By Zachary Nathanson
It’s been a good while since I’ve heard some excellent music from the sounds of IO Earth. After hearing their first two albums (their sole self-titled debut and Moments), which I’ve championed back in 2011 and 2012, I always thought to myself, “what am I to expect next for them?” This year, they are back in the action with new members that include Linda Odinsen on Lead Vocals, Jez King on Violin and Mandolin, and Christian Jerromes on Drums and Percussion.
Their third album entitled, New World released this year, is the soundtrack inside your mind. It’s a cross between symphonic metal, jazz, and epic film scores that will rock your earphones to see where the band takes the listener into higher levels in which they have never seen before. It gives IO Earth a chance to create and move forward in the future, and they nailed it perfectly.
Dave Cureton’s guitar is still in action through the heavier and melodic atmospheres that punches through an eruptive volcano ready to burst at any second. Which is evidential on the track, Colours before the dystopian atmospheric future comes into hand followed by the thumping bass lines from Christian Nokes as if he’s challenging the sounds of Tool’s Justin Chancellor. Not to mention the four highlights throughout the album that will make you take note of IO Earth having a nice hot and spicy tabasco burrito to share with the audience.
Now before I get into the highlights, I really was blown away by the sound of the vocals of Linda Odinsen. Her vocal arrangements are beautiful and shines like a bright diamond. And each time she sings, it’s almost as if she is right behind you and nailing it not just because it is mesmerizing, but it is done in an enthralling tone. The epic yet dramatic tones are in the style of early Within Temptation of Journey to Discovery.
The sound carries the touch of the New-Wave Pop sounds of the ‘80s followed by the Hard Rock atmosphere done by the rhythms of Dave Cureton and the thumping percussions from Christian Jerromes. Not to mention the orchestral touches to go with the flow. And Linda’s voice reminded me of Sharon Den Adel at times and she nails it each time the rhythm section follows her and seeing where she wants to go into the different road sections.
The electronic waltz-ballad featuring acoustic and electric guitar, ascends in beautifully on Fade to Grey. There is the string quartet and background and lead vocalizations followed by a sax solo from Luke Shingler. It has a Floyd-sque sound that resembles the essence of the Wish You Were Here-era and Cureton brings in front of his guitar playing to the heavens whenever he goes up and up towards the gates.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is the breathtaking improvisation of The Rising. It just sends chills down my spine that the band go through an emotional rhythm as Cureton and Shingler come into picture as both of them create some wonderful momentum. It’s sad, touching, and hits your heart in a way of the spiritual touch that carries the orchestral fire.
The New World Suite is as I’ve mentioned the soundtrack inside your head. You can imagine this being used in a fantasy/science-fiction animated superheroine movie that imagine it during the opening and ending credits and IO Earth carrying the epic scores to a “T.” Strings, militant drum beats, sax, vocals, its everything there! From symphonic, jazz, and haunting melodies, the orchestral rhythm is right inside their hearts and minds when it comes to the beats and measures.
I really enjoyed IO Earth’s New World. This isn’t just a Progressive/Symphonic Metal album, this is another magnum opus that the group have brought this year’s 2015 to the table. So another hats off to them for a job well done to see and hear where the band will go into the next side of the door to see which roads will take them. As Marvel’s Stan “The Man” Lee would say, “Excelsior!”
By Zachary Nathanson