Mar 2018 29

ESA - That BeastESA
Category: Industrial / Noise
Album: That Beast
Blurb: Jamie Blacker has created a lean, hard-hitting dance album simply for the sake of making a lean, hard-hitting dance album… and that’s just fine.


The album opens with the sound of a lighter being flicked open lighting a cigarette. Someone takes a drag, exhales, and says the words “Let it all go.” And with that, Jamie Blacker starts off That Beast with a clean slate, no longer constrained by the concepts of his last three albums. To be fair, he is not breaking new ground; Blacker is still making rhythmic noise with hard-hitting beats, completely overdriven bass, and his trademark growl of a voice. But That Beast has a cleaner, more polished sound. It’s missing a lot of the extra background noise and drum fills. It’s a minor difference, but it could be the difference between this being a listener’s favorite ESA album or one further down the list.

One of the attributes that sets That Beast apart from his previous albums are hooks. While they aren’t the traditional chorus type hooks, Blacker manages to create sounds and moments that can get stuck in your head. “Carry the Noose” features vocals from Blacker as well as Massenhysterie member Jo Hysteria and eventually, they bounce the title of the song back-and-forth between each other, creating a moment that feels unique for ESA, giving it more accessibility. The bass heavy “Bad Blood Will Out” uses a vocal line from Sindelish that gives the listener something to latch on to after the song is over, even if the listener doesn’t understand the language. “I Want It Now” is an unbridled dance floor stomper and when Blacker starts yelling “I want it now!” over and over, it should get the audience pumping their fists and shouting along with it.

Overall, the tone of the album isn’t as dark as ESA’s previous albums, and while it’s not sunshine and rainbows, it does feel like a fun, aggressive dance record. The simpler, stripped down songs allow each track to hit harder while being more accessible. If someone has never listened to an ESA album before, That Beast is a good starting place.
Track list:

  1. I Have Clarity
  2. Look Down Below
  3. Carry the Noose (feat. Jo Hysteria of Massenhysterie)
  4. Bad Blood Will Out (feat. Sindelish)
  5. That Beast
  6. Then Follow Me (feat. Scott Fox)
  7. Like Meat (Spoiled)
  8. Passing Over
  9. I Know
  10. I Want It All Now (feat. Pernille Jensen)
  11. Take All Of This

Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube
Negative Gain Productions
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Douglas Leach (nowandforalltime)

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