Esthesis - The Awakening - 2020


“a mature-sounding and consistent album”


Esthesis is a new band from France and last year they released their debut album "The Awakening" as an independent release. The band managed to get noticed by the English magazine Prog who has distinguished the band as the best unsigned new prog band. Probably this is because their debut album "The Awakening" is a mature-sounding and consistent album without weak points. A fine achievement for a new band in the prog scene. The driving force behind Esthesis is the multi-instrumentalist, Aurélien Goude.


Aurélien Goude - vocals, keyboards, lap steel guitar, bass guitar; Marc Anguill - bass guitar; Baptiste Desmares - Electric guitar; Florian Rodrigues - drums

Additional backing vocals on "Still Far To Go" by Mathilde Collet


The album opens with the long track “Downstream” (16:32). Mysterious synths make way for a slow piano opening in the style of Erik Satie. But soon the slow opener has influences of the music of Airbag and Pink Floyd. It is a delicious piece of music to dream away. Especially when the beautiful Melotron strings are combined with the piano. The vocals have a resemblance to the slow music of Airbag. A beautiful opener with lush guitar sounds and a fine climax at the end. This is followed by the track “No Soul to Sell”. The distorted vocals have a resemblance to the vocal style of Steven Wilson. But as soon the music develops, you think you are listening to a Porcupine Tree song. Maybe not so original but very well done. And those influences are mixed so you are listening to a mix of Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, and the ambient side of Pink Floyd. This is followed by the song “High Tide” which has an ambient opening with beautiful piano work. The composition has a slow and quiet build-up and you could have been listening to a song from Airbag. Halfway through the track after a short guitar eruption, you can enjoy beautiful piano and delicate Mellotron strings. I like the classical piano in the music of Esthesis. The song ends with nice guitar work but the piano has the last word. Every song on this album has its charm. “Chameleon” has a nice synth solo, the title track “The Awaking” has a mysterious first part and some Porcupine Tree influences. The mysterious title track is developing into one of my favorite tracks. The album ends with the track “Still Far to Go”. This song has beautiful vocal melodies.


Overall the atmosphere of the music stays mellow on this album. The album sounds mature and is consistent. For a debut album, this is extraordinary and remarkable. Also, a strong point of the album is that the music nowhere gets boring, it continues to fascinate. An interesting album for the lovers of the mellow side of the progressive rock spectrum. For example, the fans of Airbag will love this album. Also, your reviewer greatly enjoyed listening to this album.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - April 2021 -  - Independent Release