We spoke to Tom Fay recently, Exoterik are taking a year out, no releases planed yet
as you can see by there Biog they have has a busy 4 years. We hope to
see the band with new music in 2013.
Anneka Latta (Vocals & Keyboards)
Tom Fay (Guitar)
Darren Townes (Bass)
Steve Riley (Drums)
UK based heavy rock band Exoterik are united by their determination and desire to create an infectious mix of stomping, energetic riffage and ethereal beauty within their music.
Exoterik are ready to unleash their eagerly awaited second album entitled Butterfly In Your Hand which encapsulates Exoterik’s dynamic approach to songwriting with their energetic riffs and passionate delivery.
After recording the previous album Don’t Swallow between Finland and Latvia with producer John Fryer, Exoterik have this time decided to keep to their roots and record their second album in England. The album promises to be big and bold, with metal grooves, catchy melodies and powerful riffs. This album will see Exoterik spreading their wings, taking listeners to new heights far beyond their previous album. Butterfly In Your Hand is scheduled for worldwide release in the later part of 2009 with a tour to follow.
Exoterik have toured venues up and down the UK, delivering their music and showcasing their high-powered performances, playing alongside the likes of Lacuna Coil, Epica and Stuck Mojo to name but a few, as well as performing at major festivals around the UK.
The first single ‘Are You Alive’ was self-released in April 2008 and was soon followed by a 10 day U.K. tour with US rockers Wednesday 13. Shortly after the tour, Exoterik welcomed new bass player Darren Townes to the band line-up and they continue to expand their fan-base.
It’s quite rare these days to find female fronted rock bands, I can pretty much count on both of my hands how many female fronted rock bands have made the mainstream and that would include Nightwish, Evanescence, Within Temptation, Flyleaf and a few more low key style bands such as The Vincent Black Shadows and the very new Lucidfly and now we have Exoterik to add to that list, ok they might not be a mainstream band at the moment but there sound is powerful and they have the potential to raise out into the mainstream scene.
Exoterik are a four piece band from Leeds in the UK and they are made up of Tom Fay on guitar, Darren Townes on bass, Steve Riley on drums and Anneka Latta on vocals and keyboards, they released their debut album ‘Don’t Swollow’ back in 2008 and they have no just released their second album ‘Butterfly In Your Hand’.
The whole of ‘Butterfly In Your Hand’ is upbeat with powerful fast flowing catchy vocals to pull you in and chunky guitar riffs to add that extra bit of meaty power to the mix, the songs are full of groove and with the mix of catchy vocals and chunky instrumental work being very pleasing on the ear.
The opening track ‘Reason To Live’ pulls you in straight away with its fast paced keyboard style introduction which see’s Anneka Latta’s beautiful and melodic vocals coming in seconds later, the song like most songs on the album has a slight dark gothic feel to it.
‘No Happy Ending’ follows on nicely from the opening track with its fast flowing melodic vocals, once again the instrumental work in executed with pure talent and energy. ‘Scream To Be Heard’ starts off with a softly spoken piece with minimum soundscapes, the guitars come in a few seconds later taking the song to another level. ‘Pressure’ is the token slow track on the album and it is all about listening to Anneka Latta shine with her melodic brand of vocals.
‘Start Again (Part One) and ‘Start Again (Part Two)’ are interesting songs, the first is more of a short introduction with its short running of 43 seconds and overall mellow feel, whilst ‘(Part Two) the guitars charge up from the start packing a bit chunky punch, everything about the song is spot on from the passionate vocals to the energetic instrumental work.
‘Uninvited’ is another song which really needs to be checked out as it is so different from any of the other tracks on the album.
I cannot find a fault within the music on ‘Butterfly In Your Hand’ everything about it is so listenable and they have the potential to take on the heavy weight bands in the same scene such as Evanescence and Within Temptation and I bet they are even more of a pleasure to see live than they are to listen to on CD. 5/5
“Butterfly In Your Hand”
A year down the line and thanks again to Tom for the CD. Female fronted gothic rock generally does very little for me, however their debut album “Don’t Swallow” was way better than most. Another year wiser how does this one compare?
