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IOEarth biography
IOEARTH are a project from Birmingham/UK headed by Dave Cureton and Adam Gough who each master guitars, keys, bass and vocals. They have been good friends since they met in school at the age of 12. Their writing partnership strengthened and by the time they were 15, composing and performing their own music started at small local venues with a band made up of their friends and relatives.

They both enjoy music of all kinds. As for the inspirations Frank Zappa is just one of the earliest. You'll also find examples of contemporary rock, commercial pop, classical, jazz and everything in between and they have always enjoyed juxtaposing these supposedly completely different styles in their own compositions.

Much of their early work was guitar based rock in the same vein as the likes of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. While this element remains in their songs to this day, they have very much moved away from emulating their influences and have created a unique sound of their own. Many band members came and went through the years, each bringing their own styles and influence to the work, but the one constant has been Dave's brother Richard Cureton (drums).

It was in 2004 that Dave Cureton and Adam Gough decided to start working on their first studio album. Some time later they took their ideas to the recording studio where they met Miguel Seco, a very talented musical engineer and producer from Portugal. Finally it took nearly two years to work out their same-titled debut album, holding 20 songs with the help of several competent friends, featuring vocalist Steve Balsamo for example.

Released in 2009 the whole production is a melting pot of different styles and offers a cinematic vibe, like a soundtrack for lovers, full of relaxing, charming melodies - however contrasting with heavy rocking impressions here and there - provided to tell a complete story in (prog) music divided into three movements. IOEARTH are recommended to fans of sophisticated rock music.

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CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$19.99
$10.23 (used)
New WorldNew World
CD Baby 2015
Audio CD$59.20
$59.20 (used)
Live in the UsaLive in the Usa
Imports 2013
Audio CD$69.56
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$18.97
$15.75 (used)
Ioearth by Ioearth (2009-08-03)Ioearth by Ioearth (2009-08-03)
CD Baby
Audio CD$81.10
Moments by Ioearth (2013-08-03)Moments by Ioearth (2013-08-03)
Audio CD$118.84
Live in the Usa by ImportsLive in the Usa by Imports
Audio CD$119.22
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IOEARTH discography

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IOEARTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.88 | 104 ratings
3.94 | 200 ratings
3.93 | 164 ratings
New World

IOEARTH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 12 ratings
Live in the USA

IOEARTH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

IOEARTH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

IOEARTH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 New World by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 164 ratings

New World
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars This is an album that grates as much as it impresses. IOEarth seem like the heirs apparent to bands that heavy prog bands that seem to have peaked about a decade ago--like MAGENTA, IONA, EPICA, WITHIN TEMPTATION, and NIGHTWISH (though all four of the afore-mentioned bands continue to produce high quality albums). What grates me is the frequent use of sudden Jeckyll and Hyde transformations. Sultry, hypnotic melodic passages suddenly become loud, abrasive, over-the-top head-banging sections and then just as quickly fall back to beautiful passages full of interesting nuance and subtlety. The opening song is the perfect illustration of this: wonderful singing by Linda Odinsen and sensitive, delicate sax/reed play by Luke Shingler are offset by power metal shredding and Norse chanting. The Jeckyllish Magenta/Iona comparisons are not far out of line but, then, neither are the Hyde Epica/Within Temptation/Nightwish ones. For me, this is frustrating. I really don't enjoy the pendulous swings back and forth between tender and in-your-face.. Are the compositions good? Are the performances top caliber? Yes, by all means they are. I cannot fault any of the musicians--they are a great band. The compositional style is just not my cup of tea. As with all IOEarth albums I own so far (the first and third--I rated the second "Moments" from its progstreaming appearance), I rarely connect with an entire song. I am more prone to like parts and passages or individual performances in each. Such is still the case with New World.

