Eldritch – Tasting the Tears (Scarlet Records)Tuesday, 18th February 2014
Going back to my tape trading days in high school/ college, I first discovered Italian progressive/power metal band Eldritch when a US friend dubbed me a cassette of their first two demos, Reflection of Sadness and Promo 1993. Through the years they’ve moved away from obvious Dream Theater appreciation, recorded eight albums (El Niño being an all-time favorite), and for their ninth, Tasting the Tears, the sextet appear brimming with creative confidence.
Since 2001’s Reverse, the band has expanded their sound into heavier and slightly thrash-oriented pastures, of which you can still hear currently in the jackhammer guitars of Eugene Simone and Rudj Ginanneschi on the hard-charging title cut and upbeat “Something Strong.” Vocalist Terence Holler possesses one of the more unique inflections when it comes to the power/progressive metal field – there is a little bit of a trailing warble to many of his higher verse endings that gives “Love from a Stone” and the heads down, latter day Angel Dust-ish “Waiting for Something” personal charm and differentiation.
Keyboardist Gabriele Caselli employs a mixture of en vogue electro-gothic tones (think Amaranthe) in between his normal semi-symphonic meets Rainbow/Deep Purple parts, offering depth and dynamic contrast in highlights such as the mid-tempo anthem “The Trade” and classical meets atmospheric/ outer space ballad “Iris.” Ultimately the songwriting stands up to the best Eldritch has written through the years- ending with a decent rendition of the Rage for Order classic “I Will Remember” to give the audience a taste of where they cut their progressive teeth.
Eldritch isn’t afraid to mix things up, being heavy with hooks and grooves while also offering up a steady diet of power riffs, scooping/tasteful solos and melodies throughout to ensure maximum head bobbing and neck straining. Tasting the Tears should be a solid pick with the ProgPower contingency.