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METROMANIA

Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Eloy Metromania album cover
3.08 | 174 ratings | 16 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Escape To The Heights (5:03)
2. Seeds Of Creation (4:28)
3. All Life Is One (6:28)
4. The Stranger (3:59)
5. Follow The Light (9:37)
6. Nightriders (9:39)
7. Metromania (6:10)

Total Time: 45:24

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Hannes Arkona / guitars, keyboards, syncussion, vocoder
- Frank Bornemann / vocals, guitars
- Hannes Folberth / keyboards
- Klaus-Peter Matziol / bass
- Fritz Radow / drums
- 8 backing vocalists

Releases information

CD EMI Harvest 5 63779 2 (2005, remaster)

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DawnDawn
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Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
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ELOY Metromania ratings distribution


3.08
(174 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (42%)
42%
Collectors/fans only (18%)
18%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ELOY Metromania reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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!

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Send comments to Joolz (BETA) | Report this review (#99913) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Review by Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Metromania is an 80's album, at the (almost) pure sense of the word. The production has a lot of electronic drums and synths, being a bit cold, but music isn't. The music is warm, inspired and catchy. This album taught me to not dismiss all the decade has offered, if it is well done product. The atmosphere is basically a futuristic one, in a way that Performance didn't accomplish, so this album is more atmospheric and more "prog" than its predecessor.

The opening track is powerful and rocking. "All Life Is One" is spacey and hypnotizing, while "Nightriders" is gross sounding and awful. Bad, BAD 80's production on this particular track!!!! The title song is a masterpiece, and easily the best thing the band made since "The Flash". The other songs are fine and don't spoil the album.

ELOY is getting weaker from now on, but on Ocean II they'll gain full power again!

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Send comments to Eclipse (BETA) | Report this review (#109354) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 29, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The first time I listened to this album, some three years ago, I rated it with one star. And I haven't come back to it very often to be honest. So, for the purpose of this review, here we go again with "Metromania".

The same feeling left with their below average previous album "Performance" prevails. Same sort of synth pop; almost cold (but poor) cold wave stuff. "Ultravox !" was great in this genre, but "Eloy" is absolutely not able to produce such catchy music in this particular style even if the opening track is more than acceptable.

"Seeds of Creation" is awful and if one can get some illusion about "All Life is One" for about a minute, as soon as the "vocals" enter the scene it is all ruined. Again, it seems that "Eloy" wants to emulate the "Buggles". A complete misery. For over six minutes ! Actually there will be a good "Floydian" guitar break which will partially rescue the song, but not completely. "The Stranger" is vaguely "Floyd" oriented as well ("The Wall" period).

There will even be a good classic "Eloy" song : "Follow the Light". Space-rock as they have done long ago. The only highlight. One thing is now clear. "Floyd" influence partially dominates this album (three songs out of seven) and these tracks are the best ones. Because when you listen to the closing number and title track, the same poor electronic beats are raging again. Extremely poor.

My first impression was not far from being confirmed, but thanks to these three fully "Floyd" oriented songs, I will rate this effort with two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#147479) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 27, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
2 stars With "Metromania", Eloy coated the synthetic qualities of "Performance" with a metallic sheen in the form of heavy guitars and nasty production. The cheesiness is largely gone but this is literally cold comfort. I just want to turn up the thermostat when I listen to this album. I suppose one could argue this was the intent, but so many bands were doing much better at this than Eloy. One can only credit them for trying.

"All Life is One" is a cool vocoder track that seems to be implying that even the mechanical and digital entities are linked with carbon based biology by some overriding force, and the title cut is almost as catchy as 80s synth-pop could be without hitting the charts. But the rest is difficult, especially the miserable "Nightriders", "Seeds Of Creation", and "The Stranger". Even the epic "Follow the Light" is of minimal interest in spite of a brief spacey section, one of the only such passages on the entire disk. This is remarkable given how important that aspect had been in the Eloy sound for well over a decade.

It is the job of good dramatic theatre to provoke discomfort and make one cringe in one's seat. If "Metromania" was presented as dramatic theatre it would achieve that goal, but this ain't theatre. After this outing Eloy collapsed yet again, and it was a welcome event.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#160613) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2008

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
2 stars Firstly I must admit that Eloy are a band I haven't investigated too much. I bought Metromania on vinyl on its release back in 1984 on the premise of it being a prog album. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting and not being particularly impressed it has spent many years in my racks with only the occasional play.

Listening to it now I'm inclined to look on it a bit more favourably and there is a certain amount of prog on show but I would describe much of it as symphonic pop, if there is such a thing. Some heavier guitar riffs here and there add a rock element, with an emphasis on melodic tunes pushing it into AOR territory here and there.