"Trance" (5:10) (8/10), "New World Suite" (7:16) (8/10), "Body and Soul" (7:04) (8/10), "Morning" (8:38) (8/10), and "New World" (8:59) (8/10) are all strong four star songs. "Fade to Grey" (9:06) (9/10) and "Dreams" are a step above--though, like the song "Smoky Wood" on their debut release, the seductive song, "Dreams" (5:49) (9/10), doesn't even feel like it's the same band.

Another "problem" I have with IOEarth releases is that they are so long! Another two-disc release makes for a long and arduous task to actually hear and get to know all of the music (which is only fair when reviewing an album, right?) I think my brain and butt are conditioned to 45-50 minute listening tolerances.

Four stars for another wildly enigmatic album from IOEarth. Check it out so you can decide for yourself.

 New World by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 164 ratings

New World
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

5 stars 93/100 Bumble bees, dragonflies, and dark drum thunder. Welsh witch ghost blends in with greenery of the scenery, weighed down by a heavy pecan harvest and a nude descending a staircase canopy, floating down a river past sun spangled Elysian Fields , and I'm not talking about a tiny sleepy east Texas town, although we know that honeysuckled hamlet has contributed it's share of amazing human beings and farm animals to Earth's awesome story, no I speak of sacred Shangri-La bewitching elysian fields.

Complaints? I O Earth doesn't let me up for air. She drowns me. Cloaked and robed, shaved priests cram velvet marmalade into my mummy hole, along with myrrh, hooded snake, hippopotamus ,thyme and sublime odd time signatures. Speckled and bejeweled, I O Earth's- New World is a Maryjane Kay Pink in the cheeks thing. Oooohhh! She spanks like the Dicken's. That interlude in Oliver twists up inside her diamond tiara, mascara, pearl drops and devil dew dripping on her moon shine liquor. Oooo Cleo, wet in the star shine. Yeti, ye...yet,

like ancient Egypt I O Earth's New World suffers from the Moses Syndrome. Similar to the Red Sea fiasco, IO Earth should have split the album. But no! After listening to Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, and an unusually bossy burning bush, Moses hikes up the mountain and comes down a month later, bearing a prog masterpiece, , only to find his people in a drunken orgy dancing in 4/4 time around a golden calf, purchased on Ebay. Any prophet would be pissed, so he threw down the prog masterpiece and it broke in half, and became New World. Next time Moses brought down the Ten Commandments. And oh boy! That brought us all down. Sequels suck!

I O Earth should have recorded a double CD. Too much bliss for a masochist to listen to a once. I had to adapt. 100 minutes of uninterrupted serenity was too much for mortal man to bare New World made me face my fear of pleasure and embrace, a new century prog renaissance masterpiece. At first I couldn't comprehend it. It was as if, I yearned and pined for an exotic teapot. So, I hurriedly drove a hour north up interstate-35 to "Topeka Teapot" -Biggest Teapot Warehouse in the World! Bigger than Topeka Kansas! Jade teapots, porcelain teapots, cubistic tea, ivory tea...My Umpa Lumpa Utopia! Too many choices. I was overwhelmed by the New World. A triple album soaked in surreal aural moonshine! Yet, part of me wanted to pretend I didn't hear it. It would be so much easier to sift thru panned-out rivers for fools gold. I couldn't deny it. The New World is- a shiny masterpiece, golden molten, forged in Super nova fire. If there was a prog sub genre called... World Prog. I O Earth would wear the crown!

5 Crowns Royals for New World

PS. My sweet grandmother taught me...If you can't say anything nice... Don't even open your mouth! So, I mainly review 5 star masterpieces. I rate plenty of *, **, ***. and **** star albums. I rate 'em but I don't review them. Beauty inspires me! Insipid and mediocre... not so much. I don't review albums with over 987 ratings. Enough said, besides Prog Archives warns me to think twice before giving "masterpiece status" to any album. Collaborators are wise musicophiles. I deeply respect the collaborator opinions, as I wait like an eight year old for Christmas, for the Collaborator's annual best of list. Yet, I can't help believe that recent Italian prog renaissance and whatever kind of prog you want to call I O Earth, IQ, Steven Wilson, Barock Project, Leprous, Riverside, 3rDegree, and Anekdoten...Whatever you want to call it...We are NOT in a drought anymore! These are the good old days. Golden days for progressive rock. 2015 marks the cross hairs of a prog rock bulls-eye! So forgive me if I give I-owe-earth five golden stars.

