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Introitus Elements album cover
3.88 | 258 ratings | 8 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Hand That Feeds You (14:18)
2. Earth (1:22)
3. Like Always (8:22)
4. Wind (2:02)
5. Restless (8:14)
6. Fire (1:36)
7. Dreamscape (11:48)
8. Water (1:58)
9. Soulprint (17:02)

Total Time 66:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Anna Jobs Bender / lead vocals
- Par Helje / lead guitar, backing vocals
- Henrik Bjorlind / guitar, flute, keyboards
- Mats Bender / keyboards, production & mixing
- Dennis Lindkvist / bass
- Mattias Bender / drums, backing vocals
- Johanna Bender / backing vocals, percussion, keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Wetterberg with Lina Flodins (photo)

CD Progress Records ‎- PRCD 043 (2011, Europe)

Thanks to Anthony for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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INTROITUS Elements ratings distribution

(258 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

INTROITUS Elements reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars The family that plays together rides again...

Introitus sophmore release saw this terrific swedish band sounding even more symphonic than their debut (2007´s very good Fantasy). Now the songs are more mature and the musical direction is more focused too. The folkish and popular swedish music elements are reduced to a minimum, while they still maintain some jazz and fusion overtones. The line up is almost the same three years after their debut: the Bender family (father Mats on keyboards and compositions, mother Anna on lead vocals, son Mattias on drums and daughter Joahanna on harmony vocals and percussion), plus their jack of all trades Henrik Björlind (guitar, flute, violin, keyboards) and Dennis Linquist on bass. the only change was on the lead guitar department with the arrival of Pär Helje to the fold, replacing Per Danielsson.

While they are still labeled as neo prog here on PA they are in fact quite symphonic in all aspects, with Matt Bender´s bombastic, lush keyboards always on the forefront. Some nice lead electric guitars are added (again not in the neo prog mold) and there are also excellent Björlind´s flute parts appear on several cuts. But the real star of the show is again Anna Jobs Bender´s brilliant vocals. She has a beautiful voice that is at the same time strong and delicate, powerful and soothing. The first two tracks are a good exemple of how versatile and varied they are: The Hand That Feeds You is an angry statement against human destruction of nature, with Anna´s voice delivering the message in a manacing way, while the band lays a heavy musical background featuring crunching guitars, majestic keys and a very efficient Mattias Bender on the thundering drums. In its 14 minute duration there are several mood and tempo changes and I specially liked the slower middle section where they manage to prove they are indeed very fine and creative musicians.

The second tune (actually the third track, the second one being just a small interlude representing one of the four elements of nature the album title implies), Like Always, on the other hand is a beautiful homage of Mats and Anna relationship, one of the most poignant prog ballads I´ve ever heard, featuring again nice flutes and a esquisite guitar solo by newcomer Helje, with daughter Johanna adding very touching vocal harmonies. Very good and not corny at all. It is not everyday that you hear an 8 minute love song that is so emotional and still very symphonic (including a bass solo!).

Anna´s voice is a highlight even with the instrumental Restless where she uses it as on of the leading instruments for great effect.

All the remaining tracks keep the high profile of the band, with strong compositions, tasteful arrangements and a rightful use of their obvious expertise on their instruments. No fillers to be found anywhere on the CD. There are also no wasted notes nor pointless jams. Everything fits right in and the musicians use they skills to enhance the music as a whole, not their egos.

If you´re missing symphonic prog rock music like the old days when it meant not only virtuoso perfomances and variations, but also fine songwriting and pleasant melodies, then you should not miss Elements.

Already one of the best CDs released this year.

