Missing in action, from the studio, for nearly five years, Italy's Eldritch returns with Gaia's Legacy to preach the gospel of doomsayer Al Gore direct from his bible of global warning and end of the world prophecy, An Inconvenient Truth. Since his provocative pronouncements are held in little regard here in America (except by tofu chewing liberal and new age eccentrics), or by myself for that matter, developing an album around his 'inconclusive' truth does little to gain my attention or favor. Thankfully, Eldritch also returns with some quite entertaining and accessible melodic prog power metal to deliver the gospel of Gore.
Honestly, considering the often dark and heavy side of early works, Gaia's Legacy is a pleasant surprise. Certainly, the subject matter is foreboding and, yes, Eldritch still brings heavy metal, but most compositions here are bound by the glue of accessible melody and harmonious hooks. You catch this immediately in Deviation and Our Land, and also later in Thirst in Our Hands and Through Different Eyes. Certainly, Mother Earth defines this infectious melodic turn with its symphonic and dramatic side. For the pure progressive power metal Vortex of Disasters, Like a Child, and Thoughts of Grey deliver the goods. However, while largely entertaining, they seem derivative of the genre. But this is no cause to abandon them. Eldritch collapses heaviness and a dose of thrash and power metal into a melodic wrapper in the fast-paced Everything's Burning. Here's an obvious example of Eldritch's compositional mastery.
Returning to the concept, vocalist Terrence Holler is quite literalistic in his approach: the ocean's are dying, the atmosphere is collapsing, et al, and we're all doomed. Also, sprinkled throughout are sound bites from Al Gore himself. Okay then. Once more and thankfully, the music makes his preaching palatable. But if you don't like your metal, prog or otherwise, to preach, you'll probably not abide the music, no matter how good it may be. I would encourage you not to be either skeptical or dismissive of Gaia's Legacy Also, I will add this: Holler has been added to my short list of favorite metal vocalists of last 10 years.
While the subject, Al Gore and global warming, of Gaia's Legacy is suspect, the music certainly is not. In the past, I've enjoyed Eldritch and praised them for their version of prog-power metal, even though, ultimately, the heavy and dark motif made me ambivalent. But Gaia's Legacy offers another side: highly accessible and melodic without sacrificing either heaviness or complexity. Recommended!
Eldritch returns to preach the gospel of Al Gore: global warming will be the death of us all. Thankfully, the 'message' is wrapped in their most accessible, melodic, and entertaining prog-power metal to date.
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