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Eloy - Planets CD (album) cover

PLANETS

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 436 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars My fourth Eloy album after "Floating", "Dawn", and "Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes", I was leery about the release date being 1981. Was I going to hear a lot of 80's-styled synth-pop weakly disguised as prog? Surprisingly, no.

"Introduction" to this allegory of good and evil fighting for control of a shining population of an planet is a simple spacey synthesizer instrumental. "On the Verge of Darkening Light" launches us into the album proper and I find the similarities to the sound of "Silent Cries" remarkable. It's as if the feast of new sonic delicacies that became available (for better or for worse) in the 80's had not yet reached the Eloy menu. The rock guitar is kept to minimum space in order to exploit the keyboard sounds more. The song takes on a symphonic prog feel near the end. The last 35 seconds or so sound like a separate track that serves as a transitional instrumental that takes us into "Point of No Return". This song has more weight to it with some simple heavy rock chords, but the synth-weighted approach is maintained. This has become my favourite track on the album.

"Mysterious Monolith" begins with an organ sound which is accompanied by a spacey synthesizer bit, and soon bass and organ again. In between the vocal parts are passages of guitar and synthesizer with a nice melody. There's an interesting synth-fuelled instrumental ending with solid bass and drum backing. The guitar is once again almost nonexistent, a big difference from "Floating".

Side two begins with "Queen of the Night", which for me is another song worthy of mention. It begins with piano and vocals and then a string section comes in. Next the drums and guitars make their entrance and then a chorus of female background singers. There's a distinct late-70's feel here with a groove that sounds like disco rock without the dance part. There's a by-now-obligatory synthesizer solo before the male vocals return with the rock band and strings. The finale is dramatic with the string section hard at it.

"At the Gates of Dawn" is a mood-setting instrumental piece with piano, clean electric guitar, synthesizer, bass, and percussion but no drums. It seems to suit very well the early 80's planet theme. Strings join in again and though it's nothing to tell your cousin in Denmark about, the track fits in nicely on the album. We're back to the ball game with "Sphinx" and an intro that sounds like Alan Parsons Project going heavy. It would almost make for a good heavy metal tune; however, the synthesizer, bass, and drums still figure in prominently. In the middle we receive a nod to "Goodbye Cruel World" from Pink Floyd's "The Wall" with a simple two-note bass line. The music is, however, a little more tense than sedate. After a short but simple drum break, we are back to the song, which soon begins to fade out with cosmic winds blowing in.

The closing track of the album, "Carried by Cosmic Winds" has a good composed-for- synthesizer introduction. There's the synthesizer-bass-drum band but the guitar player has gone home. A violin joins after the vocal parts and perhaps a second one follows. There is a swift dramatic conclusion and the album reaches its close.

The music here is nothing too complex and relies heavily on synthesizer and keyboards. It's very different from "Inside" and "Floating", but also thankfully not too much like the music of the early 80's. It sounds firmly and thickly stuck in 1978 for the most part. A very good album given the times and certainly one Eloy fans are likely to praise.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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