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Eloy - Power And The Passion CD (album) cover

POWER AND THE PASSION

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.62 | 307 ratings

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semismart
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is my second review on behalf of Eloy, a progressive rock band with eighteen studio albums, spanning three decades, from 1969 through 1998. In time I hope to do more Eloy reviews, though I doubt I’ll get to all eighteen.

Eloy (name taken from H G Well‘s Time Machine label for childlike humans in the distant future - “Eloi”) is a German Atmospheric, Progressive Rock that was formed way back in 1969. Power and the Passion, their fourth album, was released in 1975. Through the years the band has totally turned over in each position and some positions several times but the originator Frank Bornemann (guitars/vocals) has persevered, presiding over a three decade band that has turned out some of the best progressive rock music, I’ve had the fortune to discover.

While I believe the two Ocean albums and Dawn (the continuation of Power and the Passion) to be their best, this is certainly a strong release with wide variances in sound and tempo throughout. The music tends to be mellow though there are some powerful parts as well.

Power and the Passion is a concept album telling a whimsical story about a guy who time travels back to medieval Paris, introduces a girl to marijuana, spends time in jail and meets a magician who sends him back to his time.

The timing of Power and the Passion coincides with the introduction of new instruments like synthesizers, mellotrons and the electric piano so those instruments, like much of the music in the seventies, are very evident. Also evident is a mild connection, to me anyway, with Uriah Heep as a couple tracks including The Zany Magician, seem to replicate the well known Mick Box riffs, whom I probably don’t need to tell you, recorded songs like “The Wizard” and “The Magicians Birthday.”

The majority of songs on Power and the Passion are psychedelic style, art rock, some would call space rock or atmospheric rock with strong keyboards and guitars with a minimum of vocals. Exceptions are Daylight, The Zany Magician, Back to the Present and The Bells of Notre Dame. Daylight features a swirling melody and an interesting if not unique beat revolving around some of the better vocals on the album. The Zany Magician and the short lead up song Thoughts of Home have strong rock elements including the pounding guitar riffs reminiscent of Uriah Heep’s Mick Box. Back to the Present is an almost straight forward rock piece, with a medium fast tempo. The Bells of Notre Dame is 6 ˝ minute bluesy maudlin number mostly instrumental featuring strong guitar soloing with a synth background.

Track listing 1. Introduction (1:10) 4 stars 2. Journey Into 1358 (2:56) 5 stars 3. Love Over Six Centuries (10:05) 5 stars 4. Mutiny (9:07) 5 stars 5. Imprisonment (3:12) 3 stars 6. Daylight (2:38) 5 stars 7. Thoughts Of Home (1:04) 4 stars 8. The Zany Magician (2:38) 5 stars 9. Back Into The Present (3:07) 3 ˝ stars 10. The Bells Of Notre-Dame (6:26) 4 stars

Total Time: 42:23

Line-up - Frank Bornemann / vocals, guitar - Luitjen Janssen / bass - Fritz Randow / drums - Detlef Schwaar / guitar - Manfred Wieczorke / keyboards, mellotron - Mary Davis-Smith / voice (3)

Conclusion

I’ll tell you right up front. You don’t listen to Eloy for the vocals. First of all the vocals take up probably no more than a quarter of the album. Second the vocals seem to be minimized as though electronically altered to sound distant. Third, guitarist/singer Bornemann’s voice, while adequate, is nothing to join a fan club over.

What you do listen to Eloy for is the easy going sensation of continuously pleasing and seldom overpowering ambient music. Each Eloy album I have listened to so far has it’s own distinct personality and the albums vary significantly not only from decade to decade but album to album. Note

The Cd I bought and reviewed this album from contained four additional songs, called Chronicles Vol. 1 (Several members of Eloy re-formed in 1993 to re-record older tracks for Chronicles I, followed by Chronicles II the next year.). They are:

11. The Bells of Notre Dame - remixed (11:31) 5 stars 12. Poseidon’s Creation (11.05) 5 stars 13. The Apocalypse (3:11) 4 ˝ stars 14. Silhouette (6:10) 4 stars

All these songs appear on other Eloy albums

Eloy Studio Discography 1970, Eloy 1973, Inside 1974, Floating 1975, Power and the Passion 1976, Dawn 1977, Ocean 1977, Wings of Vision 1978, Live 1978, Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes 1980, Colours 1982, Planets 1983, Performance 1983, Time to turn 1984, Metromania 1985, Codename Wildgeese 1988, Ra 1992, Destination 1994, The Tides Return Forever 1998, Ocean 2

semismart | 4/5 |

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