Side 2 of the original vinyl version is far superior to side 1 and is likely to be of greater interest to progheads due to Follow The Light and Nightriders almost hitting the 10 minute mark and deviating from the eighties synth pop style evident on some of the album. Both songs, particularly Nightriders, plod along with a kind of Led Zeppelin Kashmir groove pace, though not sounding like I hasten to add, the former bringing Pink Floyd to mind in the quieter sections. The only song from side 1 that captures my interest is opener Escape To The Heights for its infectious poppy melody, though toughened up a bit with a heavier guitar riff.

The worst thing about this album though is the very dated eighties production; the synth sounds that were prevalent amongst so many synth pop bands at the time and that fat synthetic drum sound which I've never liked. Of all the production sounds over the years the eighties has been the one that has fared the worst with time. No doubt Eloy were looking for a bit of commercial success with this one.

Some decent moments then, but three good tracks out of seven doesn't make a good album so just about hovering around the 2.5 star mark I think.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#257309) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review by 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.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#298176) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 09, 2010

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In 2002, after a long spell when I was enthraced for about 4 years just hearing the new found genre of ´prog-metal´ I decided it was about time to go back to my 70´s roots and get some of the records that I had loved so much in the Compact Disc format this time. Some I hadn´t heard for over 15 years or so. Eloy´s Inside was one of them. A friend had a imported records store and he was selling some russian CDs that were the 2 LPs in 1 CD kind. It was relatively quite cheap and I got my first that had Eloy´s Inside plus Time To Turn. I didin´t realize till then that Eloy was such a great band, since not many of their records were released in Brazil. But I was so taken by those two that - as it is my wont - I went back to that store and ended up getting all of their discography (up to Destination) in a very short time. It was one of the best bargains I got in my life, since I enjoyed them all (bar the first). Some more, some less. Also the russian remastering versions were way better than Eloy´s available recordings at the time in the west, and it is still impressive.

So I think I´m one of the few reviewers here who had always liked Metromania. At the time it was released the band was getting some real harsh critizing for their previous Performance album of 1983. Metromania came next and it was hailed by some as a kind of ´redeemer´ work. Well, not so much. Neither Performance was that bad nor Metromania that good. They both are much similar, as far as I can tell. Ok, the songs on Perfomance were a little too light and had a couple of more popish tracks on it. Metromania on the other hand conceded to the market bringing in some ´modern´ elements that were in fashion (electronic drums and synth timbres). plus a little heavier guitar sounds. But the songwriting and the perfomances on both records are pretty much the same:brilliant playing and good songs. Why all the fuss??

Well, one has to face the fact that those two records were coming on the heels of some of their best work ever (Planets and Time To Turn, released on 1981 and 82, respectively). Compared to those two CDs It´s easy to see why so many fans and critics were disappointed. But I guess it was just asking too much for any artist or group to be forever on the top of their game. And even more so if you remember that the time those albums came out were not a good period for prog music in general. So I guess the pressures of having to release something more radio friendly or ´up to date´ was immense. After all, they all had to make a living. Still, they were able to at least release some decent material under those circunstances. The same cannot be said of so many former great prog acts around.

When I hear Metromania nowadays it sounds a little dated because of the syndrums and general synth sounds. But, like its previous efford, this is far from bad or weak. The band was in fine form and deliver a good set of songs plus a stunning interpretation of the material. I´ve always loved some of the tracks here like the powerful Follow the Light (the CD´s highlight), Seeds of Creation, Scape To The Heights and the title track. Like all their releases after Inside, there is not one crap song to be found. The production again is very good. It is a pity taht this would be the last album with this line up and the the last one under Eloy´s banner for a decade or more.

In all I think Metromania, as well as Perfomance, is a quite enjoyable and good album. Not on par with their major works, but good nonetheless. And I´m happy to have them all., it´s been a pleasure to hear those CDs after all these years on a regular basis. With so much else available in my collection, this is really a great feat. Eloy is one of the great prog bands of all the time. They produced fine records, even in their lowest moments.

Rating: somewhere 3 and 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#444820) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 09, 2011

Review by octopus-4
COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars Not as bad as it could be.

It's a pity that Eloy as many other bands were in some way forced, by the label, by the market or by themselves, in followiing the actual tendency of electronic cold sounds made of electronic drums, fairlights and so on. Luckily Bornemann is not able to sing like David Bowie so at least the vocals were still genuine.

