Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eik Hrislan Og Straumurinn album cover
3.97 | 42 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy EIK Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hríslan og straumurinn (14:23)
2. Eitthvað almennilegt (4:05)
3. Diskósnúðurinn (2:01)
4. Í dvala (2:23)
5. Átthagar (3:17)
6. Fúnk (4:16)
7. Fjöll (4:27)
8. Í stuttu máli (0:48)

Total Time: 35:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Magnus Finnur Johannsson / vocals, flute
- Tryggvi Hübner / electric & acoustic guitars, percussion, backing vocals
- Þorsteinn Magnússon / guitar, Mini Moog, backing vocals
- Pétur Hjaltested / Hammond, Fender Rhodes, MiniMoog, ARP String synth, harmonium, backing vocals
- Lárus Halldór Grímsson / piano, Fender Rhodes, MiniMoog, ARP String / Odissey synths, piccolo flute, marimba, percussion, backing vocals
- Haraldur Þorsteinsson / fretted & fretless basses, percussion, whistle, backing vocals
- Ásgeir Óskarsson / drums, percussion, timpani, congas

Releases information

LP Steinar ‎- 017 (1977, Iceland)

CD Spor ‎- STCD 017 (1995, Iceland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy EIK Hrislan Og Straumurinn Music

EIK Hrislan Og Straumurinn ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EIK Hrislan Og Straumurinn reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by laplace
4 stars Not only a record, but a field upon which two definite styles clash in battle! "Hrislan og Straumurinn" plays like a long-lost RPI disc on side A, and switches to compulsive funk-pop for the remainder of its duration. It's an unusual and striking approach, likely to garner your approval and many repeat plays.

The title track starts dauntingly, comparable in peculiarity to King Crimson's "Larks Tongues' in Aspic, part I" if not in ferocity, stirring together some lucid and capricious musical ingredients that are hard to grasp, even when they are repeated. This isn't a section of the record that you'll be able to commit to memory too suddenly! Developing from this point into a lush, lazy progressive ballad, "Hrislan og Straumurinn" suddenly slots in next to names like Premiata Forneria Marconi and Focus in the world of gentle, lovely symphony. Side A is closed by "Eitthvað Almennilegt" which comes across like a Gentle Giant number circa "Free Hand", with bouncier guitars and a rhythm section that seems to be having even more fun. So far so good.

Side B is different, consisting of shorter, more immediate songs and opening with one based in jazz funk, featuring strange contorted vocals. The Icelandic "Maggot Brain"? Perhaps not, as what follows harks back to the title track in composition, in this case making me think of Crucis (although since I've reviewed their work recently, that was bound to happen) thanks to the unusualness of the song structure. The singing approaches you from all directions, but the star of "Í Dvala" is the guitar player, soloing on electric and acoustic models with equal ease. Over too fast! "Átthagar" reintroduces almost disco-like funk, although here it shares "space" with tenser-than-Pink Floyd heroic guitar moments. The mood of the track "Fúnk" can be deduced from its title, hopping between carefree, popping basslines and more fusion-styled bridge sections - a lot like a short Herbie Hancock's Headhunter's track with a guest guitarist, with more of a sixties feel. "Fjöll" plays out like a quick ital-pop song, with beautiful acoustic guitar playing reflecting in the constant shine of warm electric piano - an instrumental approach that continues to the album's delicate coda, which is a suitable cherry atop the album.

The only problem is that, at 35 minutes of length, the cake is too small; another four minutes' work on each side of the album would allow for some of the small vignettes to grow into songs in their own right, or else allow for the further progression of some of the themes trapped on the album. That's a shame because Eik had the potential to write a masterpiece here. Listen to this album, you'll see what I mean!

