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ISILDURS BANE

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Isildurs Bane picture
Isildurs Bane biography
Founded in Halmstad, Sweden in 1976 - Still active as of 2018

Helped by some guests (Horns, oboe, flute, cello...), ISILDURS BANE plays a majestuous orchestral symphonic between vocals, guitar, keyboards and flute. They are very percussion oriented, with a lot of keyboards and some guitar. This swedish band has a unique sound, with great playing, but it might require a couple of listenings to grow on you. Recommended to fans of Eclectic, intricate music.

Symphonic fans should try "Sagan Om Den Irlandska Algen" or the classic "Sagan Om Rigen". One symphonic/modern classical concept album, "Cheval" was recorded with an orchestra and is an unusual, but effective blend of chamber rock and classical music. And the "MIND* Vol. 1" album is a real Classic for all times: a unique, distinguished blend of contemporary Classical Music and Symphonic Progressive Rock with extremely complex structures. "MIND* Vol. 2" (2CDs) consists practically of all (and only) new compositions. On the "MIND* Vol. 3" album, and the band's concept MIND* is still alive. This one is a masterpiece. FOR THE ADVENTUROUS AND OPEN-MINDED!!!

For the first time since 1983, ISILDURS BANE have recorded an album with vocals and lyrics. "MIND Vol. 4: Pass" is characterized by strong melodies, experimental synth sounds and elaborate sound treatments. The music was recomposed and rearranged, new lyrics were written and a new approach to doing songs was the order of the day.

*(Which is an abbreviation of "Music Investigating New Dimensions".)

See also: WiKi
- Peter Hammill

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ISILDURS BANE discography


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ISILDURS BANE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 39 ratings
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen
1984
2.52 | 34 ratings
Sea Reflections
1985
1.91 | 27 ratings
Eight Moments Of Eternity
1987
3.37 | 43 ratings
Sagan Om Ringen
1988
3.35 | 51 ratings
Cheval - Volonté De Rocher
1989
3.96 | 95 ratings
The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere
1992
3.79 | 94 ratings
Mind Volume 1
1997
2.64 | 34 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Metamorfosi Trio: Mind Vol. 3
2003
3.73 | 59 ratings
Mind Vol. 4 - Pass
2003
3.78 | 73 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found in Nature
2017
4.29 | 23 ratings
Off The Radar
2017
3.86 | 129 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
2019
5.00 | 1 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Disequilibrium
2021

ISILDURS BANE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 38 ratings
Mind - Vol 2 Live
2001

ISILDURS BANE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.09 | 11 ratings
MIND Volume 5 - The Observatory
2005

ISILDURS BANE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 19 ratings
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen / Sagan Om Ringen
1992
3.71 | 17 ratings
Sea Reflections / Eight Moments Of Eternity
1992
3.32 | 17 ratings
Lost Eggs
1994

ISILDURS BANE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Songs from the Observatory
2005

ISILDURS BANE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Disequilibrium by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2021
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Disequilibrium
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by RelayerFr

— First review of this album —
5 stars ISILDUR'S BANE is a Swedish symphonic chamber rock ensemble made up of seasoned musicians who present their thirteenth album, the first date of 1984. After the very good "In Amazonia" released in 2019, the group renewed its confidence with the illustrious and legendary leader of the VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR group ... Mr. Peter HAMMILL. These Nordics usually invite celebrities like on the album "Colors Not Found in Nature" released in 2017 where Steve HOGARTH from the group MARILLION participated, or KING CRIMSON's drummer, Pat MASTELLO. This second cooperation is called "In Disequilibrium", it is presented in two very distinct and contrasting suites. The first with its eponymous title which is divided into three pieces perfectly bears his name, because we are in the presence of a Peter HAMMILL bubbling with verve, a voice that carries everything in its path with uncompromising tonic and aggressive pitches that transfigure and literally unbalance this symphony orchestra to transform it into a group of New Wave or even Punk, but each one keeping all its intrinsic specificities! The ensemble brings a surprisingly eclectic conglomerate with melodic themes mixed with organic textures, sumptuous orchestral details leading to sometimes dissonant rhythmic counterpoints in the company of sinuous guitar arrangements and analytically sumptuous synths.

