A collaboration between Danielle Evans (vocals, bass, keys) and Serge Streltsov (guitars, ex-Necrophagia) resulted in the birth of a Black/Death sounding entity called Automb. For their debut album they have recruited drummer Scott Fuller, who is mostly known for handling the sticks on the Morbid Angel album “Kingdoms Disdained”, but he also gained experience in Havok and Abysmal Dawn.
Although having an occasional Death Metal approach when it comes to riffs (the last track “Into Nothingness” for example), it is Black Metal that has the upper hand on “Esoterica”. And all kinds of Black Metal, be it fast, melodic and atmospheric, you will hear it all and you will hear it in the classic (mostly) Scandinavian way but with a nowadays clear sound. While listening to this album you will hear parts & bits that could be on Ancient’s “The Canian Cronicle” or Obtained Enslavement’s “Witchcraft”…and then you hear a savor of Emperor or Dark Funeral. And the list goes on, because a touch of the Slavonic Scene (Drudkh, Hate Forest) and Behemoth (the moment they were transforming, around “Pandemonic Incantations”) are present as well. And it doesn’t sounds exact like the bands and albums I’m mentioning, but the spirit is there.
Although I don’t think it will reach the top 10 of most “Album of The Year” lists, there is certainly nothing wrong with this album. Not outstanding but nevertheless an enjoyable and good listen. (Ricardo)