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Esthesis biography
A French project ESTHESIS were born as a brainchild of a multi-instrumentalist Aurélien GOUDE (keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass) inspired by 70s British rock especially progressive rock, or metal, pop etc., in collaboration with three musicians : Baptiste DESMARES (lead guitar), Marc ANGUILL (bass), and Florian RODRIGUES (drums). Their first ep titled "Raising Hands" was released in January 2019, followed by their second creation / full-length album "The Awakening" out on November 14, 2020.

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ESTHESIS discography

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ESTHESIS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 38 ratings
The Awakening

ESTHESIS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ESTHESIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ESTHESIS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ESTHESIS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 9 ratings
Raising Hands
4.00 | 3 ratings
Still Far to Go


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Awakening by ESTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 38 ratings

The Awakening
Esthesis Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars ESTHESIS is this French progressive rock group born in 2013, in the pure vein of 70's dinosaurs namely PINK FLOYD, SUPERTRAMP and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, AIRBAG, ANATHEMA or PORCUPINE TREE more recently, Gilmour, Glass and the atmospheres of DEAD CAN DANCE (film and ambient music, pop, metal). He would have the ability to perceive sensations as in the Genesis pieces hence his name! His mentor Aurélien GOUDE works more on latent and spleen emotion than on the search for fast notes and rhythms. He says he adored KING CRIMSON and Kate Bush in his youth which led him to switch to progressive rock. ESTHESIS is this French group which will remain one of the revelations of the year 2020; just before the actual pandemic.

"Downstream" starts off with a sound that has been heard and used a thousand times, a Floydian base from the 75-77 era, and certain progressive drifts; halfway through, it starts in a more nervous rhythm, hard limit before a more intimate return with crystal-clear piano and guitar, the voice passing from Gilmour to that of Wilson; the instrumental makes its place by keeping a majestic side and makes you forget time; a little VANGELIS notes, a repetitive tune with keyboard layers in the background, a guitar that comes out of the eternal solo, the atmosphere is there. "No Soul to Sell" starts from a reincarnation of the PORCUPINE TREE and for the voice and for the syncopated air; it is at the level of the synths that we see the difference with a sound here at the COMA ROSSI reviewed last year and a real gem; the guitar is surly enough to remind me also of KLONE bringing a musical frame and stretching it intelligently with plaintive, sensory, meditative piano and guitar; a break even recalls "The End" of THE DOORS, concentrated meditation, dreamlike until the nervous return, metal, explosive end.

"High Tide" and this intro that I love, note reverberation that makes my hair stand on end and that I imagine hearing live, a symphonic track mixing calm climate and rising notes in crescendo, where the piano remains the standard value ; a Gilmour-style solo merging with a SUPERTRAMP melody, that's what you might hear, a moment ... of great emotion; surely my favorite title which will allow you to perceive my tastes. "Chameleon" arrives for the most pop, the most accessible, the most binary title; a title that gives in the gypsy guitar during the keyboard break, which also shows that Aurélien is above all an outstanding keyboardist. The finale starts with a guitar-synth mix reminiscent of the "Animals" era.

"The Awakening" and the thunderstorm rumbles, a hang sound to heat the room, a mellow tune, not hypnotic but much like a mantra, just before the measured and contained explosion; then celestial voices and icy guitar, monotonous to follow this established climate, an intimate instrumental that does its job. "Still Far to Go" for the last title which takes me back to the dynamics dear to Wilson to instill a latent, meditative and beautiful atmosphere. Well, again, the beautiful part on the keyboard which is close to those of Banks of GENESIS or ELP or even MANFRED MANN, I warned you, we are in the great 70's revival here.

An album bringing an intimate, dreamlike universe where melody reigns supreme, with a note of melancholy just enough, prog-rock, art-rock as we can say to avoid assimilating this magical sound to a genre too complex, too intellectual, too rich to be broadcast on the radio. If you get hooked, you'll be eligible for an alternative bonus early next year. One thing is certain, it is still possible to feel emotion today with albums of this caliber, Aurélien has something to do with it.

