Portrait Of The Abyss Within


In 1997 Eldritch released an album (Headquake) masterly combining Prog/Power and everybody suddenly started talking […]
By Thodoris Pantazopoulos
July 30, 2004
Eldritch - Portrait Of The Abyss Within album cover

In 1997 Eldritch released an album (Headquake) masterly combining Prog/Power and everybody suddenly started talking about this band and about the promising future that unfolded ahead of them. A year later, they delivered the lifework, El Nino, an album unfolding pompously the band's talent and excited any thinking Metal fan. They became the genre's new great hope; glory and success were on the way and everything seemed to be up to them.
After 3 years of waiting, the fans' expectations had become more than gigantic and they (we) all hoped for an El Nino pt 2 or at least an equal successor. But no, they made things their own way disregarding their fans, the band's past profile and maybe even their musical abilities and they introduced us a truly different portrait of theirs - as if they've gone through total mutation.
2001's Reverse was nonetheless an interesting industrial/thrash/core mixture but surely even the most sick minded wouldn't await a move like this from Eldritch. To be frank the experiment is to be judged as successful. Whether somebody liked it or not, no one can argue over the fact that the band even in this case did fine, just fine.
It was more than obvious that Eldritch were missing the element that made them special and vitally necessary for their fans. Hopefully the band apprehended on time the trap their selves had set and Reverse's wicked nature proved to be an impermanent situation (thank God). Everybody now knew that the following album would be damnatory for the band's future.
So...El Nino revisited? No, not exactly. Portrait Of The Abyss Within might mark the band's return to familiar and beloved musical paths and it's whole hypostasis could be compared to the one of El Nino, but don't bother making any comparisons. After all, El Nino has already been regarded as a classic one so it would be unfair to be taken as a measure in this case.
Portrait Of The Abyss Within contains all the goodies all of us had missed since El Nino. Terence Holler's charismatic voice is still characteristic and expressional and the guitars drop everyone's jaw from the very beginning with their fury and full sound. An incredibly varied album, the band hasn't forgotten how to write equally remarkable dynamic songs or more melodic ones. Through compositions like Forbidden, The World Apart, The Everlasting Mind Disease and Slow Motion ''K'' Us they demonstrate plenty of strength. Melody also has a vivid presence throughout the album with songs like Picture On The Wall, Drowning and Blindfolded Walkthrough.
I can't help asking myself why those guys even bothered to cope with another musical style throughout Reverse. They are grand masters of Power/Progressive Metal and it's more than a sin that they spent precious time and talent on an album like that instead of delivering another masterpiece like they used to do. But you know what? No need to worry anymore. Eldritch are back for good bringing with them an album a thousand times better than expected. I've heard it more than 10 times already and I still haven't decided about a favorite song or even detected filler ones. With great difficulty I distinguished Drowning, The Everlasting Mind Disease, Blindfolded Walkthrough, Dice Rolling and Slow Motion ''K'' Us but every one of them is in high standards.
Since I'm 100% sure that the band's fans have already purchased it, I will address to the rest of you. Eldritch is 'progressive' restrained, intellectually powered and above everything, inspired. If you're tired of 'smurfy' Power Metal bands and unadulterated technical Progressive ones, Eldritch is among these which could be called as the 'golden section' between those two genres.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Portrait Of The Abyss Within" Track-listing:

Muddy Clepsidra
The World Apart
The Everlasting Mind Disease
Picture On The Wall
Dice Rolling
Blindfolded Walkthrough
See You Down
Slow Motion K Us
Lonesome Existence

Eldritch Lineup:

Terence Holler - Vocals
Eugene Simone - Lead & Rythm Guitars
Dave Simeone - Acoustic & Electronic Drums & Percussions
Roberto Peck Proietti - Rythm and Harmony Guitars
John Crystal - Bass Guitars

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