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Eloy - Ocean CD (album) cover

OCEAN

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.22 | 1041 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "Worlds atomize and oceans evaporate in eternity"

Some 6 years into their career, ELOY came up with what is arguably their defining album. "Ocean" is a four track concept album of breathtaking beauty and refinement. When listening to the music here, it is all too easy to forget that it dates from 1977 since the sound is as vibrant and fresh today as it was then.

The tale, which is based around the legendary city of Atlantis, is played out lyrically and instrumentally with spoken word and spacey sounds alternating with strong melodies and harmonic vocals. Hence we have an album which defies categorisation. At times this is indeed space rock, but it is also highly symphonic. On top of that, the album arguably represents one of the first examples of the genre now defined as neo-prog, its influences being apparent in the music of bands such as Jadis, IQ and Pendragon.

In terms of influences on the music, the sound of Pink Floyd is strong, especially the "Wish you were here" era. The drifting synth background used to such great effect on "Shine on you crazy diamond" is apparent throughout, with the opening "Poseidon's creation" being particularly partial to the nuances of that piece. The closing ""Atlantis agony." on the other hand has a synth solo which is very reminiscent of "Welcome to the machine". This however is not simply a WYWH clone album. The sounds and influences are taken and developed, then incorporated into what was at the time a highly original piece of music.

Even today, "Ocean" has the sound and content of a highly accomplished album. If I have one minor gripe it is in the often phonetic rendition of the English language lyrics. This tends to starve them of emotion, leaving them sounding a bit sterile. The alternative though would have been for the album to have been performed in German, which may have limited the band's appeal beyond their native state. That however a small criticism and should not detract from the significance of the album.

In all, an album all prog fans should investigate. This is a milestone release.

Irrelevant footnote, if you take a quick glance at the cover photo, you could be forgiven for thinking that David Byron and Roger Glover were moonlighting with the band.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |

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