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IOEARTH

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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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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MomentsMoments
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$10.87
$5.95 (used)
IoearthIoearth
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$17.96
$40.55 (used)
Live in the UsaLive in the Usa
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$11.91
$8.66 (used)
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IOEARTH discography


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

3.80 | 91 ratings
IOEarth
2009
3.90 | 169 ratings
Moments
2012

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

3.96 | 8 ratings
Live in the USA
2013

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)

IOEARTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 91 ratings

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IOEarth
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.

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 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 169 ratings

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Moments
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 itīs uniqueness but also and even more for itīs 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 donīt 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. :)

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 Live in the USA by IOEARTH album cover Live, 2013
3.96 | 8 ratings

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Live in the USA
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

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.

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 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 91 ratings

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IOEarth
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 169 ratings

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Moments
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.

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 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 169 ratings

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Moments
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.

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 Moments by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 169 ratings

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Moments
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars IOEarth's debut was arguably one of the biggest surprises in recent progressive music, totally blowing away this seasoned reviewer, along with most of my PA colleagues, with an unexpectedly charming 2 CD set, too much material being an atypical circumstance that rarely succeeds. It did and in spades. The review I sent in to PA is still foaming from the trembling sense of adulation I worded in passionate terms and I could scarcely believe the recent good news that this will not be a one-shot wonder situation (a tendency to sadden me immensely when the quality is there to behold). The core is still there with Dave Cureton and Adam Gough running the show and I daresay that "Moments" simply seeks to consolidate this special band's place in the prog firmament by taking their craft one step deeper into the future.

The suave title track has scents of Andalucia (superb acoustic guitar passage) that possesses a sonic collision of Arab and Iberian, coated with some colossal symphonic colorations that add massive depth to the music, giving it an almost cinematographic feel. On can draw parallels to Polish gem Lebowski's Cinematic. The IO Earth kitchen is expertly able to add spice and flavor where needed such as the clever use of modern electronica, just a pinch to keep things exciting.

The 2 part "Live Your Life" has full time vocalist Claire Malin , much-maligned in being cast to take over the sizzling microphone crew on the debut (the male but female sounding Steve Balsamo). The first part is spine tingling piano and voice, in a minimalist rendering of emotion and reserve. Part 2 is the exact opposite, grandiose and bombastic, A wild and untamed guitar rampage leads this one forward, providing clues that Satriani and Vai are not too far away from the Dave Curaton muse. The typical prog alternation between soft and hard, acoustic and electric is what makes this ticker tock. The sweeping symphonic chorus shows Claire's mighty lungs to be an effective instrument on its own. There is a strong vibe that hints at Breathing Space (much lamentably gone from the scene), Mostly Autumn (please restoke your inspiration soon, Mr.Josh!) and Karnataka (how about staying together for a while. Eh?). "Please come back to me", she whispers!

"Drifting" has a Gregorian chant intro a la Enigma, a heady beat with an occasional "haaa" to keep things in flux, a tremendously moody piece, contrasting the medieval with the futuristic, a rarely successful venture that is aced here! This is a stellar track with a surreal trumpet solo that defies the senses, deeply melancholic and emotive. As our Mellotron Storm likes to phrase it, "This is my kind of music". Claire's vocal delivery is emphatic, rooted in goose bumps and dizzying heights of expression. "Cinta Indah" continues in the same esoteric vein, a desperate lament of love with distinct Indonesian tinge, caressed by a monsoon-like torrent of whirling symphonics and intimate lyrics about a lost love.

"Brothers" maintains the same feel, an all-instrumental platform that infuses intense soprano saxophone, as well as sultry flute both courtesy of Luke Shingler (no relative of Oskar Schindler!) , whilst blockaded by some solid drumming from brother Richard Curaton. Another evocative slice of powerful music.

Insanely attracted to modern sounds as well and to continually stretch the prog boundaries, "Come Find Love" has a powerful electronic hook ("I will make you feel alright") that is closer to current non-prog acts Massive Attack, Groove Armada or Bomb the Bass that showcases their modernistic vision. The same can be said for the historically poignant recall of Britain's valiant defense of its homeland against the Nazi beast in "Finest Hour", sampling in segments of Winston's famous war time speech. Very cinematic like the Lebowski lads mentioned earlier. This is prog's finest hour, a mind-blowing sense of combining the glorious past with a hopeful future.