Rating: somewhere 4.5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Another one of those unexpected surprises that are fueled by previous glowing reviews, I took the risk and I am glad I did. This is a phenomenal outing from this Swedish prog family (Partridge or Osmond, they are not), proposing a modern take on the female-led progressive genre, skirting near Neo territory but when you notice that the disc is bookended by two epic compositions (14 and 17 minutes), you tend to realize that we are not in Pop land but rather in Symph world. Actually from Sweden, though their style is not your typical frosty mellotron-led Nordic quiver but a highly melodic take at the 4 elements that composed our world (Earth, Water, Wind and Fire) as inspiration. Keyboardist Mats Bender prefers lush and bubbly synths as the main vehicle for melody, aided by some sterling guitar runs from Par Helje while bassist Dennis Lindquist and drummer Mattias Bender keep the foundation purring. The opener 'The Hand That Feeds You' is a fine opening salvo, a rich tapestry of somersaulting melodies , woven with some powerful female vocals (Anna Bender) that resemble Mike Oldfield's Maggie Reilly , stitched by some flute to give it some sweetness. After the briefly cinematographic 'Earth', the beautiful ballad 'Like Always' (I will not apologize at being both a devout progger and a passionate romantic) garnished with personal and touching lyrics about life's often twisting realities. The music is gently bombastic and features a short bass solo that is outright original, as well as the perennial soaring bluesy guitar solo that scratches the heavens. This is tremendous stuff. 'Restless' gets a little antsier, which is always welcome after a ballad, a bold melodic statement that changes gears on a dime showcasing their obvious chops (they are Swedes after all!), including some deft piano, wailing wordless vocals and a playful sense of sonic creativity. There is nothing contrived or rehashed here which is a great testimony of this group's direction, powerful yet soothing. The sensational 11 minutes of 'Dreamscape' evoke a reverie on the subject of solitude and detachment that leads to sleep. The mood is appropriately melancholic, swirling rhythms within a majestic arrangement, constantly evolving forward as the dream sequence kicks in, underlined by sharp guitar riffs and power drumming, propelling the music forward as the synths bubble merrily. When the softer passage enters the fray, its highly reminiscent of the vaporous floating feeling induced by sleep, as Anna's voice flutters ornately among the clouds. The good old bass rekindles the beat rather nicely, introducing a mesmerizing synth solo that would make Manfred Mann smile in envy. The tossy-turvy axe solo is no meek job either, slicing through the melody with supreme mastery. The whopping finale is a equally scintillating, a huge 17 minute foray into the sonic senses that shows itself very deliberate in execution and style. 'Soulprint' has all the innate ingredients that make this a fine track, initiating a flute led pastoral introduction, highly classical in scope with a sublime cello addition that sears the main melody into place. The track then blooms into a more atmospheric expanse with Anna's vocals front and center, taking its sweet time in printing the soul. This is very near to recent Karnataka (the Gathering Light) or Breathing Space, two bands that are in turmoil as we speak but adding a series of emphatic solos to the brew (flute, synth, guitar) that stamp their own signature very distinctly. The quality of the soloists is unchallengeable, clever, creative and emotional.

This is one hell of a wake up call. Truly excellent with numerous highlight tracks that will stand the test of time.

Between 4.5 and 5 Viking Families.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a nice find! And how heartwarming that it's 'all in the family' Bender! What comes through most in this album is the unabashed enthusiasm for making music. The songs here are very fresh, quite unpredictable (except maybe the drums and lyrics), and full of many quite astounding soli chord, key, tempo and mood shifts. The album is basically five prog songs with four brief interludes serving a s spacers between the two. I'm not going to review each song. I find each long song to be excellent with the opener, "The Hand that Feeds You," the seventh, "Dreamscape," and the finale, "Soulprint," to be ready to be launched into the pantheon of classic prog songs. The vocals are great, the drums and the rhythm section quite adequate, the guitarist is mega-talented and quite creative--reminding me of JON MITCHELL (KINO, ARENA, FROST*) (IMO, one of 21st Century prog's two or three greatest guitarists)--but it is the keyboard player(s) that blows me away. The solos are completely "outside the box," creative/innovative, amazing, and cool. And even background key work is, to me, astounding for its unpredictability and yet perfection. Definitely a band to watch--and an album I will listen to again and again--one of the few, so far, from this year. While the lyrical content is a bit sappy and atypical for prog, I enjoy the personal and familial sentimentality.
Review by lazland
5 stars To me, the whole purpose of this wonderful website of ours is the opportunity to discover great (and some not so great) new artists and bands, who you would not otherwise have come across in day to day listening or record shop browsing. Stuff that moves you beyond the typical and classical music of the genre, as great as that music is. I have found so much great music since joining, and to the list of exceptional talents must surely be added this incredible band from Sweden, and the highlight of what has been a very good year for new music.

Introitus (another name for the vaginal orifice, apparently!) are a Swedish project led by Mats Bender, and feature a host of family members in support. This is their second release, and it will not be too long until I get the debut based upon this wondrous work. For this unashamed classical neo-progressive band have produced in Elements an utter masterpiece, and one that will be on the Lazland deck for many years to come.

Opener, The Hand That Feeds You, starts off in a loud and bombastic fashion, with passages clearly inspired by the heavier moments of bands such as IQ and Pallas. In other words, classic neo-prog. This, however, is not the be all and end all of this band, for within each track there is a multitude of moods, influences, and tempos. Four minutes in, we get the most beautiful acoustic guitar and flute, drawing in a more melodic passage that takes you right back to 1972, except that it is bang up to date in a modern and unique production. This leads up to a superb electric guitar solo, and we have a denouement that is epic in statement, and epic in delivery, with some lilting Celtic chants backed by keyboards reminiscent of Mark Kelly at his best.

Earth is the first of the short "Elements" instrumentals and this leads us into the first of the two tracks on this album that can only be described as attaining that perfect genius status in music, Like Always. This is a wondrous ballad, with an incredible vocal performance by Bender's wife, Anna. This is a moving love song which takes you to heights that are almost impossible to reach. The guitar solo and lyrics/vocals at the end are fantastic, and the love that created this love song is, you know, utterly genuine and utterly perfect in its musical delivery. So good, this track is exhausting.