At the risk of history repeating itself, my observations levelled at the first album are pretty much the same this time around. The production’s slick, the band clearly have a mastery of song construction and dynamics, although second time round the heavier songs have more impact and directness. Most of the tracks are around the three to four minute mark, and despite the somewhat rigid ABACAB structure, they still have a separate identity and pack a lot in to the time frame.
The album’s a mix of out and out rockers, quiet intros leading into rock territory, and unashamed ballads, and for the most part mixes these up well. The two opening tracks – “Reason To Live” and “No Happy Ending” – are as good as anything you’ll hear in this genre. Riffs, hooks, singalong choruses, topped with quality vocals make them an enjoyable listen. “Reason In Ruins” is the highlight for me, one of the longest songs on the CD but it doesn’t feel it – builds progressively until the opening chunky guitars and then continues with a swagger.
Now the criticisms. Whilst the production overall does the band plenty of favours, there are a couple of areas I’d have tweaked. The keyboards seem a bit thin at times, and the drums aren’t quite right. They’re a bit low in the final mix, the kick is near as damn it anonymous, and the snare sound could have been punchier. Perhaps I’ve been listening to extreme metal too long?
The guitar tone is superb, but again I’d have liked more soloing. As to the songs, a couple of the ballads don’t quite cut it, and I again would question the running order. The title track starts with a nice touch with the clip from “Are You Alive” and despite the opening riff being solid this one just fizzles out. Not an obvious choice therefroe to close the album. “Start Again” and penultimate track “Uninvited” were on the weak side to my ear.
The album as a whole works well and has that “I’ve heard this before but can’t quite place it” quality whilst retaining a strong sense of identity. Anneka’s vocals flit between silky smooth and edgy rock with ease, coupled with a good range, power, and control. I’m not an authority on this genre by any means, but I see no reason why this release should be anything but positive for them. They’ve been increasing their profile steadily, supporting bigger names all the time. Perhaps 2010 could be a breakthrough year for them?
“Reason In Ruins” (single releases)Review
Exoterik are a band that I believe plays (according to their words) melodic metal. Oh! Those good, old days when metal was melodic by definition passed away, faded to black, vanished, if you follow me. Ekhem, but to be serious. Exoterik’s music is indeed melodic, roaring guitars follow the vocal line, which in itself is certainly the strongest side of Exoterik’s sound. I would say that metal (but of course the melodic type) always had that advantage that it seemed to attract very talented female vocalists (apart from the Nightwish’s second vocalist). Exoterik is not any exception here. Three songs, which the single contains, were taken out of the Butterfly In Your Hand album. They might serve as a representative taster for the whole album. One will have a chance to hear a gentle ballade – Uninvited where harmonious sound of skilfully played acoustic guitars, great vocals, and less impressive yet still good drums builds up to reach a powerful finale. Reason in Ruins is a more conventional metal song, but it’s relatively varied structure easily keeps the listener focused. And here again there seems to be something wrong with the drums, they are dry, almost synthetic and annoyingly monotonous (particularly in the first two minutes). The middle tune – No Happy Ending would be my choice here – short, concise, dynamic and upbeat has the most coherent structure of the three songs and instrumental aspect is flawless. What can I say? Exoterik has definitely something to offer, those people definitely know their craft.
SUBCITY RADIO Glasgow
Reviews For “Don’t Swallow” and single release.
Having worked with John Fryer, who has previously produced material for HIM, Exoterik can’t fail with their latest release, an eleven-track sledgehammer of towering riffs and tantalizingly tortured vocal performances. Recorded in Latvia and Finland, an enlightened darkness saturates all the tracks, with opening tune ‘The Catalyst’ hearing frontwoman Anneka Latta howl, ‘We’re nothing but walking parasites.’
