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ISOPODA

Symphonic Prog • Belgium


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Isopoda biography
ISOPODA was often considered as Belgium Seventies best Progressive band. It plays a superb sophisticated and melodious Progressive rock, based upon the combinations between vovals, guitar, keyboards and flute. Working such as a goldsmith, ISOPODA composes pieces with a rare perfection, which could equal to the best GENESIS, enhanced by somptuous vocals and arrangements.

On this album issued in 1981, this Belgian band performed an elegant Progressive with elaborated arrangements. They played refined melodies with wonderful vocals, nice flute & guitar parts. The GENESIS and Alan PARSONS' references are obvious: liking for velvet and refined melodies, which thanks to their fluidity, delicate accoustic parts and beauty, seduce the auditor.

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Buy ISOPODA Music


AcrostichonAcrostichon
Musea 2003
Audio CD$15.91
$9.95 (used)
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ISOPODA discography


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

3.25 | 22 ratings
Acrostichon
1978
1.75 | 6 ratings
Taking Root
1981

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

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ISOPODA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars This first record from Belgium band ISOPODA "Acrosticon", is clearly influenced by GENESIS and in small-scale by Irish band FRUUPP and the result don't present nothing new in relationship to the mainstream of progressive rock from late 70's. However in my point of view is a very pleasant work full of exciting melodies of pure symphonic prog such as in the tracks 1 "Acrosticon" with a great opening theme followed by calm moments with a flute intermissions (like in Genesis tunes) , track 4 "Donīt Do it The Easy Way" another Genesis remminescense and beautiful acoustic passages like in the track 2 "The Muse" (the moment when they are more close from Fruupp composition style) and track 3 "Watch the Day Light shine". Although I don't consider this disk a "pearl", I think this album deserve a place in my collection. My rate is 3 stars !!!

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 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ISOPODA were formed in 1974 by by bassist/guitarist/singer Arnold De Schepper and guitarist Walter De Berlangeer in Aalst,Belgium.While started as a cover band,soon they began writing their own material in a complex progressive form.In 1977 Arnold's brother Dirk joins as lead singer.Soon after keyboardist Geert Amant jumps on board,with Arnold finding a co-arranger for his ideas.ISOPODA soon started delivering a number of great concerts/shows with make-ups and light efffects and the band was labeled as ''The Flemish Genesis''.Their debut ''Acrostichon'' (the flemish word for acrostic) was released in 1978 in Twinkle Records,re-released in 1995 on Musea Records with a bonus track.

STYLE: Not even trying to sound any different from the Classic Symphonic Rock bands of early 70's,ISOPODA's aim was obviously to re-capture the old prog spirit and deliver it to late-70's in a familiar way.The general style is soft and mellow folkish Symphonic Rock with an alternation between acoustic material featuring flutes,piano and acoustic guitars and more intense musicianship with keys on the front and a variety of demanding interplays.All these material is supported by the consistent vocals of Dirk De Schepper,which comes like a cross between Peter Gabriel and Greg Lake.Mainly long tracks (over 7 minutes) with plenty of space for the unfolding arrangements.Refined melodies,deep atmospheres,variety in instrumentation guarantee a professional result.

SOUNDS LIKE/INFLUENCES: ''Flemish GENESIS'' are actually not far from a succesful description. From the vocals to the acoustic passages and the organ style,everything reminds of the Classic Prog masters.Here and there I can detect also some early KING CRIMSON and ANGE touches.File next to bands like ENGLAND,TANTRA or even FRUUPP.

PLUS: A succesful re-presentation of the classic GENESIS sound with light but well- composed arrangements.Beautiful ''Trespass''-like acoustic textures.A great singer with no accent and a somewhat personal style despite the Gabriel-esque color of his voice.Very strong bass work by Arnold De Schepper.

MINUS: Absolutely far from the term ''original music'',ISOPODA had nothing new to offer to the prog scene.A few more intense passages wouldn't hurt either,as the whole album is rooted in a slow and very smooth tempo.

WILL APPEAL TO:...not a bad GENESIS immitator,so anyone into them should approach.Also a great addition for fans of Symphonic Rock and Progressive Folk Music.

CONCLUSION: A highly enjoyable album with plenty of interesting moments,but often the GENESIS influence is more than obvious to the point of plagiarism.Additonally the level of the compositions is somewhat far of GENESIS' best moments.3 stars is a fair rating I think.

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 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Not bad.

This album from this Belgian band comes across as a blend of IQ, Strawbs and Genesis. Not many miles away from Manning, in fact. The music is melodic and subtle. Sometimes, it is pastorial. The musicians knows what they are doing. The vocals are good and clearly in the Strawbs vein. The music is keyboards based, although they are used sparingly. The same can be said about the guitars. In other words; the Genesis formula. The problem is that there is only one really good song on this album. I am referring to The Muse which is a great song. The rest is pretty average. On the other hand; there is no bad songs either. The album flows and ebbs away during the three quarters of an hour it last. I really do not have any strong opinions about this album. It is good and pleasing to my ears and that's it. I doubt it will be a regular feature in my CD player or if I would ever play it again. Ten times for the purpose of this review and I have got my fill.

