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Inheritance. - 85%

Perplexed_Sjel, September 13th, 2008

I find it hard to believe that Esqarial haven’t been picked up on by the majority of progressive/technical death metal fans. I do not consider myself to be one of those, as I’m sure I’ve stated many times before, death metal isn’t my field. However, whilst that might be the case, I know for sure I’m liking the material Esqarial have put in front of my nose. Whether it’s in the form of this effort, or either of the previous two efforts. To me, over the years, Esqarial have kept many of their traditional elements, as there was no need for any significant alterations, and have never truly changed the concept of their sound. To me, this is appealing. ‘Inheritance’, like the previous two full-lengths, keeps the positive aspects alive and highlights them even further whilst making sure their performance is tighter than ever, allowing what little negatives there were to begin with washed away by the tide of melody that entrances the audience. ‘Inheritance’ is, by this stage, the best that Esqarial have conjured up. This time round, there seems to be the least amount of noticeable influences on Esqarial’s sound, leading me to believe this is the record where they’ve truly come into their own.

Is there a better way to begin our journey on this occasion other than with the self-titled song with it’s semblance of mellifluous melodies? The simple answer is no. This song, in particular, is a notable highlight of the full-length. It takes, as I said, the best elements of the previous efforts and puts a new spin on it, keeping it fresh sounding and even more intriguing. The use of two guitarists is, once again, the source for much joy for this Polish band as they create lush soundscape after lush soundscape. Each with it‘s own individual emotional ties. The ability to be able to explore one riff, whilst another is plugging away in the background is a fantastic attribute to have for any progressive or technical death metal band. The complex rhythms that flow throughout the record, highlighted in fine fashion in the first song, are masterfully melodic. The brilliance behind the first two records was the fact that Esqarial knew exactly how to exploit the audiences cravings for melodic masterpieces. The guitarists on this effort indicate their individual presences by producing riff after riff, layer after lay of top notch death metal. Production wise, Esqarial have sorted any problems out that might have occurred with the first two assaults. The production gives a slick feeling to the many melodic solos that follow and allows for every element to be heard and heard well.

One of the many intriguing aspects on ‘Inheritance’ is, although you can see with hindsight what to expect, you don’t expect it the first time around. The inclusion of clean vocals, for example, took me by surprise. The harsher vocals sound far less amateurish than the previous efforts, although they’re still not the best vocals I’ve heard on a death metal record. Whenever clean vocals are included into the mix, one often wonders why, but accepts the experimentation that is likely to take place on a progressive/technical record. However, it is small negatives like this that offer no impact upon the overall opinion of Esqarial’s third effort. Another disappointing element is the bass, although it can be distinguished due to the high level of production on the record, it doesn’t stand up to the mammoth performance that both guitarists put in. The bass seeks to make a carven copied sound of one of the guitars, backing it up like a wall of noise, but I’d rather it did it’s own thing. Although it might be overshadowed, a more prominent bass would have been nice. The slower tempo in songs does bring this out, but Esqarial prefer to keep things fast and flowing. However, the fact is that the performance of the individual guitarists is so high, you’re not likely to remember the negative aspects of this record unless you look closely and study hard. Songs like ‘The Source Of Constraint’ once again provide a source of splendour as the leads provide much joy the high octane sound. Once again, the lyrics provide us with a look into the spiritual world of Esqarial.

“I know the legend will come true
Sail to discover something new
We're walking in through open door
Leaving the world rotten to the core

Drop of water on the desert's sands
All the rage captured in one cell
In the darkness lives the stream of light
To build "New Heaven"
I find power in my own hell.”

Whilst fans of the more traditional slice of death metal probably won’t find what they’re looking for here, everyone else might.

Doing very nice along the way - 70%

Harachte, November 2nd, 2004

And another Polish CD arrived in my mailbox, this time from a band that’s been active since 1991. Esqarial unleashed their third (?) CD “Inheritance”, a CD full of varying and melodic death metal with some Scandinavian influences. Tightly played, swinging up tempo beats are the main characteristics on which Esqarial based its’ musical odyssey.

The bands’ strongest marks are made in relation to the up tempo parts and that brings me automatically to the weakest aspect of “Inheritance” because Esqarial is more than happy to blast away, but the band also wants to add some extras to the flavour. And those extras – tempo changes, some progressive riffing and breaks, as can be heard in for example “The Source of Constraint”- make it sometimes hard to foresee in which direction the music is progressing.

Musical adventurism is a good thing, let me be the first to admit that, but it sounds to me that Esqarial’s progressive elements make that the music is sometimes a little bit less ‘natural’ than it’s supposed to be. Add to this the not always convincing vocals (a lit on the monotonous side perhaps) plus the fact not a single track emerges above the rest and we’re dealing here with a band which is doing very nice along the way, but is at the same time not the next big thing.
Not yet, anyway. But the quality is intrinsic, so perhaps next time…?