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Eloy - Metromania CD (album) cover

METROMANIA

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.10 | 181 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A better performance

Eloy's 1983 album "Performance" was generally considered a disappointment by fans of the band. Perhaps it was not the quality of the music which was the problem, but the signs that Frank Bornemann & Co. had finally given in to commercial pressures, and were doing a Genesis.

To their credit, Eloy took these concerns on board, and in 1984 recorded "Metromania", an album which saw them returning to the type of music their fans expected from them. The internal tension which had dogged "Performance" remained, but the line up stayed unchanged. The democracy which made "Performance" sound like an album made by a committee was less in evidence, with Bornemann apparently taking greater control again. Not everything in the garden is rosy here though, and this album represents the promise of things to come rather than an essential release in its own right.

The opening bars of "Escape to the heights" certainly whet the appetite in prog terms, these soon being replaced by a Uriah Heep style romp through some synth driven hard rock. There are still some strong pop influences here, but the track is infectious. "Seeds of creation" continues in the electro-pop vein, with synthesisers flying around over processed female vocals. The track develops nicely through an interesting arrangement.

At around 6 minutes, "All life is one" is one of the longer and more interesting tracks on the album. The distorted vocals and slow, heavy rhythm offer a Pink Floyd ("The wall") like atmosphere. "The stranger" is pure AOR, the sort of thing churned out out by Survivor and Styx.

"Follow the light" is by far the longest track on the album, running to 9 minutes. This is not really a prog epic as such, as the track is largely an extended version of what has gone before. It does though feature a decent (later) Genesis like instrumental break. The female vocal choir offers something a little different, but for me it does not enhance the track. "Nightriders" is the low point of the album, being a plodding dirge with a muddled arrangement and prosaic melody.

The album closes with the title track, another spirited romp fuelled by twinkled synthesisers and horse gallop style drums. The vocal melody is a bit too monotone, but the arrangement is interesting and overall the piece is a good honest effort.

In all, perhaps the best that can be said for "Metromania" is that it is better than "Performance". Overall, the music is adequate here and at times rather enjoyable. Eloy have recorded far better albums than this, but evaluated in isolation this is a fair effort.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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