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Review of the Album Headquake by Italian Heavy Metal Band Eldritch

Updated on December 16, 2018
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

Headquake Album Cover

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What is the Musical Style of Headquake?

Italian and American progressive thrash band Eldritch really got my interest with their awesome 1995 debut album Seeds of Rage. If that album was one of the best of the year 1995, where did they go from there? Their second album Headquake released in 1997 stylistically is still the same as Seeds of Rage and the lineup remained unchanged. At this point in their career they were still in the style of progressive metal. It would not be until 2001's Reverse that Eldritch would get heavier and have a more groovy thrash sound. But Headquake is an album that stylistically uses keyboards but not too much as to over-saturate the music with them.

Headquake the Review the Songs Ghoulish Gift & The Last Embrace

Ghoulish Gift begins another progressive metal album in the history of one of Italy’s finest metal bands. In life, we are all susceptible to various emotions so we have to try and quiet ourselves down so we can function mentally, spiritually and socially. The song makes a reference to snakes creeping inside the person’s mind thus slowing down their ability to slowly function. However, Ghoulish Gift is not as good as the song called Incurably Ill in the band's debut album. The Last Embrace is a song about someone whose mind is corrupted with thoughts as their head is really hurting. It is no coincidence that the album’s cover has the head of a human that is really hurting. The album itself though will not give you a headache though rest assured about that. Sometimes whatever happens in a person’s life can they be embraced again by the ones that they love? Headquake was released in the same year of Metallica’s Re-Load album and this article is not meant to compare Eldritch to Metallica but Headquake musically beats this album because it is just more melodic. If it was not for a friend years ago back in 1999 that introduced me to these awesome guys, I might not be listening to them today but if you have found this article, consider yourself fortunate. This is not your standard Dream Theater style progressive metal but an album that is filed with hooks, powerful vocals, and songs that really mean something.

Lord of an Empty Place and the Significance of the Song

Lord of An Empty Place is a song about a man that is alive, breathing, and walking but it seems like he is struggling just to get through the day and he cannot wait until the dawn begins. What is he living for? Life should not be that hard but most of us are conditioned unconsciously to think and believe that life is supposed to be a long, hard struggle but that’s only subconscious mind programming which can be changed by us if we work at it. In the song the man that is suffering from loneliness says that there is no one at the window and no one to answer the door.

"The Last Embrace"

Why the Vocalist Terence Holler Deserves Thanks

At this point it would be a disservice if we did not thank Terence Holler (Mario Tarantola) for all his fine work all these years. He is the only member of the band that is from the United States but with the work that he has done on songs such as Incurably Ill, I Don’t Know Why and Blind Promise, 1995 was just a great warm-up turned into an outstanding work for Eldritch. On Headquake, the thundering song Erase and Lord of an Empty place are two of the best songs.

Headquake the Review Part 3

Sometimes in Winter is a progressive filled ballad about someone that cannot stand the heat and he prefers the winter, the season where he can fulfill his desires in a “Garden of Eden” and breathe the crisp air. Which season do you prefer? When can you function the best? Everyone is different but the song is a good power ballad but it is not as good as Cage of Sins on the previous album. At the Restless Sea might as well be a description of what life is like sometimes. When life seems to be calm, there always seems to be something that happens to make the rains and storms (hardship and adversity) come along. If we are here tomorrow, we must make sure to enjoy our lives no matter what though.

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Final Thoughts About the Album Headquake

Salome’s Dance is a song that describes a scenario that is equal to what a stripper does to please her customers. The middle of the song has guitar and keyboard play that is similar to what you would hear in the flamenco style The Gipsy Kings with a bit of new age jazz twist. The end of the song Erase has a nice, soft progressive feel but it is not as good as Iron Maiden’s The Prophecy. Clockwork Bed is a decent song about someone that does too much rumination about his past. He is considering himself a lonely person that has no love in his life. Ruminating about the past is something that too many of us tend to do for various reasons but the effects of such rumination can leave a devastating effect on us. Ending another very good album is the song called Dawn of the Dying. The song has that feel of Spanish style flamenco guitar and it shows that in just two years’ time Eldritch has become more creative. The best songs in Headquake are several including Salome’s Dance, Erase, and Dawn of the Dying. However, it is not as good as the band’s debut Seeds of Rage.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian

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