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INTROITUS

Neo-Prog • Sweden


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Introitus biography
Swedish band INTROITUS doesn't state any given date when the musical ideas main composer Mats Bender (keyboards) had been working on for 3 decades turned into a musical venture, but when it did it was with a core group consisting of himself, his wife Anne (vocals) and their children Mattias (drums) and Johanna (percussion, backing vocals). Additional band members for the recording of their debut album Fantasy, issued in 2007, were Per Danielsson (guitar), Peter Wetterberg (bass) and Henrik Björlind (guitar, synthesizer, accordion, choir).

The latest news from Introitus is that they are working on a follow-up CD, with a planned 2010 release.

Introitus official website

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INTROITUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy INTROITUS Music


AnimaAnima
Import
Progress Records
Audio CD$19.29
$18.99 (used)
ElementsElements
Progress Records
Audio CD$18.13
$14.24 (used)
FantasyFantasy
Import
Progress Records
Audio CD$21.99
$9.99 (used)
Skies of the UnholySkies of the Unholy
Import
Spv 1997
Audio CD$397.34
$24.99 (used)
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INTROITUS shows & tickets


  • Credo/3RDegree/Introitus on 27 Sep 2015
  • Credo/3RDegree/Introitus on 29 Sep 2015
  • Credo/3RDegree/Introitus on 30 Sep 2015
  • Summer's End Festival XI on 2 Oct 2015

INTROITUS discography


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

3.72 | 45 ratings
Fantasy
2007
3.96 | 212 ratings
Elements
2011
3.85 | 51 ratings
Anima
2014

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

INTROITUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

INTROITUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fantasy by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.72 | 45 ratings

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Fantasy
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars This the first CD of this group and the first one I have listened and I gotta say this is a pleasant surprise. First of all It is very unusual in prog to have four members of one family playing together but here they do a great job. Even the mother with her lyrics and voice (both are just fine, not great). Second of all, the music is great but here It comes the weakness I found: there's no Introitus "sound" there's not a single element that gives a clue what direction the second production will have. Keyboards are great, guitar playing is just what you expect, there's a violin (a good one) and some other instruments. Expect some Mostly Autumn comparisons but this is a different kind of group, more prog than celtic. Good one to have in your collection.

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 Anima by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 51 ratings

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Anima
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by Thierry

4 stars The fabulous Swedish outfit is back! I was seduced by their second opus, "Elements" (2011). "Anima" is another tour de force. You'll find great song writing, arrangements, musicianship and production as before. It starts with Matts Bender on keyboards who plays his instruments with such power and resourcefulness. As in the previous opus, the keyboards are the dominant instruments here. But Par Helje does a great job on the guitars, with some gorgeous Hackett-like solos. And Anna Bender's (Matts' wife) crystal clear vocals and poetic lyrics just add emotion to the blend. I forget Matts and Anna's children on drums and backing vocals! No, this is not a family business as you may say but rather a labour of love! Three of the 9 tracks exceed 10 minutes in duration and there is not a weak track on the whole album. As I said, "Anima" is powerful and emotional on the same time, enlightened by lush melodies and instrumental passages. Everything you could want from modern symphonic and neo prog is here. I think like "Elements", "Anima" will be at the top of my 2014 best albums list. Fans of Magenta, hurry! Highly recommended.

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 Anima by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 51 ratings

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Anima
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Elements, the predecessor to this album, is one of my favourites of all time, with its gut-wrenching emotions marking a work that was nothing short of genius, so following this up was always going to be a mighty ask for any act.

Swedish band Introitus have, though, made an excellent job. Anima, an interesting examination of the human soul, or psyche, once again highlights all that is interesting and endearing about the band, but does also move the band's sound forward in that there is far greater room for expression by Pars Helje and his guitar, and he takes full advantage with some memorable riffs and rhythms.

At the heart of all that is best here, though, again, is the wonderful combination of wife and husband - Anna Bender on vocals, and Mats on keyboards.