‘Salvation’ goes on to proffer redemption courtesy of David Parry’s exquisitely executed bass-line, before the suitably dramatic ‘Watch You Bleed’ makes the most of Tom Fay’s prowess on guitar as he whips up a storm, the strength of his rock ‘n’ roll convictions following through into ‘Forever Watching’ which deftly deals with the subversive nature of our CCTV-obsessed culture: ‘Innocence betrayed by surveillance.’
Still, should you desire a swab of unbridled heartbreak on the other hand, try ‘Raping The Reverie’ on for size. Anneka’s devastating vocals are bound to attack the aorta with malicious glee, providing yet another reason why Exoterik – who have been around since 2003 – deserve to breakthrough into the mainstream where they would undoubtedly be a dark and
deadly force to be reckoned with. Steve Rudd for Screaming Tarts ezine/mag
“Don’t Swallow” Not to be confused with Esoteric, the doom metallers, this Anglo-Irish four piece serve up metal of the nu-goth variety. Imagine 80’s chart botherers All About Eve with a a nu-metal guitarist wandering into the recording studio to overlay the ethereal vocals with down tuned guitars with monolithic riffs. It’s sort of Lacuna Coil or
Evanescence without the MTV sheen.. Lyrically there’s some depth in their tales of woe that will appeal to morose teens and bitter students everywhere. Their three stand out tracks for my money are the first single, ‘Are You Alive’, ‘Humanity Inc.’ and ‘Raping The Reverie’ which were the three tracks produced by George Jackson in Finland whereas the bulk of the album was recorded by John Fryer in Latvia.Live, the band are beginning to get a positive feedback, looking and sounding the part. Here’s where the success will ultimately lie. Although the word esoteric means ‘something not known by many’ or ‘underground’,
Exoteric deserve a better fate. Duncan Jameson Powerpoints: 7/10
Raping The Reverie: a deep, powerful lead female vocal, hard but not too hard riffing, and with a slow and purposeful feel about it. Are You Alive goes more for the jugular wiith, after a grinding intro, a higher tempo at which it firmly stays. It’s the more distinctive song of the two, providing an interesting, more textured bridge section
CUR1350 Radio Cambridge University
Anneka’s voice is top notch, Raping … is the better of the 2 tracks, a band with huge potential
Blast 1836 Radio Reading University
Raping The Reverie (Single Edit). Atmospheric opening before initial power chords kick in forcefully.
Song overall follows the quiet verse, loud chorus format but with a swagger and confidence that lifts it
way above the generic. Crystal clear production probably has something to do with this, although the
main reason has to be the level of musicianship and quality of the vocals. The bridge section works
particularly well, carrying on the Eastern influence, and is reminiscent of “Kashmir”.
This is a well structured song with good dynamics and should work well live.
Are You Alive? Current single. Quality opening riff, very catchy. The underlying groove of the song, topped
off with the great vocals, will make this one very popular live, especially as the chorus has a great hook.
Overall I like this one but there were a couple of things that didn’t quite work for me. The quieter bridge section
sounds a bit flat, although live I’m sure it will provide an interesting counterpoint. The final chorus and
repeated vocal gets a bit wearing and I wonder if the song would work better slightly shorter? For me
the first two thirds of the track are excellent, but the final third doesn’t have enough impact and gets a bit samey.
That said I still think it will be a great live song, the opening riff and especially the
hook in the chorus should ensure this sells well.Overall impressions are positive. This isn’t my usual style of rock,
probably the only band inthis genre that I rate being Lacuna Coil. I’m wondering how the full length album is going to
sound – another seven or eight tracks of this quality and it should do well. Production is
superb, guitars are crisp, drums (especially the snare) sound good and the vocals are strong and clear.
