Friday, February 11, 2011
Iona - Open Sky (2000)
In an intriguing deviation from most Celtic rock music (which tends to be either lean towards the overtly sappy like Clannad or mehish punk a~la Dropkick Murphys), we have groups like Iona, who take their heritage and chalk it up with influences as diverse as jazz, ambient and progressive rock to create some damn powerful tuneage that stands out from the crowd.
Truth be told, this is just as much a spiritual experience as it is a musical one. Joanne Hogg, perhaps better known in some circles as a major contributor to some of the songs from popular RPG Xenogears, is the driving force behind Iona and sounds utterly without peer with her pipes throughout the songs on Open Sky. The other trick to the band's sound however, along with a fantastic guitarist and drummer, is the role of violin throughout these pieces. While the keyboards float along like morning mist, the violins sound stark and lonely, and without their presence this album wouldn't be nearly as engaging as it is.
Looking for something ambient and soothing to the ears yet works equally well as a top-class progressive rock album?
X marks the spot mothafuckas'.
Listen Here - "Light Reflected"