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Mephitic Husk - "Esoterra" (CD)

Mephitic Husk - "Esoterra" CD cover image

"Esoterra" track listing:

Esoterra (13:43)

Reviewed by on December 26, 2009

"...sticks pretty close to the sludge/post-metal genre...adds influences from other genres to create an intriguing and absorbing sound."

Playing a mix of drone and sludge with some ambient noise thrown in for good measure, Mephitic Husk has released their first EP “Esoterra” (which is available for free on asiluum.com, their record label’s homepage). The album consists of one long song that is very engrossing and, while it sticks pretty close to the sludge/post-metal genre, adds influences from other genres to create an intriguing and absorbing sound.

From start to finish, the EP contains some ambient scratching noises that add atmosphere all the way through. The album kicks off with this and some black metal riffing that transitions into ambient noise effects. From here on, a lot of the music is comprised of moody guitar work with vocal samples that heighten the atmosphere. The vocals kick in about five minutes into the track for a section that is pretty typical of the sludge genre. This section includes dark, downtuned riffs mixed with a hint of southern guitar work.

By far, my favorite part of this EP is the second half. About eight minutes in, the band adds spacey synth effects that sound incredible with the rest of the ambient noise. The rest of the EP is comprised of ambient electronic beats and absolutely beautiful post-metal riffing. Even if the EP starts out a little slow, it is definitely worth a listen if only for the second half.

For the most part, the album is well composed. One thing I did notice is that some of the transitions between the sections of music seem a little sudden. Other than that, this album is a very promising start for Mephitic Husk. They stick to the tried and true sludge metal sound, but definitely aren’t afraid to experiment. The ambient noise effects may not be for everyone, but they fit surprisingly well with the music. Never once did I feel that they were grating and they only added to the sound.

I could definitely recommend this album to fans of bands like Isis and Cult of Luna who are looking for something a little different. “Esoterra” is an engaging EP, and I can only anticipate that the full length album will sound just as good.

Highs: Beautiful post metal with lots of experimentation.

Lows: Some transitions are a little sudden.

Bottom line: A good, unique start for a promising sludge metal band.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)