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IO Earth

Crossover Prog

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IO Earth Moments album cover
3.94 | 243 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Moments (8:35)
2. Live Your Life [Part 1] (4:48)
3. Live Your Life [Part 2] (8:20)
4. Drifting (8:34)
5. Cinta Indah (5:01)
6. Brothers (5:08)
7. Come Find Love (4:40)
8. Finest Hour (5:56)
9. Turn Away (11:06)

Total Time: 62:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Claire Malin / vocals
- Dave Cureton / lead & acoustic guitars, keyboards, programming, vocals
- Adam Gough / keyboards, acoustic guitar, Theremin, programming, vocals
- Luke Shingler / flute, soprano sax
- Christian Nokes / bass
- Richard Cureton / drums, percussion

- Wendy Vissers-Hagenbeek / spoken word
- Jayna Maye-Noa Vissers (age 9) / spoken word
- Steve Trigg / trumpet
- Nicko Cureton (age 6) / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Wendy Vissers-Hagenbeek (photo on the interior of Aston Hall, Birmingham)

CD IOEarth Music ‎- IOEARTHMOMENTS1 (2012, UK)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IO EARTH Moments ratings distribution

(243 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

IO EARTH Moments reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Review by lazland
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.

Review by Progulator
4 stars There's something deeply spiritual sounding about this album in the way that it melds prog with world music and even film score elements; the composition and layers or sound reach deep and pull out something that is distinctly modern yet maintains the reverence of the ancient. Somehow, what we end up with is crisp production and songwriting that focuses on beats you can groove to while incorporating gorgeous textures, floating female vocals, and a variety of influences which even incorporate styles like smooth jazz and metal (and I normally hate smooth jazz). At one point, we even see an appearance of what sounds like a variation on Elfman's Batman theme (I'm not complaining, it's got a great melody). The haunting narrations (which are not cheesy in the least bit) add a really nice touch to the ambiance and depth of the album. Overall, I don't feel like I'm listening to a particular kind of music when I listen to Moments. I'm just listening to lots of music; which is a good thing.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1181813) | Posted by Mind_Drive | Sunday, June 1, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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