There are three ten minute plus epics to delight our senses here. The first, Broken Glass, is, to these ears, perhaps the least convincing. When it is good, with heavy, crashing riffs accompanying the beautiful sound of Anna's voice, then it is very good. Regrettably, this is not perfected throughout the entire ten and a half minutes, as some parts are patchy, with a couple of minutes of filler, really.

Slipping Away clocks in at over eleven minutes long, and opens with the most delightful bluesy guitar riff, and special mention here must be made for the sensual bass lines provided by Dennis Lindkvist, ably backed by the fantastically produced thunder of Mattias Bender on drums. The vocal drips with feeling, and deals with that timeline common to all souls, that of facing death of the flesh. The wall of sound that is created is a joy to listen to, and the whole piece gels together in a lock tight fashion.

The final epic is the title track itself, Anima. It really is a wondrous track, a beautiful paeon to the eternal nature of the changing nature of the seasons and life itself in the beloved forest where The Bender family reside, and wrapped in a satanic fable. It is exceptionally dark in places, but the fusion of symphonic, soaring rock, and folk tales ultimately brings a warmth that only this act are capable of. There is even time for a pulsating mini-drum solo, which highlights gleefully the talents of young Mattias.

The comedown from the emotional wave of Anima is the pretty piano led instrumental, Exire, and we also have a two and a half minute "secret track" with which to close proceedings entirely. Both do the difficult job of bringing us safely back to earth to chill perfectly.

Elsewhere, there are plenty of other delights awaiting the listener. The Gothic, and ghostly, Who Goes There is a rollicking seven minutes of spooky fun, worth the entrance fee for Mat's swirling poltergeist keys alone. This is easily the most haunting fun had since Genesis delighted us with Home By The Sea, and there are some very heavy passages to rock us out.

You Will Always Be My Girl is, as you would imagine, a tribute to daughter Bender, whose lovely features, with her beau, adorn the striking album cover. Genuine, heartfelt, and an uplifting track to savour. Anna demonstrates, again, just what a lovely voice that she has, and it really is a shame that the wider pop listening world will never hear it. This lot, in another era, would have been massive.

Lastly, Free is a deeply intelligent piece of modern rock, with folk sympathies running deep. There are no lyrics as such, but a soaring chant which accompanies a rich band instrumental, with some easily detected Focus influences therein. This is easily one of the finest tracks I have heard in 2014.

Let me tell you, Introitus are so much more than just a neo prog band. Whilst that sound is their forte, they produce so much more than this. Above all, I think that the best tribute I can pay to a band kind enough to do an interview with me on this site is that my life is infinitely richer for having had them enter it. They are a joy, and this four star album comes highly recommended to you all.

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 Anima by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 51 ratings

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Anima
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars I am glad to review an album from a Swedish band, when I am a swede myself and this one is called "Introitus" and has been making records since 2007. After the debut "Fantasy" and the follow up "Elements" it is now 2014 time for their third "Anima" which cover shows a dance couple in front of a lake. A lot of musicians cooperate on this album: Mats Bender (keyboard), Anna Jobs Bender(vocals), Johanna Bender(vocals), Mattias Bender(drums and vocals), Henrik Ben..., no I meant Björlind (flute and additional keyboards), Pär Helje (guitar) and Dennis Lindkvist(bass). The size of the record is quite big, the songs are few which prog songs use to be.

The musical containt on "Anima" is interesting. The coexistence of many styles and aspects make this fusioned world and I do like many of them. I'll start with everything I like. It is clear this is well done and composed music with a lot of musicallity in performances. The album is full of great guitar solos, drums in a high class and symphonic keyboard walls. The melodies come as big structures and sometimes they are so symphonic. An example of that is the title track "Anima" of sixteen minutes. The second half of that song is very interesting with a male vocalist, subert instrumentalists and a choir as well. "Broken Glass" has also a lot to get high about. The best song though is "Free" where I love the Swedish folk song which is similar to Monica Törnell who did similar things in the seventies and the folk melody here is lovely. That is a bright shining point on "Anima" and "Free" gets 8/10.

