The German art rock band Eloy was founded way back in 1969 and in my record collection you can find two Eloy albums. Namely their eponymous debut album released in 1971 and Power And The Passion, released in 1975. After that I really, sad but true perhaps, lost track of Frank Bornemann's band and now fifty-two years after their debut album Eloy release their twentieth studio album called Echoes From The Past, which is the closing instalment of a trilogy telling the story of Jeanne D'Arc; the French martyr and saint. The first release was The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part 1) (2017, see review) followed by The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (part 2) (2019, see review).
Unfortunately, I do not know and have not heard the first two parts, but part three is musically definitely worthwhile to listen to, especially if you are an Eloy fan of the first hour. The nine tracks on Echoes From The Past are all packed with melodic guitar riffs, orchestral keyboards passages and melodies, great percussion, and pulsating bass guitar riffs. However, but all Eloy fans do not care about that, Bornemann's vocals are rather “odd,” especially his heavy German accent sometimes gets on my nerves, and that is mostly due to the fact that as a teacher (of English) I get slightly “irritated” about Bornemann's pronunciation indeed....
Opening track Conspiracy features some spoken words, followed by a cool bass riff done by Klaus-Peter Matziol and a couple of true progressive rock musical cliches, check out that Shine On You Crazy Diamond synthesizer intro indeed.... By the way, Echoes From The Past is a concept album and the musical highlights for me are probably the songs Warning Signs and the dramatic/emotional The Pyre, both featuring excellent melodies and especially formidable guitar playing by Bornemann himself.
Echoes From The Past will remind Eloy fans of the band's earlier concept works and will certainly be a must album to have indeed, although musically speaking there are no really big surprises, but then again Eloy always delivers the goods as the music is really sensitive, atmospheric and even powerful at certain moments, so check it out and you will probably like it very much indeed. Listening tip: The Pyre!!
***+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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