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Iona - Iona CD (album) cover

IONA

Iona

 

Prog Folk

2.79 | 26 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

JLocke
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Warning: This is VERY celtic in style, so if you dislike flutes, bagpipes, mellow tunes and choir, you should steer clear of this gem.

Otherwise, I think anyone with a truly open ear will find this to be an amazing adventure of sound! Truly magnificent. I would have to say that the sax is potentially the most annoying or the most beautiful instrument in any given song. It all depends on how it is presented. Sadly for me, I found myself gritting my teeth every time a sax or otherwise loud horn was featured on this album, and there are many instances. However, what is additionally included are some truly emotionally uplifting melodies, with beautiful vocal performance and top-notch musicianship. The only setback is the obnoxious wind instrument that belongs more in a slow pop song than a celtic rock album, but hey, who am I to make that final call? Listen and decide for yourself if the additional instruments are out of place.

So, clearly celtic in influence, why exactly is Iona considered 'Prog Folk'? Well, while the irish vibe is definately there, there is enough originality to this that makes it I think stand alone and rise above the other similar-sounding celt-rockers. There are also a couple of straightforward pop songs that should uplift anyone's day, nomatter how bleak it may seem.

I use the term 'uplifting' alot, no? Well, indeed, this album is not dark at all, nor is it moody, epic or even obscure lyrically. But as I have said before, more easily-swallowed music is just as good as some of the more prolific greats such as Yes or Tool. It is just a different breed of the same style of music. IONA, as the album is titled, is Iona's debut album, apparently, and while I have not heard any other releases from them yet (I plan to order more very soon, however), I can see where this type of mixing electric music with celtic folk stylings can easily become repetetive and uninspiring, so hopefuly the Iona clan branched out into other realms of music in their later releases, otherwise I may have to tag this as a one-hit wonder, which Prog is no stranger to. I hope that isn't the case, though, as I hear and see the potential in Iona to become a great Prog Folk band that will be revered for generations to come. Now, if only more people knew about them . . .

Oh yeah, and happy (if not unique) listening.

JLocke | 3/5 |

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