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Eloah: The Art Of Loving

Eloah is a project created by Elmar C. Fuchs in 1993. I believe the band has twelve CDs, their most recent being The Art Of Loving.

With a total of thirteen musicians scattered throughout the world this is an ambitious project. The musicianship is excellent and the band traverse a variety of styles including jazz, new age, avant-garde, folk and metal, all under the art rock umbrella. Musically the band is top notch, however, I do have a problem with Fuch's vocals. He often implores a talking style of lead vocals and his voice is quite hoarse sounding at times. Even though I gradually got used to them I found them to be a bit of a distraction.

Musically speaking highlights include the subtle build in the lead off track where interludes of soft piano and an orchestral chorus add to the album's art rock charm and the Floydish "Apostles, Traitors and Messiahs" featuring an excellent guitar solo from Orion Roos and a nice blending of acoustic and electric elements. The galloping guitar riff in "Armageddon" is also pretty cool.

I really liked The Art Of Loving from a musical standpoint however the vocals could use some improvement. Still, The Art Of Loving earns a respectable 3 stars with enough proggy elements surfacing to satisfy art/progressive rock fans.


Track Listing:
1. Song Title Unknown (6:18)
2. Awakening (A Gunslinger's Lullaby) (4:12)
3. Apostles, Traitors and Messiahs (5:20)
4. Armageddon (5:12)
5. Human Kind Blues (4:36)
6. The Last Day of Earth (5:34)
7. The Art of Loving (4:17)
8. The Fly (4:58)
9. Chocolate Covered Bear (3:55)
10. My Home (3:39)
11. A Holy Yes (3:00)
12. Pray to Them (3:47)
13. One Last Time (4:29)
14. Too Close (4:19)
15. Pacha Mama (4:22)
16. Light (6:28)

Added: February 8th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1339
Language: english

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Eloah: The Art Of Loving
Posted by Jordan Blum, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-02-08 06:37:30
My Score:

Filled with a wide array of eccentric sounds, peculiar instruments, and seemingly conflicting styles, the music of Eloah is always adventurous, individualized, and, well, odd (which, to be evenhanded, is both charming and detrimental). However, just because it's fairly inimitable doesn't mean it's thoroughly enjoyable. A perfect example is the group's newest outing, The Art of Loving. While it may sound significantly different from anything else you've heard, its amateurish nature (especially the vocals), bizarre elements, and unfocused core make it more noteworthy for its novelty than its enjoyment. There's definitely a sense of curious ambition here, but it's hard to see anyone outside of the creators finding much to like.

Named after the Hebrew term for "God," Eloah was formed twenty years ago by Elmar C. Fuchs. Like Alan Parsons (The Alan Parsons Project) and Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon), Fuchs essentially hires different musicians for each of his albums. So far, he's released several records. As for The Art of Loving, its quirkiness and organic approach is appealing, as are some of the melodies and instrumentation, but overall it's just too crude, jumbled, and unintentionally ridiculous (and humorous) to be taken seriously.

Opener "אברא כדברא" is commendably foreboding, spiritual, and downbeat; in a way, it feels like something latter day Pink Floyd would do if it were fronted by the singer of Agalloch. To be truthful, Fuchs growly, monotone voice is a big reason why this track, as well as the entire album, feels silly and inexperienced. This is especially apparent on tracks like "Awakening," where he seems to impersonate Marilyn Manson's droning delivery. With "Armageddon," his growls are laughably bad, which is a shame since the track features some admirable orchestration and arrangements.

Unfortunately, it gets even worse. Although "The Fly" possesses the same weirdness that made the efforts of Oingo Boingo and Eno so special, it also features absolutely ludicrous vocal work. It feels like the perfect music for a flamboyant Bar Mitzvah in hell. Likewise, "Chocolate Covered Bear" consists of boring narration over lame party jazz. Frank Zappa did this stuff better. Also, the production and approach doesn't vary too much throughout the album, which is really a problem since it's not very enjoyable to begin with.

Fuchs and crew deserve some applause for having the guts and determination to see their distinctive vision come to life, but that's only complimenting the artistry, not the art. Musically, there are some nice flourishes of instrumentation and counterpoint, but it all feels too DIY and tongue-in-cheek, as if the ensemble is parodying itself and the various genres it touches. It's worth checking out a few sections of The Art of Loving to hear something fresh, but there's no reason to endure any more of it.



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