Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Isopoda - Acrostichon CD (album) cover

ACROSTICHON

Isopoda

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars I will definitely not be classified as chauvinistic as I find this very uneventful, but in some regards this sounds like 90's neo-prog twenty years before its time. This is full of delicate moods and climates , but not one of those titles actually take-off.
Report this review (#18656)
Posted Friday, February 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is a fantastic influenced GENESIS 76/77 era album. Refined and beautiful melodies and emotive English vocals conforming a high expression of calm symphonic rock. I think it doesn't matter the lack of originality when a band can compose excellent songs to enjoy and, in "Acrostichon" case, all tracks are superb. Perfect balance between symphonic and acoustic parts trough a really nice work on guitar, piano and flute, adding delicated details and a lot of elements considered delicious for most of prog lovers. I guess is very difficult to find any prog fan who dislike "A Trick of the Tail" or "Wind and Wuthering"; well, in my opinion, this one is at the same level of both GENESIS classic albums.
Report this review (#18657)
Posted Sunday, April 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars I actually borrowed the Musea CD version of this album, and can’t quite decide if it’s something I want to own. For the most part this is very decent (although somewhat light) symphonic prog album in the vein of Camel or even Harmonium at times (except for the bonus track which represents a different sound for the band). It has also been compared to ‘Wind & Wuthering’, and although I hear a lot more in that album than in this one, the comparison has some merit.

But the problem here is there a sense of waiting for the thing to take off, or for some gem to emerge, or for a real connection with the music to occur. But that doesn’t ever happen. The more I think about it the more this seems like the same kind of feeling I get from listening to most neo-progressive music: technical excellence, emotional void.

One problem of course is this thing came out at least 3-4 years too late. Real symphonic prog was in serious decline by 1978, and the emergence of pseudo art-rock/MTV cheese was just ramping up. These guys fell into the middle, both in terms of chronology and musically. Their music is clearly influenced by Genesis, Yes, Camel and the like, but the vocals and some of the arrangements seem to fall into the ‘neo’ category. This is especially true of “The Muse” and “Considering”. I’m not sure if this is because the band was trying to stick to their progressive roots while still putting out a commercially viable record, or if they really didn’t have strong roots to begin with. And on that note, I really don’t consider these guys to be symphonic – instrumentally they are far closer to what was often called Art Rock back then, but with some Genesis influences here and there. And except for the narration, “Don't Do It The Easy Way” kind of reminds me of some more mellow The Tangent tracks.

This is really about as close to a non-descript, generic progressive rock album as I’ve heard in a long time. I can’t find anything to say bad about it, or good for that matter. If you were looking for a prog-sounding soundtrack as background music for a play or movie but you didn’t want the music to be recognizable like Floyd or Genesis or something, this would be a great choice. As such I guess it is a three star album, but just barely. Mildly recommended, but not by much.

peace

Report this review (#133914)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not bad.

This album from this Belgian band comes across as a blend of IQ, Strawbs and Genesis. Not many miles away from Manning, in fact. The music is melodic and subtle. Sometimes, it is pastorial. The musicians knows what they are doing. The vocals are good and clearly in the Strawbs vein. The music is keyboards based, although they are used sparingly. The same can be said about the guitars. In other words; the Genesis formula. The problem is that there is only one really good song on this album. I am referring to The Muse which is a great song. The rest is pretty average. On the other hand; there is no bad songs either. The album flows and ebbs away during the three quarters of an hour it last. I really do not have any strong opinions about this album. It is good and pleasing to my ears and that's it. I doubt it will be a regular feature in my CD player or if I would ever play it again. Ten times for the purpose of this review and I have got my fill.

3 stars

Report this review (#232098)
Posted Monday, August 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ISOPODA were formed in 1974 by by bassist/guitarist/singer Arnold De Schepper and guitarist Walter De Berlangeer in Aalst,Belgium.While started as a cover band,soon they began writing their own material in a complex progressive form.In 1977 Arnold's brother Dirk joins as lead singer.Soon after keyboardist Geert Amant jumps on board,with Arnold finding a co-arranger for his ideas.ISOPODA soon started delivering a number of great concerts/shows with make-ups and light efffects and the band was labeled as ''The Flemish Genesis''.Their debut ''Acrostichon'' (the flemish word for acrostic) was released in 1978 in Twinkle Records,re-released in 1995 on Musea Records with a bonus track.

STYLE: Not even trying to sound any different from the Classic Symphonic Rock bands of early 70's,ISOPODA's aim was obviously to re-capture the old prog spirit and deliver it to late-70's in a familiar way.The general style is soft and mellow folkish Symphonic Rock with an alternation between acoustic material featuring flutes,piano and acoustic guitars and more intense musicianship with keys on the front and a variety of demanding interplays.All these material is supported by the consistent vocals of Dirk De Schepper,which comes like a cross between Peter Gabriel and Greg Lake.Mainly long tracks (over 7 minutes) with plenty of space for the unfolding arrangements.Refined melodies,deep atmospheres,variety in instrumentation guarantee a professional result.

SOUNDS LIKE/INFLUENCES: ''Flemish GENESIS'' are actually not far from a succesful description. From the vocals to the acoustic passages and the organ style,everything reminds of the Classic Prog masters.Here and there I can detect also some early KING CRIMSON and ANGE touches.File next to bands like ENGLAND,TANTRA or even FRUUPP.

PLUS: A succesful re-presentation of the classic GENESIS sound with light but well- composed arrangements.Beautiful ''Trespass''-like acoustic textures.A great singer with no accent and a somewhat personal style despite the Gabriel-esque color of his voice.Very strong bass work by Arnold De Schepper.

MINUS: Absolutely far from the term ''original music'',ISOPODA had nothing new to offer to the prog scene.A few more intense passages wouldn't hurt either,as the whole album is rooted in a slow and very smooth tempo.

WILL APPEAL TO:...not a bad GENESIS immitator,so anyone into them should approach.Also a great addition for fans of Symphonic Rock and Progressive Folk Music.

CONCLUSION: A highly enjoyable album with plenty of interesting moments,but often the GENESIS influence is more than obvious to the point of plagiarism.Additonally the level of the compositions is somewhat far of GENESIS' best moments.3 stars is a fair rating I think.

Report this review (#308917)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This first record from Belgium band ISOPODA "Acrosticon", is clearly influenced by GENESIS and in small-scale by Irish band FRUUPP and the result don't present nothing new in relationship to the mainstream of progressive rock from late 70's. However in my point of view is a very pleasant work full of exciting melodies of pure symphonic prog such as in the tracks 1 "Acrosticon" with a great opening theme followed by calm moments with a flute intermissions (like in Genesis tunes) , track 4 "Donīt Do it The Easy Way" another Genesis remminescense and beautiful acoustic passages like in the track 2 "The Muse" (the moment when they are more close from Fruupp composition style) and track 3 "Watch the Day Light shine". Although I don't consider this disk a "pearl", I think this album deserve a place in my collection. My rate is 3 stars !!!
Report this review (#952314)
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 | Review Permalink

ISOPODA Acrostichon ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of ISOPODA Acrostichon


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives