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Eloy - Ocean 2: The Answer CD (album) cover

OCEAN 2: THE ANSWER

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.81 | 223 ratings

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progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
4 stars As of June 10, 2008, Eloy hasn't released a new studio album since this one, Ocean 2, released back in 1998. If that doesn't change then Eloy went out with a blast as Ocean 2 was the best album the band made dating back to their classic period. It was considered a conceptual and musical follow-up to Eloy's 1977 album, Ocean, which dealt with the fall of Atlantis and used it as a symbolic representation of our present civilization's potential downfall. Frank Bornemann thought that there should be a way out of this mess. He presents his answer, hence the subtitle, on this album.

Musically, Ocean 2 is the most ambitious Eloy recording since Ocean and Silent Cries and Might Echoes, hearkening back to the traditional Eloy sound but mixing it in with 1990s neo-progressive rock and modern recording technologies. The end result was quite impressive, at least to my ears. Ocean 2 contains many spacey synth textures and solos (clearly I hear much Moog work here), excellent guitar work from Bornemann, skilled bass work from Matziol. The band used a full time drummer in Bodo Schopf. Although quite mechanical in his delivery, it's a better improvement over previous efforts. Bornemann's singing seems to get better and better with age and his incorporation of backing vocalists is quite effective.

Is it better than Ocean? I'm still struggling to answer that question. The concept on Ocean was much more impressive than on Ocean 2, but the modern and improved recording of Ocean 2 just blow away and show how dated Ocean sounds now. We got a good sense of how Ocean might sound today with the re-recording of Poseidon's Creation on Chronicles I. If the rest of that album had been re-recorded and stayed true to its essence, it would surely be better than it's follow-up. It's not really that easy to compare albums more than 20 years apart when recording technologies varied considerably. I'm going to give the edge to Ocean, but many of you may be inclined to lean towards Ocean 2.

Clearly a four-star effort worthy of addition to anyone's prog rock collection. Highly recommended to German prog fans and fans of neo and symphonic prog rock. I hope some day Eloy returns with another studio effort, but if this never happens, I'm glad they finished their long history with such a wonderful album.

progaardvark | 4/5 |

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