Published on October 31st, 2019 | by Justin G.0
Eloy: The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part II) (Artist Station, 2019)
Long-running German progressive rock band Eloy has a brand new album out. It’s titled The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part II), and as you may have guessed from the title it’s the sequel to their 2017 release The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part I). Part II concludes the epic concept album duo based on the life of Joan of Arc.
20 albums (and nearly 50 years in), you tend to expect stability and predictability rather than surprise, but it’s hard not to be surprised – in a good way – at just how good Eloy is at this stage of their career. The music founding guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Frank Bornemann and company present here is every bit as compelling as their classic ’70s and ’80s work. Perhaps even more so.
The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part II) captures that Eloy sound and spirit perfectly, from the subtle progressive touches to the symphonic, atmospheric elements to Bornemann’s haunting, ethereal vocals and of course the grand scope of the larger story this album and its predecessor tell. It seems odd to use the term “space rock” to describe an album based on Joan of Arc’s life, but that does fit the album’s sound.
While the album works best as a whole – or better yet a second half of a larger epic – but it does have some shining stars. “An Instant Of Relief…Still The War Rages On” is a perfect opener and is reminiscent of the classic Ocean sound, and “Armistice Or War,” “Abandoned” and “Compeigne” are quite epic and moving.
The Vision, The Sword And The Pyre (Part II) is yet another first-rate progressive rock album from this too-often overlooked veteran band. Eloy is in top form here, and they’ve crafted a remarkable album that’s more than worthy of the band’s legacy. This is likely to be the best progressive rock album you’ll hear all year, and is highly recommended for fans of classic Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Triumvirat, Yes and Genesis.
Summary: Prog rock royalty that never disappoints