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Eloy - Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.04 | 657 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars From a very overrated extravaganza to a fairly underrated gem?

Just two years after the supposed 'huge breakthrough' for this band that was Ocean, Eloy decided to drop all the coyness and tribute Pink Floyd properly. For some reason, however, when the band faced their similarity to Floyd head-on like this, the sound ended up being much more rewarding for me than I expected.

First thing's first; if you can't tell that this album if a Pink Floyd tribute, you're musical knowledge should be improved considerably. However, since I feel the band made this fact fairly obvious via the album's opening practically mirroring the intro for Wish You Were Here, it resulted in the music itself not sounding nearly as blatantly copied as the previous album. At least for the most part. I think there is a female vocal solo on ''The Apocalypse'' track that is pretty reminiscent of ''Great Gig in the Sky'', but that's the only other musical movement on Silent Cries that screams 'Floyd' to me.

To be honest, the only moment on the record that sounds like a DIRECT rip-off, at least to my ears, is ''Astral Entrance''. Like I said, this album opener sounds scarily similar to the first few moments of the Pink Floyd track ''Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1''. However, after that, the hard similarities end, and a much more original album takes shape. The tunes never lose that Floydian vibe, and they are clearly wearing that influence on their sleeve, but that doesn't mean the album itself doesn't stand on its own. I found myself very much enjoying so much of this album, that it blew my mind, especially since this is the very next thing Eloy did in the studio after Ocean.

I DO look at SIlent Cries And Mighty Echoes as a tribute to Pink Floyd, and not just a simple clone. In fact, there are some moments on this album that sound nothing like Floyd at all. Sure, they still 'feel' like Floyd, but plenty of stuff happens throughout that I couldn't point to specifically and say ''that came from (insert Pink Floyd album name here)!''. On the band's previous effort, I was able to do that quite often (that is to say, when there actually WAS real music to be heard, and not just the long periods of nothingness that was rampant on that release).

Something else I wish to take time and commend here is Frank Bornemann's vocal work. I gave him a pretty hard time in my last Eloy review, and I want to make sure it's made clear that I don't hate the guy as a singer; I just think he sometimes gets a little in over his head with the lyrics being in English. However, on this one, his accent seems a little more subdued. Perhaps he coached himself a bit, or maybe he just made sure the words chosen were easier for him to get a grip on, Either way, his voice seems to have improved, and it continued to do so over the course of the band's career.

The best tracks for me are ''Master Of Sensation'', ''The Apocalypse'', ''De Labore Solis'' and the album's finale, ''Mighty Echoes'' Yes, most likely another Pink Floyd reference in the title, there. Again, the similarities are made so clear on this one, it's obvious they were intentionally paying tribute to Waters and crew. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion, as long as the music itself can stand on its own, which I believe it does on this one. This is also an improvement over the last album simply because there is more content, here. This is 'real' music that rocks, soars and grooves to a degree the motionless song structure of Ocean was nowhere near.

So how am I going to rate this album? Well, I certainly consider it one of Eloy's better efforts. No longer avoiding the obvious similarities with their key musical inspiration, they learned to embrace it and use those familiar cues to fuel a more vibrant, original record than some of their previous works. It's a fine album that carries enough familiar stylings to comfort the new listener, yet stands on its own when it truly counts. it still doesn't quite match the heights Eloy would reach a little later in their career (in my opinion), but I do think it gets a bit overshadowed by its predecessor, which is a real shame. Claims made against Silent Cries about it being a rip-off of Wish You Were Here seems a little too much, to me. Certainly there are similarities, but as I already said, I believe Ocean to be the more unoriginal of the two, and since these are both among the band's top sellers, if you choose to go with one or the other, choose this one. Especially if you're new to the band.

3.5 Stars, really, but since it's so much better than the last, I feel this album's rating can be bumped up into the four star range.

Happy listening.

JLocke | 4/5 |


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