 New World by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.93 | 164 ratings

New World
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars IO Earth has released two celebrated studio albums that made some serious waves within the prog community, supplying a modern curve to the well-travelled neo-prog rock genre by infusing some quite brilliant vocals, such as those by Steve Balsamo, who also participated on the Rob Reed (Magenta) Kompendium project. Strange coincidence (not) because IO Earth sounds like a proggier version of Magenta in more ways than one. Both the debut album and the amazing follow-up "Moments" really took us all by storm, etching in their name into the 'next bright light' prog pioneer category. After a few illness related changes, the lovely and highly talented Linda Odinsen takes over the microphone and does so very convincingly. Back are leaders Dave Curaton (Guitars, keys and vox) and Adam Gough (Keys, guitars and vox), as well as bassist Christian Nokes. New drummer Christian Jerromes adds even more punch than before while Luke Shingler adds stellar sax and flute work and Jez King supplies violin and added guitar to the line-up. They pack quite a wallop, indeed! The mammoth 2 CD "New World" offers up a lavish cover with vivid artwork, sterling production and a tremendous amount of musical flair and bravado. The mood here is decidedly more bombastic, perhaps even heavier than ever before, but maintaining all those IO Earth elements that made the other two albums such complete treasures. Namely, slick modern beats allied with shimmering old school Celtic touches, some delirious Gregorian chanting (I love that choral stuff!) and simply wicked playing by this seasoned and tight crew, the guitar solos are particularly vivacious and the arrangements constantly on the "qui vive", like some alert sentry safeguarding a super-secret site. The music is all over the map, with some heavy rock moments, traditional touches as well as chorale spookiness. But the aural dynamics of serene to thunderous are clearly defined and wholly unexpected.

To kick off a gargantuan opus with a romantic ditty like "Move As One" only serves to showcase their grasp of melody and beauty, cello ablaze and passionate voice up front and center. And follow that with a steamroller progressive rocker such as the zesty "Redemption", a bruising bass torpedo heading out to slam and slam hard, in unison with sweeping string synths, sizzling lead guitar and tectonic drumming, hell, this is my kind of vibrant and nicely bitchy prog!

"Journey to Discovery" has very little disco, as it's another heavy symphonic onslaught of molten riffs that wink at Ayreon and Rocket Scientists but in a way more exciting envelope. Linda sings or rather howls with determined frenzy ("yayaya"), the sense of speed and travel quite obvious and delightful. The swirling romanticism of a suave track like "Trance" is particularly addictive, a typical IO Earth track full of both originality and toughness. These musicians are connoisseurs of the extremes that are well within their expertise, displaying Gregorian choirs ( a perennial trademark) to add to the insanity, choppy modern drum patterns and a definite hypnotic quality that sustains their need to progress beyond the clichéd styles that abound within the more vocal anointed prog genres.

On a lovely piece like "Morning", the mood lightens up a fair bit, evoking folkier slants that perhaps wink at other female-fronted bands such as Magenta, Mostly Autumn and such.Linda Odinsen shows off her pipes, fragrant Crimsonian flutes as a chaperone, then a simply executed electric guitar solo that is all blues and hues before a more exuberant finale that just explodes, out of nowhere. Then immediately fall back on the noxious and volcanic "Collision", a twisting and turning guided heat seeking missile that is in the clouds, invisible one moment (ruminating violin) and suddenly bearing down on your ass the next. Gothic monstrosity like some sonic King Tiger tank gone berserk, crushing, pummeling and relentless, this is perfect modern prog that every fan of any denomination would simply bow to. Both Jerromes and Frank Zappa alumnus Ed Mann add tons of dynamic percussion to the epic conflagration.

