By Albert Mansour
Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil back in 1976 as a 13 year old teenager the only rock station on the the radio was a progressive rock channel playing many obscure acts such as GURU GURU, FORMULA 3, SATIN WHALE, BIRTH CONTROL, AGITATION FREE and of course ELOY. I have been a huge fan of Eloy since the mid-70s and have almost all their material on vinyl or CD format. Many times my friends would mention to me that Eloy is the Pink Floyd of Germany and I would have to somewhat agree with that comparison. From Hanover, Germany, Eloy started up in 1969 formed by vocalist/guitarist Frank Bornemann and today is a giant name in the krautrock psychedelic/space rock world. The new album Visionary, their 17th studio album, is a celebration of 40 years since the bands formation. Eleven years on since their last album Ocean 2: The Answer in 1998 Visionary brings seven tracks, many of which are on the same line as their early albums. Starting off, the first track “the refuge” sounds and pushes lots of Ian Anderson-esque vocals and a little too much flute. There are an awful lot of Tull related passages during this track but it still works. Moving on to the second track, “The Secret” sounds like some of their albums from the early 80’s like Planets (1981) and Time To Turn (1982). The guitar playing is outstanding at all moments. The real highlight of this record for me is “Age of Insanity.” This third track, from start to finish, the whole beauty it is that it is heavy and intense. The only thing I can bitch about here is there a bit too many female vocals on “The Challenge (Time To Turn part 2)”, which sounds like the female vocals off a Pink Floyd album. The fifth & sixth tracks “Summernight Symphony” and “mystery (the secret part 2)” is just the killer stuff that Eloy is known for from their early albums Dawn (1976) and Ocean (1977). The tempo and moods continue to change. Great musicianship. Anyone into heavy Keith Emerson or Ken Hensley type keyboards will enjoy it. The last track “Thoughts” is an intro followed up with a minute and a half of acoustic guitar and vocals. This new release not only contains the full album but also a special enhanced segment featuring “The Making of Visionary.” Eloy will appeal to those who are into progressive rock such as Camel, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Kraan. It is very highly recommended to check out this band. My Personal favorite albums are their early works such as 1979’s Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes and Inside (1973), but the bottom line is that all their albums are good.
The Laser’s Edge