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Eloy - The Tides Return Forever CD (album) cover

THE TIDES RETURN FOREVER

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.50 | 150 ratings

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progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Tides Return Forever was Eloy's comeback and partial return to their progressive roots. Although firmly rooted in the AOR that was so dominant on preceding albums, one can really sense a remarkable improvement in the Eloy sound. The spacey keyboards never really left Eloy, though they tended to play a more subdued role on Destination. Here on The Tides Return Forever, they are let loose from their cage in all their symphonic glory. Several of the songs were more exploratory approaching nearly 10 minutes in length for Fatal Illusions and Company of Angels.

Along with this change in musical direction, bassist Klaus-Peter Matziol returned as a full member of the band, making Eloy a trio. And even though Nico Baretta was simply considered a guest musician, his drumming is much appreciated over the programmed drums Eloy used not so long ago on the Ra album. Baretta was accompanied by a whole host of guest vocalists and musicians, a trend started when Eloy reformed as the duo of Frank Bornemann and Michael Gerlach back in the late 1980s.

Apparently this change of musical direction was inspired by the Chronicles project which brought former members of Eloy back together to re-record their classics. I guess enough so to have Matziol guest on Destination and return completely with The Tides Return Forever. Even the title of the album suggests the Eloy of old has returned.

Other than a couple better than average AOR-oriented songs, the rest of the tracks contain some of the best music Eloy had done in years, surely the best since Time to Turn. It sounds like a mixture of Ra (but with real drums), Time to Turn, and Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes. The best song on the album is the closer, Company of Angels. Bornemann must have been intrigued by the use of a choir on the song of Jeanne d'Arc off the Destination album. It clearly added a new dimension to Eloy's sound. So, he made another one, also a tribute to Jeanne d'Arc, but better. This is probably one of the best songs Eloy ever made. The choir sends shivers down my spine from its impact on the song. In fact, one of the guest vocalists on this song is the one and only Miriam Stockley, best known as a session vocalist and most famous for her beautiful voice (so much so that Yamaha used her voice in their Vocaloid vocal synthesis software released through Zero-G).

A long awaited return to form for Eloy. Clearly not as good as Time to Turn, Silent Cries and Might Echoes, or Ocean, but pretty close in my book. I would rate this about 3.5 stars, so I'm going to round it up to four since it has spent more time in my CD player than other three-star efforts. Highly recommended.

progaardvark | 4/5 |

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