"Fade to Grey" is not a remake of the Midge Ure penned Visage track of the 80s but a long excursion into the dark side, though the acoustic guitar intro might throw the listener for a temporary loop, insistent piano and lush voice not far behind. Fascinating stuff, moody and redolent atmosphere cut to ribbons by walls of bombastic symphonics that first startle and then enthrall. Wow! When the sax does its foray into the fray, you just can't help drooling. The slick fret board solo sears the speakers into a fulminating mass of plastic, before a return to the pastoral groove. The colossal and repetitive "fading to grey, paving the way" chorus seals the deal, with Linda sounding like Heart's Ann Wilson (that is one hell of a compliment BTW). The first CD ends with the tenebrous "New World Suite", a clearly symphonic piece that flirts with dense classicism and choral expression, an all-instrumental arrangement with a sweet synth solo finale.

CD2 wastes little time in making you fumble the giant sized popcorn bag, buttering the carpet as the screeching bravado busts through the stereo speakers. "Insomnia" is a nasty piece of work, commencing with sweeping dissonance and a sense of uncontrollable angst, only to detonate mercilessly when Linda clutches the microphone and invites the massed choir to intonate the title. This is a heavyweight sucker, full of surprises with thick and edgy moments, interspersed with a bizarre sax segment that has a definite Barbara Thompson?like feel , only to morph into a shocking double bass drum, heavy metal flurry, complete with a zingy guitar solo that will knock your socks (and your pyjamas) right off . The cinematic outro is a sensational finale.

IO Earth like to weave in some Indian influences on occasion as well (see "Cinta Indah" track on Moments) combining tabla percussion with more modern synthesizer runs as well as a whirling dervish guitar solo from Dave Curaton. So "Red Smoke" has those attributes and so much more, as the theme gets heavier towards the end. Smoking!

The images of 9-11 are reproduced on the instrumental masterpiece "The Rising", understanding clearly the visual impact that incident has had on the entire planet, young and old , all connected to the media on that cloudless sunny day. The insistently sad guitar carves quite a long path, aided by a sweltering saxophone foray, both drenched in historical gloom but resolutely passionate. This is utterly gorgeous, to the point of heartache, Linda wailing a long "hooooooo"!

"Body and Soul" sets out as a melancholic piano and violin duet, until Linda intones a grieving lament, that suddenly explodes into this heavy ballad that sounds like Magenta on steroids, and then back to the sweet pastoral for a moment before another turn into the tempest, a brooding hurricane of sweeping mellotron strings, ballistic bass and demonic drumming, gritty guitars and Linda howling like a werewolf.

Ya want depth charges galore? Ya like boom-boom heavy rock? Two hard ones then for ya! "Colours" is bloody stodgy, concrete and just plain nasty. Sharp rapier-like riffs and binary drum artillery give the band a windswept platform to push the limits far beyond, the mood more like Threshold than anything else. This is continued on the rabid "Follow" with male vocals (Dave Curaton) suggesting a doom-laden crescendo of darkness that is closer to the early Stranglers but armed with a killer guitar solo that sizzles, drizzles and fizzles.

"Dreams" again features a hushed and somnolent male vocal, a stylistic detour that implies a much wider palette than one might think. The brassy trumpet does the lilting mood great justice, I thought it was a long lost the Beloved track, done in a quasi-prog style. Very cool track and utterly ballsy. The 'chaka-chaka' drums are a blast. Okay, this was one hell of a long catalog, with all kinds of styles and challenges, how do they finish up this recording? With the title track, silly you! And just like CD1, the intent is to rekindle the symphonic /cinematographic comfort zone, with a few unexpected twists. This time, Linda carries the tune with some operatic vocals, escorted by thunderous riffs, lightning fast rhythms, blitzing solos and mammoth melodies that serve as a kind of trailer or recap of what this album is all about. Celestial !

