March 23, 2018
User Review( votes)
Italian Power/Prog Metal act Eldritch return after a three year absence to add Cracksleep to their extensive catalogue. In true classic Progressive Metal fashion, Cracksleep is a concept album about suitably esoteric subject matter–insomnia. Technically precise, Eldritch crafts some very interesting song structures in an album that manages to be both immediately engaging but also complex enough to reward repeated listens. “My Breath” has an interesting wall of guitar sound juxtaposed against a clear, slow-paced vocal chorus. Eldritch like to start out songs with gentle keyboard fills before lowering the boom with a heavy riff as they do on “As The Night Crawls In”; in this and most of the better songs on Cracksleep there’s a constant dichotomy of the ultra-heavy and the spacious and light. “Voices Calling” goes right for the riff, and then escalates into a thrashy verse where singer Terence Holler’s voice gets lost in the mix, something that happens with disturbing frequency on Cracksleep; Holler has a clear, high range, but the weight of the production overwhelms his contributions at times, which is unfortunate as he humanizes and adds warmth to an often cold sound. But he and the band hit all cylinders on “Aberration Of Nature”, a monolithic track that comes out swinging and never lets up and features the best soloing on the album. It’s a risky move performing songs like “Staring At The Ceiling” that are essentially about boredom; it is an admirable feat to actually make them exciting. On Cracksleep, Eldritch is equal to the task.
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