Íon - _Madre, Protégenos_
(Equilibirum Music, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (9 out of 10)
This is the debut release by Duncan Patterson, formerly of legendary doomsters Anathema and Antimatter. Although this is essentially his solo project, no less than thirteen others assist him.

The music on _Madre, Protégenos_ is most adequately described as ethereal folk, its otherworldly nature obtained largely through misleadingly simple minimalism. The music is (acoustic) guitar driven and backed by percussion, accompanied on occasion by harp, flute and viola. Íon can be compared to the dreamier acts on the Cold Meat roster, such as Medusa's Spell, albeit with much better vocals. Except for Patterson (his voice is easily the weakest on show here and is outclassed by even the most inferior of the guest vocalists), all guests have clearly had training of some kind, and the female vocalist ranges from the competent through to the sublime.

Íon's record label makes much of the international flavour of the album. Quite a few languages are sung, including English, Spanish and Irish Gaelic, while the guests are drawn from a number of countries including Greece, Mexico, Ireland and Australia. However, the music itself remains surprisingly consistent despite the multitude of guests. The minimalism belies the complexity of the songs, with more elements revealed upon each subsequent listen.

One song worth special mention is Íon's interpretation of the traditional Irish song "Goodbye Johnny Dear", which consists almost entirely of a lovely and emotive female voice accompanied by a barely discernible synth. An absolutely amazing album.

Contact: http://www.equilibirummusic.com

(article published 4/2/2007)

4/5/2007 Q Kalis Íon: Summers End
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