Teramaze: Esoteric Symbolism
Nightmare Records
4 / 5

 

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