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Discoveries. - 80%

Perplexed_Sjel, July 28th, 2008

A few years have passed since the debut record, ’Amorphous‘, was released and since then the Polish death metal act haven’t changed much. The aim is still very much the same when it comes to ‘Discoveries’ and the methods to which they achieve this aim is also still very much the same as it was on ‘Amorphous’. The idea behind the debut was, seemingly, to create a sound which was to take ideas from the old school style and modern day death metal and furthermore blended them together. On the previous effort, it worked. Has it worked on ‘Discoveries’ I hear you ask. Yes, it has. Although there isn’t much difference between this effort and the previous, it’s still as good. Due to the fact that Esqarial have stuck to their initial game, some might feel disappointed at the lack of progression for a so-called progressive band, but one may consider this natural progression. There are minor alterations, after all. Those impressed with the previous effort, with most certainly appreciate the high level of song writing and creativity the band brings to each record, despite taking quite obvious, to me anyway, influences from other bands. Whilst there are elements to indicate influences, Esqarial always manage to make their songs sound like their own with entrancing soundscapes and lushly developed songs.

‘Discoveries’ has a simple aim and the methods to achieve this aim are, as previously stated, the same but a lot more complex than one might expect. The idea is to, seemingly, blend the old school style which was a mesh of aggression and brutality with the modern day scene which tends to focus more on melody to win a place in the hearts of the audience. Alterations on this record aren’t that plentiful. There are a series of minor one’s, but nothing so major that my outlook on the band has changed. My opinion of Esqarial was high after the debut, and remains so after this record. So, as for alterations, Esqarial seem to be more comfortable producing longer songs. One may notice that there are more lengthy songs on this effort to the previous, which may suggest more ambition on the part of Esqarial, as a whole. There were two main influences on ‘Amorphous’, Meshuggah and Suffocation, whilst there still seems to be a bit of influence from both on the second record, there influence isn’t as noticeable as it once was, which seems to justify my opinion on Esqarial becoming more ambitious and thus, forcing themselves into their own sound a lot more, instead of borrowing techniques from other avenues.

The best aspects of this record are much like the previous. The brilliance of the melodic guitars, which take the audience by the hand and leads them into a merry dance of melody and general high spirits. The aggressive touches, which are enforced by lots of double bass on the drums and fast paced riffs, are as effective as they have ever been, especially alongside the vocals, which haven’t altered much in the last three years. There can be an entirely different sound produced on this record, ‘Discoveries’, as opposed to the last. Take ‘Nightmare’ for example. The rich textures produced on this song by the inspiring guitar displays and superb innovation on drums really showcase the improvements on ‘Discoveries’. The richer and thicker sound, enhanced by the much better and more fixated production, is reminiscent of the modern day sound that the Finnish band Demigod create. Those lush guitars, which contain a much more penetrative side, fuse melancholic melody with aggressive and tension, which rises up in the listener. ‘Discoveries’ is a more emotive record than ‘Amorphous’, but tends to fall short on the aggressive side. However, songs like ‘World In Flames’ with it’s awesome Demigod-like sound and powerful play, make those negatives seem small in comparison to the positives. Again, bass doesn’t have much of a presence, but somehow Esqarial still manage to sound fantastic. Thankfully, from time to time, songs like ‘World In Flames’ or the seemingly folk-inspired ‘True Lies’ comes along with it’s upbeat sound and this does allow the bass to establish itself as a force. In terms of the lyrical work on the album, it isn’t that great. I’m not overly fond of lyrics in general, but some of Esqarial’s lyrics mean next to nothing to me.

“The sacred wars, the crusades
The nation's terminate
And all done in my name
I decided their fate
Thousand years of misery
Years of torture in my name
Your eyes will adorn my crown
Your bones will build my palaces.”

Another solid release.

Great technical Death Metal - 98%

Evilspeak, July 30th, 2006

Every once in a while you come across a album that will just blow you away and jog your memory of why you became a metalhead to begin with. Such is the case with Esqarial, the band seems to be on a mission to help restore death metal as kings of the throne much like their other Polish brethren Decapitated and Vader. The Opening track ' World in Flames ' is just laced with dual guitar solos from Pajak and Vitt that mezmerize you into surreal landscape of eternal beauty. You say, why is this in my death metal! fear not my friends, the unholy aggression is all there but it is the outstanding guitar work that is what embodies this band. The aggressive nature of the band is done in a similiar vein of Morbid Angel. Somehow the band with their guitar playing cross the boundaries between Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and a sound somewhat derived from Testament yet also give the listener a somewhat classic rock feeling. This could be why it would be so easy for this band to become a power metal band if it wantedtoo.

Songs like ' Travel in Lust ' which is one of the instrumentals on this album comes across serene and angelic like. Esqarial is also careful not to become to technical and this is what seperates the band from the likes of Decapitated and bands like Theory in Practice. It is the emotional roller coaster that the band seeks to convey to the listener. My favorite track off the album is ' Sacred War '. A very pumped up tune that comes right at you and blisters the listener like a scorching hot day. The riffs are outstanding here as the band truly shows its death metal colors here. Towards the end of the solo break the band kick into a semi-spanish acoustical and then revert back to the main riffing. The fifth track ' Nightmare ' has a dark and melodic intro reminding me somewhat of old Atrophy but done with the ever so popular Eyptian sound. The song has a very cold and dark vibe about it creating a sense of dread within it. Again, Vitts and Pajak's solo work is astounding which adds a somber feeling to the mood the song creates.

Around track seven comes ' Atlantis ' another head turner. The band pummels out the riffs and carnage holding nothing back. Using quick licks throughout the song while Pajak bellows out his deathly growls. The song ' True Lies ' adds yet another element to this bands resume as it is filled with a sort of folk sounding riffing. The End of the cd is where the listener gets a real treat. The song ' Guitar Explosions ' is a nine and half minute musical journey that sweeps the listener into a light and beautiful barrage of emotion. Simply put, Discoveries dares to take death metal where so many few fear to tread.

Although lyrically, Esqarial doesnt astound you nor does bassist Lud or drummer Bart but as with all machines you need every part to be effective and with this pair of guitarists it all works out with its own fine chemistry.Esqarial is without a doubt taking a que from other progressive death bands like Opeth but have essentially dubbed a style all their own. They have become one of my new favorite bands and are severely underrated and have not garnered the attention they absolutely deserve. It is in my honest opinion that Esqarial will be a force to reckon with.