Eldritch
Reverse


4.0
excellent

Review

by Voivod STAFF
August 1st, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In their fourth album, Italian progsters Eldritch stray away from prog/power metal in order to devise an incredibly catchy extreme metal hybrid.

Back in 1998, Italian power/progsters Eldritch were being considered as one of the key players in underground progressive metal and only a few steps away from entering the major league. 1998's El Nino attained such high quality and originality that made quite a few people within the prog metal circuit to compare it directly with critically acclaimed releases such as Images And Words and Awake. In effect, Eldritch enjoyed moderate commercial success, they were widely featured within the metal press, while the calls for participating in live concerts and major summer festivals at both banks of the Atlantic ocean, were numerous. The ensemble of this increased activity made Metal Blade Records to offer the band a record contract. Soon enough though, Eldritch were forced to experience the negative aspect of their acquired fame. Excellent keyboard player (and main responsible for the band's seminal artwork) Oleg Smirnoff begun to behave like an arrogant rock star and eventually left the band so as to cash in his newly attained fame, according to his point of view, that is. This unexpected behaviour significantly delayed the recording of a new Eldritch album. As if this wasn't enough, drummer and founding member Adreano Dal Canto also left the band due to serious problems with his back. Eldritch took considerable time in replacing all departed members and channelled all their anger and frustration for the delay in getting a new album out to the world in their new work, titled Reverse, an album which captures the band's departure from the established prog/power sound of previous releases for the sake of a more extreme, yet equally diverse metal approach.

In short, Reverse is an incredibly catchy hybrid that revolves around nu rock/metal, tech-thrash and industrial/electronica. The change in sound with respect to past work comes as a really big shock, despite the fact that Eldritch had always had a thing for extreme metal in their previous records, both in terms of overall sound (incredibly heavy guitars) and style (a serious twist for speed/thrash and their technical/prog leanings). With respect to the sound production, the newly adopted extreme metal hybrid prompts for an excellent sound production and Eldritch easily acquire the desired result for all rock instrumentation and the vocals, albeit some may find the sound of the rhythm guitars somewhat (I repeat, somewhat) “compressed”. The latter are played by guitarist Eugene Simeone. Although his style in Reverse brings little-to-none innovation as it is heavily influenced from bands such as Nevermore, Coroner, Machine Head and Pantera, his riffs are incredibly catchy and fresh, giving high replay value for every song. The work in lead guitars is also effective, as a good portion of it is a fantastic tribute to Tommy Vetterli from Coroner, while in the remainder, Simeone shreds in a rather “cacophonous” kind of way. The high quality of the guitars is not the only treat of the record, though. The work of Sean Henderson in keyboards is awesome, as it adds something new with respect to how guitars and keys converse within a prog or extreme metal band. On occasion (“Reverse”, “Suffering Degree”), he adapts/distorts the main riff of the song for industrial/techno and strategically places his samples within them, so as to combine the delight of listening to both a good metal and industrial/electronica tune. As for the rest of the material, he crafts some really dystopic/minimal/sublime samples which fit perfectly inside the songs, regardless of their general mood, atmospheric or angry. The overall outcome, as well as the dedicated attachment of the rhythm section to the guitars could merit a reference to what Fear Factory are doing with their own demons, however Reverse remains far from being characterized as an FF rip-off. This also holds due to the vocals of Terence Holler, whose voice shade is the only link connecting Reverse to the previous three Eldritch releases. Holler's is not singing high pitch, while he sounds harsher and angrier than in before, especially in view of the lyrics describing the emotional distress the band went through after the release of El Nino.

Instead of a proper prologue about repeating how awesome Reverse is: The new album is a big bet for Eldritch and not only because they are striving for establishment within the roster of a big label such as Metal Blade records. In addition, and in the light of the turmoil caused after the release of El Nino, the band seems to have recklessly left aside its awesome prog/power style in order to issue a spontaneous and pissed off manifesto about getting by against every drawback. In the light of the above, a highly interesting question arises as to how the new album will be received by prog fans, because the first verse of “Suffering Degree” clearly states that Eldritch are really “in the mood of breaking some rules” baring no remorse whatsoever.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2012


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Reverse (video):
http://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe7lDIxDs_c

Slavery On Line:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpRjD9DAvgQ

Leftovers And Crumbs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPwrZNkhIN8

Bio-Trinity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq4Xzlpn-24&feature=related

Suffering Degree:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2yjgrYSYrg

My Sharona (Knack cover - video):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq4Xzlpn-24&feature=related



For a quick yet comprehensive overview of what Eldritch are really up to in this record, listen to "Suffering Degree".






Constructive criticism is more than welcome.

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2012


4458 Comments


Great review, Voivod. I was listening to a few of the songs you linked while I read this, pretty good stuff.

CaptainDooRight
August 1st 2012


30338 Comments


Good review bro pos. from the track heard this is solid. feels like a 3-3.5 maybe, gonna look into it a bit further tho

TheNotrap
August 1st 2012


8133 Comments


Good work man, have a pos.

Will check Suffering Degree today.

Digging: Funebrarum - The Sleep of Morbid Dreams

ZedO
August 1st 2012


1096 Comments


Voivod is back!!! Good review...

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2012


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feedback guys.

This is an excellent record from a really worthy band, combining modern metal (see recs) with traces of '90s progressive metal.

Jethro42
August 1st 2012


12644 Comments


Good review, dude, posd.

lostforwords
August 3rd 2012


446 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh wow, Eldritch! Never really got into them, and I think this record was very very meh. It had its moments but more often than not it is awfully boring. I enjoyed El Nino more, and never really heard anything else by these guys.

Despite our disagreement, your argumentarion is excellent as usual, which makes the review excellent as well,so pos


Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2012


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@lostforwords

Although I humbly beg to differ, I can fully understand where you are coming from.

A lot of people went nuts with the change of style in Reverse - especially the progsters - and although the music brings nothing new to the table with respect to the bands mentioned in the review, it is way too catchy to be assessed as an average album.

I find myself going back to this album quite often from time to time and I always have a good time listening to it.

Of course, the above are just my point of view.

lostforwords
August 5th 2012


446 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There was a time when I went through my nu-metal/groove metal phase. I gave it a listen again then, still the material was (to me at least) far inferior to what was going on in contemporary metal.


Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 5th 2012


6344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Indeed it is inferior to what was going on in contemporary metal, but it is so catchy that this shortcoming can largely be ignored.



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