I've known of the Italian power/prog metal band Eldritch for some time but it's often a surprise when you check out the full history for a review like this and I found that they've been going for 23 years and this new release, 'Tasting The Tears' (great title!), is their ninth studio album! How time flies!
This six piece outfit are well known in prog metal circles for their excellent musicianship and powerful mixture of heavy guitars and melody and this new album continues in that tradition. The twin guitars are upfront and in your face and there are loads of keyboards and harmonies layered over that powerful foundation.
Right from the off, opening track 'Inside You' has their signature sound of heavy riffing and hard rock style vocals mixed with huge slabs of keyboards but for me things start to go slightly wrong with the second and title track of the album.
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The production isn't really up to scratch on the album in my opinion, it has a very trebly, buzzy quality which can be very irritating at times and when this combines with how busy this song is the effect is confusing. Despite some excellent little segments the whole song just has too much going on and sounds unfocussed and messy.
First single from the album 'Alone Again' is a more measured melodic piece which works pretty well and 'Waiting For Something' starts the same way but the chorus suffers with that top end buzz again when the guitars, keyboards and vocals combine.
The trend of interesting songs marred by the sound quality continues through the rest of the album, 'Seeds Of Love' has an excellent, catchy chorus and lovely melodic guitar solo while 'The Trade' goes from haunting piano to staccato riffing over excellent vocal lines. 'Something Strong' makes a good stab at being melodic thrash metal but that brightness in the sound makes them painful to listen to at times when it should be a real pleasure.
'Don't Listen' is another song too much on the busy side for me, then it's ballad time with the ineffectual 'Iris' before the power metal riffing comes back to the fore with 'Love From A Stone'. 'Clouds' is a full prog metal blow out with changing rhythms and powerful riffing around the usual more commercial sounding chorus before the album draws to a close with a cover of the Queensryche classic 'I Will Remember'. It's always nice to show your influences but I don't see the point in doing a competent but inferior cover like this.
The more I listen to this album the more things I find to like about it so this review may be a tad harsh but the production really is a major drawback to me and makes it difficult to listen to far too often to be ignored. If you're already a fan then I'm sure you'll find enough to make it worth the purchase, for any doubters have a listen to a song or two first.