Eldritch is a rock band from Italy which was originally known as Zeus having formed in 1988 but changed to Eldritch in 1991 and was very much a progressive metal band in the formative years but gradually has blossomed to become a fine and hard hitting power metal band whilst still retaining progressive elements. I cannot believe that it has been 26-years since the release of the debut, Seeds Of Rage, in 1995 and an album I very much remember buying. The band has released many new records since then with EOS being album number twelve and you can always guarantee that they offer something just a little different and always special.
The band features three original members with vocalist Terence Holler, guitarist Eugene Simone and the returning keyboard player Oleg Smirnoff back after something like a 20-year absence. The remainder of the band are drummer Raffahell Dridge who joined in 2007 and guitarist Rudj Ginanneschi who joined in 2010 s o they have a wealth of experience with the band and the new boy is Dario Lastrucci on bass who came onboard in 2019 so this is his first album with the band.
As expected with Eldritch the new album is a fast and frantic affair and shows a band still eager to play and learn and always willing to explore and push musical boundaries. EOS has a more epic progressive metal flavour about it but this doesn’t stop the band having some thrash moments with the emphasis always remaining on power and a real shock and awe approach to delivery. Dig even deeper and you’ll find a little prog trying to find its way out. Terence Holler can always be relied upon to supply quality vocals and his clear, most expressive and perfect English delivery really does give the band a very broad appeal although they remain as charmingly Italian as ever. He two guitarists supply lots of riffs and some great lead breaks but they actually work in unison with the keyboards which gives the band a rather unique sound as they combine to make a truly effective melodic frame but all occasionally burst out with moments of epic grandeur. At times you pick up a sound of Evergrey and then you’ll hear Fates Warning and Redemption whilst remaining totally Eldritch.
It’s great to hear Smirnoff back with the band and he really does give the band an extra dimension and his work with the guitarists is as much a part of the Eldritch sound as is the voice of Terence Holler. Eos is the goddess of dawn in Greek mythology and maybe the return of Smirnoff and a slightly more progressive metal sound is a new dawn for the band too. The veteran Simone Mularoni brings all his skills into play on recording, mixing and mastering duties and he helps the band to have such a refined, distinct and powerful sound. The songs are sublime and all are perfect stadium epics with special praise for the exceptional Sunken Dreams which is a real tour de force but this is a perfectly rounded album with every song in the right lace and all played to perfection. The album closes with a cover of Bon Jovi’s Runaway which gets the full Eldritch treatment so that it actually sounds like one of their songs!
Eldritch is one of those bands that does not get the real recognition that is deserved and, hopefully, this tremendous album will go a long way in changing that.
- Dead Blossom (1:06)
- Failure of Faith (5:44)
- The Cry of a Nation (6:07)
- Circles (7:29)
- No Obscurity (5:41)
- Sunken Dreams (11:08)
- Fear Me (6:31)
- I Can’t Believe It (5:24)
- The Awful Closure (5:48)
- EOS (6:43),
- Runaway (Bon Jovi cover) (3:42)