By Jean-Christophe Le Brun
It is thanks to the initial programming of the 2015 edition of Prog South Io Earth caught my attention. English female voice with progressive, usually I like. So I interested in their latest production, their third studio album, New World. This one is a double album and sees the first discographic participation in singing the Norwegian Odinsen Linda, who had replaced Claire Malin at the last minute for group participation in Cruise to the Edge. Malin health troubles did not allow her to continue, she officially took its place in 2013. Two other members, guitarist and keyboardist Dave Cureton, Adam Gough also officiate vocals. These two are also the founders of the group and now only original members. Linda Odinsen is not the only one to join the group, since the excellent drummer Christian Jerromes and Jez King violinist also joined the older members that are bassist Christian Nokes and saxophonist and flutist Luke Shingler. Note that the latter, in addition to classic saxes also uses an electronic instrument.
New world proposes 1 hour 45 music whose main genre is the symphonic progr but incorporating many other styles like jazz, metal, classical, folk, atmospheric … The term of the securities vary between three and ten minutes. The themes of the album are the discovery, the arrival of adversity and the path to better times. With this menu, the album is not easy to grasp but imposes its power and wealth so more and more evident as and when the plays. Take the time to discuss the various titles.
‘Move As One’ is a delicate introduction to Celtic accents essentially based on the song of Linda Odinsen with piano and violin.
‘Redemption’ takes us on paths tormented full of heavy riffs with strong symphonic dimension, an air singing, limpid guitar and even a passing world with sax. At times one gets the impression that ‘Kashmir’ crosses a title of Within Temptation.
‘Journey to Discovery’ offers choirs and percussion before the arrival of guitar riffs. The chorus is powerful evoking the early years The Gathering Anneke. The emergence of synths to sound doubtful at a time is probably the only small bad taste of the album.
‘Trance’ and ‘Morning’ takes us to a more romantic and delicate universe where the flute brings lightness.
The instrumental ‘Collision’ offers a tense worn by strings and sees the participation of a musician Frank Zappa, percussionist Ed Mann appeared on the final game with a rise always in tension.
‘Fade to gray’ exudes a calm atmosphere throughout but with a rather furious sax solo in the middle.
‘New World Suite’ closing the first instrumentally CD varying moods and tones, however avoiding the emphasis.
‘Insomnia’, which begins the second CD is a piece more contrasting quiet passages alternating with a sax, powerful choruses with Gregorian chants and downright heavy moments when the double pedal is output.
‘Red smoke’ is more taut with a guitar that is firing on all cylinders. The instrumental and sublime ‘Rising’, which evokes September 11, highlights the guitarist Dave Cureton talent including a grand and long solo full of feeling. The sax accompanies with class.
‘Body and Soul’ and riff alternates sweet symphonic overkill and terribly catchy. The chorus again reminds somewhat like The Gathering of its successor, ‘Colours’.
‘Follow’ is a powerful rock song with a severe male, that of Dave Cureton, giving a small side doom as such.
‘Dreams’ offers a jazzy rhythm and swaying with male voice (Adam Gough), and this a very feminine and sax.
After an introduction mainly composed of arpeggios, ‘New World’ fence very symphonic album so with vocal parts but mostly minority and vocalizations. The guitar keyboards dialogues are superb.
I do not know the previous works of IO Earth but this third installment is a sacred success. Despite the different styles and ingredients sometimes integrated into one piece, the impression of consistency is always present. New world offers solid compositions perfectly interpreted with many instruments and multiple sounds and subtle arrangements. The production is superb. It would be a shame to miss such a beautiful opus of.
Jean-Christophe Le Brun: 4,5 out of 5
By Jean-Christophe Le Brun