Released: 2009, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
A nice piece of underground metal here. Eldritch Rite, a Texas based heavy/progressive/speed metal band, that was formed by Steve Murphy (on guitar back then, but moved soon to take care of bass) and Ronny Harris (on drums) in January 1985 (the rest of the lineup on their only demo being Chris Orloski on vocals and David Kurrasch on guitar. Now that rather cult-ish demo has been released on a killer US-metal label Stormspell Records (with 3 rare rehearsal tracks as bonus), so let´s all thank them for bringing out one of the truest underground metal pearls back to the light of day again - digitally remastered naturally, of course.
Eldritch Rite´s demo is actually a mirror that reflects very clearly and truthfully how the underground metal scene during the ´80s, had many new innovative bands popping up from the unknown to people´s homes, mostly via the tape trading scene. That´s how I got to hear the band´s 5-song demo for the first demo (it wasn´t that great a quality copy which I got from someone back then, I can tell), and I was honestly pretty darn impressed by it, too.
As far as the music goes, being aware of the fact that this demo was released during the hottest wave of speed and thrash metal, Eldritch Rite didn´t follow the mainstream path, but took their own side path near by the mainstream and gave their own brand to their progressive speed/heavy metal that was pretty advanced sounding, much like bands like Militia and Assalant from the same area, Texas. As far as their speed metal influences are concerned, Eldritch Rite had songs like "Task Force" and "Anathema" on this demo, which were nothing but a pure speed metal mayhem, yet even crossing the borders of thrash quite a bit here and there. Chris´ vocals were actually quite typical for a band of their kind at that time: An occasionally high-pitched, not-so-trained, but still good and translucent voice that was made to fit to the band´s songs perfectly. But anyway, the band seemed to be bit ahead of their time - like a true gamblers in their own game, in which the band had guts to try out their limits, and simply try to be a bit different sounding act from the masses.
The CD comes with 3 rehearsal bonus tracks, a fine 12-page stapled booklet with all the necessary information, band pictures, etc. - and if that wasn´t enough, you´ll also get an enhanced multimedia CD with a ´secret die-hard treasure chest´ folder crammed with many rehearsal tunes in their raw and unpolished glory. Sounds like a good deal, doesn´t it? ;o)