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Donockley, Troy: Messages-A Collection of Music 1998-2011

Although UK-based multi-instrumentalist and Uilleann pipes virtuoso Troy Donockley has toured with Nightwish, Mostly Autumn and Status Quo, fans of those bands may not necessarily warm to the man's solo material. But open-minded listeners are encouraged to start with Messages, a compilation of material from Donockley's three solo albums: The Unseen Stream, The Pursuit of Illusion and The Madness of Crowds.

Half of the 10 songs here are instrumentals with plenty of New Age references. (Is "New Age" still even a relevant term?) The rest run the gamut from choral arrangements in "Fragment" to the lovely and cinematic female-sung "Now, Voyager," featuring an odd spoken-word middle section. The best track, "Orkahaugr," also is the longest one, and it comes from 2009's The Madness of Crowds. Featuring a more traditional song structure with a world-music flavor and extended electric guitar and Uilleann pipes solos, the song boasts a running time of 11 minutes, allowing it to go off in unexpected directions.

Messages could have used some liner notes, and it probably has a limited audience. But it's also the perfect introduction to the solo works of a man whom many listeners have no doubt heard before whether they knew it or not.

Track Listing:
1) Sights
2) For Him Who Will Never Return
3) Now, Voyager
4) Fragment
5) Orkahaugr
6) Finlandia
7) Dunmail Rising
8) Pursuit of Illusion
9) Tunnels
10) The Procession

Added: October 22nd 2014
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Troy Donockley Website
Hits: 2027
Language: english

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Donockley, Troy: Messages-A Collection of Music 1998-2011
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-10-22 15:10:32
My Score:

Troy Donockley is an English musician and composer who has worked with a variety of artists including Ayreon, Nightwish, Mostly Autumn, Midge Ure and many more. He was also a member of the Celtic prog band Iona from 1995 to 2009 as well as having four solo albums to his credit; The Unseen Stream (1998), The Pursuit of Illusion (2003), Madness of Crowds (2009) and his latest Messages (2012).

For those unfamiliar with Donockley's music, he is a master of the Celtic sound and is a fabulous player of the Uilleann pipes, whistles and a variety other instruments. A true multi-instrumentalist in every sense of the word.

Messages is a compilation album taking tracks from each of his solo discs as well as adding a couple new ones. The music here is peaceful and ethereal, with an aura of melancholy, and although the album contains many New Age elements, the soundscapes are so lush and inviting one cannot help being reeled in. Each tune flows so beautifully one tends to get lost in the music. Whether it's the Uilleann pipe intro in the soothing "For Him who will Never Return", one of the album's new tunes, the wistfully melodic "Sights", a perfect song for autumnal listening, or the ambitious "Orkahaugr", the album's most progressive and uplifting song with outstanding acoustic guitar and pipe work, Messages would be a fine introduction for those who haven't delved into Donockley's music. An excellent rating of 4 stars it is.

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