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ISILDURS BANE

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Isildurs Bane picture
Isildurs Bane biography
Founded in Halmstad, Sweden in 1976 - Still active as of 2018

Helped by some guests (Horns, oboe, flute, cello...), ISILDURS BANE plays a majestuous orchestral symphonic between vocals, guitar, keyboards and flute. They are very percussion oriented, with a lot of keyboards and some guitar. This swedish band has a unique sound, with great playing, but it might require a couple of listenings to grow on you. Recommended to fans of Eclectic, intricate music.

Symphonic fans should try "Sagan Om Den Irlandska Algen" or the classic "Sagan Om Rigen". One symphonic/modern classical concept album, "Cheval" was recorded with an orchestra and is an unusual, but effective blend of chamber rock and classical music. And the "MIND* Vol. 1" album is a real Classic for all times: a unique, distinguished blend of contemporary Classical Music and Symphonic Progressive Rock with extremely complex structures. "MIND* Vol. 2" (2CDs) consists practically of all (and only) new compositions. On the "MIND* Vol. 3" album, and the band's concept MIND* is still alive. This one is a masterpiece. FOR THE ADVENTUROUS AND OPEN-MINDED!!!

For the first time since 1983, ISILDURS BANE have recorded an album with vocals and lyrics. "MIND Vol. 4: Pass" is characterized by strong melodies, experimental synth sounds and elaborate sound treatments. The music was recomposed and rearranged, new lyrics were written and a new approach to doing songs was the order of the day.

*(Which is an abbreviation of "Music Investigating New Dimensions".)

See also: WiKi

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ISILDURS BANE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.69 | 37 ratings
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen
1984
2.52 | 32 ratings
Sea Reflections
1985
1.89 | 25 ratings
Eight Moments Of Eternity
1987
3.38 | 41 ratings
Sagan Om Ringen
1988
3.34 | 46 ratings
Cheval - Volonté De Rocher
1989
3.95 | 89 ratings
The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere
1992
3.78 | 88 ratings
Mind Volume 1
1997
2.62 | 31 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Metamorfosi Trio: Mind Vol. 3
2003
3.73 | 57 ratings
Mind Vol. 4 - Pass
2003
3.74 | 68 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found In Nature
2017
4.26 | 19 ratings
Off The Radar
2017
3.81 | 115 ratings
Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
2019

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

3.78 | 35 ratings
Mind - Vol 2 Live
2001

ISILDURS BANE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.18 | 11 ratings
MIND Volume 5 - The Observatory
2005

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

3.63 | 19 ratings
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen / Sagan Om Ringen
1992
3.71 | 17 ratings
Sea Reflections / Eight Moments Of Eternity
1992
3.32 | 17 ratings
Lost Eggs
1994

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Songs from the Observatory
2005

ISILDURS BANE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Off The Radar by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.26 | 19 ratings

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Off The Radar
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Swedish masters Isildurs Bane have gone along way since the 80's, although listed in the archives under symphonic which indeed reflected their first phase, they have grown immensely since then incorporating chamber, fusion, post rock, electronics, avant garde and a certain style that is only their own. Up until this album the band haven't released any new music in almost 15 years but since then they've released three albums in two years, this one being the second released in December 2017. The two other albums include collaborations with Marillion's Steve Hogarth and the highly recommended In Amazonia with Peter Hammil, this one goes back to being strictly instrumental again. Although the line up of the band always include many guest musicians, some of them participate in different albums and it's always a mix of musicians, the core line up is still here even after 40 years. So like a lot of albums using so many musicians this album sounds really varied, warm and natural and of course beautiful. I think Off The Radar deserves the 5 star rating not only for the playing and writing but also because of how the music is crafted so well, flawlessly balanced and yet still remains free and loose.

Another thing I love about this album is the fact that it is so progressive! I mean good 'ol prog rock, the kind that you don't have any clue what's coming in the next three seconds. The music is constantly evolving, incorporating so many sounds and instruments, mixing electronic sounds and beats with guitars, jazzy trumets and violins in an awe inspiring manner, very reminiscent of Jaga Jazzist, so if you're a fan of them look no further because this is an amazing gem. The writing is very mature and right, it doesn't matter if the song is 4 minutes long or 10 minutes long it's always interesting and so fun to listen to. Keys, electronics, synths and whatever they use take a big role throughout but never take the center of the show, same goes for all the wind instruments. I'll shortly review the songs to let you in what it's all about.

