Eldritch - Gaia's Legacy Review
by Matt Hensch
Let's face it: the idea of global warming has become one of the most important theories/ideas revealed in the 21st century, even if you don't buy into it. There's been research, protests, movies, regulations, and I'm just waiting for the Smurfs to announce they've gone green too. Yet the figurehead of this phenomenon is former US presidential candidate Al Gore. You may know him as the man that invented the internet, the dude whom revealed the lockbox, the hunter that killed Manbearpig, and the protector of more trees than a horde of butthurt hippies on a shitload of LSD. His influence has stemmed all over the world, and the gentlemen of Eldritch took quite a liking to "An inconvenient Truth," the ignition that started it all. "Gaia's Legacy" is a concept album about Al Gore's famed documentary and the general process of global warming, including environmental ignorance, pollution, and more organic cheese than you can handle.
As you see, I really don't take this record seriously. Eldritch is an Italian progressive metal faction that has turned heads around their nation of origin and some parts of the world, with "Gaia's Legacy" being their eight album. They pretty much deliver a spot-on representation of what progressive metal is supposed to be. I mean, you got the small chugs and semi-thrash touches, a good singer, verse-chorus structures, some complicated bass work, odd rhythms and geometrical guitar work swaying in and out of these algebraic themes, and some expected keys. The whole record is typical fare for progressive metal, starting the album with a prog-inspired chug and keyboards dipping in and out of the group's rhythmic pounding before Terence Holler drops his melodic, calming voice into the mix; it's pretty standard stuff overall. Eldritch knows the ins and outs of progressive metal and its associated ideas, and if you've ever heard Dream Theater or Fates Warning, then you'll easily relate to Eldritch's work throughout "Gaia's Legacy."
You could say that Eldritch's dependency on typical progressive metal leaves little to express, and there are sequential periods when the content plummets significantly into pure redundancy. The opening numbers aren't too shabby, just catchy tunes that stay loyal to the norms of progressive metal in its most calculated postulate. However, "Gaia's Legacy" desperately lacks an authentic climax or deviation from the aforementioned pattern to truly lift it beyond the passable stage, and by the time "Signs" comes along, things are pretty much unbearable and you'd have to dissect the deepest part of my memory in order for me to remember the lifelessness of the album's final chapters. And that Fates Warning cover? Not even close to the magic of the original.
In spite of the occasional dip on the musical end, the lyrical concept is actually pretty cool, and there are several samples regarding environmental prophecy and ignorance segueing the cornucopia of songs. Not deeply important, but it's nice to have frosting on the cake, or in this case, a sanctuary for the whales. As a whole, "Gaia's Legacy" remains in a safe dome that never runs from the family portrait of progressive metal. I probably would've enjoyed a shorter listen without the filler on the tail end of "Gaia's Legacy," but Eldritch still leaves with a harmless, acceptable portrayal of progressive metal that delivers just what it promises, although a little less pollution would've been nice.
Eldritch - Gaia's Legacy
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