That's no more evident in the longest piece, the one-chord "Premonition I: Earth," where Svensson's fragmented notes trickle forth with electronically-assisted echo for the first half until the intensity has reached the point where until Öström's rapid-fire licks bring down the song in a pogrom of dissonant noises, then eerie near-silence. "Premonition II: Contorted," serves as a peaceful respite from "Earth," which means a temporary return to the traditional e.s.t. format.
"Jazz" is really that, a straight-ahead hard-bop piece, once the sound effects that begin this track fade away. Svensson's funky but crisp lines amply supported by Berglund and Öström conjure up Jarrett, Peacock and DeJohnette even more than they usually do. In constract, "Still" plods along with a slow, programmed beat, a wash of lithe synths, random noises and Svensson's isolated piano being the lone organically-produced sound.
The album concludes with the four part "Leucocyte" suite, a roller-coaster ride alternating between studio-induced cacophony and the ethereal that puts it deep into David Torn territory. It's the part of the CD that is most likely to leave behind many of e.s.t.'s followers.
The first section, "Ab Inito," is adorned with heavy-metal feedback, Öström's mid-tempo thump and Svensson's urgent, repeated notes. "Ad Interim" continues the pattern on recent e.s.t. albums to insert a minute or two of silence between a couple of pieces, only this time, this interlude of nothingness has a name (can someone really copyright that?). The thirteen-minute "Ad Mortem" is primarily heavily distorted electronic effects accentuated by subdued piano voicings, the reverse of how e.s.t. had blended the two opposing technologies before this record. The sonic whitewash slowly disintegrates into eerie minimalist ambience of the final section, "Ad Infinitum."
As a coda, Leucocyte is perhaps more comparable to John Coltrane's Interstellar Space than Brecker's last album. Even though both records fall somewhat short of being the respective artists' best work, each of these albums finds that artist near the end of his life becoming restless again and moving toward a new phase of his musical development. As in the case of Coltrane, we're left to wonder where Esbjörn Svensson's new direction was going to take us.