It’s hard to belive that Eldritch are releasing their 10th studio album Underlying Issues on Scarlet Records. I seems like only yesterday that I first became aware of the band when they were announced to perform at ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia in September of 2011. Since then the band has been cranking out molten slabs of heavy progressive metal with thrash and melodic influences. The new album has once again been recorded in two different studios, Bigwave Recording studios in Livorno, Italy for the drums, engineered by Niko Santaniello, and Eldritch’s very own bunker studios in Livorno, Italy, with the bands guitarist Eugene Simone also producing. Mixing and mastering will be held by Simone Mularoni (DGM) at his Domination studios in San Marino, Italy. The artwork is done by Simone Bertozzi (Mnemic).
As usual with Eugene Simone and Mularoni at the helm, the album is sonic brilliance. The album kicks off with a killer riff and thunderous drums of Changing Blood, a headbanger with an underlying keyboard melody and vocalist Terence Holler is such a charismatic vocalist who conveys power and energy in his performance. The chorus is a melodic winner with lots of harmony vocals that make it stand out. The chugging guitar rhythms are heavy as hell and the guitar solos are melodic and technical at the same time. The second track Danger Zone keeps the high energy flowing with a solid groove with complex, technical drumming and heavy guitar rhythms. Once again the chorus is infectiously catchy and incredibly melodic. This chorus will be stuck in your head for days. Broken is a grindingly heavy track with a great riff and a driving power and emotional vocal performance from Holler and of course a powerful melodic chorus (sensing a pattern here?).
All and More is a more mid-tempo melodic metal song but still heavy and powerful with a fist pumping tempo. The chorus is not as strong here as on the preceding songs but still a great listen. The Face I Wear is another metal song with a power groove and a swagger to the flow of the vocals. The chorus is a soaring and powerfully epic with it’s use of harmony vocals and Holler’s emotive voice. The album slows down on To The Moon and Back, a quasi-ballad that gives Holler a chance to show his talent with a great vocal performance.
The metal comes roaring back on Bringers of Hate a slow burner of a song, starting at mid-tempo and gradually quickens the pace with some incredible drum work. The Light is a balls out prog thrasher with an aggressive vocal attack from Holler and a powerful verse/chorus one two punch. Piece of Clarity has a great riff and vocal and keyboard melodies.
Another standout song on the album is Before I Die which combines heavy rhythms and catchy vocals to create an amazing prog metal song with an epic chorus. The final song is also the albums heaviest and technically brilliant, Slowmotion K Us is a thrash metal tour de force with incredibly complex thrash-esque drumming and blistering guitar riffs and an aggressive vocal performance from Holler to close out the album perfectly!
When comparing Underlying Issues with the bands last studio album Tasting The Tears, the songs have complexity as always but the choruses are much more defined with catch melodies and hooks than its predecessor and that’s what makes Underlying Issues such a great listen. Congratulations to Eldritch on 10 great albums and looking forward to the next chapter!