Wind is the second short instrumental element, and reminds me, with its flute section, of I Talk To The Wind. This takes us to Restless, which has an uplifting, soulful guitar solo before moving into its first, very noisy, and very neo phase. At times manic, but never less than interesting, in particular with Mat's keyboard performance. Half way through, the track settles down into a lovely pastoral pastiche, before gradually building up to match the volume and intensity of the opening track. There are, amongst all this, some very nice Celtic chants that I am sure will appeal to fans of bands such as Mostly Autumn and other prog folk.

Fire is the next Elemental instrumental, and clever effect and crystal clear production create a fire in your speakers. This takes us nicely onto Dreamscape. This features very clever music and lyrics which tell the story of a dream. Actually, this is an area where this band excel, the art of bringing to vivid and interesting life, events that are so common place, that you rarely spend time analysing them. So, love in Like Always, death in the staggering closer, and dreams in this track. The keyboards and effects create perfectly the dream story with some ethereal vocals.

Water is the last of the elements, and nice effects again take you to a small rockpool.

The best, though, is saved until last. Soulprint (for Mother) is one of those tracks that will stay with you until your dying day. I can only compare it to two of my all time favourite tracks, both of which deal magically with bereavement - Mother by Judie Tsuke (from the Secret Agent album, which is sheer class) and the exceptional Eternally by Karmakanic. This track is as good, if not better, and I can think of no higher praise than that. Anna's vocals are of the highest quality, and the music delivers seventeen minutes of highly original classy rock, with a very special mention going to a rhythm section of Mattias Bender on drums, who is excellent here, and Dennis Linkvist, whose thundering bass is consistently excellent throughout the album. The heavier passages deliver a wall of sound not really heard since the pomp days of Genesis in the mid-1970's, and the orchestral passages, with some moving cello pieces, are symphonic prog of the highest level.

I gave a five star review to Pendragon's Passion at the start of the year, and I really did not think that those (comparative) granddaddy's of the neo-prog scene's work would be bettered in 2011. Whilst Introitus are nowhere near the commercial league of bands such as Pendragon, with this release they absolutely deserve to be catapulted into the major division of neo and prog in general. I swear that the nerve ends tingle and shatter when you hear Anna sing mother to sleep.

For me, this is the utter highlight of what is shaping up to be an excellent year. It is available on Spotify, so give it a few listens, and then, like me, download it from Amazon for the ridiculously cheap price of £6.99. It is worth a damn sight more than that, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Five stars for this, a masterpiece of progressive rock music. Neo prog rock that manages to evoke its many influences, without ever being derivative or retro, and is, at times, exceptionally moving, and always oozing sheer class.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Introitus prove that their debut album wasn't a one-off bit of family fun with Elements. Once again, the husband and wife team of Mats and Anna Jobs Bender are rounded out with their children Mattias on drums and Johanna in an expanded role on percussion, choir and supplementary keyboards, along with a brace of guest musicians. This time around the concept draws on old-timey philosophy, with each of the compositions being linked by atmospheric instrumentals based on each of the four classical elements identified by the ancient Greeks. Musically speaking, neo-prog is the name of the game - but exceptionally delivered neo-prog, with Mats' compositions and Anna's operatic delivery really making the album work. Don't let the twee efforts of other family bands put you off - as ably demonstrated here, the Benders can (prog) rock with the best of them.
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars INTROITUS are a seven piece band out of Sweden and they include the four member Bender family. This is a long one and it's a concept album about the four elements of our World as in earth, fire, water and wind. Each of these elements has it's own short song of around 2 minutes or less. The other five tracks are long including that 17 minute closer. This is such a proggy album with excellent musicians to say the least. I was quite impressed and am not surprised by the high ratings for this one. There are some folk flavours here and some FLOYD or MOSTLY AUTUMN sounds, especially the soaring guitar. The drummer is who impresses me the most while the singer is female and very good but just not my style. I mean I thought I was listening to a Disney movie at times, especially the song "Like Always" which is a "yikes" moment for me.

I could not in good conscience give this a 4 star record based on the way I rate. Great sounding album but not my thing for the most part. Lame name too but that's just piling on sorry. This is a talented band and I think I and one other person are the only ones giving this 3 stars so keep that in mind with my rating. My favourite tracks are the element ones. The match being lit on "Fire" but too bad the song wasn't lit(oh boy) and "Water" with of course water sounds and "Wind" well you guessed it, and "Earth", well lets just say it's another instrumental. Synths, guitar, flute and vocals lead the way here for the most part. Kind of a Neo/Symphonic/Folk hybrid you could say. Too sweet for my tastes.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Nice. Nothing more, nothing less. In terms of Neo Prog, a well crafted effort. The music flows like a gentle river, with some curls in it. No dangerous rocks, whirls or waterfalls in sight. It surely is no background music but its a little hard to keep attention for nearly 70 minutes. If you want ... (read more)

Report this review (#604526) | Posted by stormwatch01 | Saturday, January 7, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a discovery. This family prog rock band is very good. Very inspired musical family. I haven t listened their first album so my opinion of their music is what about i have listened in this work. Very solid production for a familiar album. Not a very original neo prog music,but v ... (read more)

Report this review (#431828) | Posted by robbob | Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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