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IO Earth - Aura CD (album) cover


IO Earth


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 117 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars More laid back, atmospheric Neo Prog from these now-veteran Brit proggers--their fourth album since their self-titled 2009 debut.

1. "Aura" (7:52) very laid back and slow to develop--like a classic PINK FLOYD or UNITOPIA song. It even had a David Gilmour-like guitar solo in near the end. (13.25/15)

2. "Waterfall" (11:24) spacious drums, piano, bass, synth washes, and female choir vocals open this slow-paced song. It's like ENIGMA-treated PURE REASON REVOLUTION. At 2:45 everything falls away while piano continues as sole accompanist to Rosanna Lefevre's lovely vocal. (She sounds a lot like FREQUENCY DRIFT's wonderful 2011 vocalist, Antje Auer.) At 3:30 the full band jumps back in, giving Rosanna a little break, but then she returns to sing her next verse. Rosanna's vocalise in the seventh and eighth minutes is pure delight as she slips in and out of operatic mode. Though flute and violin are purportedly in the mix throughout, I cannot really pick them up in the mix (until the very end). A very nice, solid prog epic. (17.75/20)

3. "Breathe" (8:36) more pretty soundscapes with gentle, etheric vocals (and samples of radio interview) but, once again, the song's development is so slow and incremental that the tendency is for the listener (me) to get bored long before the somewhat-interesting subtleties and idosyncracies arrive. (17/20)

4. "Resonance I (3:05) (8.5/10) 5. "Circles" (6:15) straight out of Giancarlo Erra's NOSOUND playbook, this spacious, atmospheric song starts with spacey atmosphere and almost-spoken male vocals before the band kicks in and Rosanna begins wafting her lilting vocalise around in the mix. An eerie Gothic pregnant spaciousness takes over in the middle before the band kicks back in and Rosanna's vocalise continues winding around while male and female vocalists sing some kind of subdued, chanted lyric together. Effective. (8.75/10)

6. "Shadows" (6:18) piano If the band's video has anything to say about this song, it's about a now-homeless war veteran (Baltic wars of the 1990s? or the Middle East conflicts?) and the memories that haunt him: friends lost in battle, lost daughter (or children as collateral damage), lost homeland. Dave Cureton gives quite an impassioned vocal in the second half. (9/10)

7. "Resonance II (2:23) (4.5/5) 8. "The Rain" (18:02) another song that is only separated from the UNITOPIA catalogue by the talented vocals of Rosanna Lefevre (who is used here as the second/relief vocalist)--and by the distinction that not even Unitopian songs develop this slowly, this simplistically. Don't get me wrong: there are definitely some nice sylistic choices here--and more dynamic shifts than on any of the previous songs--it's just . . . nice background music. The various spoken people samples in the thirteenth and fourteenth minutes try to give it a hopeful perspective but, in the end, it just feels pessimistic. (30/35)

Total Time 63:56

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of atmospheric neo-progressive rock.

BrufordFreak | 3/5 |


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