Esoteric & The 11th Hour, W2 Den Bosch, March 26th

Event: Esoteric
Written by: Lucas
Published: 30.03.2010
When I woke up on Friday the 26th of March 2010, I had no idea I would be going to concert in the evening. Around noon, I still had no idea. However, six minutes later, I knew. Because, at six minutes past noon, I got a call from Marcel H.: "Hey man, I just found out Esoteric and The 11th Hour are playing tonight in Den Bosch. How the hell did we both not know this?!". No clue, really, but fortunately 'we' found out just in time.

Now, I've seen Esoteric once before and that turned out to be quite a disaster - the entire festival had some many delays I could only see the first thirty minutes of their set ("Circle" and "Beneath This Face") before I had to rush back to the station to catch the last train home. They still managed blow my mind that night, even with high expectations from my side. Now, the expectations were even higher and with a different form of transport for my return-trip this time (the enigma named 'car'), neither Esoteric nor me would have any excuses. But first, The 11th Hour, Ed Warby's (of Gorefest fame) new band.

The 11th Hour
I've seen The 11th Hour once before, too, at the Dutch Doom Days VIII. They were plagued by material problems and an ill Rogga back then, but a couple of jokes and a guest performanceeee by Pim Blankestein (Officium Triste patched things up nicely. Pim handled the growls this time as well and he did this again with style. It once again surprised me how tight they sounded, for a band that only had their first live show, what, four months ago? Vocalist, guitarist and brains of the band Ed Warby is a charismatic vocalist with a good throat, although he leans more on expression than technicality in his vocals, in my opinion. The 11th Hour is still a band that will never really appeal to me because well, I want my Doom or completely clean or hellishly extreme, and a combination of that doesn't really please me. But live, I can tell you all a second time, they're a very enjoyable band.

Remains one thing to share with y'all: halfway during the gig, Ed introduced all his bandmates. And when he came to the last man, the guest-bassist Daniël Huijben, it turns out he skipped him because he had forgotten his name. He laughed nervously and told the crowd "uh yeah, I know I'm going to read about this in the reviews..." before suddenly shouting "Daniel! Oh yes, sorry man!". Well Ed, you got what you wanted.

One Last Smoke
In The Silent Grave
Origins Of Mourning
Weep For Me
Longing For Oblivion

Then came Esoteric and Esoteric said: veni, vidi, vici. They tore the place up. Beware - I'm a massive sucker for their music, so this maybe a bit (much) fanboi-ish, but they tore the place up.

Esoteric live, especially when they're playing songs of their last album The Maniacal Vale is extreme. They blend a lot more noise and feedback into their songs and with the volume turned up far beyond the capacity of your ordinary living-room speakers, there is no escape. What impressed me the first time I saw them impressed me once again - Greg Chandler does not use an ordinary microphone, he has a headpiece with a microphone on his cheek. His inhumane shrieks and growls, layer upon layer, combined with his wretched face - brutal. Why don't more bands to this?

The best moment of the set, although it was consistently great throughout, was when they played Caucus Of Mind. When they started playing the opening, as it branches far away from their usual stuff with its predominantly Death metal structure, but it was a genius choice. It deserves its place right in the middle of The Maniacal Vale and it deserved its place right in the middle of their set. In a live setting, with the volume turned up way beyond eleven, it is a monstrous song. I've never before witnessed such infernal fury. The quickening of the pace in the beginning until it stomps and stomps and stomps...


Death eats away from the inside
Life eats away from the outside
In between... in between
In between... in between

In case it wasn't clear already, or if you're one of those 'too long didn't read' guys: if soul damnation and sonic destruction tickle your fancy, do not miss out on Esoteric live. They're absolutely monstrous.

Insanity and infernal firestorms


Written on 30.03.2010 by
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Marcel Hubregtse - 30.03.2010 at 17:46  
You might be a fanboy when it comes to Esoteric but they really DID tear the place apart. I was totally mesmerized.

Btw, acutally I think this was The 11th Hour's second official gig. But I could be wrong though.
Sulvrot - 30.03.2010 at 18:45  
I'm so jealous... Esoteric will probably never tour the U.S. )=
And yes, I imagine Caucus of Mind would destroy live. My roommates always get angry at me when I blast that song lol. Soooo fucking crushing...
Jason W. - 30.03.2010 at 19:50  
Great article, makes me even more disappointed I couldn't see the show I'm sure Ed will enjoy seeing his mistake in this; he really seems like one of the coolest guys around. And about Esoteric, it seems they are one of those bands I feel I need to see live to finally appreciate...
Mr. Doctor - 30.03.2010 at 22:44  
I have to see them live... If I do... I can die peacefully.

Caucus Of Mind... That song is just too fucking much, it's already a monstrous song when I listen to it in my discman. I can't even start to grasp the idea of how that song could sound live.

Oh.. and the idea of the microphone seems quite good.
jupitreas - 31.03.2010 at 04:54  
The reason why most bands don't use such microphones is simple - they suck. All Greg does is growls so he can get away with a mic that distorts and can't pick up all frequencies.
Lucas - 31.03.2010 at 10:44  
Ah. So in his case, it's beneficial? He wouldn't sound as distorted with a regular mic? Assuming he doesn't use any other distorters somewhere on the line...
Dangerboner - 31.03.2010 at 10:59  
Wait... he does super crazy high screams too on CD - did he not do those live? That's actually one of my favorite parts of the first and last song on The Maniacal Vail. I wasn't aware of the differences in sound qualities between the mics, I've just always hated headsets because they look gay as hell, straight from a Britney Spears video.
Lucas - 31.03.2010 at 11:11  
No he does do them live, he does. lol, I didn't connect them with Britney Spears myself, but now that you mention it...
jupitreas - 31.03.2010 at 11:37  
Yeah, Britney and Madonna use them live too because for them, dancing is more important than a robust, full-frequency vocal response.

Indeed, he would sound less distorted with a proper mic. Whether that is actually beneficial is a matter of discussion, most death metal vocalists use proper mics after all...

My guess is that the show was loud enough for dynamic nuances to be rendered inaudible anyway, so if Greg is more comfortable with that mini-mic, he can get away with using it.
Dangerboner - 31.03.2010 at 13:08  
Written by Lucas on 31.03.2010 at 11:11

No he does do them live, he does. lol, I didn't connect them with Britney Spears myself, but now that you mention it...

haha right now I'm picturing the Esoteric guitarist/vocalist doing a dance routine with the headset similar to Britney Spears, but with his crazy vocals.

Damn, being trapped in an office for 11 hours during graveyard shift sucks
InnerSelf - 01.04.2010 at 11:59  
I saw a video of them playing live on youtube and it seems that greg likes to Sing , play the Guitar , and Headbang at the same time so a headset would do it for him

Still it is my long life dream to see Esoteric play live
Shadowcross - 13.04.2010 at 12:53  
No Esoteric full tracklist? i'm sure they played more than one track...
Lucas - 01.04.2011 at 13:47  
Written by Shadowcross on 13.04.2010 at 12:53

No Esoteric full tracklist? i'm sure they played more than one track...

(I'm only a year late. )

Yeah, they did. Not sure what songs though. If I remember correctly, most of their set was from The Maniacal Vale. They played three or four songs from that album. I imagine they during most of their current live gigs.

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