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Album number eight for the Italian progressive power metallers Eldtritch in sixteen years. Not bad at all, isn’t it? It shows that the band from Tuscany is always on time when it’s about releasing an album. Though it has been four and a half years since their previous album ”Blackenday”, on their two decades of existence since 1991, they have been always full of quality and they never feared to do the necessary changes in order not to sound stable. This time the six piece -including two new members, Rudj Ginanneschi on guitars in place of Roberto ”Peck” Proietti and the return of keyboards to their sound, handled by Gabriele Caselli- decides to return back to its roots, on the sound of their first three albums, mainly the first two (”Seeds Of Rage” and ”Headquake”) and less the third (”El Nino”). Meaning we have to deal with crazy structures, amazing rhythm section parts and heavy as fuck riffs, which always were the reason to love Eldritch’s music and that’s what made them my favourite band from my favourite country in the world.

It is clear from the first seconds of ”Deviation” that their new album ”Gaia’s Legacy” which is a concept album about global warming, based on Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, show that on the next 56 minutes a very ambitious work is going to follow. The ten songs of the album (plus an EXCELLENT cover of Fates Warning’s ”Through Different Eyes” which I like way more than the original tune) work as a tight unit that has one purpose only: make the listener stay focused on the compositions, even by headbanging relentlessly inbetween. Something which is achieved very easily and makes ”Gaia’s Legacy” worth the wait of so much years, by a band that has never had such a gap from album to album. This makes that album even more important, because it seems they really worked hard on it and though we can’t say that all musicians have pre-organised what the final result will be, it is clear that this is the specific result Eldritch wanted while creating these songs.

Eugene Simone once again proves he’s one of the best metal guitarists, though never been acknowledged for that. Excellent heavy and ground-breaking riffs, amazing solos where he considers necessary and with the help of Ginanneschi, the Eldritch sound of the past meets easily the Eldritch sound of the ’00s decade, where the band became much heavier and thrashier since the release of ”Reverse” in 2001. Also, compared to ”Blackenday” which had a very bitter sound and atmosphere around it, ”Gaia’s Legacy” is a much more hopeful album, though it talks about a very serious issue. Yes, the songs are giving the idea of professional playing and that they were designed to sound serious as well, but is seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel this time. And this also reflects on the singing of Terrence Holler, who once again gives an amazing performance, sounding relieved from the things concerning him while making the previous album. And believe me, he’s one wild card for the band on his own, imagine combining it with the other guys as well.

Also, the first album for Rafahell Dridge on drums shows that he’s a very capable player, equal if not better to his two predecessors, Adriano Dal Canto and Dave Simeone. I had the chance to see him playing the old songs without any problem and I am more than happy to say that his addition to the band helps the older members play and perform even better. John Crystal helps as much as a good bass player can help a good drummer and once more we have the rhythm section following the guitars and opposite. The best of all is that they all know where they must push it to the limit and where to stop, by easing things a bit. Songs like ”Our Land” show the new mature Eldritch taking form, a rather promising one for the years to come, while ”Everything’s Burning” (for which a great video has been shot also) may become the fans’ favourite track of the album, with it’s bombastic beginning, the great development and the nominal chorus it includes.

It seems that this time Eldritch were very certain about this album, and this is something the listener can understand, especially if he’s been a fand of the band for ages. They don’t stop making me stay as close to them as possible, knowing that each time they release something, I’m going to be tied to it for a lot of time. I wish they will see the fruits of this efforts spring, despite this album is about environmental issues. The Italian force with the American singer is still here and those thinking they have nothing more to give will easily be proved inaccurate. Hoping that it will not take them four years and more the next time, we salute this album which shows it can be the basis for even better things in the future. Until then, Gaia’s spirit may feel some relief that some people care about it and what’s more important is the way they prove it. An album that is going to make progsters happy, in one of the best years for progressive metal ever. Salve Eldritch, you did it once again!

Track List Line Up
01. Gaia’s Anger
02. Deviation
03. Our Land
04. Vortex Of Disasters
05. Mother Earth
06. Everything’s Burning
07. Thinning Out
08. Like A Child
09. Signs
10. Thoughts Of Grey
11. Thirst In Our Hands (Gaia’s Lament)
12. Through Different Eyes
John Crystal – bass
Raffahell Dridge – drums
Rudj Ginanneschi – guitars
Eugene Simone – guitars
Terence Holler – vocals
Gabriele Caselli – keyboards