Release Date: September 25, 2011 (EU) October 11, 2011 (US)
This month finds Italian progressive-power metal outfit Eldritch land on American soil to play ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia which starts on September 14th. The sextet has already announced they will unleash two tracks from their eighth studio album, Gaia’s Legacy at their performance.
The new album is a concept album about global warming based on Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth. From the opening strains of “Gaia’s Anger” Eldritch begin taking the listener on an eye (and ear) opening journey of what we are doing to our nation and our world.
Produced by Marco Ribecai and Eugenio Simone at Syncropain Products Studio in Pisa, Italy, Gaia’s Legacy was mastered by Göran Finnberg (Opeth, In Flames, Evergrey, Dark Tranquillity) in Sweden.
While Eldritch still make use of certain thrash elements, Gaia’s Legacy finds the band remaining closer to its progressive roots this time around. Lyrically vocalist Terrance Holler, the band’s only American, invested a good deal of time researching this topic before bringing a very literal interpretation to the songs.
The album’s first song, “Deviation” kicks off with a chugging guitar line before keyboards and guitars swirl into Holler’s vocal lines. The song evokes similarities on some level to Rush. The song is melodic while technically impressive, and there are breakdowns that taste thrashy. Guitarist Eugene Simone wastes no time in laying down some impressive shredding.
“Our Land” has single written all over it. Yet it is the stunning guitar work that is the centerpiece here, exploding with a flourish without stealing from the sonorous impact of the song.
One of the album’s heavier numbers, “Vortex of Disasters”, is crowded with guitars and choice moments from keyboardist Gabriele Caselli. On a down note, this may be Holler’s weakest performance on the record, at times sounding discordant.
Caselli follows the haunting guitar intro of “Mother Earth” with his own piano melancholy. Meanwhile, “Everything’s Burning” offers up the heaviest riffing on the record. Raffahell Dridge really gets to work the drum kit out on this one. The song is one breakdown after another, full of intrigue, wailing guitar work, and auditory power. Arguably the best jam on the album.
After an almost ballad style lead in, “Like A Child” opens up with more heavy riffage, crisp yet chunky, and even moments of growling vocals. Firewind keyboardist Bob Katsionis makes a cameo appearance on this track and just blows the doors off.
Pianist Caselli shines on the album’s disquieting ballad, “Thirst In Our Hands” which addresses water waste. And “Through Different Eyes” rounds out the hour long prog-metal opus in melodic fashion.
For those new to Eldritch‘s work, this is a fine example and well worth investing your time in discovering. Gaia’s Legacy offers incredible musicianship wrapped in sweeping harmonies and soaring melodies. In all, a top notch performance from an often unheralded band.