Esthema Release ‘IV’

This band is truly something spectacular transcending mundane mainstream music and creating a musical montage that is both rich in substance & texture.  Esthema is comprised of five members: Andy Milas on guitar, Onur Dilisen on violin, Mac Ritchey on oud & bouzouki, Tom Martin on bass and George Lernis on drums & percussion.  This talented bunch of musicians incorporates elements of jazz and progressive rock, but in way like I’ve never heard before.  This album has a surefire, international feel due to the Eastern and Western influences displayed on the recordings.  The songs on ‘IV’ are performed with such extreme flair and carried out with the utmost precision.

The entire record is produced, written and arranged by Esthema and I can honestly tell you that the finished product is very clean and professionally done.  As a fully instrumental body of work, this album contains four long-form compositions and three short interludes.  I will say that you are in for a treat and an experience when you hit play on Esthema’s ‘IV’.

The record starts up with a track titled “Be” that is an international explosion of sound full of mystique & wondrous imagination.  Add in a solid rhythm section, sensational strings and a plethora of tastes for the listener’s palette.  “Be” is dynamic and like a musical merry-go-round where you will want a ticket to ride this audible attraction.  Track three, “Part of Me, Part of You”, offers a real Middle Eastern vibe and alluring tone.  Enter a world that has a gentle yet cautious touch as the song gives off a sense of being consoled while also being careful not to be bitten by the snake.  I have to say that there is a very interesting theme in place on “Part of Me, Part of You” that will have your mind on overdrive.  Venture into deep space during “interlude ii” where all sorts of notes will be orbiting around your earlobes.  This is the perfect set-up for the next installment, “Successive Waves”, that is floating along a calm current with its soothing presence rushing over you.  This number supplies a peaceful yet somber melody and even a bit of suspense for good measure.  “Successive Waves” has a primitive sounding percussive element displayed on the recording that is distinctively pressed for success.  The entire band is really coming together nicely on this song and heating up toward the end with a little bit of Latin flavor mixed in.  Take in a charming melody on “interlude iii” that just makes you feel good inside and out.  Esthema ends on a strong, brisk note with “Winter’s Solace” where one will receive a mindful, self-reflecting composition.  This track moves along effortlessly where a nice ‘n’ steady pace wins the race.  “Winter’s Solace” will showcase Esthema nipping at your earbuds with cool direction and icy-fresh measures.

Esthema has been creating stellar music since 2006 with blends of rock and jazz-fusion along with traditional roots of the Balkan region and the near and Middle East.  ‘IV’ is actually the band’s fourth project and was released on January 1, 2019.  I see this Boston-based band picking up plenty of steam especially after the release of this phenomenal album.  Esthema is looking to book shows for the late summer and fall of 2019, so maybe you can catch the guys on the road if they swing by your town.  In the meantime, enjoy this music video for “Fire and Shadow” from their previous release, ‘Long Goodbye’:

Esthema’s ‘IV’ is a true work of musical art that should receive major attention and recognition for its fine arrangements, production & instrumentation.  Now, I’m hungry for more and so can’t wait to see what this talented group will come up with next!

By Jimmy Rae (