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IO Earth - IOEarth CD (album) cover


IO Earth


Crossover Prog

3.88 | 118 ratings

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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.

lazland | 4/5 |


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