Review: “De Facto De Jure” by Esodic

The history of Death Thrash trio Esodic runs deep, the band originally known as Purgatory when they formed in Amman Jordan almost 30 years ago in 1995. However there commitments to tape have been few and far between with a demo, a split and now two EPs in the past 21 years. From that original line up drummer Zed Amarin (ex-Anubis) is the last man standing with bassist and vocalist Kevin McCombs (Capracide, Crypteria) alongside guitarist and vocalist  Michael Nolasco both joining in 2020 following relocation to Los Angeles, California. Inspired by Slayer, Testament and Kreator, the bands music has always been a reflection of the turbulent socio-political climate of the Middle East, their very existence as a band placing them at risk of harassment and arrest in their early days…

…Blending together Ethnic sounds with Heavy Metal has long be the work of bands like Concrete Age or Soulfly but here Esodic take that to the next realm of existence with rich multi layered tracks that defy all the odds working incredibly well as a single homogenous mass. Opening cut “Consequence” is a prime example with it’s Arabian Nights like soundscape in one layer and a Death Thrash ripper in another, the result being heavy guitars and brutal vocals underpinned by tribal drums and delicate ethnic acoustics. The wealth of nuance in that one track alone is incredible, the band ripping through the music at electric pace and even offering up a spellbinding, face melter of a solo. Obviously this band aren’t the original line up but what the new musicians have done is take the original sound and breathe new life into it, making it their own. Fleeting moments of melancholia soak through the richly atmospheric “Dirge“, the throat shredding vocals pushing the bands into Extreme Metal territory before a dark spoken word opens the arteries for another flamboyant solo. The devil is in the detail, the complexity of the sound once again mesmerising.

Shorter, sharper and more refined “Regin” is a vicious attack laced with blast beats that pummels and smashes its way through everything in it’s path like the Incredible Hulk armed with a wrecking ball. It doesn’t leave any of the elements of the earlier cuts behind either and it would be really interesting to here both the ethnic and the Death Thrash sides of the band separated out. They work so well together that there is the sense that you might be missing out on something and so this is a record that not only has your attention but will keep you coming back for more despite its brevity. The title track “De Facto, De Jure” is just as impressive at the rest of the record, the earworm main riff as infectious as they come as it plays out at the tempo of the damned. Once more with feeling Nolasco pulls out a ripper of a solo and you simply can’t help wanting more. Raising a poison chalice to the trio, all we can do is hope that we don’t have to wait another six years for their next confession [8.5/10]

Track Listing

  1. Consequence
  2. Dirge
  3. Reign
  4. De Facto, De Jure

De Facto De Jure” by Esodic is out 24th May 2024

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