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Some bells put you into a deep and frozen athmosphere where piano and electronic sounds make the tension increase. Then it becomes a little jazzy. Pekka Pohjola would have appreciated this start. When the intro ends and the first track really starts, it reminds to Gong and Gentle Giant, and it's pure progressive. The flute adds a bit of Canterbury. Suddenly the electric guitar start to alternate with the other instruments, and this is only the first track. After about 6 minutes, they start to sing. They have good voices, too (Yes). A 15 minutes piece full of things of that era. There are a lot of influences, Gentle Giant over all, but they are not clones.

The second track (excuse me if I don't paste the track titles, as they are icelandic), has a funky start with slapped bass, then goes into orchestral, with a leading flute. That's Canterbury.

Still funky on the 3rd track, but with a bit of Zappa in the vocals. Very nice.

Classic guitar drives the beginning of the 4th track., but also when it turns into electric, the sound is very clear, without any distorsion. I'm unable to say what the tempo is. This is my favourite track of the album.

Track #5 starts slowly with acoustic guitar and voice then into funk again. An electric guitar riff is the coda. A short piece.

A track whose title is "funk" should be self-explaining, but effectively it reminds me to Soft Machine's Land of Cockayne. The sounds of the guitar are more or less the same.It's more jazzy than funk, anyway, specially in the section driven by flute and Niacin style keyboard.

7th track. Hard to describe. Flamenco guitar in the beginning, easy melody but with variations in the tempo. I've heard something similar only with After Crying. Really remarkable.

The last (short) track is a melodic piece of fretless bass, acoustic guitar and percussions. It's a pity that it's only 1 minute long.

I recommend this album to Canterbury fans, but it's good for everybody.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fantastic album, one of those lost gems!

Now that Torodd posted an interview with one of the members of this Icelandic band, I remembered I was meaning to write the review of this album for some time ago. This is the second and last album of Eik, a band from Iceland whose legacy can be appreciated nowadays with some of the most important acts from that country. Sadly, they did not release any other album after this one, so their discography counts only a couple of releases.

"Hrislan Og Straumurinn" was released in 1977 with a new line-up, and probably (I say probably because I have not heard their first album) with a different sound. Stealing Tryggvi Hubner's words, this is "a very progressive album, complicated polyrhythms and at times unbelievable virtuosic playing." What better than the word of a guy who was member of this band.

Since I discovered this album I felt enthusiastic because I actually didn't know any progressive band from Iceland, so it was like a new experience to me. Though I don't really know if they incorporated some folk or traditional elements from their country, I can say that their sound is very peculiar.

This record features eight songs and a total time of 35 minutes. It kicks off with the title track which is also the longest one. A 14-minute track that serves as a fantastic introduction to the band's sound. The first moments have some nervous and even dark atmosphere created by piano and keyboard noises. At minute three, percussion appears and gives a new direction to the song. Now the sound is totally from a progressive rock band. It has an excellent bass sound, along with cool guitar and keyboard solos and pretty nice drumming. There is also a beautiful flute appearing in some periods which adds beauty to the song.

After minute six, vocals appear, but since the language is unknown to me I cannot judge lyrics. However, I like the way they put the vocals after that sensational first part of the song. Here the sound is more melodic and soft, there is a lead vocal but also backing ones, and sounds good. The song keeps this structure for a few minutes, and later it suddenly changes to an instrumental song whose passages are spectacularly well composed and played. I really live the bass sound on this track. Later there is another stop and another change, again to the soft part with vocals.

"Eitthvad Almennilegt" starts with weird vocals, but a few seconds later it becomes pretty interesting. The music and rhythm reminds me a bit of Gentle Giant, there are a great guitar and an awesome bass sound. Some short stops and tempo changes. Also notice the keyboard sound which adds a special flavor.

"Diskosnudurinn" is a short track, like an interlude which has some Zappa/Beefheart vocals style. The music has that same style as the previous ones, though this time the song is pretty short to show up their qualities. "I Dvala" has acoustic guitar, some seconds later bass and another guitar join and make a pretty folkish sound. And later electric guitar appears along with vocals. In moments it also reminds me of some 70s Italian bands, they have a similar style in moments. The acoustic guitar riffs are great, worth mentioning.

