Journey into the Morn

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The first time I heard Iona was at a concert. I was stunned. I'd never heard of them before, and it was quite a surprise. For one thing, I used to think there was no such thing as a Christian prog band. Now I know better. Iona's music could be described as a mix of rock, traditional celtic melodies and a beautiful voice. Don't expect a lot of guitars, this is on the softer side of progressive music -- more keyboard oriented. This journey the band is taking you on is calm, melodic and haunting. One of the most impressive things with Iona is multi-instrumentalist Dave Bainbridge, switching from the guitar to the keyboards to a mandolin, bagpipes or other more obscure traditional instruments. His talents are most obvious on tracks such as the long, epic "Encircling," or the breathtaking instrumental, "Heaven's Bright Sun." The melancholic "Everything Changes" is another favorite, with its strong poetic lyrics ("Move with the times / Or just die with the past / Why does it seem / That beauty doesn't last ?") and its moving harmonies. It should be noted that Robert Fripp, of King Crimson fame, makes an appearance on two tracks. Journey Into the Morn is a great album, but given the chance, one should definitely experience Iona live. It is an enthralling experience.

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