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  Infinite Keys
Artist: Ester Drang
Label: Jade Tree
Length: 9 tracks, 38:44

Ester Drang has a sound all its own. Walls of atmosphere accentuate a lush organic musical landscape. The music is complex in its arrangement, yet the listener can also take a step back and appreciate the full beauty of all the instrumentation combined. The foundation is laid with guitar, bass, and drums, but piano and synthesizers are also essential to the thick atmosphere.

The music is strong in its ability to escape the verse-chorus rut. Sure, the songs have choruses, but they blend so seamlessly with the verses that there is not a dry moment musically or lyrically.

The vocals blend with the music in a way that doesn't draw too much attention, but can also be distinguished when needed. When the listener is searching for the lyrical meaning of the songs, there is depth to be found. "Temple Mount" begins the album with a firm foundation: "You're missing the point of all I've given and missing out on life worth living. I can't be shaken. I'm still standing in this strong wind." In one of the most beautiful songs on the CD "If They Only Knew", vocalist Bryce Chambers sings, "In time you will walk the line. If they only knew, they'd come through. If they chose to know you they'd be free and see it's time to go." 

What Ester Drang has done with Infinite Keys is fuse together all the elements of a good album in a way that makes it great. In other words, Infinite Keys makes for a great soundtrack for life. 

Trae Cadenhead  4/13/2003


Trae Cadenhead is a student at Union University. He is pursuing a Digital Media Studies major with a Film Studies minor and plans to become involved in film making following school. Trae also has an enormous interest in music. Along with writing for the Tollbooth, Trae maintains Loconotion (, a digital archive of his thoughts on music and movies as well as a gallery of the art and video work he has done.

Ester Drang is a four-piece band out of Oklahoma. Infinite Keys is its first record on Jadetree Records. Ester Drang appeals strongly to fans of atmospheric rock bands like Radiohead. With falsetto vocals and plenty of keyboard, they lure listeners into another world of existence.

Infinite Keys is probably the best Ester Drang release to date. "Oceans of You," "One Hundred Times," "The Greatest Thing," and "No One Could Ever Take Your Face" are among Ester Drang's best songs on the nine-song album.

Also encouraging is the hope in Ester Drang's music. "The Greatest Thing" says:

You came down as a man
With your purpose as your plan
All to save the hearts of men.
All This Feeling" says,
All this feeling with no meaning
All this pleasure
Has left you empty.
Yes the savior only fills.
An obstacle for listeners may be the long and lethargic {songs that} test the audience's patience. But patience pays off for fans of Ester Drang. Infinite Keys may take its sweet time drawing listeners in with its subtle hooks, but the album only gets better with each listen.

Matt Modrich  8/27/2003

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