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Eloy - Chronicles Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 CD (album) cover

CHRONICLES VOL. 1 & VOL. 2

Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Enjoy the groove!

One reason I purchased this boxed set comprising two CDs: it was sold relatively cheap for two CDs package. Eloy had been quite a while in my history of rock music. My first experience with the band was when the album "Planets" was released at the time when all the punk and new wave bands like The Human League, Robert Palmer, Mo, B 52's, Duran Duran were common music to all radio stations in Bandung, West Java, where I took my engineering study. About the same period, Genesis released "abacab", Yes with "90125". Prog was really dead. Planets soon became my favorite choice for my day-to-day rock listening pleasure even though the music is totally different with those from Yes, Genesis. ELP or Pink Floyd. Since then, I started to collect Eloy albums. Not all of them are excellent album but, overall, I enjoy the music.

The key attraction point of Eloy's music is its ambient and groove especially as a result of catchy keyboard work, dynamic drum work and transparent vocals. Throughout its music I can feel pleasant especially with arrays of chords, melodies and music flow. This boxed set covers the band's music history, re-recorded in 1993.

Chronicles I

The CD One starts with the band's classic track from legendary album Ocean (1977) "Poseidon's Creation '93" (11:28). It's really a good decision that this attractive track was put as opener as once the CD is spun, it produces good music groove and rhythm section. The intro part comprises relatively long (approximately 5 minutes) keyboard and guitar exploration augmented with groovy rhythm section combining bass guitar and dynamic drumming. The vocal line enters the music when it's approaching 5th minute. The part when the vocal enters the music is really good and it has a memorable composition. I enjoy this opening track really well as I like the vocal characteristics and the keyboard-based composition. In a similar vein, the music moves into second track "The Apoclypse '93" with, again, good melody and music textures that remind me to symphonic music. I like the part when the music finishes the first lyrical part when organ inserts its sound (approx min 1:40) followed by musical beats and guitar solo. The bass lines are also good. The music sounds like floating with its ambient from guitar and keyboard sounds and tight bass lines.

"Silhouette '93" continues the grooves with upbeat music and unique vocal quality of Frank Bornemann. He also adds nice guitar solo mixed thinly - probably to reduce distorted sound. "Mysterious Monolith" opens with a nice combination between guitar fills and keyboard sound followed with a powerful vocal in this quiet passage. The music flows in a slow tempo with obvious bass guitar work. The keyboard then enters the music smoothly followed with some effects. Bass guitar provides a transition that brings the music into a little bit faster tempo exploring the works of keyboards. Guitar is used as rhythm section. The keyboard exploration in the middle of the track is simple and melodic. The break with bass guitar solo augmented with keyboard sound effects provide a spacey and futuristic nuance.

"Sphinx '93" (6:22) sounds familiar with my ears as I knew this tract for the first time when I purchased "Planets" album. "End of an Odyssey '93" is one of my favorite tracks from Eloy. In fact this was one of candidates to be played on air during my broadcast program in "Saturday Night Rock" last night at local FM radio station. I chose "Through A Somber Galaxy" at the end, from the same album "Time To Turn". It's interesting to have a very long keyboard solo (approx 4 minutes) combined with nice bass lines and drum work. It's very captivating for my ears. It's simple but it's memorable and not boring at all. When vocal line enters at minute 5, the music flows nicely in slow tempo. I do enjoy this track especially during my driving time. It's an excellent track.

Overall, I give a full three stars rating on its songwriting (melody and composition) with good music textures and excellent performance. The vocal line is also excellent.

Chronicles II

The CD Two is relatively weaker than CD One in terms of the tracks compiled. It starts with a straight rocker "Escape to the Heights '94" when the textures that usually were available in CD One, are not so obvious with this CD. First track does not represent something attractive, it's just a plain rock song with a very minimum variation. Next track is even weaker and boring "All Life is One '94" (6:29). Nothing I can really enjoy with this track and it's boring. "Nightriders '94" (4:37) sounds similar thing and it does not attract me to enjoy. It's probably "Voyager of the Future Race '94" (6:28) which bring the music into different kind but it still not picking up yet. "Fire & Ice '94" (5:09 ) is quite OK as well but it's still lacking in composition. "Call of the Wild '94" (7:00) brings the improvement of the music as the sound of flute is added and it has better composition compared to previous 7 tracks.

Overall, Chronicles II scores not more than two stars.

Overall, for the compilation of two CDs I would rather purchase the CD One only because CD Two is very weak in composition as well as performance. I was finally aware that these two CDs were sold separately. But due to the inferiority of Disc Two, the label repackaged the two into one box and sold as one. I don't recommend you to buy this compilation of two CDs. You'd better get the CD One ONLY (Chronicles I).

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

DragonForce "Inhuman Rampage World Tour" Live in Jakarta, May 19, 2007. featuring World's Fastest Metal Guitar Virtuoso. Be there! Or Die!

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#119321)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Stick to the originals.

While I have always liked Eloy, they are not what I consider a top flight band. Definetly a second or third tier prog band. Not all of their music really even can be categorized as prog for that matter.

But still, a band I enjoy hearing, and far more traditional prog than most German bands of the 70's. What we have here is a collection of rerecorded songs done in the mid-90's. CD1 is the most interesting with some songs sounding considerably better than their original studio album counterparts. The best of these would be End Of An Odysee and the tracks from Planents. The first two songs sound okay, but frankly the drumming is sub par compared to the original drummer from the two albums those are taken from (Ocean and Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes, respectively). The Apocalypse is still an improvement in just about every other way though. All in all, worth having for fans of this band.

However, on CD2, aside from the first 4 tracks (which are actually rerecorded by the same lineup that did the originals) the songs are merely remastered album tracks. Quite the deception if you ask me. Considering the albums they came from were not that good and represented Bornemans departure into 80's type synth pop type music (well, not quite pop, but not really prog either), this CD is fairy expendable.

Two stars definetly sums up the value of this collection, "collectors/fans only", though from my personal enjoyment perspective and musical quality I'd give it a 3 or 3.5. But for the archives, I'd say if you are not already a fan, there is no reason to get this (though I suppose it could work as a "best of" type introduction..........but even there Timeless Passages would be far, far better). If you are a fan, it's worth it for CD 1.

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Send comments to infandous (BETA) | Report this review (#119451)
Posted Monday, April 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars This is merely a box set featuring the 2 "Chronicles" CDs. In my reviews of "Chronicles 1" and 2 I made it clear that the first was brilliant and worthwhile for almost everyone, while the second was the exact opposite. With that in mind, and given that this pair is simply diluted by "Chronicles 2", the average score of 2.5 stars should be rounded down to underscore how you only really need "Chronicles 1". It is the album with 90% or more of the classic Eloy material, rerecorded to sound fresher and more modern.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#160684)
Posted Sunday, February 03, 2008 | Review Permalink

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