 The Awakening by ESTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.00 | 38 ratings

The Awakening
Esthesis Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Tardy arrival on the 2020 scene is this new band from France, called Esthesis and their debut 'the Awakening'. In a year that was appalling in a social context, 2020 certainly offered up quite a dizzying array of progressive rock, proving that music can be a remarkable panacea and that hardship can be a fountain of inspiration or at the very least, provide the spark of getting things done. In a world gone speed mad, the forced introspection is not necessarily a bad thing, though some have suffered mentally from the dread of routine. Esthesis is a young band from Toulouse in the lovely Midi region, and to have the balls to kick off their career with an epic 16 minute + extravaganza is quite a revelation. Fronted by Aurelien Goude on vocals, keys, bass and guitars, lead axeman Baptiste Desmares, and held together by bassist Marc Anguill and drummer Florian Rodrigues, this is a tight unit that has a grip on their vision and sound. The source of their muse lies squarely in the atmospheric/cinematographic realm of Pink Floyd and its French cousin Pulsar as well as more modern colleagues like Porcupine Tree, Rick Miller, Pineapple Thief and Airbag. Talk about bait, this is a timeless piece of genius that will knock a few heads sideways.

'Downstream' is a picture-perfect illustration, introducing a rambling panorama of effects, an ornate piano etude that would make Rick Wright smile with acknowledgement, a scintillating gentle groove on which Desmares can stretch out the bluesy notes. When Aurelien seizes the mike, it is a velvety and plaintive whisper, quite close to Steven Wilson, gradually garnering emotive steam, as the lead guitar soars like you know who! The melodies are immediate and accomplished, the whistling serving as a platform for the sweet soloing on piano as well. Just a fabulous introduction that really sets up the anesthetic. Out of left field and wholly unexpected after such a sublime soporific ride, the harsher 'No More Soul to Sell' grabs by the scruff of the neck and propels forward, shoved along by pounding riffs, loopy bass and a tough percussive stance. The guitars rage greasily, the tormented voice displaying the pain of spiritual treachery, a bleak and forlorn mid- section that vaporizes the mundane, only to better unleash the second onslaught, though in a completely different approach. Very clever and very tasty. The moody 'High Tide' shows more restraint, fortifying the hold on the listener by suggesting an overwhelmingly melancholic piece, all fragile, despondent, heartfelt, and painful. It evolves unhurriedly into a crescendo of emotions, crowned by a gut-wrenching axe flurry that shakes the foundations, clearly tugging at the heart strings. Wow!

Unwilling to wallow too long in the same furrow, 'Chameleon' is a choppier affair, much like the title would imply, until the skeleton melody adds flesh to bone, while remaining firmly in the windswept territory of sound, a slippery synth solo slashing through the mist, very Camel-esque. The rifling organ sweep ends this piece in surprising fashion. A crafty intermission that serves its purpose very well.

The title track is unsurprisingly a highlight moment, as an eerie e-piano motif slithers through the sturm und drang of a thunderstorm, leisurely setting up the hypnotic mood for another harrowing voyage into the sonic sublime, where slow and gentle, sentimental unite with the unanticipated ratcheting up of the sounds. The band seems to master restraint very well indeed, confidently blooming their arrangements according to their timeline and not ours, a most delicious gift, in my opinion.

I hope the title is an omen as 'Still Far to Go' should be the motivator for future releases. Another constant element is the presence of piano setting up the score, a clear sign that the ivories are the compositional key to the music, never a bad thing! The anthem -like quality of this finale only serves to nail the coffin of delight shut. A crystalline slice of prog with a sure footed vocal, a memorable hook on the melody and a renewed splurge on the synth, recalling Peter Bardens and the long list of Camel keyboardists. A tremendous finish on a delightful album. Fans of the above-mentioned bands will instantly fall in love with this striking soundtrack, a new talent that must strive to forge their chosen path, as they have the chops, the sound, and the resourcefulness to become a creative force in modern prog, especially now that the Tree is pretty much a distant shrub in terms of future development. Big surprise this, sitting comfortably numb at the number 9 position of my top 2020 albums.

4.5 Emergences

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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