True to their debut album, IO Earth enjoys creating profound ballads or love songs if you will, like the fabulous "Come With Me" and "Take Me" from their opening opus, so they opted to write the delicious " Turn Away", a spine tingling 10 minute + opus about courage under fire , complete with colossal waves of mellotron , ringing piano and sad drums. Male vocals could have used Steve Balsamo's powerful delivery but the track required a broken voice to go with the broken heart but Claire does come to the rescue with some huge wailing that will freeze your mind into abject pleasure. Talk about crescendo! When Dave rushes in with his sublime guitar, the sheer power of the arrangement comes to the fore, nimble fingers racing along the fretboard, pulling, teasing, hurtling and growling like a man in love pain. Churchill finishes off the deal with the end of his famous speech. Bravo, is all I have to say!

Well a new prog kid is now on the block and their 2 records are scintillating and monuments to progressive rock eternity. Definitely a futuristic prog icon, so c'mon everybody, get down and get with it.

5 Augenblicks

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 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 91 ratings

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IOEarth
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am extremely surprised that this exceptional debut album from British Crossover band, IOEarth, has, thus far, only garnered four reviews on the site. Because, aside from the fact that this is a wondrously accomplished work, the band have also been making some fairly large waves in the world of prog, not just with this album, but also developing into a popular and fine live act, a fact acknowledged by magazines such as Classic Rock Presents Prog.

From the moment I first heard the delicious Introduction, with delicate keyboards, symphonic and orchestral keyboards, with the charm of ethereal female vocals, I knew that I was in for a treat.

This is a very long album, running in at over 94 minutes on two CDs of material, so it is not the type of album that can be taken in immediately, or treated as a casual listen. It's length also prompts me to forego my usual individual track review to provide more of an overview.

I think the first thing to state is just how lush the whole work sounds. It has been lovingly recorded and especially cleanly produced by Miguel Seco from Portugal. The musicianship and vocals are of the highest quality throughout, and, crucially for such an opus, you never tire of listening to it from start to finish.

The band quite properly fit within Crossover in my opinion, but I would also state that there are so many influences as to really define this album as being an eclectic smorgasbord of tones, colours, and soundscapes. You have symphonic, neo, most clearly prog folk on tracks such as Mountains Start To Fall which will be loved by all Mostly Autumn fans, post rock, jazz, pop, tracks that owe a huge nod to Mike Oldfield, and, at times, stuff that is impossible to classify, such as the utterly unique Eeee, featuring a male soprano and a rocking groove that imports so many sounds I would not know where to begin. Importantly, though, all of this is underlaid with a clear ear for commercial sensibilities. What could have been a frightening mess in less capable hands is presented to us as something that lasts long in the memory and appeals to rock fans of all types.

Of that, I can think of no better example than the highlight of the album to me, Come With Me, and its shorter Reprise. Trancy, dancy, and gorgeously modern in its progressive sensibilities, it is an incredible creation. The guitar solo is simply heaven, and we even have a sort of gospel choir thrown in for good measure.

In IoEarth, founding members Dave Cureton & Adam Gough have formed a memorable band (and it is a band, not a duo) and created quite simply one of the most stunning debut works I have had the pleasure to listen to.

The album is available to listen to on Spotify, and I would then have no hesitation in recommending that listeners move on to purchase it from Amazon. I got it as part of a two albums for '10 deal, an outrageous bargain. I cannot wait for the follow up, which I think when released will be one of the albums of the year.

I have thought pretty long and hard about the correct rating for this. I am very sparing in my "masterpiece" ratings, and I honestly believe that too many somewhat dilute the importance we should ascribe to such a rating. I'll say this much, though. This album only just falls short of it, so I will content myself saying that it deserves 4.5 stars if we had such a rating, and that it is an excellent addition to any prog rock collection and an album that really does deserve far more of our attention.