This is what progressive rock means to me, a vehicle for deeply melodious adventures, tremendous instrumental interplay and innovative symphonic arrangements that stretch the norms of rock music and finally, a delirious afterglow that yearns for one to return. Melancholic, taciturn, majestic, elegant and overpowering, the music is beyond the pale!

Another masterpiece in the prog pantheon. We all Owe Earth from now on!

5 fresh dominions

 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 200 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There's something deeply spiritual sounding about this album in the way that it melds prog with world music and even film score elements; the composition and layers or sound reach deep and pull out something that is distinctly modern yet maintains the reverence of the ancient. Somehow, what we end up with is crisp production and songwriting that focuses on beats you can groove to while incorporating gorgeous textures, floating female vocals, and a variety of influences which even incorporate styles like smooth jazz and metal (and I normally hate smooth jazz). At one point, we even see an appearance of what sounds like a variation on Elfman's Batman theme (I'm not complaining, it's got a great melody). The haunting narrations (which are not cheesy in the least bit) add a really nice touch to the ambiance and depth of the album. Overall, I don't feel like I'm listening to a particular kind of music when I listen to Moments. I'm just listening to lots of music; which is a good thing.
 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.88 | 104 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars This band (of two people with helpers) leaves me rather puzzled. In a rare admission, I have to state that I just can not fathom their motives. This work is unlikely to have been intended for commercial success and in that sense it fits the Prog category - if only just.

Miriads of different influences are compressed into a melancholic, self-indulgent output that (thankfully) doesn't turn into a full on depression - but rarely far from it. Music like this I normally run from as fast as I can, yet with repeated listening it may grow on me marginally over time, time I"d rather assign to tried and tested, truly pleasing works. ("Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis was extremely challenging, but was worth the effort. This piece is not in that league.)

Often it feels like I am listening to Enigma minus the Gothic/Gregorian elements, or Simple Minds minus the beat, or elements of Dead Can Dance - on the side of some cinema music.

Some credible guitar parts emerge randomly, but in-between this piece remains boring, highlighting that one-two man efforts often fall short of the collective input of of four or more in a group.

I would not recommend it to those with limited time to spare.

 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 200 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars When I discovered IOEarth, I did not expect anything like THAT!

The moments on "Moments" are so rich and incredible versatile - in fact this album seems to exist exclusively of awesome and memorable moments.

The title track moments, first song of the disc is a monumental start and gives us an idea of what will expect us. The dramatic guitarriff, like an instrumental chorus, delivers maximum epicness - while in the gentle parts of the song great piano work, some decent acoustic guitar, electronic percussion-sounds and lovely vocals comfort us with ambiental peace. Just before the mighty guitar strikes back in and recalls their epic quest for authenticity and presence in the moment.

Live your life part 1 charmes with very emotional singing guided by beautiful piano and guitarwork until it develops some thrilling transition to the next song:

Live your life part 2 starts in the straigt forward vein of a progressive rock piece with driving atmosphere, building up excitement until it flows back into the soothing theme of the opener. A wonderful and dramatic guitarsolo (actually one of the best I heard in a long time!) tops this song, which again manages to close quite exceptional and a little disturbing.

Drifting Is a song standing out alone for it´s uniqueness but also and even more for it´s perfect composition and blissful beauty! I never heard such a deep and sacral, yet familiarly heartwarming atmosphere, opening the vastness of space to flow into and beyond. In the middle some ghostly howls introduce a saxsolo surrounded by violins and underlined by astounding simple and effective pianochords that lead back into the maintheme... just perfect! really one of the best songs i heard in a long while!

The next song Cinta Indah again is such a bomb! A voluminous interlude lead by yearning vocals is broken up by middle-eastern singing stricken by brutal drums exploding into the most powerful moment of the album. Some spanish guitar gives you time to breathe and prepare for epicness by every trick in the book!

In Brothers the theme of drifting (both the song and the feeling) is adopted again and creates some special atmosphere like wandering a lost desert city in solitude expecting some unknown but desireable event.

