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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)

4.04 | 46 ratings
The Awakening
4.09 | 35 ratings
Watching Worlds Collide

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)

3.91 | 11 ratings
Raising Hands
4.50 | 4 ratings
Still Far to Go


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Watching Worlds Collide by ESTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.09 | 35 ratings

Watching Worlds Collide
Esthesis Neo-Prog

Review by Smurfreviews

5 stars Review #14

An incredibly ingenious album.

A little while ago, I became aware of the album "Watching Worlds Collide" due to a conspicuously large number of positive reviews. This is the second album of the French progressive rock project led by the talented multi- instrumentalist Aurélien Goude. I would like to share my excitement about this music with all of you today. Let's start first with the most striking feature: Progressive rock meets jazz.

"Esthesis" features complex song structures embedded in very tasteful jazz harmonies. These, in turn, repeatedly counter with rocky, metallic and even film-musical parts. My goodness, what ingenious symbiosis, which by no means simply mixes everything wildly, but quite deliberately combines and merges. Aurélien Goude creates very strong moods, takes his time to let the music unfold within a song and always acts in a focused way, letting any musical elements (such as saxophone, trumpet, violin and even bajos played by guest musicians) show their full effect.

Also the other musicians of the band, Baptiste Desmares on lead guitar, Marc Anguill on bass and Arnaud Nicolau on drums, do a great job of balancing the songs on a high rhythmic as well as melodic level. Probably the best decision in the lineup lies in the choice of guest vocalist Mathilde Collet. She sets her accents at exactly the right moments and her timbre also fits the basic mood of the album perfectly.

Songs like "Place Your Bets", "Wandering Cloud" and especially the long track "57th Street" (what an incredible track!) contain so many ideas, twists and surprises, so that you are still amazed after several runs through what you get to hear. This is not least due to the transparent and powerful production.

I don't know any band that combines two demanding genres so skillfully and elegantly, always with the claim to maintain the tension in the listener from beginning to end. I was completely electrified after the first listen. "Esthesis" won the Prog Magazine Reader's Poll in the "BEST UNSIGNED BAND" category in December 2020. Personally, I think the band should win the "ALBUM OF THE YEAR" category this year. A masterpiece that needs to get much more attention....

 Watching Worlds Collide by ESTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.09 | 35 ratings

Watching Worlds Collide
Esthesis Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars ESTHESIS is this group inspired at the start by PINK FLOYD, SUPERTRAMP, AIRBAG, ANATHEMA or PORCUPINE TREE. Well there I was warned of the evolution that the group wanted to take, jazzy, bluesy, cinematic, alternative, electro and genesis in the background to help us perceive the musical sensations. We start on a progressive fusion between MASSIVE ATTACK and THE GATHERING. An intimate music to dive into a universe of sounds, one of those where technique gives way to emotion, introspection, positive melancholy; in short, a fusional album with the addition of brass for an art-rock universe.

"Amber" mid-tempo at the start, heavy synth riff on a jazzy sound to set the mood; languorous and hypnotic title at the same time, it sets the atmosphere, the ideal crystalline piano notes, South American with the spleen guitar à la THE GATHERING, especially during the progressive explosion; Baptiste already has a nice hit during the solo, in short in line with their 1st with a groovy frame. "Place Your Bets" follows and demonstrates the basic Floydian musical evolution coupled with bluesy nonchalance amplified by Marc's held bass; the bluffing mid- course sax between these two strong rhythms and the choirs. A final synth solo to show that there is more than the guitar in musical life, soft and tortured; flowing title like a MASSIVE ATTACK album. "Skimming Stones" on a note of the 'Bal des Laze' with a slow crescendo, on a languorous chiaroscuro climate, whistling behind, melancholy or doubtful air, it is according to you; the violin is very depressive and brings dignity, wisdom and introspection as such. We are far from looking for the solo, we have entered the music of the group. "Wandering Cloud" you are on the runway; air between jazz and repetitive rhythm & blues just in the chorus; it's soft, singular and it raises questions about the direction of the group; Mathilde brings a discreet vocal just before this rise? yes THE GATHERING in softer way then this trumpet associated with the choirs creates a diversion; musical amazement there with yet another whistle as a rhythmic instrument; shudder reminding me here of the concert where they offered it in preview.

"Vertigo" tumbles led by Marc and supported by melismas by Aurélien; latent progressive air there, Arnaud raises the sauce for a dithyrambic crescendo, without any particular classification; it's ESTHESIS and it's bewitching, the Ian CRICHTON-like spurting solo helped by brass can hit the basic progosity, personally I still see Aurélien's swaying fingers on this piece, in short conquered. Especially by these last notes à la 'Riders On The Storm'. "57th Street" takes us off to Manhattan; I recognize the 12th street dog! Jazzy atmosphere with the piano and 'Riders' again. The always languorous bluesy voice rises on a semi Andalusian declination, dark tempo and unhealthy hard riff showing teeth, strange what music can make us do. Title progressive in the background, intimate and evolving, pure musical creation, art-rock, there I think a friend will be happy to read this. Welcome chorus on attention siren declination; the final part wants to be more metal, the rhythm is amplified while keeping an ethereal atmosphere; cinematic break increasing the dark side, abrupt end for the replay?. "Through My Lens" cutscene, when I say this is the year for; sax, piano for film noir atmosphere, detective smoke, doubt as to the search for the motive, that's it I go into the music again and again; good musical research there is, melting jazzy influence there is, tormented break with crystalline keyboards then tortured there is also, a bit on a DEEP PURPLE solo, it explodes dully, it becomes enjoyable from the 3'10''; guitar solo à la GILMOUR and harder. Aurélien takes up the rhythm with his voice and his breath, a harmonica now coming to assist the sax which is running out of steam.

ESTHESIS has evolved; jazzy prog rock, cinematic, rhythm & blues, art rock with the aesthetic connotation made to give the opportunity to fully feel each note, each tune, each sensitive and raw title. Dark music with an intimate climate created to vibrate in this anesthetized world, that's what I think at the end of this disconcerting feeling album. Well an album that slaps you as you listen, that's it. Hurry up to throw yourself in, the 3rd is already in the making. ESTHESIS makes ESTHESIS so listen up.

 The Awakening by ESTHESIS album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.04 | 46 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
4.04 | 46 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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