Immaculada - Review
This is the project of Duncan Patterson, a lone travelling musician known for his former work with the metal group Anathema
and later Antimatter
and who surrounds himself with abundant talent as portrayed on this disc.
The name of this group comes from the Gaelic word for "pure" and is a good description for the sound from this project. This is the second album under this name and includes eight spellbinding tracks featuring more than a dozen guest vocalists and musicians.
The music was created while Patterson was travelling between Ireland and Greece and manages to capture the various folk styles form these areas. We have a mix of celtic and mediterranean folk sounds across these eight stellar tracks. The title track kicks it off slowly moving along forming a crescendo with subtle guitar, added flute, percussion and other various instruments. This mysterious, haunting piece with it's whispers and somber moods gives way to an up-beat celebration of sound in "Temptation". The mandolins and guitars carry this piece along with the beautiful vocals giving life to the lyrics and musical composition. At this point we come to one of the most beautiful, dreamy pieces of this disc and I dare say in the genre. "Adoration" is absolutely captivating and lovely with it's flute caressing the heartstrings while the soft guitars and percussion move things along with a mesmerizing rhythm. All of this gives way to the beautiful and pure female vocals that hold the listener entranced. This piece becomes the climax and highlight of the album with it's charm and simple beauty, but there's still plenty of great music as we move along.
"Damhsa Na Gceithre Ghaoth" is the next haunting piece which starts slow, but quickly builds with the tribal rhythms mixed with various flutes and guitars for a nice instrumental interlude marking the halfway point on the album. "Invidia" is presented as another beautiful piece that shifts back and forth between up-beat percussiona and guitars and a slow, beautiful mysterious ballad with female vocals luring the listener into this dark, mysterious labyrinth of haunting tribal rhythms. "Cetatea Cisnadioara" is another haunting piece from this album with it's soft spoken word and haunting siren-like vocals and ambient soundscapes. This leads us to "The Silent Tears" which is more of a soft, ethereal ballad with piano and flute in place of guitars and upbeat rhythms. Each of these pieces are excellent in and of themselves and together form a stellar album, winding down with another mysterious piece "Return To Spirit". This dark, somber piece breaks the overall ethereal mood down, but wraps up the album well, so apart from being a bit short, the album comes together nicely.
Overall this is a great work with some nice variety, but keeping it interesting for fans of celtic and related folk sounds with a mix of ethereal and darker ambient moods.
Label: Equilibrium Music