I must though say that even if the music here and there is interesting and sweet, is my lack of interest in what the music gives me the must apparent for me. I find the songs uninspiring and especially the vocals are a total mess. I don't say the singer aren't good but it is certainly not my style. As soon as the music turns instrumental I like it and the good things on this album are not few so I will give it three stars, even if they are weak. The absolutely best song is "Free" and I recommend it!

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 Anima by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 51 ratings

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Anima
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars My, my. Trying to follow up Introitus' "Elements" is a difficult gig for any album by any artist, as it is a true masterpiece, in my opinion. Introitus themselves have given it a shot, and "Anima" has turned out to be a smashing success and a rock solid musical experience. Introitus, very much a family effort, features the Bender family and their friends making gorgeous music and great traditions, too.

After "Fantasy" and "Elements", the band has taken their sound a little bit to the heavier side at times, believe it or not. We still get to experience (and it really is an "experience") Mats Bender's lively, lush tapestry of keys, and also Anna Bender's monumental voice. However, Pär Helje on guitar and Mattias Bender on drums seem to have a little more leeway here, as the music really picks up some grit and features some rather hard-hitting sequences. This is all counterbalanced, however, by the beautiful flute from Henrik Björlind and the impressively noteworthy bass lines of Dennis Lindkvist. Indeed, the rhythm section of this album really nailed the vibe and the feel it needed.

Introitus has always written lyrics that seem close to home and to the heart. In fact, I really admire the way Anna and Mats respect and encourage their children, and also the love they express for each other. "Anima" is no different, as the same heartfelt lyrics return, such as in the tender "You Will Always Be My Girl". And, yet, there is a dark side to this album, too, with some depressing, insecure songs like "Broken Glass". However, Introitus' signature neo-prog, complete with grand flourishes and rockin' instrumentals, is constantly weaving its way through all of this.

I confess that Introitus is one of my very favorite bands, and this album really shows why that is. This band isn't afraid to utilize sweeping synth in the same place as fantastic blast beats. They aren't afraid to include purely instrumental tracks like "Free", a complete knock out of fast paced rock, Celtic flutes, and even some electronic elements. They aren't afraid to tackle a sixteen minute epic called "Anima" that is literally the best epic I've heard this year, complete with a compelling chorus, ambient sections, and, like usual, a firestorm of an instrumental. In fact, it's so impressive, that they had to include a dreamy cooldown track directly afterwards, "Exire".

So, kudos to Introitus for creating yet another masterful album. "Anima" has all the synthy goodness, beautiful lyrics, and hardened edges that I was hoping to hear, and that automatically makes it one of my favorites of the year. And the best thing? Introitus albums always grow on me, so I expect to love "Anima" even more within a few months. Be sure to hear this wonderful album.

4.5 stars

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 Anima by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 51 ratings

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Anima
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by emperorken

5 stars I am a big fan of Introitus' previous two albums, in fact their 2011 album "Elements" was near the top of my list for that year. So I had high expectations for this, their third release. Well, the Bender family and friends have not let me down.

"Anima" is another tour de force. Just great songwriting, arrangements, and musicianship. It starts with Matts Bender on keyboards, who plays his instruments with such power and versatility. As in the past, the keyboards are the dominant instruments here. Still, Par Helje does a great job on guitars, with some soaring Hackettesque solos as well as some blistering licks. And Anna Bender's crystal clear vocals just add to the power and emotion of the album.

Three of the 9 tracks exceed 10 minutes in length, and there is not a weak track on the entire album. Just powerful and emotional, loaded with great melodies and instrumental passages. Everything you could want from modern symph/neo prog. This album will certainly be in my rotation for quite a while as it just gets better with each listen. And a sure bet, like "Elements", to be near the top of my 2014 list of best albums.

