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


Isildurs Bane


Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 57 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This swedish band is not among my favorites on prog rock. But I really enjoy this album, for three reasons:

1. It presents plenty of orquestration, without getting folky, boring and/or snob.

2. It's inventively and free-based on the true story of an "ordinary person" who made something outstanding. He builded a castle almost all alone, just collecting rocks and finding there places on the main idea to create a space where people could connect to something bigger than them. I'll give more details ahead.

3. The relations and connections between the two points above are clear, direct and consistent.

There's an additional reason for me to review this album. The booklet has informations about Ferdinand Cheval and his project, but there is also IB's interpretation's about this true story, that brings an artistical and empathetic enrichment to this release. And the listeners who don't have the CD or the LP will lose that. I'll make therefore a cross between IB's approach of this story, with my own interpretations.

Cheval (1836-1924), during his work as a postman, had a vision about constructing an esoteric and/or spiritual structure. The idea had such na impact on his mind and heart, that it was just a mattter of time until he found the opportunity to execute it.

The first track of the album, called Initiation, with strong percussions and rhythms, simbolizes the deepness that the project went into his soul and personality. When he found a rock with an unique and exquisite format, that idea came strong, consistente and enduring to the surface.

This occasion is more explored on track 2, "The Find". The quiet melodies indicate that despite the huge amount of labor ahead, Ferdinand probably became serene, smooth, because nature had helped to free his imagination, lighting up the path and giving him the necessary motivation.

The following track, "The Interpreter", starts smooth and grows to a more pompous feeling. A brief interlude appears and makes a very pleasent transition to a march. On the middle there are some delicious and joyful tunes. This is the more diversificated track and also the longest one. IB's description of this composition puts it by the expression: "How to explain not using words/Spellbound by inspiration". I'd make my own contribution saying that every time Cheval found a rock, he'd try to feel and see what meanings and symbols it could bring to his work.

"33 years" is the title of the fourth track and supposed to be the time Cheval took to conclude his opus. Starts with a peaceful tune on the oboe. Gradually, other instruments take part on the same tune, adding additional harmonies. So, one by one, the violin, other chords, the guitar, the flute and the bass assume and colaborate with each other to develop the song. This musical structure inspires me to understand that the postman never abandoned his central idea and motivation, and had to find different ways to deal with and execute it.

On the following track, called "The Cicerone", the album again becomes joyful, even cheerful. It also gets, on some point, more rock-oriented, with more solos and interventions from the guitar. Well, my impressions is that this song brings a jovial vibe to the album. And I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered that Cheval looked like a teenager whenever showing his castle to the visitors.

Sixth track, The Aged, is very majestic. IB designates it as "The approaching end of a body that manifested the expression of it's soul and brought it closer to immortality".

Track 7, named Present, doesn't mantain the high level of the rest of the album. The percussion is too disruptive to me, and it repeats a tune that isn't much interesting. Fortunately it's very short.

Final track, entitled The 8th Wonder, begins with excelent vocal harmonies, but it's only a brief introduction. Most of the track is a consistent majestic synphonic prog effort.

I have some limitations to point about this release. On most of the tracks, the harmonies aren't much elaborated, and the percussionist's performance isn't as rich as I'm used to hear on prog rock.

Musically, 3.7 stars. 4.4 for its artistic conception and development.

arymenezes | 4/5 |


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