Certain bands are held to a slightly higher standard. This can be attributed to longevity, a history of quality outputs, or simply the diversity found within a band’s catalog. In the case of Italy’s Eldritch, perhaps it’s a bit of all three.
Longtime fans of the band would agree that the Eldritch's releases can generally be grouped into three separate and distinct categories. The “early” days of the band were highlighted by a pair of classic progressive metal albums, “Headquake” and “El Niño”, before the band transitioned into a more modern, almost “nu-metal” sound during the first decade of the 2000’s. March 23, 2018 marked the release of the band’s eleventh full-length studio album, “Cracksleep”, via Scarlet Records. Clocking in at around 52 minutes, the album picks up where the last three releases (“Gaia’s Legacy”, “Tasting the Tears”, and “Underlying Issues”) left off. A dense, melodic, progressive/power metal album in the same vein as Evergrey, Kamelot, and DGM, but with an unmistakable sound that is all their own.
The band’s two founding members, Eugene Simone (guitars/compositions) and Terrence Holler (vocals/lyrics), lead the listener on dark, disturbing and sleepless journey into the mind of an insomniac. All the key elements of the band are here. Holler’s unique vocal style is on full display throughout and is one of the disk’s many bright spots. The twin guitar attack of Simone and Rudj Ginaneschi is on display with blistering riffs (“Reset”, “Silent Corner”) and melodic solos (“As the Night Crawls In”, “Staring at the Ceiling”) for which the band is best known. Songs such as “Voices Calling” feature the thundering bass of Alessio Consani, the newest member of the band. Gabriele Caselli’s keyboards add another key element to the sound which has consistently helped Eldritch achieve their layered, almost atmospheric sound. Last, but certainly not least, the impressive and diverse drumming of Raffahell Dridge, seamlessly holds everything together. “Aberration of Nature" and "Night Feelings” are two of the album’s standout tracks and should not be missed.
“Cracksleep” is one of the Eldritch’s best releases of the band’s “modern era," right up there with “Gaia’s Legacy” as two of the best in their extensive discography. With the newest effort, Eldritch has managed not only to meet, but exceed the heightened expectations. The band is to be applauded for the album’s tight production and consistency throughout. The album gets better with each listen and is sure to remain in rotation for years to come.
“For too long I kept my fears inside”
Label: Scarlet Records (2018)
3. Deep Frost
4. Aberration of Nature
5. My Breath
6. Silent Corner
7. As the Night Crawls In
8. Voices Calling
9. Staring at the Ceiling
10. Night Feelings
11. Hidden Friend