"Atthagar" starts again with acoustic guitar, but with a different mood. Calm and soft is the first part of this track, while the second one turns faster and provoking, with again a superb bass sound. "Funk" is an interesting instrumental track that has some cool guitars that remind me of Jan Akkerman, the bass lines are splendid along with the drums. The final part is also interesting due to the keyboard sound and those nice guitars.

"Fjoll" opens with Spanish-like acoustic guitar, but immediately after it turns into a nice soft melody. A warm flute sound at half the song which makes it better. And the album finishes with the shortest one "I Stuttu Mali" which is just a one minute outro with nice bass sound as the main character, accompanied with some acoustic guitar as background.

This is a wonderful album which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to explore music from different parts of the world, and for those who simply like progressive rock. My final grade is 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Eik is one of the best progressive rock bands ever came from Iceland with a short career lasted 7 years from 1971 until they disbanded in spring 1978. They offer two albums, the second one being the best, released in 1977 named Hrislan Og Straumurinn or in english The twig and the stream issued on CD at small label from Iceland named Spor. Well, this is a great album full of beautiful parts, going from symphonic prog to space/avant moments, few but exists like on Diskosnudurinn aka The disk jockey very much with a Zappa or Laser Pace sound. The opening track , the title track is excellent showing that Eik was a very promissing band but never manage to survive in prog scene from diffrent motives. Nearly 15 min of excellent playing, very good are the moog parts, what else a total winner piece. The rest of the tracks are shorter all are under 5 min, but this is not a problem, Eik manage to capture in each piece the essent of prog with nice flute arrangements, like on Eitthvað almennilegt - Something diffrent has some great energic drum parts, top notch keybords and complex arrangements, brilliant, in the most relaxed and smoother moments Eik is very similar with Camel, those unforgetable elegant passges Camel done in the ;70's. The instrumental Fúnk is another highlight from the album, with as title siggested with a funk toch over progressive parts, groovy bass lines, tempo changes, superb playing over all. In the end a very worthy album for all prog lovers, this is almost a lost gem with plenty of great moments, no weak parts, only memorable passages. Eik and specially this album is one of the best releases ever came from Iceland, worth to be discovered by many listners as possible. 4 stars easy, intresting cover art, the booklet of the CD has a brief history and a picture of the band and aswell lyrics. Recommended.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars If there wasn't this band SIGUR ROS I would say this might be the best album to come out of Iceland. A seven piece band and this is their second and final album released in 1977. Everyone says this is the better record, more challenging and complex with some incredible playing. Vocals are in Icelandic and we get multi-vocals on here. An interesting record in the sense that we get that Symphonic title track to open the record at 14 1/2 minutes followed by a Jazz/Funk style almost the rest of the way. One of the members said they listened to Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" a lot plus Mikael Urbaniac which is so cool, I'm a big fan and they were in awe with GENTLE GIANT which is where the virtuosity and complexity comes in.

That opener starts out with atmosphere, gongs and more before these dark piano lines come in before it all brightens and kicks in around 3 minutes. Vibes too. Flute and guitar interplay then dominates then these RPI-like vocals enter the fray. Some killer instrumental work to follow. I have to say the drummer and bass player are outstanding, so impressive. I have to mention "Fjoll" where we get these vocals with character in a jazzy mode that really brings to mind a SOLAR PLEXUS track. It will change after 2 minutes but I really like this one.

How about the funk on that second track! Some great sounding guitar as well. That third track is funny with the authentic sounding African American vocals, just too much really from these white guys from the north pole(haha). Groovy stuff. The fourth track features some acoustic and electric guitar, organ and vocals. Love the electric piano on the fifth song.

Nothing too mind blowing and they drift into some commercial territory but man I like this album. Four stars like everyone else.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of EIK "Hrislan Og Straumurinn"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.