Come find love then surprises with a totally new approach: sacral chorals alternate with a groovy bassline and some taste of funky guitar. At times repeatedly spoken words create an interesting atmosphere, that - I have to say - I don´t really enjoy. In fact this is the only song of the album I could skip. The Finest hour proceeds to radiate this unique overall ambiental feeling of this album this time with spacy keyboardwork and beautiful male vocals for the chorus. some electronic sounds and perfectly fitting drums make this one another memorable moment until it goes even more epic with a wall of strong electric guitar, intriguing polyvocals singing canon to the spacy highlights of spacecrossover keysounddrops.

The closing song Turn away begins a little darker and slower, developing into lighter, almost awe-inspiring moods. Solemnly and beautifully epic this masterpiece finally comes to an end, leaving behind dropped jaws, hearts of wonder and probably the urge to press play again... what a journey!

After about 20+ times listening to this album in the last month it still enchants me and grows even more on me..

Back from the sacred expedition into our inner- and outer universe, with the crew consisting of crazy cowboys and experimental monks worshipping the infinite epicness of creation, i can easily give this ensemble 4.7 / 5 stars for this unique and awesome ride. :)

 Live in the USA by IOEARTH album cover Live, 2013
4.10 | 12 ratings

Live in the USA
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I really need to get my butt over to RoSfest. I mean, I live in OH, which isn't ridiculously far from Gettysburg, PA. In fact, I think it's 8 hours or so. Anyways, this festival is starting to get some seriously good line-ups every year, and this live album from IOEarth proves that.

Usually, I judge a live album by whether or not the experience comes off as better than the band's albums. I know that being at the concert is a different story all together, but a live album can be exciting, too. IOEarth is known for their dynamic live shows, and I think this transfers to the album quite well. I love the song selection here: Some of their best songs are present, such as "The Creation", "Harmonix", "Moments", etc. I also love how they performed them differently than the studio album. "The Creation", for example, has whale noises as mimicked by a guitar---genius. Other times, the guitar solos might be different or altered subtlety. Although I love the song selection, I do wish that they could have chosen one or two more vocally driven songs. They have plenty to choose from: I would have loved to hear "Come to Me" or "Mountains Start to Fall". I think I know why they did not explore these options, though.

One of the downers for this live album is the fact that female singer, Claire, was starting to have issues with her voice. She had some sort of throat condition, and has since stepped down as the vocalist for IOEarth. This is tragic because she has an immense voice, and it is this quality that is missing from Live in the USA. She misses high notes, sounds very masculine at times, and sounds like she is in pain. Don't get me wrong: She still sounds great and did an amazing job. However, she didn't quite have the power available to create the truly stunning moments that IOEarth usually presents. I was left thinking, "If only she'd hit that note, my legs would have turned to jelly". Or whatever.

The vocals aren't my only complaint: I feel that guitarist Dave Cureton tries to rush things a bit. His studio recordings are crisp, clear, and purposeful. In this live album, his guitar work is often muddled, not by the recording quality (which is excellent), but by his own messy attention to detail. He completely misses some foundational notes in some of his solos. I can't help but wonder if he was stuck between wanting to improvise and trying to remain true to the original recording. The result is a muddy sound at times.

I can't emphasize enough, though, that this album is still excellent. My issues with the album are only present at certain times, but I do feel that they reduce the overall quality. With that said, any IOEarth fan NEEDS to hear this, and hopefully I can experience this group live someday.

 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.88 | 104 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Birmingham-based UK outfit, initially started as a studio project by multi-instrumentalists Dave Cureton and Adam Cough.They met each other at school and became friends, worked on several projects over the years, but their goal was always to produce something different with their own identity.Thus, IOEarth came in life in 2007 and the Cureton/Cough duo started working on their ideas, eventually coming up with a self-released self-titled debut in 2009, having the help of Richard Cureton on drums, Christian Nokes on bass and several vocalists.

