ELOY — Floating (review)

ELOY — Floating album cover Album · 1974 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Unitron
Eloy's a band that has gone through many phases, and I love a lot of their stuff. Their 80's blend of new wave, hard arena rock, and pop of Performance and Metromania have grown to become favorites of mine, but the heavy psych/space metal of Floating will always remain my absolute favorite from the band and one of my top albums of the 70's.

This album showed me how far subtle atmospheric touches can go in creating a journey in album form. Even in a loud album with roaring guitars, swinging organ, and a gargantuan rhythm section, the ways they create atmosphere are keeping with the intensity of the instruments. What sounds like palm-muted riffing is used to create strange spacey sounds with the guitars/bass, the organ is given time to play quiet melodies in the background, vocals sometimes echo, and guitar harmonies can play short otherworldly notes. Castle in the Air, which might be my all time favorite Eloy song, is a perfect example of these touches. During the bridge, the guitar is still aggressive, but quieter with that spacey effect. I haven't heard anything like it in any other album, but damn does it sound perfect.

Aside from the unique sound, both the ear for guitar melodies and the rhythm section makes this album. Castle in the Air's opening riff just instantly hooks with its fantastic melody. Bassist Luitjen Jansen and drummer Fritz Randow are playing with the energy of a thousand men, even with the whole band being incredibly energetic already. The finale of Madhouse (No relation to Anthrax's) gallops and shreds like no other and has one of the craziest drum solos I've ever heard outside of a live context. No wonder Randow would go on to play for Saxon on a couple of their heaviest albums.

Simply a classic in my book.
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