The second plot, which is divided into four pieces entitled "Gently", will become lyrical and peaceful to make the listener travel slowly in gloomy plains where the joy of living will have almost disappeared. And as a companion of pain, the atmosphere, the electronic environment, various and varied sound effects and tones such as wooden tubes, a xylophone, multiple brass instruments, a violin, a piano, grandiose cinematic effects, a few keys of mellotron and synths do you want ... The song is a little rarer and less virulent but will present a carnal aspect engaging in afflictive expressionism which will show us a rather dark and theatrical picture ... at the height of his 73 years, the boss is still at the top of his game, he delivers here a voice that has retained all of his youth and continues to transmit his emotions to us still so vivid with a range almost unchanged but slightly more serious like a good Bordeaux "Grave" wine which would have aged well. Why New wave and Punk ...? Because there is in it! Like the orchestration, these two genres only appear in Peter HAMMILL's voice for the "In Deliquibrium" part. Some notes of trumpet and bamboo begin the "1/1", KING CRIMSON guitar chords combined with an avant-garde orchestration with the sharpened organ of our cantor deliver energetic intonations with some resemblances to BONO from U2 premier period or also of Peter MURPHY de BAUHAUS. Feeling of imbalance when listening to this first piece? Surely ... but an admirably ordered and efficient mess (8.5 / 10)!

On the "1/2" we are sent a "punky" voice which vociferates with an incredible verve and aplomb, at times it coos and it sings silently and happily in chorus. The instruments are numerous, the punctual but effective guitars and generously bright synths, surrounded by a djembe and bamboos nourishing a sound river at high speed. The end will be calm and "Vang'lisque" (8/10). The "1/3" begins gently with beautiful woody brass which will serve as an introduction to the theatrical song of our star, this recitative will be repetitive and will be accompanied by a thousand fires resounding like a perfectly controlled cacophony to progress gradually to a point culminating where the song appears as a soft delivery in perfect harmony with the instrumentation. An excellently crafted piece with technicality and talent! (9/10). Let's move on to the second part with "Gently (Step by Step)" where the agitation falls back to more reasonable levels. "2/1" is a short interlude where the wind blows and is activated in cadence until the keys of a silky and peaceful piano, a xylophone and a trumpet will bring a little more to this successful cinematic work! (7.5 / 10). The vocal impression on the 2/2 makes me think of the Quebecois group CIRKUS, for its solemn side articulated with slowness and its arrogant and a little annoying "so britsh" tone .... The instrumental edges remain classy and definitively high levels , but the general result is a bit far-fetched ... a performance that leaves me unmoved (6/10).

"2/3" is a short atmospheric piece where we can hear a saxophone playing deep bass on "mellotron" atmospheres letting us navigate in serenity and contemplation (7/10). Cinematically the "2/4" is the most remarkable ... with its explosions, its childish laughter and its particularly well constructed depths of field and performed by sound effects and instruments of all kinds. This somewhat pompously sung symphony reminds me of the BEATLES under morphine, with a hymn that becomes monotonous and somewhat dissenting. The instrumental chords here are of rare beauty with an apotheosis point at 6:31 where the very essence of this highly elaborated album lies. If, like me, you tend to listen at high decibels, I advise you to remove your headphones before 7:48 ...! (9.5 / 10). This cake was written during confinement and was born after 14 months of gestation, a long enough time to create texts that hold the verses well, complex chords to penetrate at will into the register of Prog and detailed sounds for to grab an extraordinary voice. Now the challenge is no longer on the side of the musicians because the mission has been perfectly accomplished but on that of the listener. He will have to listen several times and with a lot of attention to understand all the subtleties that abound in this pancake with savory and sweet flavors. The production is flawless, nothing has been left to chance, there is no doubt that we are in the presence of great professionals. The audiophile in search of high fidelity recording will appreciate this one. "In Desiquilibrium" remains in line with the previous album "In Amazonia" in terms of quality. Don't hesitate to hang on to these very talented funanbulists!

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.86 | 129 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

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!

 Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found in Nature by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.78 | 73 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found in Nature
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars The main attractive this album has to offer to the typical prog listener is clearly the vocal finesse, emotional richness and (when needed) powerful delivery, all provided by the notable Steve Hoggart, whom we find here in some time-off between Marillion performances.

Nevertheless, more interesting to the progger seriously involved with Avant-prog and Chamber Rock can be the textures interwoven by Isildurs Bane, that go well beyond a simple acompaniment or instrumental background. They contribute a stunning revision of contemporary counterpoint composition adapted to the occasion.