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 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 91 ratings

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IOEarth
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

3 stars IOEarth comes thundering through the gates with their 2009 debut album - which is a double album, nonetheless! I typically prefer my albums to come in the 30-50 minute variety, so at nearly 100 minutes this one can be a bit of a challenge to swallow all in one sitting. But when you do - what a journey! The music here is quite varied, and while some songs make the tag "Crossover Prog" appropriate, this album really is made for fans of melodic concept albums and those who just love variety in their music. In fact, despite this being a concept album, very little of the music features vocals, and the story is summarised in three paragraphs - so as a listener, you get to piece together your own interpretation of how the music and the story work together on your own.

The track names on this album aren't the most impressive - there are no Siberian Khatru's on here to wow any who happen to stumble upon your lastfm while you are listening to this, the band has opted to go with names such as "Intro", "Interlude #1", and "Intro Reprise" for most of this album. This is because, despite the varying styles and sounds on this album, it is ultimately designed to be listened to straight through, and it definitely sounds great this way - despite the length, it does not bore.

The biggest mainstream connection I can find for this album to mainstream music is in the tracks "Come With Me", "Take Me", and "Come With Me (Reprise)", each of which are love songs. Yet, to my ears, they are pretty darn good and don't feel at all out of place on this album. If all radio love songs sounded this good I'd probably listen to the radio more often. At times, I find myself singing the chorus to Come With Me.

But, despite how enjoyable those tracks are, my favorite moments are the more experimental/varied instrumental tracks, highlights including the eclectic "Loops", which ranges through many different moods and sounds, and later track "Harmonix" (proof that the band is a fan of Guitar Hero? Maybe not...) builds upon it's theme in a very pleasing manner.

I have to give the band props for making an album that was not constrained by the limitations of their medium, while at the same time not attempting to fill their medium to the fullest. At only 95 minutes, this is a fairly easy listen for a modern double album, and demonstrates that the band was just releasing an album that fit their ambition. The music doesn't really bore at any point; when a theme is used for a longer length of time, it is developed and worked upon so as to remain fresh. Despite this, there are moments where one feels that the band will perhaps get somewhat more tight with future releases, that although the tracks never bore with a little more tightness they could have hit just a bit harder.

Overall, though, this album has enough energy, variety, and melody to be of interest to many, and stays fresh over multiple listens due simply to the sheer vastness and variety of music located within.

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 IOEarth by IOEARTH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.80 | 91 ratings

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IOEarth
IOEarth Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars This is a phenomenal surprise that sort of caught me totally unaware, so I thank my reading of the positive reviews that impelled me to go hunting for this gem! IOearth is definitely a pot- pourri of all that prog has to offer , from sweeping orchestral symphonics with lush female vocals , electronica-fueled guitar rampages featuring constantly shifting glimmers of satin to moody pieces that all seem to fit together in harmony. Our own Brufordfreak explained quite concisely all the influences banqueted here and he is precise in his comments. A whole spectrum of recognizable winks permeate the tracks , inviting a one-shot listen covering 2 CDs, as this is a massive opus full of intriguing snippets of modern prog. Guitars are stinging, keyboards lush and exotic, super cool contemporary beats and some sublime, mostly female vocals. On "Light and Shade" things get even raunchy and lewd at the onset and veer suddenly into dense soporifics (hence the title!), where the electric guitar waltzes nicely amid the piano trappings. Tinges of opera on the exalted "Home" will invite comparisons to the recent female fronted UK revival (Magenta, Karnataka, The Reasoning, Panic Room and Breathing Space) and justly shine brightly. Fine music this, all carefully composed by leaders Adam Gough and Dave Curaton. On CD 1 the first 3 tracks are brilliant as well as the majestic "Come with Me", the cute "Mountains start to Fall", the quirky "Loops" as well as haunting "The Creation". On the second disc, things get weird which is exactly what was needed, the trance-ient "Sun is Going Down" pulsing madly in Enigma like Gregorian hush. Very cool indeed! "Harmonix" is another whopper that is instantly attractive and inviting with Middle Eastern motifs swirling within the guitar sandstorm. A masterful cut that fully inspires! "Take Me" is another gorgeous love ballad that will appeal to the romantics as Steve Balsamo wreaks havoc on the mike, a truly first class expression of passion that will give you goose bumps. A tempestuous symphony ends this brilliant affair, most definitely the surprise of 2010 and an album I intend to enjoy for a long time. 5 galactic debts

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