Automb – Esoterica

Rating: 3/5
Released: 2018
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Band line-up:

Danielle Evans- Vocals, Keys & Bass
Serge Streltsov- Guitar
Scott Fuller- Drums


1. Esoterica
2. Horned God
3. Summoning The Storm
4. Mourned
5. Call of Hekate
6. Blood Moon
7. The Forest
8. A Lamentation
9. Frozen
10. Into Nothingness


Automb are a black metal band from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and who are on Satanath Records. Their music features the traditional screamed vocals, harsh guitars and menacing drums along with spooky synthesisers. With their debut 2018 album ‘Esoterica’, they mix death metal and atmospheric tones to push the boundaries a tiny bit further than some of their contemporaries. The group have been influenced by the likes of Drudkh, Nokturnal, Mortum, Satyricon, Emperor, Moonsorrow and Behemoth, to name a few.

I say the band push boundaries, and they do in a way. However, that’s only because black metal bands often sound more or less exactly the same as each other. Really, however they don’t innovate as much as they should. They also arguably don’t produce material of the same quality as their sources of inspiration. Drudkh often write great hypnotic music with excellent harmony one could listen to for extended periods of time. With Automb, you do get ideas far more advanced than mere power chords, but the progressions don’t develop in a way that is as intelligent and satisfying.

Again, Automb aren’t as good as Moonsorrow, either. The latter band write epic pieces of music that almost develop like symphonies, (ok, that was a bit pretentious, but you know what I mean). With the former you get traditional, more basic black metal, in terms of structure. The band can be compared to Behemoth in that their sound is mostly flat out raging, but don’t expect any crushing, classic anthems that get stuck in your head. Also don’t expect the creativity and skill level of the rhythms.

In conclusion this music is mostly overly typical and more interesting parts that play with different instrumental textures aren’t as common as they should be, if the band are trying to be more thoughtful and based on atmospheres. (The lone guitar duo in ‘Mourned’ is pretty cool, though). Again, tremolo picked guitars are all over the place, so are blast beats, you most likely get the picture. On the plus side, this music IS genuinely exciting almost throughout its entire playing time and it will pump the adrenaline. For that reason alone it will be worth purchasing for many BM fans.

Review by Simon Wiedemann