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Eloy - Ocean CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.22 | 1041 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Following the success of "Dawn", Eloy implemented a more epic approach to a similar style in "Ocean". Four long tracks make up what is widely regarded as their best work. Lyrics were never Eloy's forte, but Jurgen Rosenthal reaches his peak here. Still, it is the wide battery of keyboards and the rhythm section that really carry the day and the buoyant Eloy sound to another triumph. Bornemann's guitars have a bit more prominence than on "Dawn", especially during parts of the opener and best track, "Poseidon's Creation", and his voice is distinctly improved from Dawn.

"Incarnation of the Logos" starts slowly and reflectively both musically and vocally but is cranked up for a superb orchestral keyboard and bass guitar workout, and Rosenthal also excels on drums. Bornemann is nary to be found in this section, an example of his ability to step back and let others have at it. "Decay of the Logos" is the piece that reminds me the most of the "Dawn" material, with a section featuring reverbed voice followed by a harder passage showcasing Bornemann's more aggressive angular melodic style. Even where he sings lead, the instrumentation is so powerful that he is far from the dominant feature of the sound.

While this is an excellent album and a strong representative of the declining space rock era, it has a few weaknesses not present on its predecessor, and these are chiefly on the finale, "Atlantis Agony". The narrative part was just so passe by 1977 and only accentuated the flailing of the genre, even if Eloy, unlike almost every Anglo prog rock band at the time, was in their peak period. It is a triflingly slow moving piece. I'm all for buildups but this one seems more in a holding pattern a little like a plane taxiing on the runway for far too long. And as a passenger in such a situation, I do find myself dozing off. The organ is pleasant to meditate to, and the string synths and other orchestral sounds weave in and out, but it all just goes on too long. The second half of its 15 minutes does provide a majestic setting for the culmination of the album.

While not quite as impressive as Dawn, this followup is a saline aqueous solution to the prog naysayers of the late 1970s.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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