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Review: Eldritch - Portrait Of The Abyss Within
Portrait Of The Abyss Within

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2004
Duration: 61:30
Tracks: 13
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: May 6, 2012
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
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Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (6 Votes)

Eldritch are one of Italy's most successful bands, having been around since the early 90s, changing styles with each album to keep up with current trends. Not always a good thing, to be sure, and it produced some questionable work. However, all their experiments paid off with 2004's Portrait Of The Abyss Within, the band's most cohesive album to date. While they started off being pure Prog Metal in the US sense, Eldritch gradually filtered Thrash, Groove, and Power Metal elements into their sound, which gave birth to the rich and diverse material on this album.

Every track here is different. We have fast, pelting numbers such as "Forbidden" and the stupidly titled "Slow Motion ‘K' Us", catchy, single-type songs with big choruses and chunky riffs like "The World Apart" and arguably the band's best tune, the unforgettable "Lonesome Existence", head-fucking slabs of Prog Metal like "This Everlasting Mind Disease", and melancholic ballads in the form of "Blindfolded Walkthrough". Over a template of somewhat straightforward Progressive Metal, Eldritch manage to craft sublime melodies, most of which sound like something from another genre. They also often toss Annihilator or Pantera-styled riffs into the mix before launching into a harmonized Power Metal mid-section. It's baffling how chaotic and yet simple these songs sound, but it's all held together by the melodic vocals of Terence Holler, who sounds not unlike Ray Alder does in Redemption.

At the time, this didn't sound like anything else on Limb's roster, being much heavier and more modern. But with hindsight, Portrait From The Abyss Within actually sounds more inventive. Prog, Thrash, Power Metal – this album has it all. It might sound a little strange at first, but you'll get more out of repeated listens of this than out of most modern releases; you can take that to the bank.

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