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Eloy - Power and the Passion CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.69 | 514 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Moving forward by going back

Following the enjoyable but artistically static "Floating" (even the band themselves recognised they had not progressed), Eloy took a major leap into the unknown and recorded their first concept album. For the recording of "The Power and the passion", the line up was strengthened through the addition of second lead guitarist Detlef Schwaar. The diversity of the band was also enhanced through the purchase of a mellotron and synthesiser for Manfred Wieczorke to master.

The story on which the album is based is of a young boy who is transported back in time to the 14th century. There he discovers that the problems faced in the 20th century are essentially are those which have plagued man throughout the ages.

Musically, there is a welcome degree of refinement here. While "Inside" and "Floating" displayed fine heavy prog credentials, they were short on subtlety. Here, the enhanced keyboard collection is used to provide softer layers on which much stronger melodies are built. The solos too are more varied, rather than simply relying on alternating Hammond organ and lead guitar.

After the brief "Introduction" and the scene setting "Journey into 1358", the first of the feature tracks is "Love over six centuries". This well structured10 minute piece moves between soft passages and heavier organ driven sections. The arrangement here is representative of the album as whole, in that it has a level of sophistication which confirms that Eloy are once again moving forward. Mary Davis adds some effective female spoken word to the conversational section of the track.

The following track, "Mutiny", runs to over 9 minutes. Once again, here we are treated to some diverse keyboard sounds, the sometimes retro spacey effects being offset by some powerful passages. This track in particular reminds me of Home's "The alchemist" album. "Imprisonment" is the softest, most emotional piece recorded by the band up to this point. The symphonic mellotron and distorted vocals support lyrics of quiet despair.

"Daylight" soon picks things up again, the highlight being a Ken Hensley like Hammond solo. The brief interlude commentary "Thoughts of home" leads to quite the most absurd track on the album. "The zany magician" sounds like Arthur Brown has wandered in with his Crazy world, insane laughter et al. "Back into the present" maintains the pace, with a Uriah Heep like dash through a more rock orientated piece. The opening peel of bells and introductory mellotron on "The bells of Notre dame" once again remind me of "The alchemist". The track closes the album with great beauty.

In all, a major step forward for Eloy. There are times during the album where the ambition seems to run ahead of the talent, but the overall results are highly enjoyable, making for the band's best album to date.

The remastered version of the album released in 2000 has one bonus track, a remix of the album's final track "The bells of Notre dame". The lead guitar on this version is noticeably superior, and the mix brings out the majesty of the track in full. Its placement right after the original version though is unfortunate, as both have their appeal and should not be set against each other in this way.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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