The high ambitions of the British duo are made clear already from the first few pieces as well as from the length of this double-CD album clocking at almost a hundred minutes.And the truth is they did some fantastic job on this debut.Superb arrangements with plenty of orchestral moods as well as Ethnic tendencies, reminding a bit of HOSTSONATEN's more diverse works, and having a style ranging from Piano Rock to Heavy Symphonic Rock.All tracks are perfectly tightened, resulting to a work of both dreamy and passionate soundscapes, alternating between a wide spectrum of different atmospheres.There are plenty of synth/piano-based orchestrations with a few sax and horns here and there, creating a Lounge but always artistic and intricate climate of a folky approach.Others are close to the atmospheric and lyrical Prog of MOSTLY AUTUMN or KARNATAKA, featuring excellent female voices and melodic themes with some intricate changes and even some lovely acoustic passages.But their sound reaches its peak with the heavy and grandiose sound of the duo's guitars under symphonic and almost cinematic keyboards.Excellent riffs, tremendous solos and an overall beautiful orchestral atmosphere with a few great melodies added for good measure.

A debut to remember.I really do not know if this music is deeply personal, but the overall blending of these different moods works pretty well.Not to mention the extremely well-crafted arrangements as individual pieces.Great stuff and highly recommended.

 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 200 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

5 stars IOEarth's self titled debut was a massive highlight of 2009, a sprawling epic of a work which gave the project founded by Dave Cureton & Adam Gough an excellent start to what I hope will be a long and fruitful recording career. Now, three years later, we have the "difficult" second album, one I have been looking forward to as a highlight of the year.

Has it delivered? Yes, in spades. This is the sound of an outfit (and it is very much an outfit, rather than a duo with guests) at the absolute top of their game. I would also state that in Claire Malin, who is utilised to more effect on this album than the debut, they have found a singer whose voice is to absolutely to die for. Just listen to her stunning performance on Live Your Life Part 1 for evidence. A simply incredible performance backed by the most delicate piano and guitar you can imagine in a record.

It is clear to me that the plaudits rained upon IOEarth by the prog community worldwide are fully deserved, and it is equally clear that regular touring and taking their time to push out this second LP have paid dividends.

Whereas the first album was a huge concept, the band have, on this work, managed that difficult feat of putting together a set of themes, without true "concept", that run together to create a work that demands and deserves to be heard as a whole. If you are looking for influences, then I would cite Led Zeppelin, Steve Vai (very much present in much of the guitar lead work), more than a touch of Mostly Autumn (fans of that great band will find much to admire here, from all parts of their career), and a very healthy dose of Middle Eastern music (the title track, especially, has a strong flavour of this), together with the same symphonic wall that made the first album such a treat.

Not only this, they have created a work which is instantly and lastingly accessible. The Live Your Life segment is in two parts, and moves from the aforementioned pastoral opening piece, to an expansive and, at turns, symphonic & classic rock piece. This is quite possibly the finest thirteen minutes of diverse and full sounding rock you will listen to all year.

On Drifting, we have Gregorian chants introducing us to the main segment (I did say there were many influences!) which is deeply moving with a very catchy beat, and features an incredible trumpet solo all combining to create an almost ethereal feel to proceedings. Cinta Indah initially carries forward this mood, before becoming quite the most powerful symphonic rock piece, full of swirling keybaords, ethnic voices, and riffing guitars and rhythm section telling us the story of a beautiful, and lost, love. Quite incredible, and I can think of no better person that Malin to tell us the story.

Brothers is a wonderful mean and moody instrumental piece (the only one on the album), and is equally powerful with a heady mix of symphonic effects, flute, and saxophone (which swirls and screams to powerful effect), together with a massive performance by drummer Richard Cureton. This is followed by Come Find Love, which sees the return of our Monkish friends, accompanied by a repetitive one line vocal drenched in a trancy beat that puts me of mind instantly of more than a couple of happy nights spent in dance tent's after imbibing a bit too much. It will not be to everyone's tastes, for sure, but fans of high quality trance music will love this.