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 Elements by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 212 ratings

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Elements
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Introitus prove that their debut album wasn't a one-off bit of family fun with Elements. Once again, the husband and wife team of Mats and Anna Jobs Bender are rounded out with their children Mattias on drums and Johanna in an expanded role on percussion, choir and supplementary keyboards, along with a brace of guest musicians. This time around the concept draws on old-timey philosophy, with each of the compositions being linked by atmospheric instrumentals based on each of the four classical elements identified by the ancient Greeks. Musically speaking, neo-prog is the name of the game - but exceptionally delivered neo-prog, with Mats' compositions and Anna's operatic delivery really making the album work. Don't let the twee efforts of other family bands put you off - as ably demonstrated here, the Benders can (prog) rock with the best of them.

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 Fantasy by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.72 | 45 ratings

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Fantasy
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A very rare case, if not the only one, of a band consisting of parents and children.This family matter begins way before the debut of the band, when Mats Bender started writing music, while the lyrics were provided by his wife Ann Jobs.Introirus started in Vansbro in mid-00's, when Mats decided that the current technology could help him present his material in full shape.With him on keyboards, Ann Jobs on vocals, their children Mattias and Johanna on drums and choirs respectively and a few friends on guitars, bass and flutes, Introitus recorded their debut ''Fantasy'' and self-released it in 2007.

Their sound belongs definitely among the contemporary prog bands with a very diverse sound and a variety influences, ranging from Symphonic Rock to folsky passages and from a Heavy Prog instrumental mood to energetic Neo Prog.One can hear elements from bands like SKY ARCHITECT, MAGENTA, MOSTLY AUTUMN, ARENA and NEXUS.Mats' compositions are filled with drama and grandiosity, characterized by the huge synthesizer flights, powerful guitars and a great flexibility between changing climates.But there is also some space for more melancholic atmosphere, often based on a folkier mood with strings, flutes, bagpipes, accordion and synths on the forefront as well as Ann Jobs' warm voice.The five-part 26-min. eponymous opus is certainly the best example of the Introitus' diversity.From the grand symphonic textures with harsichord, piano and organ as the leaders and the somber folsky passages to the Neo-like floating synth soundscapes and the dynamic guitar-dominated grooves, this arrangement contains all the band's ideas and varied influences but also the evident talent of Mats Bender in composition.The absence of a specific direction though is mostly a problem, the huge amount of different sounds sometimes confuses the listener than trully sets him in the mood, while a couple of tracks are really hard to stick into your mind.However there is a sense around that this band is able to write some trully masterful material.

A nice first step by this family-band with some great ideas here and there and an album close to being representitive of what modern prog is all about.''Fantasy'' was re-released by Progress Records in 2011 and it is quite easy to be purchased.Warmly recommended, this is a band to keep an eye on.

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 Elements by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 212 ratings

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Elements
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by stormwatch01

3 stars Nice. Nothing more, nothing less. In terms of Neo Prog, a well crafted effort. The music flows like a gentle river, with some curls in it. No dangerous rocks, whirls or waterfalls in sight. It surely is no background music but its a little hard to keep attention for nearly 70 minutes. If you want to relax - perfect! But if you are looking for some "catchy" tunes or jawdropping hooklines - failure. After listening to this record, some classical composer came to my mind. For instants: I love the symphonies of Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn etc. but i get very easily bored with their chamber music or piano works.

Writing: *** Crafting: **** Inventive: ***

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 Elements by INTROITUS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 212 ratings

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Elements
Introitus Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

5 stars To me, the whole purpose of this wonderful website of ours is the opportunity to discover great (and some not so great) new artists and bands, who you would not otherwise have come across in day to day listening or record shop browsing. Stuff that moves you beyond the typical and classical music of the genre, as great as that music is. I have found so much great music since joining, and to the list of exceptional talents must surely be added this incredible band from Sweden, and the highlight of what has been a very good year for new music.

