STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11786-10560 LABEL: Open Sky OPENVP1CD FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2004-11-10 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
As part of a programme of re-releases of Iona's back catalogue and some new solo material from Troy Donockley and Dave Bainbridge, their 1990 debut album receives a digital make over with some tracks re-mastered and others re-worked. Iona created an interest in Celtic spirituality and music in the early '90s and this is the album that kicked it off. Here, songs like "The Island", "Iona", "Here I Stand" and "Columcille" all became Iona faves whilst "Trilogy" is their first foray into the epic pieces that would become their trademark. The combination of Joanne Hogg's pure voice, Dave Fitzgerald's amazing playing and Bainbridge's ethereal keyboards and expressive guitar still make this one of the very best albums ever recorded by a Christian band in the UK. Oh yeah, and you can have fun identifying which new bits of playing have been added to spice up the songs!
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Iona's debut album is permeated with the enthusiasm of their discovery of the rich stream of their Celtic Christian heritage and also with the haunting, timeless atmosphere of the islands of Iona and Lindisfarne, to which their pilgrimage took them.