Bainbridge, Dave - Veil Of Gossamer

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Open Sky
Catalog Number: OPENVP4CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:27:00

Iona co-founder Dave Bainbridge can look back upon a 15 year history with the band. In these 15 years, he has been able to put all his creativity and musical ideas into Iona. Now, he has been working on expanding his musical horizons and proudly releases his first solo album: Veil of Gossammer, an album dealing with the thin veil between this life and the next, the earthly and heavenly realms. No surprise this is in the line of the themes used in/by Iona.

For this album, he invited a host of guest musicians and singers to play their parts on the album, including several members of Iona, Karnataka and Bill Bruford's Earthworks. The result is a truly spiritual experience, as I am even more in awe of Bainbridges composing skills. The melodies and sound textures presented on the album, are almost like a movie. This album is not a collection of songs, no, it is based on one theme and should be listened to as a whole, as only then you can discover the intricate beauty it holds.

The music ranges from soft, almost new-age like to progressive rock, slightly similar to IQ. Just as in Iona, a multitude of instruments is used (you really have to check the booklet for details, as it too much to mention here), to create this amazing music. But also the vocals are often used as musical instruments, with wordless songs. But what amazed me the most, Bainbridge did not only use Gaelic, but also Spanish and even Urdu! It is beyond words to hear that, combined with the heavenly music. Soft piano passages, like in "The Everlasting Hills (Part 4)" are perfectly mixed with rock sounds, as in "Part 5" of the same song! More rock is heard in "The Homeward Race", an instrumental, with some chilling guitars in it. In this one, as well as the previously mentioned part 5, you can also hear what an excellent drummer Frank van Essen is!

There is so much to discover on Veil Of Gossamer, that you will need many spins to hear all the layers, all the intricate melodies and the way the many instruments are woven together, to one beautiful musical veil (I couldn't think of anything else?). The album knows two epic songs, "The Everlasting Hills", clocking over 19 minutes and the closing tarck "Star-Filled Skies", clocking almost 15 minutes and especially these songs demonstrate the composing skills of Bainbridge.

I feel really honored that I got the opportunity to listen to such a fantastic album and review it. Albusm of this quality are a rare thing and make life and music absolutely worthwhile. Besides the outstanding compositions and musicians, the production is flawless and the artwork fits the theme of the music as if the artist knew the story (which wasn't the case!). So, an absolutely amazing album, filled with nothing but beauty, beauty we all need in our lives, whether we admit it or not, so don't miss out on this album and get your copy today!

[This review originally appeared August 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Chanting Waves (2:17) / Over The Waters (7:29) / Veil Of Gossamer (4:56) / The Seen And The Unseen (2:17) / The Everlasting Hills (19:47): Part 1 (5:37) - Part 2 (2:34) - Part 3 (3:55) - Part 4 (2:54) - Part 5 (4:47) / Seahouses (3:06) / Until The Tide Turns (4:30) / The Homeward Race (5:26) / Star-Filled Skies (14:49): Part 1 (3:40) - Part 2 (2:40) - Part 3 (3:47) - Part 4 (4:42)

Dave Bainbridge - around 15 instruments ? including acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboards, bouzouki, mandolin, autoharp, small harp, balafon, and varied percussion instruments.
Joanne Hogg ? vocals
Rachel Jones ? vocals
Mae McKenna ? vocals
Chris Hale ? vocals
Troy Donockley - vocals, Uillean pipes, low and tin whistles
Frank van Essen ? drums
Tim Harries - bass guitars
Pete Fairclough - gongs, cymbals, chimes
Peter Whitfield - ensemble violins, viola
William Scofield - solo cello
Nick Beggs - bass guitars

Iona - Iona (1990)
Iona - The Book Of Kells (1992)
Iona - Beyond These Shores (1993)
Iona - Journey Into The Morn (1995)
Iona - Heaven''s Bright Sun (1997)
Iona - Woven Cord (1999)
Iona - Open Sky (2000)
Dave Bainbridge/David Fitzgerald - Eye Of The Eagle (2000)
Iona - The River Flows (4-CD box set) (2002)
Iona - Songs For Luca (2003)
Veil Of Gossamer (2004)

Genre: Various Genres

Origin UK

Added: November 27th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1719
Language: english


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