Íon - Madre, Protégenos - 2006


Íon is named after the Gaelic word for 'pure'


Duncan Patterson's career traces back to the early 90's, when he began his musical incursions as a member of Anathema, a group that would pioneer and remain as forerunners of the unique Doom Metal genre throughout that decade.

Patterson would later also become involved with Antimatter, a project which would find him developing his long-standing talent for emotional and atmospheric song-writing into new formats, and which he quit in late 2004 as the early sketches of what would later grow into Íon were drafted.

Though fairly minimalist in its overall approach, the album's true wealth stems from its various layered soundscapes and the introspective ambiance that they recreate. These provide the lighter toned and dreamier elements of the album with an ominous and melancholic shade - much like a sense of hopeful longing for piece of mind haunted by memories and nostalgia.


Duncan Patterson • guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, autoharp, percussion, vocals; Emily A. Saaen • vocals; Valentina Buroni • vocals; Teresa Christodoulou • tambouras, vocals; Marcela Bovio • vocals; Mark Kelson • vocals; Gustavo Roberto Mateo • vocals; Emily Bly • flute, clarinet; Shane Wearen • mandolin, viola; Áine O'Neill • harp; Antonis Konstantelos • classical guitar; Vangelis Yalamas • percussion; Keith Horan • percussion; Michael Cronin • drums


Duncan Patterson's first solo album is released by Equilibrium Music that was raised with the intent of providing a breeding ground for Darkwave, Neo-Classical, Medieval, Dark Folk, Ambient music and related genres in Portugal. Examples of those Portuguese bands are Dwelling and Aenima. But over the last years Equilibrium Music is expanding and it has released wonderful albums of Italian acts like Ataraxia, Vittorio Vandelli, Autunna et sa Rose, Ashram and the Hungarian duo The Moon and the Nightspirit. All albums with a special atmosphere.

In that Íon's "Madre, Protégenos" is no exception. In overall it sounds minimalistic and has an introspective ambiance and is full of passion and nostalgia. Musicians from Italy, Greece, Ireland, Mexico and Australia gives the album also a kind of world music atmosphere. A meltingpot of influences that is difficult to describe. The album opens with "Madre, Protégenos" an atmospheric slow song with acoustic guitar and flute. The voices gives the piece a filmic character. This piece sets the tone for the whole album. "O Efeito do Verão" opens with beautiful female vocals and percussion. Then male vocals and slow penetrating keyboards sets a darker atmosphere. This gives a great contrast. The next piece "Learpholl" is also slow and has a more folky atmosphere. Again you will hear a beautiful female voice and there are some great vocal melodies in this track. The next track is called "Anathema Maranatha" and opens with a mysterious female voice. Several layers of keyboard strings gives the piece a melancholic shade. In "Believe" you hear several female voices which are accompanied by acoustic guitars and percussion. In the next track "Ultreia" the percussion and female voice gives an eastern or arabic atmosphere. On the other hand is "Goodbye Johnny Dear" a typical Irish song with delicate vocals. "Fé, Esperanza, Amor" has beautiful melodies with harp, keyboards and percussion. The short "Beyond the Morning" closes this wonderful album.


The overall atmosphere is melancholic with some dreamier elements. At the same time the album has some nice contrasts. The beautiful female voices has an important role on this delicate and wonderful album. With "Madre, Protégenos" Duncan Patterson made an album with emotional and atmospheric compositions. The project's name Íon (Gaelic word for 'pure') is well chosen. You will find pure beauty on this album!

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - January 2007  -   - Equilibrium Music