One of the grand pleasures that I’ve found with these reviews is being able to find many bands that have taken me on unforgettable journeys across metal in too many ways to count. Some of them vary from grand acts that cover a great variety of styles like Inter Arma, a band that just wants to have fun in a unique way like Alestorm, and groups that push the very boundaries of metal like Arkheth. Last year I encountered an act that was definitely noteworthy but needed more time to mature, and I saw the remarkably quick response to that in February and I was over the moon with the result. But I never could’ve once expected this. Esoctrilihum has become one of my definite highlights of 2018 for an absolute multitude of reasons, and right at the top is his upcoming third installment in madness and impiety, “Inhüma”.
The thing that really fucks me up (in a good way) about Esoctrilihum is how quickly the one-man band has gone from something that I’d have to revisit to one of the favorite acts of the style in less than 18 months. Normally, I’d see a band churning out albums like Esoctrilihum does and question the quality thinking the band in question is literally pumping out everything that comes to mind. But with Esoctrilihum it’s the exact opposite. Right from the get-go, things were already going up. The debut that was “Mystic Echo From a Funeral Dimension” couldn’t even give us an inkling of an idea of what would come to us in the form of “Pandaemorthium” in February where we were gifted an incredibly hostile experience of blackened death crossed with arcane geometries and intricacies that seemed to be crafted the by the hands of the gods themselves. I was more than happy to stop there for the time being with “Pandaemorthium” being one of my favorite albums of the year up to this point. It was above everything I could’ve expected from Esoctrilihum’s atmospheric black metal beginnings, but out of fucking nowhere this French man yet again delivers an experience that I could only liken to Howls of Ebb and even then Esoctrilihum is an entity of its own in a completely different plane from the rest of the scene.
If “Pandaemorthium” was bombastic experimentation for Esoctrilihum into the realm of blackened death metal, then it’s “Inhüma” that sees this act transform into something else entirely as he takes everything that made “Pandaemorthium” so enticing and exponentially increasing the quality, darkness, and intensity. Those who are not ready for a constant assault upon your very soul whilst also tearing at the very fabrics of reality, turn away now as Esoctrilihum is now for the weak nor the brave but the insane and lost. Right from the beginning, “Inhüma” is a claustrophobic and expansive expressway to entropy that’s a true tour de force of the darkest reaches of psychedelia that brings the already dark world of blackened death metal straight into an infinitely darker abyss where the very air itself is trying to infect you. The eight tracks that make up “Inhüma” don’t allow for a second of a reprieve as Esoctrilihum makes every single track a brand new wave of dark arts mixed with a much more refined approach to literally every aspect of creating an album from songwriting to instrumentation to the indecipherable pleasure that is “Inhüma” as a whole. We’re given a display of true ingenuity via the integration of a violin and synths into an already compact, brutal listening experience that very few bands can come even close to rivaling. And it’s clear throughout the whole of “Inhüma” that Esoctrilihum is aware of his obvious growth as we can feel the passion gorged into these ancient texts written from the blood of fallen gods to a grand sense of visceral beauty to the songwriting that’s shockingly equal in terms of its reflective nature and persistent force of outward ferocity.
Watching Esoctrilihum grow from a promising act into a completely different beast of temporal energy and the abyssal darkness has been an absolute privilege to witness in its entirety, and I couldn’t be any happier to be able to bask in the sinister glory that is “Inhüma” in all of its grotesque beauty. Esoctrilihum has become something else entirely across its surprisingly short lifespan, but I’ve no question whatsoever that this act will only continue to grow in quality and strength as the days pass, and I can’t help but suggest you show up for those rituals. “Inhüma” will be a gathering of the occult and arcane magics upon its arrival to the world, and afterwards we go back into the deep darks of the Earth to await our next calling of blood and bone.
“Inhüma” releases on October 19th via I, Voidhanger Records!
LISTEN to “Pandaemorthium” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Esoctrilihum on Facebook here.