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Ion: Immaculada

Out of the doom metal chasm comes an album of exquisite beauty. Fans of doom metal will be familiar with Duncan Patterson as a mainstay of the excellent band Anathema. Ion is Patterson's latest project and features a myriad of guest musicians playing an array of acoustic instruments such as Uilleann pipes, flute, violin, cello, Portuguese guitar and Indian instruments like the djembe, cajon and darbuka. Patterson adds mandolins, guitar, bass, piano. keyboards and percussion.

Patterson has left his doom metal roots far behind as Immaculada, Ion's second release, has much more in common with his band Antimatter upon which the seeds for Ion were sown. The music is both spacious and dense, intense yet beautiful. It really is amazing how different this music is compared to Anathema's earlier releases. The music on Immaculada was inspired by Patterson's travels throughout Ireland and Greece. The album consists of a number of ballads combining Irish folk melodies and Mediteranean flavours with Gaelic and Celtic styles scratching at the surface. Although a very mellow listen, there is an intensity here that is readily apparent. The music is richly layered and the playing is very well executed. It is clear Patterson put his heart into this recording.

The lovely title track sets the tone for the rest of the album as crystal clear acoustic guitar and droning background sounds clear the way for deep resonating sounds and the angelic voices of Veronica Neumann and Gina Rios. The whispered spoken word vocals are absolutely haunting. It is all very atmospheric and moody with an underlying dark tone. The album's second track "Temptation" is a more upbeat affair with Egyptian sounding background vocals and an overall exotic feel. The repetitive guitar line is very cool and the densely layered sound of strings and Indian instruments gives the song a strong ethnic feel. The pretty ballad "Adoration" is a nice slice of Irish folk music where Ana Figueiredo's flute playing really stands out as does Patterson's spacious strumming on acoustic guitar. The acoustic rhythms and pulsating bass invoke images of Pink Floyd. Rain sound effects and pings of sound begin "Cetatea Cisnadioara". Again Floyd comes to mind reminding me of some of the eerie sounds in "Echoes". Enchanting female vocals soon take hold running through the entire song in a similar vein to Floyd's "Great Gig In the Sky". "The Silent Stars" is a heartfelt ballad where somber piano and Uilleann pipes create some memorable moments of pure melodic bliss.

Immaculada is a fine album of gently sweeping melodies and hypnotic playing so if you are fan of Patterson's other projects and have an open mind you need to give this one the attention it deserves. Just remember to check the heaviness at the door.

Track Listing:
1. Immaculada
2. Temptation
3. Adoration
4. Damhsa Na Gceithre Ghaoth
5. Invidia
6. Cetatea Cisnadioara
7. The Silent Stars
8. Return To Spirit

Added: August 14th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2960
Language: english

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