I think that this is what apparently makes the difference between this album and what was called new-wave in 1984. But if we don't take too much care of the sounds we can realize that the old Eloy are still there. The arrangements are heavily influenced by the actual tendency but the chords are still the good old ones and if they can be more hidden behind the electronics on the first two tracks, "All Life Is One" is a very good Eloy's song which can compete with the best things released by the band in the 70s.

Also the intro of "Escape to the Heights", I mean the first minute, before guitar and drums join, has a Tangerine Dream flavor. However, even with all these 80s sounds the first two tracks are not too bad.

"The Stranger" seems to be influenced by Alan Parsons. Try to imagine Chris Rainbow singing instead of Bornemann. The synth guitar solo sounds a bit like Rabin on 90125....well it's 1984 what can we expect?

Another touch of the good old days comes with the first minutes of "Follow The Light", then it's like Alan Parsons is at least behind the mixer. But again, Frank Bornemann's voice which is bad as usual is a trademark of the band so you can put all the possible fairlights in those songs. With Bornemann, in the bad and in the good it will always be an Eloy's song. That's why the last instrumental minutes of this track is not what I like much in this album.

Some hard rock is attempted on "Nightriders". Not a bad song, but nothing special and the arrangement doesn't help.

Finally the title track. It's not different from the rest: Eloy's rock immersed in the 80s sound, but this song sounds unexpectedly like the YES of 90125. Bornemann sings high-pitched, surely not as Jon Anderson, but the synth guitar and the keyboards show the same radio- friendly approach.

So not a bad album at all if you are not disturbed by the standardised sounds of th 80s, but if your budget is limited there are better Eloy's albums to choose from.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#800959) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 06, 2012

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars 'Metromania' is the sound of Eloy in 1984 and as a mega fan of the group I was not impressed with this direction of the band. They sound like they were swallowed by 80s synthesizers and spat out into a commercial radio station. It begins immediately with retro 80s synth, on 'Escape To The Heights', a jumpy upbeat song that grows on me very quickly. The sound is very different of course from the 70s Eloy but it is nowhere as innovative. I enjoy the vocals on this one though with that strong melody. The keyboards are too chimey and sound like Depeche Mode or Gary Numan of the era, yet Eloy are capable of more complex passages of instrumentation.

Seeds Of Creation continues the synthetic drum sounds and crystalline 80s sound and then there are some female chorus voices to contend with. I still like Frank Bornemann's vocals that feel like an old friend I have become so accustomed to them. The section that says 'stand back stand back' sounds familiar in the melody and I am not sure where I have heard it. The violin sounds are nice on this track and it is certainly not a bad song, one of the better ones on offer here. All Life Is One begins with piano flourishes, and that 80s synth drum sound resounds that is annoying these days. The synths and vocoder spacey effects are quite effective, but the sound is worse than the 80s Genesis pap. It drags on interminably with a crawling tempo and bright synths inundating the scape. By the time the lead guitar breaks through I have lost interest. The sound is so tinny and no low end bass just a treble drenched metronomic synth drum

The Stranger has a sharper sound, cool guitar chugging, and the melody chimes nicely. The icey synths dominate but I like the way the guitar answers in angry distortion blasts. A definite highlight on this mediocre collection, and the muscular lead break helps to empower the sterile production sound. Follow The Light is a lengthy song (9:37) so I was expecting some instrumental freakouts and jamming as in the golden era of Eloy. It begins with a synth sound that sounds like Gary Numan entered the studio and took over. I love Numan, a progenitor of synth and electronica, but I didn't expect Eloy to ever sound like this. The voice is mixed under the loud synths and it has an odd sequencer layer, with a spacey texture. It gets into Hawkwind territory with more space rock atmospheres, then it diverts into a cool groove with pulsing bass and drum. The female voices are as bad as when Numan used them on 'The Fury' or 'Metal Rhythm', the worst of his 80s era. It seemed all music of the mid 80s had to survive this kitsch style and chiming cheesy music does not help either. Somehow this still has a nice effect on the album and becomes another of the better songs, thanks to it's cool melodic anthemic nature that is maddeningly infectious. Nightriders is also long (9:39) and has a plodding tempo and synth drums throughout. The lead break is a major asset but it does not last long. This feels like Genesis' Invisible Touch era, that was interminable, but I actually love the rhythm on this and it could have rocked if the production could get their hands on the bass knob instead of the treble. That engineer should be lynched for this mess.

Metromania closes the album with another blast of commercial 80s sounds and is not one that I can recommend. It has a sequenced synth but awful keyboards wreck the song, sounding worse than 80s Yes or Genesis.

