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IO Earth - Aura CD (album) cover

AURA

IO Earth

 

Crossover Prog

3.84 | 117 ratings

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alainPP
5 stars IO EARTH is a British neo prog band discovered by chance in my ears in 2012. There are acoustics, hovering, often soft arrangements that explode in a musical crescendo, there is also a very beautiful voice. feminine in this case Rosanna since "Solitude". IO EARTH sounds very symphonic and can afford to roam heavy lands over time. On their last opus there is a question of a significant change of their compositions with always energetic solos, breaks with classical instruments, contemporary music therefore, more pop songs but therefore less expectation of Dave's devastating solo. Basically a melting pot of prog rock that might surprise you. A bit of symphonic and hypnotic rock too.

"Aura" begins this album with a very planing and symphonic composition in the tradition of a good PINK FLOYD while the vocals remind me a little of a little watered down ALAN PARSONS, it's cool, soporific in the sense that the title flows very slowly with a calm rhythm; Rosanna's voice comes just in chorus to accompany those of the singing musicians. 'Waterfall' follows with an emphatic, majestic title, a sweetness that changes radically with the rather melodic IO EARTH sound; Rosanna's voice is sublime and leaves for the magnificent lands of MOSTLY AUTUMN; the title gives a grandiose idea of ​​what the original prog movement can do; a slight rise, a piano setting the tone; the end finally rises with a solo masterfully played by Dave, an excellent track where the tune is repeated from the piano to the full orchestra. 'Breathe' with a remarkable entry on the trumpet for a slightly spaghetti-like tune, before an ambient start-up with piano and violin for a piece that could claim to be spleen, I would say rather introspective; here the ethereal voices in French seem to sink you into a musical spell, a bit of ENIGMA at this point, before the final burst and deafening percussions. "Resonance I" then arrives with a first musical interlude, a soaring, airy title, a little on the sounds of Eric SERRA until the vocal appearance all in murmur and delicacy; It changes devilishly from previous albums, a little kitsch anyway too.

"Circles" attacks the second part of the album with the continuity of atmosphere at the title level; spleen tune, borderline female soprano voice, spoken male voice and an introspection with occasional sound effects ' la THE GATHERING at the guitar level; soaring and delicate, swirling and relaxing. "Shadows" continues the frame with an intro piano track quickly seconded by the violin, a piece exploring borderline religious sounds, minimalist progression with a deep melody to cry, intimacy, spleen, meditation. The instrumentation becomes solemn here and the repetition of notes follows a slow soothing crescendo despite the sound rise. "Resonance II" arrives as the second interlude and repeats of the same musical framework, giving the impression of drowning us in this maze of notes; a bewitching mantra sound then in the finale 'The Rain' for the river title of 18 minutes! After a little intro the sound goes to ALAN PARSONS somewhere, in a pop version, then Rosanna's voice gives a little oriental air, a little "Ederlezi" voice and we go, a little further; it is the minimal metronomic drums that bring the enchanting flute; then the Gilmourian guitar arrives until the change of atmosphere even more soaring, bewitching halfway; the second part is more disparate with a succession of musical sequences, vocals and association of the two until a drunken end, you will understand.

IO EARTH finally released their 5th album despite the covid-19 crisis; they were innovative in a new way of recording! They wanted a serene, ambient album, they have it; the voices are sparse between the male ones and the female one not present enough in my opinion because the beautiful Rosanna has refined her vocal cords admirably, the length of the pieces is here a plus for the unfolding of the specific atmosphere. Slow prog as described by the two main acolytes Dave and Adam, much more introspective and intimate music that changes from the original sound of IO EARTH, a surprising musical delight.

alainPP | 5/5 |

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