Review

ELOY Planets

Album · 1981 · Non-Metal
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4/5 ·
Modrigue
A little fantasy space prog opera

After the musical directions explored on "Colours", the band has focused and matured its new style. More ambitious and coherent than their former opus, "Planets" was initially planned as a double-album with "Time to Turn". As the progressive genre was not very popular at this time, the Harvest label refused. The two albums were finally released as a dyptic, which was a good decision. This time, the music is dominated by keyboards and synthesizers, there are hardly no guitar soli here. The compositions are fluid, more direct and homogeneous, and the inspiration has been recovered.

The short spacey synth "Introduction" opens the album to announce "On The Verge Of Darkening Light", a cool space rock tune that immediately sets the tone. The guitar is more present on "Point Of No Return", another good song of the record. The nice "Mysterious Monolith" has a melancholic soft opening and then changes to deploy a somber enigmatic ambiance. "Queen Of The Night" is the catchy lyrical moment of the record. You just made a leap into another part of the universe. As its title suggests, it features female vocals. The ambient instrumental tune "At The Gates Of Dawn" is intended to let the listener breath between the songs. "Sphinx" is the weakest song of the record: a little boring, but enjoyable though. The disc concludes on "Carried By Cosmic Winds", a soft synthesizer ending with a violin finale.

"Planets" has a good flow and unity, the spatial theme is respected. The eventual reproaches may be that the final result sounds too polite, too clean, because of the lack of risks taking and the dated soundscapes due to the predominance of 80's keyboards over guitar. However, this album possesses its own identity and the quality of the compositions is constantly present, which is the most important.

With "Time to Turn", "Planets" is ELOY's most convincing album of the 80's.
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