Like many people I missed the earlier works of Teramaze, even though I was familiar with the name, so my first proper encounter with the band was their previous release "Anhedonia", an album that left quite a positive impression. As a result, I was really looking forward to their latest effort "Esoteric Symbolism" and, while I expected great things, I wasn't prepared for just how good they have become.
"Esoteric Symbolism" is clearly not as heavy as its predecessor, though there are still plenty of metallic riffs on offer, yet this is offset by a more expansive sound that sees Teramaze exploring a lot of new ground. In fact, "Esoteric Symbolism" almost sounds like a completely new group, in the best possible sense, as their music has evolved into something far more progressive and melodic than "Anhedonia" could ever have suggested.
This is one of those rare cases where a major change actually works in the bands favor and Teramaze utilise just short of eighty minutes of music to convey just how far they have come. Whatever changes might have taken place there is no shortage of memorable moments and it is this finely honed balance between the heavy, the progressive and the melodic that gives "Esoteric Symbolism" such depth and makes the length of the album seem warranted.
If there is one thing better than discovering a new band that impresses it is seeing them grow into something greater and exceeding expectations. Admittedly, I may have been a bit late in coming to the Teramaze party but it doesn't really matter when you can see such growth in such a short space of time and I get the feeling that "Esoteric Symbolism" marks a turning point that hints at even greater things to come.