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Dave Bainbridge - Veil Of Gossamer CD (album) cover


Dave Bainbridge


Crossover Prog

4.17 | 62 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Dave Bainbridge is the multi-instrumentalist and co-founder of the band IONA. He is most well known for his lead guitar work which is on display here in all it's splendor, but it has to be pointed out that he plays 15 other instruments on this album.15 ! Many members and former members of IONA are here to help him out including the great Troy Donockley on tin and low whistles as well as uillean pipes. He adds some vocals as well. Certainly these contributions, as well as the style of this album makes it fit right in with the IONA catalogue. Any IONA fan will love this record is what i'm trying to say. I have to thank tszirmay for pushing me a little to review this album as he did with "Open Sky", i should always listen to our site's prog guru, he's never steered me wrong yet. What i really like about this album that's different from IONA are the female vocals and vocal melodies. Led by Mae McKenna singing in Gaelic along with IONA's Joanne Hogg and KARNATAKA's Rachel Jones. As one sings lead, often the other two are singing wordless melodies at the same time. It's like a heavenly choir. This truly is music for the spirit.

"Chanting Waves" opens with Mae McKenna singing slowly and clearly as cello and spacey sounds float along. Joanne sings a line in Spanish as well. "Over Waters" is one of my favourites. Mandolin to open before synths join in. Dave's guitar leads are priceless as drums pound away. Mandolin is back as vocal melodies arrive after 3 minutes. These three ladies sing like an angelic choir. The guitar 5 minutes in is incredibly good as gong sounds can be heard. Organ a minute later joins in. The title track gets it's name from a book that implies that the veil between the seen and unseen world is as thin as gossamer. This is very IONA-like, very emotional and meaningful. It takes my spirit to places beyond the veil, like a memory can transport you to a former place and time. The tin whistles, ethreal voices(Joanne), wind chimes, gongs, synths, harp and cymbals are like a gateway to another place in my mind. "The Seen And Unseen" opens with birds singing as dual acoustic guitar melodies play so beautifully. Birds end the song with more chirping. "The Everlasting Hills" is divided into 5 parts and is almost 20 minutes long. "Part 1" opens with cello before guitar takes over with lush synths in the background. It's like the guitar is crying out for joy over and over for five minutes, the female vocal melodies late are so emotional. Amazing. "Part 2" features Mae on vocals similar in style to her singing on "Chanting Waves". Spoken words and uillean pipes arrive as it becomes other-worldly, heartbreakingly not of this world. Mae is still singing softly as Joanne and Rachel speak the lyrics. "Part 3" opens with cello and acoustic guitar. Vocal melodies arrive before being replaced by a tasteful guitar solo. Nice. Vocals are back. We then get some outbursts of drums before "Part 4" comes in with piano melodies throughout. "Part 5" is an uptempo, energetic track with drums and guitar leading the way.

"Seahouses" like "he Seen And Unseen" features acoustic guitar melodies throughout. "Until The Tide Turns" is pure IONA with Joanne on lead vocals. This one is all about the meaningful lyrics. It is so uplifting after 2 minutes and later 3 1/2 minutes in when the song gets a fuller sound as uillean pipes cry out. "The Homeward Race" is an uptempo track with pounding drums and scorching guitar melodies. It ends with synths and bouzouki. A great driving tune. "Star Filled Skies" is divided into 4 parts and is almost 15 minutes long. "Part 1" opens with Mae on vocals as cello plays mournfully. Keys and acoustic guitar brighten the mood as Joanne and Rachel sing wordless melodies. Percussion and then vocals take over. "Part 2" is very celtic sounding with the tin whistles. That changes when the guitar takes over 1 1/2 minutes in with some aggressive play. "Part 3" opens with cello as synths come in. It calms right down before 2 minutes as low whistles are played solo. Cello is back 3 minutes in. "Part 4" has a fuller sound right away. Chris Hale sings in a language called Urdu very passionately before 3 minutes. A calm arrives before Mae takes over with synths and cello to end it.

There are some fantastic passages on this record, and to be honest there is so much to digest with all the different instruments in play. Not quite as good as "Open Sky" in my opinion, but still 4.5 stars makes it a must have.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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