Introitus (another name for the vaginal orifice, apparently!) are a Swedish project led by Mats Bender, and feature a host of family members in support. This is their second release, and it will not be too long until I get the debut based upon this wondrous work. For this unashamed classical neo-progressive band have produced in Elements an utter masterpiece, and one that will be on the Lazland deck for many years to come.

Opener, The Hand That Feeds You, starts off in a loud and bombastic fashion, with passages clearly inspired by the heavier moments of bands such as IQ and Pallas. In other words, classic neo-prog. This, however, is not the be all and end all of this band, for within each track there is a multitude of moods, influences, and tempos. Four minutes in, we get the most beautiful acoustic guitar and flute, drawing in a more melodic passage that takes you right back to 1972, except that it is bang up to date in a modern and unique production. This leads up to a superb electric guitar solo, and we have a denouement that is epic in statement, and epic in delivery, with some lilting Celtic chants backed by keyboards reminiscent of Mark Kelly at his best.

Earth is the first of the short "Elements" instrumentals and this leads us into the first of the two tracks on this album that can only be described as attaining that perfect genius status in music, Like Always. This is a wondrous ballad, with an incredible vocal performance by Bender's wife, Anna. This is a moving love song which takes you to heights that are almost impossible to reach. The guitar solo and lyrics/vocals at the end are fantastic, and the love that created this love song is, you know, utterly genuine and utterly perfect in its musical delivery. So good, this track is exhausting.

Wind is the second short instrumental element, and reminds me, with its flute section, of I Talk To The Wind. This takes us to Restless, which has an uplifting, soulful guitar solo before moving into its first, very noisy, and very neo phase. At times manic, but never less than interesting, in particular with Mat's keyboard performance. Half way through, the track settles down into a lovely pastoral pastiche, before gradually building up to match the volume and intensity of the opening track. There are, amongst all this, some very nice Celtic chants that I am sure will appeal to fans of bands such as Mostly Autumn and other prog folk.

Fire is the next Elemental instrumental, and clever effect and crystal clear production create a fire in your speakers. This takes us nicely onto Dreamscape. This features very clever music and lyrics which tell the story of a dream. Actually, this is an area where this band excel, the art of bringing to vivid and interesting life, events that are so common place, that you rarely spend time analysing them. So, love in Like Always, death in the staggering closer, and dreams in this track. The keyboards and effects create perfectly the dream story with some ethereal vocals.

Water is the last of the elements, and nice effects again take you to a small rockpool.

The best, though, is saved until last. Soulprint (for Mother) is one of those tracks that will stay with you until your dying day. I can only compare it to two of my all time favourite tracks, both of which deal magically with bereavement - Mother by Judie Tsuke (from the Secret Agent album, which is sheer class) and the exceptional Eternally by Karmakanic. This track is as good, if not better, and I can think of no higher praise than that. Anna's vocals are of the highest quality, and the music delivers seventeen minutes of highly original classy rock, with a very special mention going to a rhythm section of Mattias Bender on drums, who is excellent here, and Dennis Linkvist, whose thundering bass is consistently excellent throughout the album. The heavier passages deliver a wall of sound not really heard since the pomp days of Genesis in the mid-1970's, and the orchestral passages, with some moving cello pieces, are symphonic prog of the highest level.

I gave a five star review to Pendragon's Passion at the start of the year, and I really did not think that those (comparative) granddaddy's of the neo-prog scene's work would be bettered in 2011. Whilst Introitus are nowhere near the commercial league of bands such as Pendragon, with this release they absolutely deserve to be catapulted into the major division of neo and prog in general. I swear that the nerve ends tingle and shatter when you hear Anna sing mother to sleep.

For me, this is the utter highlight of what is shaping up to be an excellent year. It is available on Spotify, so give it a few listens, and then, like me, download it from Amazon for the ridiculously cheap price of £6.99. It is worth a damn sight more than that, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Five stars for this, a masterpiece of progressive rock music. Neo prog rock that manages to evoke its many influences, without ever being derivative or retro, and is, at times, exceptionally moving, and always oozing sheer class.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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