Eldritch

Picture of Eldritch

Seeds Of Rage

Eldritch - Seeds Of Rage ©1995 InsideOut Music
1. Incurably Ill
2. Under This Ground
3. Chains
4. Cage Of Sins
5. Colors
6. The Deaf And The Blind
7. Ultimate Solution
8. I Don’t Know Why
9. Chalice Of Insanity
10. Blind Promise

Eldritch are an Italian fivesome that seem to have been largely ignored by the world of progressive metal. Their sound could be described as a mixture of Master Of Puppets era Metallica with a healthy dose of Patrick Moraz or Rick Wakeman inspired keyboards with the technical proficiency of every performer maxed out. The music is very technical and complex. Fans of Keeper era Helloween, Dream Theater or Watchtower will love these guys. Influences from Fates Warning, Queensryche, Judas Priest and Annihilator can be detected on this disc. The guitar and keyboards duel and dance all throughout the disc. Terence Holler delivers great vocals adding to the mix and carrying the differing vocal styles very well. He adapts his singing to the style of play for each song, whether it is intense or subtle, fast or slow. His voice is not so high as to put people off. The keyboard playing is very much at the front of the mix and is incorporated into the music very well.

"Incurably Ill" starts the disc off very well, letting you know that this is not your usual progressive metal band. There is a technicality about them that is missing from so many others. "Cage of Sins" is one of the best power ballads I’ve ever heard and is followed wonderfully by "Colors", a changing and elusive rocker. Included in the outstanding tracks should be "The Deaf And The Blind" and "Blind Promise". This disc is diverse and a lot of fun to listen to. Perhaps not as tight or unified as Headquake or El Niño, it still offers a good insight into the early work of a very technically solid heavy metal band.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 06/2000

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Headquake

Eldritch - Headquake ©1997 InsideOut Music
1. Ghoulish Gift
2. The Last Embrace
3. Lord Of An Empty Place
4. Sometimes In Winter
5. The Restless Sea
6. Salome's Dance
7. Erase
8. The Quest(ion)
9. Clockwork Bed
10. Dawn Of The Dying

The second disc from Eldritch really blew me away. It is tighter than Seeds of Rage and the ferocity of the music has been stepped up several notches. The technical proficiency of the group is as evident as on Seeds Of Rage, but on this disc, they push to the edge and beyond in intensity. The shouted, snarled vocals and sudden mood changes on "The Last Embrace" are one small part of the evidence that this disc is going to be different from Seeds Of Rage. With this disc, Eldritch climbed to the top of the heap of Italian progressive power metal. This disc is absolutely loaded with tight, melodic power metal. Similar in style and technicality to Conception's In Your Multitude, this disc shows how talented the players are with their instruments and composition skills. The music is mutlilayered and very well written. It holds your attention from start to finish without letting you down on any point. The keys have been pushed back further in the mix, allowing the guitars to stand out and knock you around. The production is very clean so you can clearly hear the speed and intricacy of the play. Some of these songs go right to the edge of thrash while others lull you with their quietness before slamming you against the wall with the power that was just beneath the surface. All of the songs are long and involved, making this an enjoyable listening experience. For fans of melodic power metal, this is a must have disc. Every element from Seeds of Rage has been stepped up and is hurled at you full force. Stand out tracks include the blistering "Erase", the subtle "Sometime In Winter" and the outstanding "Clockwork Bed".

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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El Niño

Eldritch - El Niño ©1998 InsideOut Music
1. Fall From Grace
2. No Direction Home
3. Heretic Beholder
4. Scar
5. Bleed Mask Bleed
6. The Last Days Of The Year
7. From Dusk Till Dawn
8. To Be Or Not To Be (God)
9. El Niño

It is always exhilarating when a technically proficient band releases a disc and you get it home for a listen. Such is the case with El Niño, the third offering from Eldritch, a very talented Italian melodic power metal band. Eldritch take the intensity of their first two albums and hone it to a razor sharpness with this release. The songs move one into the next with a very smooth fluidity. The complexity builds throughout the album giving it an almost conceptual feel as though it were one track divided into nine movements. There is a real cohesive feel to the album. All the crunch and chop is here along with some blistering keyboard play that adds another layer to an already complex sound. The guitar and keyboard solos fit the songs well. Terence Holler (aptly named) sings with intensity and a real fervor, pushing the songs further. It’s difficult to single out any tracks as standing head and shoulders above the others since they all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. "Scar" blazes along at breakneck speed. "Bleed Mask Bleed" is much tamer. "To Be Or Not To Be (God)" is a really great example fo the technicality of this band. El Niño is one of the best of 1998 in the genre of melodic power metal.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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Reverse

Eldritch - Reverse ©2001 Metal Blade
1. E-Nest
2. Reverse
3. Slavery On Line
4. Leftovers And Crumbs
5. Bittersweet Penny
6. Bio-Trinity
7. Suffering Degree
8. My Sharona
9. Soul Shrinkage
10. Leech
11. Little Irwin

Talk about an aptly named CD. Eldritch used to be the best technical progressive metal band in Italy. They are now the best progressive thrash band in Italy. This disc represents a huge style change for Eldritch from the pattern established on Headquake and El Niño.

Eldritch always had a powerful edge to their music. They had talent galore and used it to produce some of the sharpest progressive metal that you’d find. This disc pushes the aggression to the extremes. It offers slash ‘n burn music that is tightly under control. That may seem contradictory and fans of thrash metal may wonder what I mean. The music on this disc is focused very tightly. It is surgically precise. There are elements of Rammstein-like keyboard passages and rhythm structures, but the most overwhelming presence is that of the guitars. They set a pounding pace that rarely lets up. Vocalist Terence Holler matches their furious assault with his own. His performance is the best of his career. The keyboards are perhaps the most changed element of the band’s music. Where before they accompanied the melodies and helped flesh them out, now they are very far back in the mix offering forth little sound bytes and effects that enhance the songs but are never the focal point. The cover of The Knack’s “My Sharona” is impressive, kicking out all the stops and taking the song right to the edge. There is even a video version of the song on the disc.

This is some pretty extreme music for Eldritch. They really cut loose but never lose control even in their most frenzied moments. This disc is a testimony to their impressive skill. The songs are what one would expect from a band as mature as Eldritch, thick and meaty. While I was very surprised, and somewhat disappointed at the radical change of direction for the band, Reverse works well and the band fits the style of play seamlessly. The change in style is enormous, but the band has the stuff it takes to pull it off. For fans of technical thrash metal, I recommend this disc to your attention.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2001

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