Album Reviews

Ida Elena – Native Spirit EP

Ida Elena is a singer, songwriter and actress from Italy. I was first introduced to her amazing vocal talent on the impressive new album from Greece’s Bare Infinity, titled The Butterfly Raiser. You can read my review here. It was from there that I became aware of Ida Elena, the solo artist. The music she has released as a solo artist is far removed from the metal genre and instead delves into the genres of Medieval Rock, Celtic, Folk, and World Music.

After studying at the Academy of drama and musical techniques for 7 years (she started at age 12), she received a degree and she started performing in theaters all around Italy.
At 19 she became an actress but when she was invited to sing on national television in front of 2 million people she realized her true passion was for music. After years of practicing in local clubs, she started to sing with an original rock band, The Dark side of Venus (2010), and with a Blackmore’s Night tribute band: those last one were crucial to her because, thanks to that band, she started attending Blackmore’s Night’ shows in Germany and got to know the Albert Dannenmann (ex Blackmore’s Night, Cantus Lunaris) and, eventually, soprano Gaby Koss (ex Haggard, Cantus Lunaris).

Thanks to the songs Ida Elena wrote, she started working with those two great musicians, first as a collaboration for her solo project and, eventually, as a permanent member of the Celtic Ensemble Cantus Lunaris (2012) she was asked to join thanks to her peculiar and very flexible mezzo-soprano voice with a very unique technique.
Thanks to Cantus Lunaris, Ida Elena played all around Germany and Austria, including Cantus Lunaris performance as headliner at the biggest Gothic festival in Germany, Waave Gotik Treffen 2013. Aside from Bare Infinity, Ida Elena also provided guest vocals on the metal album Vivaldi Metal Project. Ida Elena recorded one cd as a soloist, (My) World Music (2011) and one cd with Cantus Lunaris Fabula antiqua (2012/13). In December 2016, Ida Elena released her solo EP, Native Spirit, made up of 5 songs composed by Ida Elena herself.

The five tracks that compromise Native Spirit are full of beautiful melodies, spirited instrumentation, and transcendent soaring vocals. The album begins with Rhunes In my Pocket which features some amazing musicianship and a well constructed chorus. The next track, ‘Till My Last Breath features the mesmerizing and spellbinding vocal work from Ida Elena. Although its not metal at all, fans of the more recent Nightwish will enjoy this immensely.

The albums single/video The Butterfly is the shining jewel of the EP. The song has everything for fans of Celtic Rock. The songs melodies are spectacular, weaving a spirited storyline with the vocals and melodies with lots of twists and turns. The title track is a powerful folk rock song with gorgeous lead vocals and percussive instrumentation to give the song a Native American vibe.

The last track, Folliapoesia, is written and sung entirely in Italian to honor Elena’s heritage. This song is more symphonic and epic in scope with Ida Elena really impressing with her passionate and seductive vocals and the surprising use of saxophone to great effect. With Native Spirit, Ida Elena shows a different side to her artistry. Not to be confined to the metal genre and able to spread her wings and create a totally different identity from her work with Bare infinity. This EP is highly recommended for fans of Bare Infinity as well as folk and Celtic artists like Blackmore’s Night and Loreena McKennitt.

To Purchase Native Spirit click here

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