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-Greg’s Take-

Constructed on a plain where the cosmos collide with Celtic influence, molded out of astral pop fused with a medieval-meets-electronic mentality, Taara Tati, under the guise of Metal Mother, is back with the sophomore release Ionika.

Although you may be quick to associate that description as some Celtic Women-meets-Paul Oakenfold, the sound Metal Mother achieves is not something that comes from such slap-dash sampling.

Metal Mother doesn’t simply perpetuate some over-computerized style with interlace beats; instead Ionika paints a dimension where edge and beauty lay together in an alliance all its own.

In a whirl-wind of mind games, the album begins with beats that would rival Orbtial’s Hackers presence (“Mind_Off”) and then twist into vocals reminding me of when Frank the Tank shot himself with the tranquilizer dart (“Windexx’d”). Though bold and filled with a unique energy, the impression I was left with borderlines fear and confusion.

And then, as if a silhouette emerging from a fog, the beginning of the next nine tracks is full of an elegance and cohesion I would have missed had I gone with my gut. “Prism” displays Tati’s gorgeous voice in a well-balanced dance of electronic and ethereal pop. She reaches into a hauntingly Dolores O’Riordan-like innocence in “Little Ghost;” the dichotomy created therein comes together eerily while superbly maintaining an attractive essence.

Continuing the impressive run, Ionika spins old and new as easily as one would spin wool. The Gregorian compositions crash headfirst into the modern establishment. “Omens” twists distant bells into a mixture that speaks to the DNA of the entire album. “Cardiac Blossom” lays a synth over a subconsciously dark age’s melody.  As a whole, this second album from the Oakland based artist picks up steam at an impressive pace.

Driven by a fascination with the old-world and ancestral composition, Metal Mother establishes an authentic style that could not be replicated. Though it was Metal Mother’s intention to incorporate a heavy medieval influence with energy filled pieces, the resulting eleven tracks took on a life all their own and reached a level that is as instinctive as our fascination with the cosmos themselves.

Taara Tati - Metal Mother