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IOEarth: Moments

Few albums have surpassed my expectations as completely as Moments, the sophomore LP IOEarth. With its varied instrumentation, wide array of influences and styles, impassioned songwriting, and overall warmth and intensity, the album managers to breathe new life into a genre plagued by copy cats and generic groundings. It's excels far beyond being just another prog metal album; in fact, it deserves to be one of the biggest sleeper hits of the year.

A sextet formed around the musical partnership of Dave Cureton and Adam Gough, IOEarth's eponymous debut received plenty of awards and accolades in 2010. Interestingly, while the debut was focused around movements for three elementsóWater, Earth, and Airóthe group purposely avoided focusing on the fourth element, Fire, for Moments. Instead, the album is conceptually unrelated to its predecessor, which may surprise fans. With influences that include Steve Vai, Led Zeppelin, and Massive Attack, as well as a sound that channels touches of 1970s Canterbury artists, Manooghi Hi, and The Gathering, Moments is nevertheless an exciting, complex, and affective work.

The title track opens the album, and it's a rollercoaster ride. There's a bit of a Middle Eastern vibe in the riffs and production (especially with the horns and strings), and in a way, it's somewhat reminiscent of Pain of Salvation's underappreciated masterwork, BE. There's also a slight touch of electronica; it's limited enough to make the track intriguing without making it irritating and stagnant. The two-part "Live Your Life" is a ballad with lots of beautiful musicianship and vocals (Claire Malin gives a performance worthy of her 1970s foremothers).

While all of Moments is fantastic (save for a bit of unnecessary guitar wanking at the very end), the two standout tracks are "Drifting" and "Brothers." The former soars thanks to its emotional piano melody (which changes octaves as the song progresses), textured arrangement, and melodic expertise; as for the latter, well, it's probably one of the best instrumentals I've ever heard. It recalls the piano melody of its counterpart for a foundation and then proceeds to build wonderfully with strings, horns, syncopation, and arpeggios. Its ominous, beautiful intensity and jazzy shell seem heavily influenced by Camel's Moonmadness and Rain Dances, and its final crescendo is utterly incredible.

Moments is a special album, and IOEarth should be commended for avoiding the pratfalls of many of its peers by incorporating relatively unique and adventurous timbres and instrumentation The album flows exceptionally well, too (thanks in part to a bit of conceptual continuity), and the band's passion and ambition shine through again and again. This is definitely a record you don't want to miss.

Track Listing
01 - Moments
02 - Live Your Life,Pt.1
03 - Live Your Life,Pt.2
04 - Drifting
05 - Cinta Indah
06 - Brothers
07 - Come Find Love

Added: May 6th 2012
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2995
Language: english

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