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Iona - The Circling Hour CD (album) cover

THE CIRCLING HOUR

Iona

 

Prog Folk

3.73 | 49 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm so glad Chicapah already reviewed this album because I thought it must be just me who couldn't get into it. I mean sure it's a good album but it's different in some ways to what i'm used to hearing from this band. In fact it is my least favourite of all their studio albums. No I don't like change (haha). Chicapah explains how this one is different far better than I ever could.

"Empyrean Dream" opens with solo vocals from Joanne as the music washes in.The sound explodes before a minute then settles after 2 minutes.The tempo continues to shift.Vocal melodies come and go.Violin after 6 minutes. "Children Of Time" opens with drums and atmosphere as vocals and piano join in. A strong Celtic flavour here. A calm after 3 minutes then it picks up before a calm ends it. "Strength" opens with atmosphere as the vocals join in. It gets fuller with drums. I prefer the intro. "Wind Off The Lake" opens with atmosphere as flute comes in. It gets fuller then kicks in with uillean pipes as the drums pound.It settles 3 1/2 minutes in and vocals arrive a minute later. The pipes and drums are back. Excellent guitar 7 1/2 minutes in. Love the atmosphere 9 minutes in to the end.

"Factory Of Magnificent Souls" is catchy with vocals and strummed guitar. It's okay. "Sky Maps" kicks in before a minute. A strong Celtic flavour here and some brief atmosphere 2 1/2 minutes in. It then kicks back in with vocals.This is good.Violin and piano later. "No Fear In Love" begins with reserved vocals and atmosphere. Drums and a fuller sound take over quickly. "Wind, Water & Fire-Wind" features atmosphere and violin. It blends into "Wind, Water & Fire-Water" which has vocal melodies added to it. Drums start to slowly build.It blends into "Wind, Water & Fire-Fire". Drums to the fore and some chunky bass. It settles 3 minutes in with atmophere. Pipes and drums come in and I like the guitar after 5 1/2 minutes. "Fragment Of A Fiery Sun" opens with flute as violin and soft vocals join in. Mellow stuff.Piano before 2 1/2 minutes to end it.

This is still close to 4 stars for me. I enjoy it, it's just hard not to compare it to the previous album "Open Sky" or their earlier ones. The cover art and packaging are all A+.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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