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Isildurs Bane - Cheval - Volonté De Rocher CD (album) cover


Isildurs Bane


Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 51 ratings

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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.

apps79 | 2/5 |


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