ELOY — The Tides Return Forever (review)

ELOY — The Tides Return Forever album cover Album · 1994 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Modrigue
ELOY returns for good

After ten years of errance and unsuccessful experimentation in other genres, ELOY finally goes back to the style they're most talented for: fantasy / symphonic space rock. Only two years after their worst album, "Destination", the band delivers their best release since 1984's "Metromania".

"The Tides Return Forever" features a few changes showing Bornemann and co.'s will to recover the recipe that made their success. First, the classic ELOY logo is back. Second, Klaus-Peter Matziol, the bassist from ELOY's "golden age" definitely reintegrates the band. Third, the production and sound quality have greatly improved and have finally escaped the 80's. Nico Barretta's drumming is much less present and loud. Finally, and the most noticeable, the inspiration is present.

This can be heard from the first notes of "The Day Of Crimson Skies". An nice efficient opener inviting you to the journey. The first long piece, "Fatal Illusions", has a spacey intro with a gilmourian-guitar, as well as rhythms and ambiances changes. This 10 minutes composition looks a little flat compared to their previous middle-length compositions, but is nonetheless quite enjoyable. The slow "Childhood Memories" is not bad, although a bit soapy.

"Generation Of Innocence" sounds surprisingly 80's hard rock. In terms of sonorities and quality, this represents what you would have expected on the "Ra" album. A direct and pleasant song. The smooth and melancholic title track sounds sometimes a bit floyd-ish again with its female vocals. Despite being the shortest song, "The Last In Line" is my favorite of the record. A nice synth space rock tune with a catchy melody.

The 10 minutes "Company Of Angels" is the longest and heaviest composition of the disc. Like the corresponding ending track of "Destination", it is inspired by Jeanne d'Arc, however this time the song is much more listenable. Again, the mini epic sees the band venturing outside their usual musical territory, as it more resembles a symphonic metal song, with epic choirs and female singing. The final result is a little odd and out of place, but has its moments.

This second 90's effort from ELOY is encouraging and more convincing that the previous one. Despite its weaker passages, dated synthesizers and reduced risk-taking, this record possesses a good sound quality, a mastered balance and a recovered inspiration. While not essential, "The Tides Return Forever" is a pleasant and accessible fantasy space rock album, as well as a good entry point to discover the band.

ELOY is back in the game, and that's the most important.
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