If one looks here for the same kind of dynamic that prevails in Prog, is probably wasting time. But the Swedish compensates this by far, for example, with an amazing treatment of the strings that takes advantage of the ability to slide between tones allowed by the absence of frets (just listen to "Ice Pop", the first track). A fine addition to the prog explorer's collection

 Off The Radar by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.29 | 23 ratings

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Off The Radar
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Swedish masters Isildurs Bane have gone along way since the 80's, although listed in the archives under symphonic which indeed reflected their first phase, they have grown immensely since then incorporating chamber, fusion, post rock, electronics, avant garde and a certain style that is only their own. Up until this album the band haven't released any new music in almost 15 years but since then they've released three albums in two years, this one being the second released in December 2017. The two other albums include collaborations with Marillion's Steve Hogarth and the highly recommended In Amazonia with Peter Hammil, this one goes back to being strictly instrumental again. Although the line up of the band always include many guest musicians, some of them participate in different albums and it's always a mix of musicians, the core line up is still here even after 40 years. So like a lot of albums using so many musicians this album sounds really varied, warm and natural and of course beautiful. I think Off The Radar deserves the 5 star rating not only for the playing and writing but also because of how the music is crafted so well, flawlessly balanced and yet still remains free and loose.

Another thing I love about this album is the fact that it is so progressive! I mean good 'ol prog rock, the kind that you don't have any clue what's coming in the next three seconds. The music is constantly evolving, incorporating so many sounds and instruments, mixing electronic sounds and beats with guitars, jazzy trumets and violins in an awe inspiring manner, very reminiscent of Jaga Jazzist, so if you're a fan of them look no further because this is an amazing gem. The writing is very mature and right, it doesn't matter if the song is 4 minutes long or 10 minutes long it's always interesting and so fun to listen to. Keys, electronics, synths and whatever they use take a big role throughout but never take the center of the show, same goes for all the wind instruments. I'll shortly review the songs to let you in what it's all about.

From the first minute of "Drive" you can sense that you are in for something special, as the rhythm drives in a storm of instruments, it looks like everything is thrown into the party, violin, trumpet, clarinet, synths and some glockenspiel to give it that Zappa touch, it doesn't sound too busy at all because they come and go, everyone is adding their two cents, the music is really crafted meticulously. It calms down half way and becomes relaxed and a little bit psychedelic until the end, great stuff! The S/T track keeps the positive vibes and happy energies although it is different, a groovy rhythm harboring more electronic experiments with some cool jazzy saxophone to go along. Under Your New Moon has this acid jazz coolness which brings another shift in style, I love the atmosphere on this one, the rhythm is slow, relaxed and disturbing. Drums perfectly carry the pace half way to the end, pure joy. Xenolith is the longest piece, sounds like something out of their Mind Volume 1 album, a progy tune filled with ideas experiments with all kinds of sounds, a bit avant garde, jazz fusion and more, drums comes and go until about the 7th minute where it kicks in to gear with screaming saxophones, this is excellent! Goodbye Berlin continues in the same vein and holds a fine guitar solo which up until this point was pretty much in the backround spicing the music, Endless Air starts as a chamber jazz piece which at first sounds out of this album but then grows into a disturbing atmosphere until the album ends.

It's good to see Isiludrs Bane after all these years of silence still keeping it going with this amazing performance and such a high level of writing and creativity Fans of Jaga Jazzist especially don't miss out on this one. 4.5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found in Nature by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.78 | 73 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found in Nature
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One would think that a project of the Swedish chamber-symphonic rock band Isildurs Bane with Marillion's frontman Steve Hogarth would get more attention in progressive circles. The music offered here deserves our full attention. I myself was drawn to this album because I loved the Isildurs Bane with Peter Hammill project 'In Amazonia' and learned to appreciate Steve Hogarth's vocals whilst recently listening to Marillion's 'F.E.A.R.' LP.

On this album the sound of Isildurs Bane is a mix of chamber music (great variety in wind and string instruments), world music (especially those violins), adult rock and symphonic rock. Some moments cast that acoustic beauty of Sigur Ros at their finest, whilst other moments remind us of the less electric compositions of Marillion in recent years. The arrangements are all filled with great musical detail, suprising sounds and original combinations of instruments. Steve Hogarth has written lyrics that enable him to perform in his most story-telling fashion, which suits the imaganitive music very well. His vocals stand out as particularly honest and 'in the room'. The result is a very listenable, yet complex album with a very adult feel to it. The songs are well-written; I guess they could have been performed with significantly less rich instrumentation without loosing their potency. My only complaint is that most songs tap in that same artistic / sensitive / emotional atmosphere. The final song 'Incandescent' brings a significant change in moods that could have been introduced earlier on in my opinion. Still a great high-quality album though!

I would recommend 'Colours Not Found in Nature' to all listeners with a slightly wider definition of progressive music. This could even be an interesting record for music fans in general.

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.86 | 129 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.86 | 129 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

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.

****

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.86 | 129 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by tmay102436

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 masterwork.

Now, having said that as a clarification, Peter Hammill is totally immersed into this. Lyrics are dark and deep in true Hammill tradition, and his presentation is perhaps his best in many, many, years.

When collaborations work, you get wonderful "above each other's abilities" works like this "In Amazonia."

