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Eloy - Dawn CD (album) cover

DAWN

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.03 | 520 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars The only frustrating aspect to Eloy's "Dawn" is how the track listing has been edited and re-invented in each re-release and compilation, to the point where, especially early in the proceedings, it is nigh impossible to tell which track is which. Other than that, this is one of the finest examples of symphonic space rock ever released. It is also one of the few Eloy albums that does not specifically idolize earlier bands, but largely forges its own style.

One of the impressive aspects of Dawn is how this is now the third formation of Eloy, who appeared to be floundering after 2 weak releases, "Floating" and "Power and the Passion". In fact, of their first 4 albums, only the brilliant "Inside" was actually better than average, so one might have been excused for writing them off after yet another implosion. But the addition of Detlev Schmidtchen on keyboards and Jurgen Rosenthal on drums proved the needed boost. It was also Rosenthal's songwriting prowess which, love it or hate it, gave Eloy some lyrical material to work with. Bornemann could no longer get away with freaked out vocals, and this is when we really start to notice that his accent is problematic. Over the years he would work on it, but at times here it is pretty raw, even if it has a pleasant timbre to my ears.

In vinyl terms, the first side is particularly powerful as it moves from one brief track to another with aplomb, some spacey, some hard rocking, some both. The variation in the pace and in the ballad vs rocker quotient is also inspired. Bornemann wisely concedes top spot to the cosmic keyboards, which range from mellotron to moog, with some judicious use of orchestra, but his guitars still play an important supportive role, as does the bass of new member Klaus-Peter Matziol. Curiously, this approach would not return until the 1980s with Planets. He does put forth a certain jangly, almost acoustic styled electric guitar in many places, which would become his trademark going forward. Apart from the aforementioned difficulty in singling out particular tracks with any degree of certainty, the album is really a unified work in which each piece builds on all that came before, and it is meant to be listened to in its entirety. The band makes this easy by including only top notch material.

From the perspective of composition, arranging, instrumental prowess, melodic instinct, and ability to rock out with subtlety and power, I believe that "Dawn" simply humbles the contemporary competition. It also marked the dawn of Eloy's golden age.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |

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