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Isildurs Bane

Symphonic Prog

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Isildurs Bane Sagan Om Ringen album cover
3.37 | 45 ratings | 4 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overtyr (2:40)
2. Vandring (5:00)
3. Gamla Skogen (3:40)
4. Tom Bombadill (4:23)
5. Vidstige (3:03)
6. De Svarta Ryttarna (3:20)
7. Vattnadal (1:25)
8. Moria (1:55)
9. Sällskapets Upplösning (4:00)
10. Ringarnas Härskare I (2:35)
11. Ringarnas Härskare II (1:50)

Total time 33:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Mats Nilsson / acoustic & electric guitars, vocals (2-4)
- Mats Johansson / keyboards, vocals (5-10)
- Jan Severinsson / flutes, synthesizers, vibes, glockenspiel
- Fredrik Janacek / bass (3,6,11)
- Ingvar "Lingon" Johansson / bass (2,4,5,9), Moog (1)
- Kjell Severinsson / drums, percussion, vocals (8)
- Bengt Johansson / percussion (8)

Releases information

The title translates as "The Lord of the Rings"; it's a concept album based on the trilogy by Tolkien.
Originally recorded as a mixture of studio and live recordings and released on cassette in 1981. Some of these are included on the LP edition, while other parts were recorded again in 1987.

LP Isildur Records ‎- IRLP 000 88 (1988, Sweden)

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

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

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ISILDURS BANE Sagan Om Ringen reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This is a very pleasant symphonic album.

If you ever have been in love in love with the early ''Genesis'' this album might suit your shoes pretty well. Of course, there is no vibrant vocals in here (they use to be scarce overall in their music) but the music is so nice and tranquil that with no doubt, it will lead you to reach the peace of mind.

This short piece of music is best experienced as a one track kind of record. It is very difficult to point out one particular song. The opener ''Overtyr'' sets the pace to the work and I really like the way it is paved: a remarkable, beautiful, harmonious piece of sweet and beautiful music. I guess that even if you are dummy as I am in Swedish, you know that it means ''Overture''.

So, I guess that we are confronted with some kind of concept album. This first release is full of tact and plenty of great musical moments are awaiting for your curiosity.

I won't call this a masterpiece since it weakens a bit towards the middle part; but globally it should please any early seventies symphonic freak. Since I am one of them, I will rate this album with four stars.

Early ''Camel'' and ''Fruupp'' fans will be delighted.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars really...

ISILDURS BANE have been around for over thirty years.They started as a symphonic rock group by mid-70's,influenced by bands like GENESIS,E.L.P. and GENTLE GIANT.Their first release ''Sagan om ringen'' is a nice debut of folk-tinged symphonic rock with a running time just over 30 minutes.The first band that comes to mind listening to ISILDURS BANE's debut is KAIPA.Here we have to deal with a variety of compositions,ranging from beautiful symphonic rock with fast keyboard/guitar interplays and mellow acoustic moments to nice flute-driven folkish passages and even some slight mood for experimentation with crazy drum solos and synthesizer loops.Vocals are decent and all lyrics are sung in their native language.Not the best work of symph prog in the market,but a very good effort,especially symphonic and folk rock fans might find it a must-have...

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Very interesting and promising debut album by this seasoned swedish band. Released in 1981 it has already a strong personal sound that mix of symphonic rock, folk roots and what was becoming known at the time as neo prog. The musicanship is top notch (their bass player is specially skillful). Vocals are not that great (all sung in their native language), but work well and are nice anyway. Of course this CD is far from perfect. The group was still trying to find their own way and sometimes the tracks are found in the a hit or miss routine (the record´s middle part is quite telling). But when they suceed the results are very good (I loved the guitar and flute parts).

I´m looking forward to hear their latter works. For this first efford 3 stars is a fair rating: good, but not essential.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Sagan om Ringen - Swedish title for The Fellowship of the Ring, as it's known to most of you - tells the story of Tolkien's first book in his celebrated trilogy. Of course in a compressed, musical form, capable of only encapsulating some of the key points in the story. To give you a taste of what's chronicled (apart from the obvious Moria) the translated titles include Strider, The Black Riders and Rivendell. You get the picture. As such, there is the obvious flaw that comes with many "soundtracks"; it's mood music, a musical backdrop to a far more detailed and nuanced storyline. And given that the music is trying to capture wildly different moods and settings, it just feels a bit loose and fractured as an album. Sagan om Ringen certainly fights with both of these problems.

On the other hand, if you isolate the tracks, focusing on them individually, it's pretty clear that they fit the situations they portray rather accurately. Hearing some of the wonderful songs and poems of Tolkien's (naturally the Swedish translations) given life is refreshing. I just can't deny that. The folk-tinged, somewhat sunny, somewhat mysterious Vandring, depicting the life of a wanderer (remember this one, Tolkienites?); it really feels like your out there on wide fields and in dense, deep-green forests, only to get a first glimpse of snow-covered peaks in the distance while the fresh air is saturated with the smell of wet moss and a hundred different flowers. The murkiness and gradually rising and falling tension of Gamla Skogen (The Old Forest), the playful whimsicality that is heard on Tom Bombadill and the ancient power and defiance when the true identity of Strider is hinted at in the song Vidstige are three other examples where the music fits both the lyrics and the overall mood, and the rest of the album is much in the same vein. Unfortunately, you might not get this sort of enjoyment out of it if you're not a fan of the books, and Swedish isn't commonly taught as a second language around the world.

The music can't be called extraordinary, but comes off as quite pleasant anyway. It's a bit lighter symphonic prog, trusting space and evocative motifs rather than sheer technique and complexity. Comparisons to Camel and early Genesis are understandable due to this, but not fully accurate. The psych of Camel is nowhere to be found, neither is the dense guitar/keyboard undergrowth of Genesis. What you get here is a more folk-heavy sound, with a lot of nice acoustic guitar and flute. Keys are generally kept in a flowing background role, adding depth and colour to the music. Sometimes it's even delivered in the clinical and slightly cold fashion of many neo-prog bands. The neo-prog connotations don't stop there, as the clean and soft guitar delivery and sound here certainly reminds me of that sub-genre. Furthermore, listening to the first part of Ringarnas Härskare, you can't rule out that the band has listened to Mike Oldfield and his new-age and world music antics. The space in many of the compositions leaves room for some truly delicious and inspired bass lines, delivered with precision and emotion. Once again, no pyrotechnics. Things do get a bit busier at times though, for example in Tom Bombadill, with its more up-tempo, crowded soundscape and in the galloping and rolling De Svarta Ryttarna. The percussion work-out of Moria also stands out. Unfortunately, it isn't very interesting.

As per usual, I stand a bit conflicted listening to this sort of music. It's all a bit too mellow, nice and neatly arranged. However, Isildurs Bane has a unique flavour to them, with the strange brew of influences that is this record. As such it feels more personal, more honest and more gratifying listening to it. I've come back to the albums many times lately, simply because some of the songs have had a lasting effect on me. They just keep popping up in my head from time to time. Be it for me being a LOTR fanboy, or simply because this is something I would otherwise rarely listen to - but in the end I like it. Strange how these things work, eh?

3 stars.


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