What can I say about “Journey Into The Morn” by Iona other than wow ... this is one truly inspired and inspiring album.
Whilst it works well as a collection of truly beautiful tracks ... it is, in my opinion, better consumed as a whole ... from “bi-se i mo shuill (part 1)” all the way through to “when I survey”. I realise this may be an alien concept for some folks ... especially in the day and age of single tracks rather than albums ... but it is really the best way to enjoy what is being presented.
I can't express how much this album means to me. It is an album based on the hymn “Be Thou my Vision and, as such, it is my kind of “religious” music. It expresses my faith in such an eloquent manner... describing common moments beautifully.
I’m not a big fan of contemporary “worship music” ... there are exceptions but in the main this kind of music leaves me cold. It tends to be overly emotive and sonically dull.
Iona, on the other hand, with their particularly delightful blend of progressive rock and folk music get me every time ... and “Journey into the Mourn” is my go-to album when I need a lift or when I feel in need of contemplation.
The combination of Joanne Hogg’s vocals, Dave Bainbridge’s instrumentation and Frank Van Essen’s percussion is truly a partnership made in heaven (pardon the pun). Add to that Troy Donockley’s pipes and wow ... amazing just doesn't quite express it.
It is for me what music should be ... imaginative, creative, progressive and wild-of-heart ... music that is full of feeling and poignant significance.
I would recommend this release to anyone - a member of the Christian faith or not, a fan of prog rock or not - it transcends all these earthly shackles. And I, for one, am grateful to Iona for recording this album.