Friday, June 29, 2012
ESA : Devotion, Discipline, And Denial 
Luckily ESA are bringing a whole lot more and manage to find their own sound in the heavily over-subscribed Power Noise scene. After the rickety sound-effects and mounting tension of the obligatory intro track, “Manipulating God”, the album kicks in with “Belief Conversion”. A repeated sample gives way to mid-tempo rhythms and beat patterns build up and overlay as the song progresses. Sharper percussive phrases then weave their way into the mix and so the song progresses, playing with these elements to cast a dark, hypnotic spell. So far, so typical – not unlike any of classic Ant Zen acts. As the song nears the two-thirds mark, fun things start to happen: slow synths fade in and take hold, pushing melody over the distortion while buried Asian voices bubble under, flipping the emotion of the song to lush powerful sadness. It’s where Manufactura meets Delerium to devastating effect.
The pattern is repeated on the next cut, the excellent “We All Know the World is Wrong” as piercing loop and multi-layered metallic rhythms gradually succumb to bubbling synths and sweet haunting sweeps with a beautiful eastern-inspired vocal and even a funky bass line for a few bars. Again, all elements come together to flesh out the typical powernoise tropes into something melodic and emotionally captivating.
01 Manipulating God 4:22
02 Belief Conversion 5:07
03 We All Know The World Is Wrong 6:00
04 Nerve Pattern 5:54
05 Say No To Emo 4:35
06 Cutslut 5:19
07 Test 5:08
08 Satan Is Real 6:04
09 To Bear The Countless Harvests Of Unremitting Religious Hypocrisy 5:33
10 Fruits Of Self Loathing 5:24
11 The Misconception Of Zen 7:13
12 Devoted Contortions (Scrap.edx Remix) 8:57