El Dorado Hotel
Think Tank Media
After a break lasting for four years, Lana Lane eventually returned to amaze us with a stupendous work, “El Dorado Hotel”. With a line up consisting of: Erik Norlander (solo, Ayreon) on keyboards, additional guitars, bass and programming, John Payne (Asia) on harmony and choral vocals as well as mandolin,Mark McCrite (Erik Norlander) on guitars, bass, choral vocals and programming,Bruce Bouillet (Racer X) on guitars,Neil Citron on guitars, Freddy DeMarco (Erik Norlander) on guitars, Guthrie Govan on guitar, Don Schiff on NS/Stick, Mark Matthews on bass and lastly Jay Schellen (Asia) on drums, nobody can wonder why such an elaborate album was produced. Presenting a plethora of musical sounds, it is no less than a brain-teaser. There was no guessing of what it was about to ensue and as a feat, it is indeed miraculous. Hence, no tag would be completely accurate… each and every song has its own musical style.
The opener “A Dream Full of Fire” balances between prog rock/metal and jazz, embellished with scarce oriental sounds. “Maybe We’ll Meet Again” is a classic rock/AOR song yet not of the American style. As for “El Dorado”… that’s a diversified arrangement of symphonic rock; Lana’s soaring vocals will leave you with an indelible impression. A pure reminiscent of her classic, “Queen Of Ocean”! Fourth in line is “Darkness Falls”, a combination of Irish folk and gothic metal, not to mention its daunting choral vocals and arena-crafted chorus! “Hotels” is a slow-tempo fine, acoustic tune just before “Believe”, a track with bits of modern rock with a few prog elements. “Life Of The Party” and “Moon God” are rockers but not ones that would leave you breathless… before the latter, there is “Gone Are The Days”… so diligently made that could never leave any heart untouched. Last in the list yet first in my heart is “In Exile”. This potent elegy of “vintage progressive rock epic” as described by producer Erik Norlander should awaken any senses that have remained dormant, even in the most skittish of people. You might have had enough with my descriptions but there is one last thing to be said… I even liked the artwork…