Let's hope for a continuation of collaborations like this one, as the one with Steve Hogarth is equally inspired.

 Cheval - Volonté De Rocher by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.35 | 51 ratings

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Cheval - Volonté De Rocher
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars After playing live in their homecountry and visiting Germany and Hungary for the promotion of ''Eight moments of eternity'', Isildurs Bane decided to re-record ''Sagan om ringen'' and release it properly on vinyl in 1988, after all they made a name out of the album.It was around the same time they added guitarist Tommy Nilsson in the line-up.Looking for another concept work, they found themselves surprised by the story of infamous French postman Ferdinand Cheval, the man who built his own castle all alone, working continuously for 33 years.The band toured prior to recording the album, when the time had come they collaborated with the local Hallandsensemblen orchestra plus guitarist Janne Schaffer.The album came out on the band's own label in 1989 both on vinyl and CD format under the title ''Cheval - volonte de rocher''.

Same problem apparent in most of Isildurs Bane albums during the 80's is present in another ambitious work by the Swedish, hiring a small orchestra was representive of the band's direction, which would now be much more orchestral and symphonic, but the 80's-styled production value and instrumental quality are again significant flaws, such a same, because the musicianship is pretty nice and even top notch at moments, while Isildurs Bane would record some of their most complex arrangements in this album.The sound has taken a more symphonic essence, but not the one appearing in the early works of the band, it's much more orchestral and recalls more of the works of MIKE OLDFIELD, PEKKA POHJOLA, STEVE HACKETT and the likes, strengthened by the massive sections with the backing orchestra and the use of keyboards and piano.Keyboards and drumming are the basic negative selections on this work, too thin and weak for supporting such an ambitious effort.The music also crosses THE ENID territories at some point, but the addition of some nonsense jazzy guitar plays are rather questionable.The orchestral arrangements are great to say the least with some beautiful climates and instrumental interplays and a few more cinematic segments.There are even some nice guitar solos in the process, but the overall quality is always linked with the mediocre production, making the album sound very digital.

An uneven work.Musically it's pretty strong and the emphatic orchestrations show the talent of the group.But I guess there was no other way at the time than to record this work under the period techniques, this happens to lower its quality at the point some of the material to sound more disturbing than attractive.Maybe fans of STEVE HACKETT's or ANTHONY PHILLIPS' orchestral endeavors are likely to find this one charming from start to the very end...2.5 stars.

 The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.96 | 95 ratings

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The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars At least IMO, Isildurs Bane is one of the most ambitious and complex bands of mid 90's and early 00's. Perhaps the band has some weak productions, most of their discography it's really amazing and the band has built during the years their own and singular style.

This album in particular has most of the elements that a dedicated prog fan loves: long symphonic epics, dark chamber rock sections, intrincated melodies and harmonies, mixture of classical and electric instruments and quiet and peaceful musical moments, starting with the opener "The Adventure of the Whirling Delerium", a sofisticated chamber rock piece with some madrigal elements, plenty of intrincated and beautiful chord arrangements but even with constant melodic changes and some proggy and sometimes almost RIO epic sections.

"A Telescope and a Hot Air Balloon" starts with a pleasant piano and violin intro which turns into a dark and almost heavy section leaded by electric guitar and drums to evolve into a beautiful proggy melody. The value of this piece is their constant come back to chamber rock elements without the lose of symphonic prog sound.

"Picassiette - First Wal"k maybe is an harmonic and quiet piece leaded by piano and flute but still with constant progression. Beautiful from the first to the last second. Then begins what I call "La Sagrada Familia suite" a serie of songs inspirated by the famous catalan catedral, all of them very short and built on thrilling church chorus arrangements.

"Das Junkerhaus" is the most avant garde song of the album, very experimental and dark doesn't fit totally with the rest of the album.

"Picassiette - Second Walk" has the same delicate and hypnotizing elements that their "first part" and act as a intro for Wild as a Toad, the long epic of the álbum, a piece with constant variations with some Crimson elements but fullfilled by chamber rock atmospheres. It's a track which has a lot of symphonic sections sometimes leaded by classical chords or exquisite electric guitar arrangements.

"Picassiette - Third Walk" is another fine and delicate piece leaded by a calm ald floating piano melody. Then we listen "Nimis - Wotan's Tower" a short and rhytmical piece which reminds me proggy tunes "a la Happy the Man".

The album ends with the powerful and complex "Magnificient Giant Battles", a piece which resume in 6 minutes most of the more raw and classic RIO sound with very galloping symphonic sections.

As I said before, we are in front of a complex album, probably too much directed to exquisite prog listeners perhaps that is the reason why this álbum is so enjoyable?

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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