3 stars

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 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars I actually borrowed the Musea CD version of this album, and can’t quite decide if it’s something I want to own. For the most part this is very decent (although somewhat light) symphonic prog album in the vein of Camel or even Harmonium at times (except for the bonus track which represents a different sound for the band). It has also been compared to ‘Wind & Wuthering’, and although I hear a lot more in that album than in this one, the comparison has some merit.

But the problem here is there a sense of waiting for the thing to take off, or for some gem to emerge, or for a real connection with the music to occur. But that doesn’t ever happen. The more I think about it the more this seems like the same kind of feeling I get from listening to most neo-progressive music: technical excellence, emotional void.

One problem of course is this thing came out at least 3-4 years too late. Real symphonic prog was in serious decline by 1978, and the emergence of pseudo art-rock/MTV cheese was just ramping up. These guys fell into the middle, both in terms of chronology and musically. Their music is clearly influenced by Genesis, Yes, Camel and the like, but the vocals and some of the arrangements seem to fall into the ‘neo’ category. This is especially true of “The Muse” and “Considering”. I’m not sure if this is because the band was trying to stick to their progressive roots while still putting out a commercially viable record, or if they really didn’t have strong roots to begin with. And on that note, I really don’t consider these guys to be symphonic – instrumentally they are far closer to what was often called Art Rock back then, but with some Genesis influences here and there. And except for the narration, “Don't Do It The Easy Way” kind of reminds me of some more mellow The Tangent tracks.

This is really about as close to a non-descript, generic progressive rock album as I’ve heard in a long time. I can’t find anything to say bad about it, or good for that matter. If you were looking for a prog-sounding soundtrack as background music for a play or movie but you didn’t want the music to be recognizable like Floyd or Genesis or something, this would be a great choice. As such I guess it is a three star album, but just barely. Mildly recommended, but not by much.

peace

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 Taking Root  by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1981
1.75 | 6 ratings

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Taking Root
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Ghastly. Absolutely, ghastly. I couldn't come up with any decent words to describe this album by the already extinct Belgian quintet. When the fatidic 80's made their irremediable appearance on stage, most of those days' prog bands constantly struggled not to stumble and rely on new trends and waves the decade to come brought along, but ISOPODA surrendered to the glitter and glow by releasing such an irreverent album. "Taking Root" is the reflection of oneself in the mirror after a night of heavy drinking, turning out the be the most horrendous hangover that ever drilled inside your head. That bad is this album of the early eighties, or as I rather call it, "the hollow years".

"Taking Root" actually takes off pretty well at the time the self-named song thunders in your speakers, experimenting particular odd sounds out of an organ and some keyboards with crunchy guitar interludes, sporadically showing this guys can surely rock. But with excitement comes disappointment. In a sudden turn of fate, the song turns cheesy and empty, lead vocalist Dirk De SCHEPPER explores the sassy lyrics he indisputably wrote with a creepy almost snoozing pitch sound of voice, and, as the album moves forward, the instruments are displayed so outrageously that it makes you wanna turn the stereo off. Like it happened to me, I just couldn't listen to the whole atrocity in one single sit.

So, if your bag is enjoying clattery noises out of arbitrarily played cymbals, rackety tambourines, laser gun sounds, despiteful experiences that resemble hideous imitations at the pure style of "Studio 54" and Jerry Lee LEWIS, song 7 on the track listing, "The Fall"; and what the hell, the rest of the album as well, ISOPODA is the kind of pseudo-prog rock band for you.

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 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is a fantastic influenced GENESIS 76/77 era album. Refined and beautiful melodies and emotive English vocals conforming a high expression of calm symphonic rock. I think it doesn't matter the lack of originality when a band can compose excellent songs to enjoy and, in "Acrostichon" case, all tracks are superb. Perfect balance between symphonic and acoustic parts trough a really nice work on guitar, piano and flute, adding delicated details and a lot of elements considered delicious for most of prog lovers. I guess is very difficult to find any prog fan who dislike "A Trick of the Tail" or "Wind and Wuthering"; well, in my opinion, this one is at the same level of both GENESIS classic albums.

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 Taking Root  by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1981
1.75 | 6 ratings

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Taking Root
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Very much in the same vein as the previous one. I can recommend this highly to neo prog fans , as there is everything they are looking for is present in the two Isopoda albums. This reminds me a bit of a cross between Camel and BJH.

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 Acrostichon by ISOPODA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 22 ratings

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Acrostichon
Isopoda Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars I will definitely not be classified as chauvinistic as I find this very uneventful, but in some regards this sounds like 90's neo-prog twenty years before its time. This is full of delicate moods and climates , but not one of those titles actually take-off.

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