Review – Esthesis – The Awakening – by Progradar

Esthesis is a French progressive/alternative rock band, their music is characterised by many different influences (70’s british rock, film score, ambient, metal, pop…) and is primarily based on emotion and ambiences. 

Created and led by French multi-instrumentalist Aurélien Goude (music, lyrics, keyboards, vocals, guitars and bass), the current line up is completed by Baptiste Desmares (lead guitar), Marc Anguill (bass) and Florian Rodrigues (drums).  They released their first EP ‘Raising Hands’ in January 2019.

The band’s highly anticipated debut album ‘The Awakening’ is a thought provoking, intense musical experience full of ambient, cinematic soundscapes. The band allow the music to grow and expand in your conscious as the melancholic chords and Pink Floyd like electronica lead you on a mysterious musical journey.

Wistfully indulgent guitar tones overlay the elegant brush stokes of the sombre piano and elegantly delivered bass and drums while Goude’s pensive vocal leads the way. Listening to tracks like opener Downstream and the stylish High Tide, you find yourself immersed completely into the album’s concept of the notion of identity (awakening, quest and loss of identity), the intelligent songwriting and excellent musicianship allowing exquisitely refined progress.

No Soul To Sell is deliciously dark in its subtle atmosphere and Chameleon, with its graceful acoustic guitar, is polished and precise. Title track The Awakening is an apprehensive instrumental that has me on the edge of my seat with its repetitive key strokes and random sounds that wash over you as the tempo increases and a harder, strident guitar tone takes over. The album closes with the powerful and dramatic track Still Far To Go, a riveting and mesmeric song full of emotion that stays with you, holding your attention, until the last note fades away.

What with lockdown and real life getting in the way, it has taken me quite a while to write this review and, in a way, I’m glad it did. ‘The Awakening’ is one of those albums that grows on you with more and more listens, you find little nuances after every play that give it more soul and depth. Esthesis have produced a seminal slow-burning debut that, in my opinion, is one of the best in recent memory and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t add it to your list of must have albums.

Released November 14th, 2020

Order the album here:

Esthesis – The Awakening (