Eloy, A band that is still under the inspiring influence of Mr. Frank Bornemann. Charming as he is with his typical voice and slight German accent he always surprises me when there is a new record released. This time with himself on the lead guitars and some familiar names from the history of Eloy on keys Michael Gerlach and Hannes Folbert. Also Klaus-Peter Matzoil is present. These 4 give a guarantee that the Eloy sound of the seventies and early eighties will be present. As was on the previous 2 records.
From Power And The Passion (1975) until Performance (1983) is the era that attracted me the most. And these influences you definitely hear again on The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part 1). Is it a desperate try to relive the glory days of Eloy? Maybe, but it is very welcome to me. Ocean 2: The Answer (1998) and Visionary (2009) were very well received and showed that these rockers still had it in them. Luckily enough the big community of dedicated fans agreed with that too.
My first introduction to Eloy was when Metromania (1984) was released. Not knowing that there was a compete treasure vault of music already made by Bornemann and his band. And so it became one of my favorites.
To be short, this album continues the way of the glory days. And it still is not boring at all. The choirs, female singers, wood flutes, key intermezzo's and narrations that made Eloy's style so typical are all present. As Frank has passed his seventies he still sounds crisp.
There is no need to discuss the music of this work inspired by Joan of Arc after this introduction. Most of the readers know the works of Eloy. Maybe the lack of long Pink Floyd kind of tracks like on Ocean (1977) and Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes (1979) could be something to criticize. But as this album is seen as a concept, there will be no need for such.
For me Eloy is still the very underrated unique band from Germany. A big name in the prog scene. But only in the prog scene. A rare gem we cherished for decades, and we should for years to go. And I hope Mr. Bornemann will make many more albums like these. I'm looking forward to part 2.
**** Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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