The Esoteric

With The Sureness Of Sleepwalking

[4] Even as late as pre-production for this album, which is when AP interviewed them for our “100 Bands You Need To Know In 2005” special, the Esoteric still sounded like they were trying to escape the mathematical-metalcore shadow of their Kansas City, Missouri, forebearers in Coalesce. But something must’ve happened between then and now, because not only does With The Sureness Of Sleepwalking launch this Kansas quintet (finally) into their own; it also sounds gnarly, hungry and virtually unaffected by anything that’s moving units in metalcore today. Which is a beautiful thing, if you’re of the mind that a single well-placed cymbal accent, guitar squeal or off-time breakdown can pack more power than 100 perfectly executed At The Gates riffs. True, the Esoteric will never completely get away from those Coalesce comparisons (see “His Eternal Enemy”), but something tells us they’re happy enough just to have moved an inch to the left of ’em. (PROSTHETIC)-Aaron Burgess