Album : Dark Horizons

Release Date : 12-02-2021

Added : 17-03-2021

We left 'Ian Jones' with his new project 'Chasing The Monsoon' with a wonderful first album 'No Ordinary World' released in 2019 and in the meantime, on July 6, 2020, we thought that the Welshman would relaunch the 'Karnataka' project with the video of 'Forever' with new singer 'Sertari', latest album from 'Karnataka', 'Secrets Of Angels', already dating from 2015 and which had made a lot of noise at the time but which had been the last album with 'Hayley Griffiths' (which will soon be releasing a CD / DVD of a concert given in Holland at the 'Prog Frog Festival' to be pre-ordered on his site here). But finally, 'Dark Horizons' is the first studio recording of a new project featuring the singer 'Agnieszka Świta' of Polish origin and who lives in London and who had released 'Sleepless', in 2014, the rest of the line-up consisting of prestigious guests with, 'Steve Hackett', 'Troy Donockley' ('Nightwish'), drummer 'Craig Blundell' who participates in various progressive rock projects with renowned artists such as 'Fish', 'Steve Hackett', 'John Mitchell' ou encore 'Steven Wilson', saxophonist 'John Helliwell' from 'Supertramp' and the two artists who joined' Ian Jones' in 2018, keyboardist 'Gonzalo Carrera' and guitarist 'Luke Machin'. In short, beautiful people to interpret the beautiful melodies of 'Ian Jones' because, make no mistake about it, this new project necessarily looks like 'Karnataka' and 'Chasing The Monsoon' and ultimately, whatever the name of the group, the important thing is to put yourself in the ears some 'Ian Jones' music, knowing that whoever the performers are, there is a great chance that we will have a wonderful time listening to the Welshman's compositions.

And off we go with 'The Lighthouse' which welcomes us with the sounds of waves and bells and which slowly embark us on an intense symphonic journey that gives goose bumps from the first chords, 'Agnieszka Świta 'making a beautiful first vocal performance and the interventions of 'Steve Hackett' sending us directly to seventh heaven : we can't help but draw a parallel with 'Karnataka' with the composition 'Secrets of Angels', the kind of track that we play in a loop and which releases an immense emotional force. Follows 'Bloods on Your Hands' which was the subject of a beautiful video (see above) and which mixes oriental intonations with a melody that is incrusted straight into the head, then, 'Edge of Darkness' continues in this melodic atmosphere at will with magnificent alternations of tempos and 'Lullaby' softens the subject with a magnificent ballad in which we abandon ourselves completely while savoring the sweet song of 'Agnieszka Świta' to which are added the magical interventions of 'Troy Donockley'. With 'Twice', always very soft, we stay on the little cloud on which we had been deposited from the start and we continue to let ourselves be lulled by the aerial song of 'Agnieszka Świta'. The following compositions show us the enigmatic 'Heretics and Prophecy', with intonations mixing oriental sounds and Celtic influences, then, the melodic 'Sanctuary', a little more classical with very beautiful vocal harmonies (pity this final fading out), the symphonic 'Black Angel' in which 'Agnieszka Świta' shows a lower register and the delicious 'Sign of Infinity', with jazzy intonations, which unfolds a languid tempo with a magnificent saxophone solo by 'John Helliwell' (which I would have liked longer), these titles all having catchy melodic lines. And to finish in style, 'Dark Horizons' slowly spreads its wings on a new addictive melody and joins by its beauty the first track' The Lighthouse 'by offering us 11 minutes of pure happiness highlighting all the artists (again 'Agnieszka Świta' and 'Steve Hackett' transport us and 'Craig Blundell' knows how to bring this rhythm section while restraint) and with remarkable instrumental arrangements (special mention to the accompaniments of the strings).

In summary, this new project of 'Ian Jones' is still a great success and, we are now used to every release, whether it is 'Karanataka', 'Chasing The Monsoon' or now 'ILLUMINAE', the talented Welshman's paw is still present and we tell ourselves that the name of the project fits perfectly with this style of music, luminous and filled with delicacy, which means that 'Dark Horizons' has entered directly into my list of essential albums of 2021...

Line Up / Musicians

Agnieszka Świta (Vocal), Ian Jones (Bass) + Guests : Craig Blundell (Drums), Gonzalo Carrera (Keybords), John Helliwell (Saxophone), Luke Machin (Guitar), Steve Hackett (Guitar), Troy Donockley (Bagpipe, Flute)