“Espers” opens with the dreamy guitar/flutes/vocal layering of “Flowery Noontide” which is simply a slice of heaven in a speaker. It’s very etheral and otherworldly and you feel like you’re gliding through the clouds. “Meadow” meanwhile is a more darker acoustic guitar driven track that has a heavy apocolyptic feel drenching the song from the undercurrent electric hums to the bending strings and the beautifully tuneful dual male/female vocals that are perfect in harmony. Gregg takes the lead in the more electric “Riding” which has Espers’ signiture acoustic melodies but they are eclipsed by rousing electric guitar solos that raise your spirit and really send you on a journey with it. Coupled with Zither strums, its another great track.
“Voices” has a real Eastern feel to it with lots of twisted chords and hypnotic vocals and it really comes across in a menacing manner for me instead of being relaxing, there’s just an unnerving with the track – great stuff! “Hearts & Daggers” continues but builds the tense flowing atmosphere with an eight minute epic including a fantastic bridge section that really rips rip neo-folk style! Sometimes epic songs outstay their welcome but not here at all. “Byss & Abyss” then gives us another tale of two halves. The first part of this song is a lost wandering soul and then gradually electric blips and buzzes enter the track to almost signify that the depths have been reached. It’s really quite interesting how the songs continue to evolve throughout the album and what would originally be classed as etheral (as this whole album is) gradually becomes more hypnotically dispairing. It’s so well done that you don’t notice.
“Daughter” is a like a siren calling you into the sea for your death swim. It’s so beautiful but against the slightly maddening backdrop of the rest of the album, it almost feel eerie! It must depend on the mood. “Travel Mountains” closes the album with a fantastic instrumentalesque track with lots of acoustic and electric guitars, etheral choral elements and all kinds of electrical hums and string elements flowing around in circles in a maddening shroud. Like a place that lost souls meet for group screaming therapy.
“Espers” is quite possibly one of the most beautiful eerie albums I have heard in the last decade. It has a fantastic flow to it, draws you into its secrets and then utterly encaptures you with every riff and downplayed doomsday beauty nuance it has to offer. Utterly mesmerising.