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Isildurs Bane

Symphonic Prog

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Isildurs Bane Sea Reflections album cover
2.52 | 34 ratings | 3 reviews | 3% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blizzard (5:10)
2. Batseba (4:10)
3. Sea Reflections - part I (5:34)
4. Sea Reflections - part II (6:25)
5. Poseidon (4:02)
6. Bilbo (3:45)
7. Top Secret-U.F.O. (5:05)
8. The Story Of Chester & Sylvester (4:25)

Total Time: 38:36

Line-up / Musicians

- Mats Nilsson / guitars
- Mats Johansson / piano, synths (Prophet 5, Minimoog), Hammond, Mellotron
- Jan Severinsson / Roland Juno synth, vibes, marimba
- Bengt Johansson / alto & baritone (7) saxes
- Stigge Ljunglöf / bass, fretless bass
- Kjell Severinsson / drums, percussion, Simmons el. drums

- Christian Jerhov / trombone
- Jan-Ove Nilsson / trumpet, flugelhorn (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Catharina Rysten

LP Isildur Records ‎- IRLP 002 85 (1985, Sweden)

CD Svenska Unikum - SUCD 004 92 (1992, Sweden) Bundled with "Eight Moments of Eternity"

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ISILDURS BANE Sea Reflections ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (24%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

ISILDURS BANE Sea Reflections reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first album from a peculiar era in Isildurs Bane's résumé, "Sea Reflections" happens to be a delicious a jazz-rock album with symphonic leanings spread around in places: it is conceived with genuine melodic creativity and performed with skill and taste. Right from the start, the use of brass and percussion is prominent (besides saxophonist Bengt Johansson's featured presence, there are some occasional guests on extra horns, plus Mats Johansson uses some horn-like sounds as part of his keyboard inputs), and so is the installment of strong jazzy grooves in the rhythm section. The result is partially related to the stylish melodic sort of jazz-rock that bands such as Spyro Gyra had come to master and put on the jazz mainstream's frontline in the 80s. But there are also elements of candor that may somewhat remind us of Brand-X at times; plus, the tuned percussion (a.k.a. mallets) bears a sense of majesty we can also trace in Maneige's jazz-fusion albums as well. Conceptually, the "Sea Reflections" album revolves around the images and customs of fishermen. The opener 'Blizzard' is a pleasant entry in the album's general framework. 'Batseba' is also a joyful piece, but this time the ceremonious undertone adds some subtle seriousness when compared to the opener. Johanssen's leads are usually on the symphonic side of things, being closer to Pete Bardens or Kit Watkins than, say, Chick Corea or George Duke. One who is really well integrated into the jazz thing individually is guitarist Mats Nilsson: his playing, while remaining melodic and well-constructed, has acquired a dynamics different to that he used in the band's first two releases (symphonic with extra touches of folk). 'Sea Reflections Part 1I brings back the opener's sense of joy in full swing. Wave crashing sounds connect this track's end to the beginning of 'Sea Reflections Part II', a lovely slow piece that brings something of the most lyrical portion of the album - it sounds pretty much like Happy the Man-meets-Maneige, comprising delicate synth solos and some mellotron chorale layers. 'Poseidon' states a total return to the jazzy groove, being a proper kind piece of music that contrasts the ethereal imagery inspired by the preceding track. 'Bilbo', in turn, brings back the lyricism in the shape of a slow jazzy tune on a blues tempo: the sax lead is beautiful, related to the sort of reflective magic present in Weather Report's softer material. 'Top Secret - UFO' is real funky, and now that WR has just been mentioned, this one seems inspired by the spirit of Zawinul's classic composition 'Birdland'. Starting with a powerful drum intro, 'The Story of Chester & Sylvester' closes down the album: it states a continuation of the preceding track's general mood, perhaps with an added touch of joy from tracks 1 & 3. While not being an essential IB album in itself, "Sea Reflections" is a very good item that prog fans should enjoy, besides using it to understand the artistic evolution of a band that is, nowadays, a staple in the prog genre's development from the 90s onwards.
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I have to say that I was quite disappointed the first time that I have listened to this IB album.

Gone is the wonderful symphony of their first album. What is available here is some noisy and jazzy music. Loads of wind instruments, absent musical melodies and a dull feeling overall is what prevails in this work. At least I feel so and I can't prevent to tell what I feel. Being moved with their debut, and not at all so with this album.

One of my preferred part is the melodic '' Sea reflections part II''. At least the listener gets rid of these loud sounds. And even if this track is also a jazzy one, it is all symphony and harmony. I wish more songs like these would be available. The one and only highlight IMHHO.

It is not the attempt to pop-rock with the title track which will impress my ears to be honest. One of the worst here. You know which key to use to avoid this nightmare. You4ll be faced to the second symphonic- jazz track with ''Bilbo''. Very nice saxing work to be honest, but this is far from their original and debut album. Some call this evolution. Still, it is a very nice moment.

The end of this album sounds as it starts: middle of the road jazz music with little flavour. I will be generous with this album and rate it with two stars. Still, you might be inspired and forget about this one.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In 1985 Isildurs Bane made an impressive turn.They introduced a 3-part wind section with Bengt Johansson becoming a full-time member and Christian Jerhov with Jan-Ove Nilsson participating in the third album ''Sea reflections'', performing on trumpet, trombone and flugehorn.Bassist Ingvar Johansson was also replaced by newcomer Stigge Ljungloef.Another release on their own private label, ''Sea reflections'' was recorded and mixed at Studio 38 during the summer of 85' and appears to be a tribute by the band to the sea and the people close to it.

The concept around the album comes only through rumors, because this is an all instrumental effort, which the band characterized as an attempt on Symphonic Jazz and a further development over the previous albums.Half true, half false.To my ears ''Sea reflections'' sounds an attempt by the band to limit their melodious lines and increase the more furious intercations (which propably sounds fine), linked with Jazz Music, but the time of the release did not help at all, because even if the album contains some nice instrumental cuts, the slick production and the weak keyboards along with the uninteresting sax lines fail to strengthen the group's profile.Plenty of the included pieces, especially those with the wind instruments in evidence, sounds like hillarious, commercial Fusion with uninspired melodies and standard 80's values.No surprise, the moments linked with Isildurs Bane's previous style are the most interesting ones: Great guitar work along the lines of FOCUS and KAIPA with supporting, dreamy keyboard textures offer fortunately some beautiful moments of sensitive, semi-symphonic music, showered by a deep sense of melody.That is the good part, because the bad one says that these are too few to save the mediocrity of the album.

Isildurs Bane saw this effort a step towards the right direction.I see it as the most commercial-oriented effort of the group regarding its first three works, often with an unacceptable sound due to the 80's-styled acoustics.For fans of the band...2.5 stars.

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