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Isildurs Bane

Symphonic Prog

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Isildurs Bane Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen album cover
3.68 | 38 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen (28:45) :
- a) Overtyr
- b) Saga eller verklighet
- c) Ove P.
- d) Sex minuter
- e) En vilja att leva
- f) Evighetens visdom
2. Marlboro blues (4:20)
3. Fredrik (4:10)

Total Time: 37:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Mats Nilsson / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals
- Mats Johansson / keyboards, synths (PPG 2, Prophet 5, Minimoog), Hammond, Mellotron, vocals
- Jan Severinsson / flutes, Roland Juno synth, vibes, glockenspiel
- Bengt Johansson / sax
- Ingvar "Lingon" Johansson / bass
- Kjell Severinsson / drums, percussion, vibes, xylophone
- Anneli Nilsson / backing vocals

Releases information

Title translates as "Lord of the Irish elk"

LP Isildurs Record ‎- IRLP001 (1984, Sweden)

CD Svenska Unikum - SUCD 003 92 (1992, Sweden) Bundled with "Sagan Om Ringen"

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ISILDURS BANE Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ISILDURS BANE Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Saga Om Den Irlåndska Ålgen" is the second Isilrus Bane release and the first one on vinyl format, since "Saga Om Ringen" only benefited from a cassette release in its first 1981 edition. What do we find in this second "Saga" album? - mostly, a continuation of the crystal clear melodic symphonic sort of prog alternated with pastoral pieces that had been created in the debut release, but now with a stronger, fuller sound. This is in no small degree due to the increased use of keyboard interventions, which in turn is a natural result of the augmented writing inputs by Mats Johansson. The beautiful opener 'Overtyr' starts with a solemn (if too brief) ethereal intro that immediately gives way to the main body, a lovely, playful amalgam of Camel's melodic drive and Atlas' dynamics, plus some GG-related adornments. Nilsson's agile phrases and the tight deliveries by the rhythm duo are the most featured assets in the track's development. 'Saga Eller Verklinger' is a bucolic serenade, at first revolving around the duo of acoustic guitar and flute, a-la Anthony Phillips-meets-Mike Oldfield. A latter development provides a folkish air that brings a focus to the basic motif. 'Ove P.' states a return to the symphonic realms, very much like a solo Wakeman supported by a combo of Camel and Craft musicians. 'Sex Minuter' brings a compromise between melodic jazz-prog (a-la Maneige) and candid symphonic prog, partially anticipating one third of the sort of material to be generated for the following two efforts. 'En Vilja Art Leva' brings back the bucolic trend that guitarist Nilsson is so fond of writing: there is a minstrel quality to this composition's first half, combining the standard of folk-pop and Renaissance textures; the second half brings a slow mood for a delicately jazzed up symphonic development. The track's finale is cleverly segued into 'Evighetens Visdom', which sort of recapitulates moods and atmospheres from tracks 3 & 4. 'marlboro Blues' is not literally a blues track, but an exercise on melodic jazz that sets a middle ground between Spyro Gyra and early 80s Weather Report. This is the sort of stuff that IB was really headlong for in their third and fourth releases, just around the corner, so to speak. The featured presence of guest saxophonist Bengst Johansson proves quite relevant for the track's overall mood. A special mention goes to Mats' synth solo: perhaps too brief, but possibly his best one in the album. The closer 'Fredrik' is also quite jazzy, but the slow tempo allows the band to explore some warm atmospheres through which the symphonic element can still play a noticeable role. At his point of Isildurs Bane's history, the band is yet to become the major art-rock force that it is since the "Voyage" days (anticipated in "Cheval"), and still there is an age of jazz- oriented paths to be pursued in the grand scheme of things, but "Saga Om Den Irlåndska Ålgen" is a solid symphonic prog release. 3.60 stars for this one.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This second work from this rather discreet Swedish band is a little less interesting than their first one.

This is still very much like the early ''Genesis'', which means that lots of gorgeous keys are available, and that the symphonic attribute is fully justified. Some might just find that it is a bit too much in that direction, though.

At times, this work is also flirting with the neo-prog genre, but I guess it was inevitable to some extent. As their first release was some sort of a concept album, this one is made up mainly of one long piece of music split into six shorter bodies.

It is obvious that some ''Oldfield'' influence is there, as the ''Camel'' one which I have already mentioned in my review of their first work. But these are great references, aren't they?

As their previous release, I wouldn't say that there are outstanding parts in here: again this should be listened from start to finish to get the full essence. But since it is so short, that shouldn't be a problem for symphonic lovers.

The last two tracks that aren't included in the long suite are not quite in tune with the rest: 'the jazzy ''Marlboro Blues'' makes the relation with ''Camel'' even more obvious of course and ''Fredrik'' displays a rockier and heavier texture.

I wouldn't say that this is a lost jewel but it certainly deserves more attention on this site. This is a subtle and joyful recording. Lacking maybe some diversity. Therefore three stars is my rating.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In 1982 Isildurs Bane had their first real big tour, performing lots of concerts, at a time when original keyboardist Bengt Jonsson had already left the band.Not to be confused though with sax player Bengt Johnsson, who was making guest appearances with his sax for the band since early-80's, like in the band's second offering ''Sagan om den Irländska Älgen'', an album treating with nuclear war and its consequences in human life.The album was recorded in late 83' at Farm Studios in Helsinborg and released in 1984 on the band's newly established Isildurs Records.

The album follows more or less the style already offered in Isildurs Bane's debut, smooth Symphonic Rock in the vein of KAIPA with beautiful, dreamy instrumental textures but also plenty of skillful moments.However it is a more tight listening that ''Sagan om Ringen'' and the main reason for this is the extremely coherent 29-min. eponymous symphonic suite, divided into six movements.This is a fantastic epic with strong KAIPA and GENESIS vibes, highlighted by the incredible instrumental opening with its tremenmdous interplays as well as the elegant flute parts, the sensitive Swedish lyrics, the strong moog synths of Mats Johansson and the diverse guitar workouts of Mats Nilsson.There are a fair number of changes between atmospheric themes and more complex ideas and the folk elements remain always a main component of the band's overall symphonic approach.The pair of shorter closing tracks show the more Fusion side of Isildurs Bane, even some nice saxes appear in ''Marlboro Blues'' (played by the now guest musician Bengt Johnsson), while the performance is still quite strong with plenty of breaks.Great guitar work again by Nilsson and lots of synth solos by the talented Mats Johansson.

Excellent sophomore work by this daring Swedish combo, highly recommended to all Progressive Rock fans.Both ''Sagan...'' albums have been released in 1992 in a single CD, certainly easier to find than the original vinyl pressings.

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