Overall this is a new direction for Eloy after a wonderful 70s period where masterpieces abounded. It feels completely dated with that unmistakeable dreadful 80s sound with crystal clear synthetic production; everything is hospital white sterile and engineered with treble that pierces the ears. It needs more grunt and power and creative juices, this music does not have enough power to blow the fluff off a peanut. Eloy play it very safe with this album and I am not used to that from these innovative masters. It is far more recommended to listen to their first 7 albums that are veritable master class releases showcasing the very best of Eloy. Do not make this album a starting point as it might put you off for life. 2 and a half stars at most, but to warn off those wanting Eloy at their best I am giving this 2.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#849236) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 03, 2012

Review by horza
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I bought this the year it came out - it was 1984 and I was a mere 23-year old. That cassette is long lost now but I still play the digital copy that I own. Metromania is not my favourite Eloy album but considering how good their albums are it still gets played when the mood takes me. Frank Bornemann has been the guiding light of Eloy since 1969 and he assumes the familiar roles of Guitarist, Lead Vocals, Lyricist and Producer. It is interesting to note that the drummer, Fritz Randow, would later be Saxon's drummer. The album cover is by Rodney Matthews and features a futuristic musician on a rooftop playing what looks like a guitar. Covers were sort of important to me back then and I really like this one. I always liked the Roger Dean and Rodney Matthews artwork and my wall was covered in their posters back then.

The albums opens with 'Escape to the Heights' and is one of the best songs on the album. A simple guitar melody intro and swirling synths are soon joined by a metronomic bass and drums. The song is driven along by the bass and I particularly enjoy the guitar/synth passages. I would suggest playing this song LOUD for maximum effect. Klaus Peter Matziol is the current bassist and has been with Eloy since 1976. He is not a flashy player but his contribution on this album is very influential. 'Seeds of Creation' features all the same elements that identify Eloy - swirling synth chords, strong bass and that familiar Bornemann vocal-sound. If you like his voice on this then you will like it on ALL of the Eloy albums. I like the germanic twang to his voice and I have often wondered if he ever wanted to sing these songs in his native language. I like his voice either way and would also add that the album features what I assume to be a vocoder, for the 'robotic' vocal passages found especially in the song 'All Life is One'. The longest track on the album is 'Follow the Light' which comes in at just short of ten minutes. It opens with twinkling synths and guitar chords accompanied with THAT bass - it starts to drive along two minutes in and features a female choir accompaniment throughout, including one Sabine Matziol, who I assume to be the bassist's wife. The closing track is 'Metromania' which has a Tangerine Dream-sounding synth opening. It soon goes into toe-tapping Eloy-mode. It is a strong track to close with and is probably my second favourite on the album. I am a big Eloy fan and this album does not disappoint.

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Send comments to horza (BETA) | Report this review (#927532) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 10, 2013

Latest members reviews

4 stars I really love this album and it hasn't dated at all.It actually sounds better with age. It is not as symphonic as past works but the songwriting is up there with Eloy's best. My personal favourite is All Life Is One,the most ellaborate song of the album. Escape To The Heights is space rock perfec ... (read more)

Report this review (#880144) | Posted by Jellybeantiger | Friday, December 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

2 stars There are some good songs on this one, but I find it very hard to get into. It's much like the last album, Performance, because of how the 1980's production is extremely upfront. The sound is good, but it sounds so different and too poppy for me. There is an extended suite on this album, bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#251050) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Monday, November 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A most underrated album. Eloy is at this point a very electronic and space rock band. You would say it's not specific for a band who in his first period had been quite different. IMO, Eloy did a major change introducing synthesisers and choirs, which is great and dignified for a progr ... (read more)

Report this review (#169508) | Posted by Sachis | Friday, May 02, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Forget about the spacy classical psychedelic Eloy of the 70's and get into the typical 80's synthesizers era! After awsome albums like Inside, Dawn, Oceans or Planets, Eloy gets into the 80's with Metromania, an album full of catchy melodies leaded by all the sounds and effects that you could cr ... (read more)

Report this review (#147483) | Posted by progadicto | Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Few bands reflect the flavored grung pedals giving U mettalic Rain showed with enough prog to resemble a PINK FLOYDIAN Landscape as well as this LP/Cd... If any ELOY is 2 B ownwed this is it! Followed by Silent Crys and mighty echos,Time To Turn... This Is the germans PINK FLOYD!Well ahead its ... (read more)

Report this review (#3290) | Posted by | Tuesday, May 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Very consistent work, devotedly created during a very obscure period in prog-history. Compositions with odd numbers I like the most among all Eloy's works (3rd and 5th are masterpieces). Few words about music: it's pretty electronical and "synthetical", which does not spoil the overall impression th ... (read more)

Report this review (#3287) | Posted by myas0 | Sunday, December 14, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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