Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010

Eloy

Visionary (The Laser’s Edge)

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Eloy should be a familiar name to progressive-rock fans of a certain age. And now, thanks to the outstanding reunion album Visionary—the German band’s first studio record since 1998 and released to coincide with Eloy’s 40th anniversary—a whole new generation of listeners can hear what all the fuss was about.

By reconvening with four previous Eloy members, band founder and guitarist Frank Bornemann reprises classic symphonic, space-rock tendencies that recall Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Jethro Tull and Yes but actually sound nothing like those groups. Visionary’s emotions and melodies are enhanced with the addition of prominent female vocalists on “The Challenge (Time to Turn, Part 2)” and “Summernight Symphony,” and lyrics to songs such as “The Refuge” and “The Secret” find Bornemann continuing to explore the realms of cosmic consciousness.

With a running time of just 42 minutes, Visionary is a succinct and satisfying album that may turn on people who didn’t even realize they liked progressive rock.