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The Esoteric

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Not to be confused with the doomy British metal act simply known as Esoteric (nor, for that matter, with the Boston-based underground rapper who performs as half of 7L & Esoteric), the Esoteric are a long-running grindcore act from the sleepy college town of Lawrence, KS. Formed in 1996, the Esoteric made their recorded debut with a 1998 self-titled, self-released demo EP. Signing with the local alt-metal label Arm Records in 1999, the Esoteric quickly released a split single with Derailer, followed by their full-length debut, An Illusion of Sacred Circumstances, later that year and the 2001 EP Plagued by Visions. Two more splits followed, 2001's Live at CBGB's with Luddite Clone and 2002's The Roads Between with Saved by Grace. The 2002 EP A Reason to Breathe and a 2003 split single with Wormwood followed, by which time the Esoteric's previously ever-shifting lineup had settled down to singer and occasional keyboardist Steven Cruz, guitarists Cory White (formerly of thrash metal outfit Coalesce) and Eric Graves, bassist Anthony Diale, and drummer Marshall Kilpatric. Current and past members have also been a part of Theta, Reggie and the Full Effect, and Today Is the Day over the years. A 2004 EP called 1336 on the Blacknoise label served as a home-recorded preview for the band's first major album, as they signed with the established metal label Prosthetic Records; with the exception of their cover of the Misfits' "Death Comes Ripping," all of the EP's songs were re-recorded for 2005's With the Sureness of Sleepwalking. Despite the major setback of the band's communal home and rehearsal space burning to the ground just prior to the album's release, the Esoteric toured heavily in its wake. A follow-up, Subverter, appeared in the fall of 2006. ~ Stewart Mason

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