Esthema’s Long Goodbye is a rich progressive rock record that harnesses classic and modern sounds.
With its short opening track ‘Three Sides To Every Story Part 1′, it’s clear from the start that Esthema have worked hard to bring together a range of instruments to create some provocative prog. As the three part opening section continue, there are all kinds of evocative tones going on through the use of wailing strings that bring in a world music sound by employing more unusual scales that create an eastern feel. By the third movement, things have drawn back to a calmer, laid back sound that draws the album’s triptych opening to its conclusion.
‘Fire and Shadow’ has curious elements of Metallica in its construction, and this is where Esthema’s aesthetic begins to come forward more clearly – the influence of metal is very much here, much like the way the early work of the Cardigans was rooted in a love of Black Sabbath, not that you would have known from first listen. Meanwhile, ‘Reflections From The Past’ makes use of spanish guitars and incredibly dark and textural percussion, and ‘Without A Moment’s Notice’ plays out like a slow number as the sun goes down at a gypsy dance.
Esthema’s music is novel and evocative; instrumental music for people who like to think about what they are listening to and get engaged with it.
By Chris Marsh