Ion – Immaculada

Honestly, I had not heard about Duncan Patterson’s Ion before; he was known and recognized by his Anathema and Antimatter works, but I ignored the fact that he had another project, very different and probably the most personal of them all. Ion’s second album (the one I am reviewing) is entitled “Immaculada” and comprises a selection of eight fabulous tracks, created by Patterson, and performed by several talented musicians that he invited. The album’s total time is about 51 minutes.

The first song is “Immaculada”, which starts with Spanishspoken word that seconds later leads to a calm and hypnotizing guitar. An atmospheric sound is being created little by little, I love the synth work, the accurate violin sound and the female voices that suddenly appears. One can feel relaxed, while the seconds pass, your mind and soul feel truly calm and peaceful.

Linked to the first track, all of a sudden “Temptation” begins, and holy god what a beautiful song this is. A mandolin leads here, its sound is repetitive but addictive at the same time, the true beauty of this tracks is how the other elements/instruments are joining until all together they create a unique atmosphere, which shares lots of images and textures, that one should receive. I really feel caught by the music’s webs, and I cannot escape until the song finishes.

“Adoration” is a very friendly tune. I like that soft acoustic guitar sound that accompanies the flute and percussion a lot. This is a much calmer song that may be considered as a ballad. The female voice is quite beautiful and perfectly complements that charming sound. In this album it is common to note some folk and Celtic influences, let’s remember that Patterson is of Irish nationality. In the last minute we can also listen to a cute bagpipe sound.

“Damhsa Na Gceithre Ghaoth” has a darker atmosphere in the first moments. Nice and repetitive percussion opens the gates to the strings and the flute seconds later. The sound reminds me a bit of some Mike Oldfield’s passages. There is a stop after three minutes, and then the music begins to be re-built in a soft but constant way; the bass notes work as background while the flute leads, then the other elements appear.

“Invidia” is the shortest track, which does not mean it is weaker, not at all. Here we can appreciate once more that folkish sound, a great use of percussion and his sweet acoustic guitar playing. After the introductory minute, female vocals appear and make the music even more beautiful than it already was. The last minute is particularly good, when the music volume and components increase and create a wonderful atmosphere that shares different feelings.

“Cetatea Cisnadioara” takes me to a film passage, I imagine a person staring at the rain, and thinking about life and everything, until he/she decides to act. The sequence changes when the rain sound stops, and a new passage begins with a soft, disarming and even desolated mood. Seconds before the third minute a touching female voice appears and all together makes a haunting ambient. It is important to point out that this is a ten-minute track, so you will find several colors and nuances here, and in general great relaxing instrumental moments.

“The Silent Stars” is another beautiful and touching melody, probably the softest of them all, the one that can be considered as a pure ballad. Piano, female voice and flute create a wonderful sound, but be careful, because if you are not that tolerant, you may be bored or want to skip the track. There is an interlude when spoken voice appears, and later the song’s original structure restarts. After five minutes the song becomes better and better, with the addition of strings and some other instruments, though it is repetitive, it is rich on sounds.

“Return to the Spirit” reminds me of Enigma and Recoil, a weird combination. The drums and vocal sound produce a sexy feeling. The six minutes are pretty similar, what you should do is pay attention to the different noises that are being added while the seconds pass – better to use good headphones if you want to truly appreciate them. It is a cool track, however not my favorite, and not the one I would have used to close the album.

What a great and positive surprise! From the first time I listened to it, I felt caught by the sound, and motivated to write this review. Now I am eagerly waiting to the next Ion album because this left me with a great taste. I would recommend it to anyone who likes ethereal, atmospheric and folkish music. Don’t expect anything related to Anathema, this is quite different. My final grade will be 9 out of 10.


  1. Immaculada
  2. Temptation
  3. Adoration
  4. Damhsa Na Gceithre Ghaoth
  5. Invidia
  6. Cetatea Cisnadioara
  7. The Silent Stars
  8. Return To Spirit


  • Duncan Patterson: mandolins, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, percussion
  • Vic Anselmo: vocals on Adoration
  • Oana Alexandra Coman-Sipeanu: spoken word on Cetatea Cisnadioara
  • Gokce Coskun: violin
  • Aoife Cuthbert: vocals on Cetatea Cisnadioara, Adoration
  • Lisa Cuthbert: vocals on Temptation, Adoration, Invidia, Cetatea Cisnadioara, The Silent Stars
  • Ana Figueiredo: flute
  • Colin Fromont: Placenti – djembe, cajón, darbuka
  • Mark Kelson: vocals on Damhsa na Gceithre Ghaoth, 12 string guitar
  • Mila Maia: spoken word on Return To Spirit
  • Steve Mullen: Uilleann pipes
  • Veronica Neumann: spoken word on Immaculada
  • Gina Rios: spoken word and vocals on Immaculada
  • Nuno Roberto: Portuguese guitar, classical guitar
  • Viola Roccagli: spoken word and vocals on The Silent Stars
  • Laura Santos: vocals on Return To Spirit
  • Filipa Vale: violin, cello

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