The final two tracks, Finest Hour and Turn Away (the latter being the only "true" epic on the album, clocking in at over eleven minutes long) feature the voice of (arguably) Great Britain's finest leader, Winston Churchill. What is beyond all doubt is that it is easily the said man's finest hour on a rock album since appearing on Supertramp's Even In The Quietest Moments. Turn Away contains more of the Orbital & Ozzric trance influences used to such good effect on Come Find Love, before developing into a more traditional classic rock and expansive track, pulsating and never less than thoroughly engaging. Turn Away is a fine way to close, a track with complex layers and decidedly dark, almost funereal, in tone. You need a few listens to enjoy the contrast between the male monologue and Claire Malin's more familiar tones, but it is worth taking the time to do so, for the vocals are backed by some incredible instrumentation, piano, string effects, synths, and others creating a wall of sound that we knew they could effect so well on the debut.

This is a superb album, and I have thought carefully about its rating. It is dark in places, certainly thoughtful, intelligent (the final tracks evocative interpretation of a Britain battered by war and led by Churchill is especially well done), very well performed and produced, and the whole is never anything less than hugely accessible and a joy from start to finish.

Given that I rated the eponymous debut a four star album, and I regard this as being far better, certainly in terms of its easier length and the massive progression the band have demonstrated, I can only rate this as a five star masterpiece. This album takes many listens, and is a work in which the discerning prog fan will find something new on each listen, I suspect, for many years to come. I most certainly will be listening to it for many years.

My final thought is this. If this incredible sound and musical journey is what this band have come up with after only two albums, just what are they capable of producing in future releases with more experience? I can only drool in anticipation.

Buy it. Utterly essential rock music for today's progressive rock fan.

 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.94 | 200 ratings

IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Moments' - IOEarth (8/10)

IOEarth is a band that has been receiving quite a bit of attention in the progressive rock community as of late. Although I had heard of them as early as 2009 when they came out with the official debut, I am catching onto this band's music on this, their second time through. With that in mind, I cannot say if whether it is a major stylistic development from their first record, but IOEarth are no strangers to ambition on 'Moments'.

Spanning an hour, the band plays a style that I might label as 'ambient rock', with fairly spacious compositions, rarely drawing out the big amplifiers, but throwing the listener enough dramatic climaxes to keep the music engaging. My first impression of 'Moments' was how laid-back it was, and not in the typical sense that conjures imagery of bands noodling on their instruments in a drug-induced glaze. IOEarth take a very mature approach to this more mellowed out sound, and while the compositions themselves may not be eventful, there is always a welcoming depth to the arrangements. The writing favours use of repetition to get its point across, but it's through the layering of different instruments and lush orchestration where IOEarth makes their mark.

Throughout 'Moments', I get the impression that the music of IOEarth may be best suited for the cinematic world. It may be a little much on the side of ambient for some proggers to enjoy on its own, but with the way some of these pieces soar, I could easily associate it with a hypothetical film sequence of equal artistic merit. To get across this 'ambient' direction, IOEarth use sounds from a number of different cultures, both Western and non-Western. Coupled with the use of both male and female voices, I don't think it's absurd that I am often reminded of the Australian world music act Dead Can Dance when hearing the band. The vocals here do not deliver melodic hooks that are overtly 'catchy' (as one may derive from the 'ambient' tag), but I found scarce a minute here where the voices did not compliment the instrumental arrangement, whether it was a symphonic approach, or Middle-Eastern jig. Spicing up a few passages is some lead guitar playing that sounds reminiscent of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani; an 'instrumental rock guitar' approach that admittedly sounds a little out- of-place when compared with the rest of the product. Regardless, 'Moments' delivers plenty of powerful ideas, and while I may not cry 'masterpiece' as some do for IOEarth's latest output, there is a great deal of power and potential to this group that is well worth a listener's exploration.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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