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Eloy - Metromania CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.19 | 292 ratings

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3 stars If Performance was the nadir of Eloy's artistic creativity, then Metromania represents the seeds of a resurrection with a shift to a harder rocking style blending elements of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Hawkwind with Eloy's symphonic Prog tendencies and sophisticated Stadium-AOR. Thankfully, the flirtation with new-wave pop is not repeated but don't expect too much Prog complexity. Instead we get a heavier guitar-drenched beast with a gutsy sound and expansive production values to match. There remains too much shouty bombast for my taste, but the level of invention, especially from Bornemann's muscular guitar work, more than compensates.

As usual, the songs rely mostly on instrumental dexterity and clever arrangements rather than pure songwriting skills, but several turn out to be quite memorable for one reason or another. Only a couple wholly fail to make the grade: Seeds Of Creation is a poor arrangement that doesn't flow, while title track Metromania is the nearest to pop-rock, comprising cheesy synths and poor sequencing. Other songs are compromised in varying degrees by an exaggerated plate reverb on metronomic drums, over-trebly hi-hats and cymbals, and vocal repetition.

When it is good, it can be very good indeed if you are in the mood for pounding riffs, stomping basslines and aggressive guitar figures. Escape To The Heights sets the scene with a powerhouse wall-of-sound not unlike the old days of Hawkwind. All Life Is One is slow and stately in a heavy kind of way and features some excellent slide guitar work. The Stranger chugs along very effectively, while Follow The Light progresses in fine style, incorporating catchy Suzi Quattro soundalike vocal refrains and a welcome instrumental mood shift. Night Riders thunders into Black Sabbath land with a slow beat, grumbling bassline and big gritty guitar solo.

As always, songs are intelligently arranged and presented with little twists and turns that help to endear it to a Prog lover, though some distance from the classics in Eloy's back catalogue. It's a good effort though, and worth seeking out, especially for guitar buffs who like their music loud-n-proud!

Joolz | 3/5 |


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