Millennium of Blood / Chop Music
This double ‘A’ side EP released on the ‘Holier Than Thou’ label starts with some ethereal keyboard noise in the background while the lead singer Anneka Latta serenades. You wonder what direction this band is looking to go in until the guitars and drums explode into life with gusto. This mournful sound, combined with the clarity of the lyrics, combine and make a strong offering. The ethereal keyboard and vocal combo is a running theme throughout the song, with the heaviest instruments saved for the chorus. Latta sings with sorrow and heart but you do feel that there is a limited range that her vocals could excel at – although this is definitely within her range. The instrumental halfway through the song is so deep and slow that you can see this really be the song of choice for people in despair. The lyrics speak of the humbling of someone with a broken heart, thrown down into despair with a broken heart. The single is nice and long so has time to fit a lot of different things in – at about 5:00, another instrumental goes on and the backing transcendence of the despairing Latta on keyboard really captures the mood of darkness. The song ends in this vein, a keyboard whine fading out. The second bonus single taken from their new album ‘Don’t Swallow’ (you wonder how much of a influence Latta had on the album title… hopefully she remained friends with whatever member of the band gave her this idea..) is titled ‘Are you Alive’ and starts with a much more up pace beat and riffery. Anneka has to now change her style slightly to a more fast paced growling style of vocals. The drumming in this song is exceptional and Steve Riley ties the song together with the prodigal skill he expresses. The keyboard use in this single is limited and I feel all the better for it.. even though it’s always there in the background, more impetus is put on the awesome drumming and the flowing bass line of Davey Parry. The chorus really brings out an animalistic sound in Latta and she takes up the role of the manic seamstress with an excellent performance here. Both of these singles definitely have the potential to be brilliantly received by a fan base well into the melodic unhappiness Latta puts into her voice and it’s my hope that we see their forthcoming album out soon – 2008 is the year they’ve set and we’re more or less running out of months! This band have made an excellent effort and we can only wait for more.
Rock 3 Radio
Raping the Reverie- A very stately and assured crunching wave of metal. The vocals are stunning; the whole song is a little unexpected. We have some metal and goth shows that will love this!
Kube Radio University Of Stafford
Playing under numerous guises since 2003 the Anglo/Irish quartet forming Exoterik have gained a basis of energetic rock and an impressive live show. Don’t Swallow is the new album on these goth rockers who have gained comparison to the likes of Lacuna Coil and Autumn.
‘The Catalyst’ opens up proceedings with a thrash rock style riff and Anneka Latta’s eerily styled keyboards. The drums however sound slightly flat in punctuating the power of the riff. It works well with the verse section where the instruments give way and the female vocal rings through in a fashion similar to Amy Lee or Christina Scabbia. The song is of good quality however I feel that a bit more punch in the mix would have added a power and presence which would really benefit the album. ‘Salvation’ and ‘Watch You Bleed’ both do their be it to affirm the band’s sound and style as deeply rooted in the rock category with a penchant for attempted big hooks and classic styling’s. Latta’s voice at times comes across as though it’s trying to soar but their is something not quite allowing it to, forming a restraint that takes overall, if only just slightly, from the overall sound. The use of the keyboard is well done in terms of providing a distinction between this and just standard rock with a girl singer twist. Their interludes are both unique and odd but offer a different interpretation than what is first thought. ‘Complicity’ is perhaps the best song in its introduction as softly plucked guitars’ and keys build and atmosphere and ambiguity that has previously remained anonymous. As the vocal’s ring through this is obviously one of Latta’s strongest performances on Don’t Swallow. There is a passion and fervour whilst remaining well within the confines of the songs subtly. It gives the eventual kick in more prowess and listenability. The album continues and after 6 or 7 songs the guitar and drum patterns do become slightly repetitive in their nature. Again its hard to say whether more punch in the sound would achieve a better hook but there is something slightly restraining about the songs. Overall I think that there will be a large section of people who would enjoy the sounds of Exoterik although it will not be for everyone’s tastes. ROCKSNAIL
“They are a band with such pure talent, energy and outspokenness about them, that it is no wonder why their music is so inspiring.” – Lynda Dale MacLean, Grave Concerns (U.S. E-Zine), April 2008.
“This is a mature, strong release full of tracks imbued with melodic heaviness and an emotionally charged energy”.
- Fabienne T, Alternative Magazine.
“Exoterik are a polished band that could easily hold their own against the heavy weights of this genre”.
- Room Thirteen, Live Review, 2007.