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Isildurs Bane - Cheval - Volonté De Rocher CD (album) cover


Isildurs Bane


Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 50 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After some years of struggle to define their own musical personality, during which they made their stand somewhere between symphonic new age and folk-oriented jazz-pop, Isildur's Bane started their maturity phase with 'Cheval', their 5th effort: now they are more than ready to meet their own symphonic progressive essence with very good results. The Hallandsensemblen Orchestra serves as an effective supplier of lush touches from Grieg, Debussy and Prokofiev, while the band members keep an air of exquisite excellence in their performances: the grand piano is the most prominent keyboard instrument, while the guitar parts sometimes get a bit crimsonian (without the distorsion thing) for good effect - strangely enough, it works in the middle of all this symphonic pomp. The orchestra's role is specially significant on tracks 1, 3 and 4: the magnificence of 'Initiation', the high-spirited colourfulness of 'The Interpreter' and the mysterious serenity of '33 Years' are properly enhanced by the interplay of band and orchestra, giving the overall impression of an epic movie's soundtrack (that is, without the easy clichés that we usually find in some drama's scores). 'The Interpreter', given its extended time span, has enough room for the expansion and continuing rearrangement of the main motifs, never getting boring or predivtable, but ultimately, consistent regarding melody and mood. Tracks 5-7 fill the most upbeat part of the album, where the band starts to add some world-music oriented stuff - my favourite moment is the entry of the exotic rhythm pattern that sets the path for 'The Ciceron', which helps to preserve Isildurs Bane's perpetual gusto for ethnic-inspired stuff, even in such a symphonic album. All in all, a great album that allows the listener to witness the birth of one of the most interesting directions of current symph prog. From the womb of 'Cheval', Isildur's Bane was reborn as a challenging prog act for the 90's onwards.

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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