|Origin||Birmingham, England, UK|
|Genres||Funeral doom metal, death-doom|
|Labels||Season of Mist, Eibon Records, Aesthetic Death|
|Associated acts||Camel of Doom, Comatose Vigil, Funeralium|
|Current members|| Greg Chandler|
|Past members||Kris Clayton|
Esoteric are an English funeral doom metal band founded in 1992 in Birmingham. The band's lead is singer / guitarist Greg Chandler, who, as a sound engineer and producer, plays not only in Esoteric but also on numerous other doom metal albums. With his own band, he plays doom metal in an extremely harsh, difficult to digest sector, which can be written at once with painful and beautiful soundscapes, while he is surrounded by a dark and gloomy atmosphere. The band's great breath-taking epic compositions are only for a narrow layer, yet Esoteric's underground status and impact on the genre are remarkable.
The band was founded in 1992, when Chandler was still the singer. In 1993, they released a 82-minute demo cassette with eight songs instead. At the hearing of the Esoteric Emotions - The Death of Ignorance demo, Aesthetic Death offered them a contract. So, in June 1994, they entered the Rich Bitch studio in Birmingham to record their debut album. The album entitled Epistemological Despondency was placed on the shelves of the record shops in a double format, as the material hiding the 6 songs hit 89 minutes. Although the material has been moderately successful, the underground metal fans and critics have both welcomed it. Cody Davis, a critic of Metal Injection, later called it one of the first and most important albums of funeral doom metal. Guitarist Stuart Blekinsop and drummer Darren Earl then left the band. The guitarist Greg Chandler (vocal), Bryan Beck (bass), Simon Phillips (guitar) and Gordon Bicknell (guitar) soon joined the guitarist Steve Peters, but no drummer found.
They then performed in the UK, followed by Germany. However, due to Steve Peters's foot injury, they were forced to cancel the tour, and in June 1995 they went on a tour again. The tour had to be canceled after two concerts, because the equipement of the band suffered permanent damage due to a fire event. The label demanded the second record, so they went back to studio in 1996. The recording session began in July under the supervision of the band and Steve Wilson. The band's second album, The Pernicious Enigma, was released in spring 1997, again in double format with 9 songs. Before the show, guitarist Simon Phillips left the band, so Chandler hung the guitar around his neck. Their permanent drummer Anthony Brewer, however, was not on the album. The lack of a permanent drummer stifled the orchestra's track, and in the next two years, only three songs could be put together. They were threw by Keith York and appeared in the Metamorphogenesis EP. While the first two albums were released by Aesthetic Death, this 44-minute material was provided by the Italian label Eibon Records.
In May 2002, they were in charge of the next album, but Bryan Beck left the band. So the material was finished in a triple, and in the studio Trevor Lines helped them out on bass. The drums were played again by York, and the release was via the French record label Season of Mist. Thus, their third album, Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum, released in 2004, could be more attentive to its predecessors. It was the first time that no double disc was released, though the 50-minute album still contained lengthy songs. He soon joined them, Andy Semmens (drums) and Mark Bodossian (bass guitar), making Esoteric's stand solid. Olivier Goyet personally joined them as a keyboardist, so that they can present live, sampled music on the albums live. Thus, during 2004 and 2005, they gave numerous concerts throughout Europe.
After the concert in 2005, Semmens left, and in 2007, Steve Peters left the band. Joe Fletcher released the next album, released in 2008 with The Maniacal Vale. The 101-minute double-format album has received great criticism, further enhancing the band's cult status. The cover of the album was painted by Kati Astraeir, faithfully writing the lyrics of the band, in which mantantrope, isolation, infinite space, nightmare visions appear. The show was again followed by concerts, but changed the band further. Goyet joined in 2009, while Kris Clayton joined them in 2007 as a guitarist. Clayton was known to the audience by the doom metal band called Camel of Doom. He was replaced by Ilia Rodriguez and joined in 2009 by guitarist Jim Nolan, who also played on the next album. On Paragon of Dissonance, Fletcher drummed again, while on the keyboards Mark Lockett played. Similarly to the predecessor of the 90-minute material, which was published in double format, it was recorded again in Priory Recording Studios, which is Chandler's own studio. Built in 2006, Chandler not only records his own music, but also works with other (mainly doom metal) bands. Most of the songs were written by Chandler and Nolan, as Bicknell left the band for a short time, so the album only contains one song as an author. In 2012, Chandler formed the black metal band Lychgate, with which he released two albums, but they played in the tribute double album A Lake of Ghosts: The Long Shadow Of My Dying Bride, where lesser-known performers pay tribute to the work of My Dying Bride.
- Greg Chandler – Vocals (1992–present), Guitar (1999–present)
- Mark Bodossian – Bass (2003–present)
- Joe Fletcher – Drums (2007–present)
- Jim Nolan – Guitar (2009–present)
- Gordon Bicknell – Guitar (1992–present), Keyboards (1992–1996)
- Darren Earl – Drums (1992–1994)
- Stuart – Guitar (1992–1994)
- Simon Phillips – Guitar (1992–1997)
- Bryan Beck – Bass (1992–2002)
- Andy Semmens – Drums (2003–2005)
- Steve Peters – Guitar (1994–2007)
- Olivier Goyet – Keyboards (2003–2009)
- Kris Clayton – Guitar (2007–2009)
- Jan Krause – Keyboards (2012-2014)
- Esoteric Emotions - The Death of Ignorance (self-released, 1993)
- Epistemological Despondency (Aesthetic Death, 1994)
- The Pernicious Enigma (Aesthetic Death, 1997)
- Subconscious Dissolution into the Continuum (Season of Mist, 2004)
- The Maniacal Vale (Season of Mist, 2008)
- Paragon of Dissonance (Season of Mist, 2011)
- A Pyrrhic Existence (Season of Mist, 2019)
- Metamorphogenesis (Eibon Records, 1999)