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Isildurs Bane

Symphonic Prog

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Isildurs Bane Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia album cover
3.87 | 142 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Before You Know It (7:46)
2. Under the Current (4:46)
3. Aguirre (5:17)
4. This Is Where? (10:07)
5. The Day Is Done (9:05)
6. This Bird Has Flown (3:02)

Total Time 40:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Hammill / vocals, composer
- Samuel Hällkvist / guitar
- Karin Nakagawa / koto, voice
- Mats Johansson / synths (ARP 2600, Minimoog, Moog Sub 37, Nord Lead A1, Roland RS-202, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, Yamaha CS-80, Kurzweil 2600, Oberheim Xpander), Mellotron, piano, e-piano, treatments, composer & producer
- Katrine Amsler / keyboards, electronics
- Luca Calabrese / trumpet (1-4)
- Liesbeth Lambrecht / violin (2,3), viola (2,4)
- Axel Croné / bass, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, guitar, synth, grand piano, clavinet, percussion
- Kjell Severinsson / drums & percussion
- Klas Assarsson / marimba, vibes, tam tam, gong, glockenspiel, octobans

- John Anderberg / backing vocals (1,6)
- Adam Sass / trumpet (1)
- Zhazira Ukeyeva / violin (2,4)
- Mette Gerdle / violin (6)
- Xerxes Andrén / drums & percussion
- Pat Mastelotto / e-drums & percussion (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Matti Engdahl

LP Ataraxia ‎- ATX3LP (2019, Sweden)

CD Ataraxia ‎- ATX6CD (2019, Sweden)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ISILDURS BANE Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia ratings distribution

(142 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ISILDURS BANE Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
4 stars The unmistakable disrruptive flow of Peter Hammill´s musical language finds a friendly space to roam in this 6 track: Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill - In Amazonia (2019).

Somehow without the burden of carrying on the whole music writing and performance, Peter Hammill unleashes an energetic feel which sometimes his own later works lack.

Sound wise this album travels smoothly along varied moods and Eclectic Prog. atmospheres, with a subtle Symphonic Prog. touch thus, besides a here and there spiced oriental flavor, the styling is not far from Hammill´s and the Swedish ensemble Isildurs Bane and a long list of other notable collaborators play around the vocalists lyrics and stop-motion pace with creative and very well detailed performances and arrangements.

There is no doubt that this release is richer in musical ideas than Hammill own 2017 From The Trees, which somehow confirms a freer disposition and breadth in its sound and the corresponding fringe benefits of working with talented performers who are used to host other musician´s musical language.


Review by friso
5 stars Now here's an interesting Peter Hammill / VDGG related release that some of us might have missed. In this collaboration Peter hammill serves as a composer/singer and the Swedish group Isildurs Bane as arrangers and instrumentalists. Listed here as 'symphonic prog', this album could easily be seen as an avant-prog effort. Almost as intense and varied as the VdGG classic 'Pawn Hearts', sound-wise it shows influences of electronic music, ambient, chamber-music and ethnic/folk (percussion). Peter Hammill gives one of his most lively performances in recent years. The combined effect is a nightmarish marathon of 40 minutes that really aims to effect the listener.

In my opinion the sophisticated arrangements and Hammill's disturbing presence really compliment each other. I've read some online comments of critics who'd disagree - but who can honestly say he thought that Van der Graaf Generator sounded coherent at first spin? No-one I guess. On this album Hammill seems to care particularly little about pitch perfect singing - in stead focusing on immersing himself in the highly original material. This works really well, though the sophisto piano ballad 'The Day is Done' could have used a more subtle approach at times.

On side one of the vinyl the three pieces are a continues flow of ambient progressive music. Though pretty dark and dissonant, even my girlfriend reacted positive on it because of its imaginative effect. On the second side 'This is Where? ' is the most avant-garde styled piece, with less ambiance and a more dry & eclectic progrock-based pallet of sounds. Very original, but perhaps a little bit unfocused compared to the other tracks. 'The Day is Done' is a minimalist piece compared to the others in which the piano and song-writing of Hammill takes center stage. The addition of lots of creepy sound-effects keeps the listener on his toes. The ending track 'The Bird has Flown' then brings back the ambiance of opening tracks and offers a conclusive atmosphere to this dark album.

Conclusion. This album could almost be seen as a 'Blackstar' for Peter Hammill. A resurrection of his most artistically successful days, a great gathering of talent and an album where old age adds to the creepy dark vibe. 'In Amazonia' might not be perfect, but it has a lot to offer and really adds something original & substantial to the progressive rock releases of 2019. Four stars for sure.

* Bumped the rating to a solid five.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
4 stars Swedish proggers Isildurs Bane & legendary vocalist Peter Hammil's collaborative effort 'In Amazonia' is one of the most exciting releases of 2019 - a somewhat concise album, consisting of six compositions that take just forty minutes of the listener's time, full of weird musical passages and unusual instrumentations, with the band using a variety of interesting instruments, like layered Mellotrons, stunning moog sounds, some trumpet makes the cut here and there, and very gentle guitars, all topped by Hammill's idiosyncratic vocals and often undecipherable lyrics.

This is a very memorable record, despite the unusual song structures and the varying lengths - also, the 'exotic' instrumentation is so rich that it really shifts the listener's attention to the details and the manner in which songs gradually unfold; This works more than excellently in combination with Peter Hammill's vocals, which are certainly some of the most recognizable ones in the genre. A total of 15 musicians plays on this record, some of them being the members of Isildurs Bane and some being guests, like Pat Mastelotto from King Crimson, who plays drums on the third track. Killer songs, engaging tempo changes, atmospheric instrumentations - all aspects that make up for a really good album that is capable of transporting the listener to another place, maybe Amazonia, in this case.

'In Amazonia' kicks off with the enigmatic 8-minute 'Before You Know It' - a suspense-ridden composition, packed with tribal-like percussion, sparse guitars, and intelligently-modelled keyboard sounds, gradually climaxing just to fade out in the last couple of minutes - a very intense song! This is followed by the shorter 'Under the Current', with its beautiful melodies and more electronic edge; Peter Hammill delivers some of the more mysterious lyrical content on the album here. 'Side one' concludes with another 5-minute song full of electronic instrumentation, gradually climaxing in the end - this is, of course, 'Aguirre'. The band manages to flawlessly carry the listener through these compositions, as if this is an intense ride through the Amazonian forests, by building-up intense songs that just make you want more and more of this.

The fourth track on the album is the 'big epic', the 10-minute 'This Is Where', probably the most straightforward prog song, with the quirky synths and more 'disordered' melodies - overall, the album feels like prog but at the same time it is not explicitly prog, which is probably what makes it so compelling and different. The 9-minute 'The Day Is Done' comes next, which is the least dynamic composition on the album, reminiscent of something like 'World Record'-era Van der Graaf Generator; an emotional, yet hardly listenable song that could be somewhat of a challenge for some of the listeners. Finishing off is the coda-like instrumental 'This Bird Has Flown', where the band revisit the theme from the opening track.

Highly recommended album for someone who is looking for a little less standard modern progressive rock album - the music on here is memorable, compelling, and very unusual, although it is not even necessarily a rock album. It actually feels more like a painting made of sounds!

Latest members reviews

5 stars Well, I hope that I don't ruffle any feathers here, but I think for the sort of "unfamiliar with Isildur's Bane" - this is an Isildur's Bane album - along with the stunning collaboration of the master Peter Hammill. But, it's Isildur's Bane's history, structure, musical abilities that create this ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#2202429) | Posted by tmay102436 | Monday, May 13, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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