From the first minute of "Drive" you can sense that you are in for something special, as the rhythm drives in a storm of instruments, it looks like everything is thrown into the party, violin, trumpet, clarinet, synths and some glockenspiel to give it that Zappa touch, it doesn't sound too busy at all because they come and go, everyone is adding their two cents, the music is really crafted meticulously. It calms down half way and becomes relaxed and a little bit psychedelic until the end, great stuff! The S/T track keeps the positive vibes and happy energies although it is different, a groovy rhythm harboring more electronic experiments with some cool jazzy saxophone to go along. Under Your New Moon has this acid jazz coolness which brings another shift in style, I love the atmosphere on this one, the rhythm is slow, relaxed and disturbing. Drums perfectly carry the pace half way to the end, pure joy. Xenolith is the longest piece, sounds like something out of their Mind Volume 1 album, a progy tune filled with ideas experiments with all kinds of sounds, a bit avant garde, jazz fusion and more, drums comes and go until about the 7th minute where it kicks in to gear with screaming saxophones, this is excellent! Goodbye Berlin continues in the same vein and holds a fine guitar solo which up until this point was pretty much in the backround spicing the music, Endless Air starts as a chamber jazz piece which at first sounds out of this album but then grows into a disturbing atmosphere until the album ends.

It's good to see Isiludrs Bane after all these years of silence still keeping it going with this amazing performance and such a high level of writing and creativity Fans of Jaga Jazzist especially don't miss out on this one. 4.5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

 Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found In Nature by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 68 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth: Colours Not Found In Nature
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One would think that a project of the Swedish chamber-symphonic rock band Isildurs Bane with Marillion's frontman Steve Hogarth would get more attention in progressive circles. The music offered here deserves our full attention. I myself was drawn to this album because I loved the Isildurs Bane with Peter Hammill project 'In Amazonia' and learned to appreciate Steve Hogarth's vocals whilst recently listening to Marillion's 'F.E.A.R.' LP.

On this album the sound of Isildurs Bane is a mix of chamber music (great variety in wind and string instruments), world music (especially those violins), adult rock and symphonic rock. Some moments cast that acoustic beauty of Sigur Ros at their finest, whilst other moments remind us of the less electric compositions of Marillion in recent years. The arrangements are all filled with great musical detail, suprising sounds and original combinations of instruments. Steve Hogarth has written lyrics that enable him to perform in his most story-telling fashion, which suits the imaganitive music very well. His vocals stand out as particularly honest and 'in the room'. The result is a very listenable, yet complex album with a very adult feel to it. The songs are well-written; I guess they could have been performed with significantly less rich instrumentation without loosing their potency. My only complaint is that most songs tap in that same artistic / sensitive / emotional atmosphere. The final song 'Incandescent' brings a significant change in moods that could have been introduced earlier on in my opinion. Still a great high-quality album though!

I would recommend 'Colours Not Found in Nature' to all listeners with a slightly wider definition of progressive music. This could even be an interesting record for music fans in general.

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.81 | 115 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is so good that I already want more. Musically, In Amazonia is a very eclectic release. It feels so much larger than a Peter Hammill solo release, and it ventures on Van Der Graaf Generator territory with a similar level of aural candy. With any collaboration, something unique can be created. In Amazonia seriously delivers as the most underrated release this year. Every Van Der Graaf Generator fan should give this a listen as this is very familiar. The six tracks sound different, but keep a common theme while utilizing the winning formula from the 70s... and sounding modern at the same time. In Amazonia is another stellar release involving Peter Hammill. While I don't know much about Isildurs Bane, I am very impressed.
 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.81 | 115 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Now here's an interesting Peter Hammill / VDGG related release that some of us might have missed. In this collaboration Peter hammill serves as a composer/singer and the Swedish group Isildurs Bane as arrangers and instrumentalists. Listed here as 'symphonic prog', this album could easily be seen as an avant-prog effort. Almost as intense and varied as the VdGG classic 'Pawn Hearts', sound-wise it shows influences of electronic music, ambient, chamber-music and ethnic/folk (percussion). Peter Hammill gives one of his most lively performances in recent years. The combined effect is a nightmarish marathon of 40 minutes that really aims to effect the listener.

In my opinion the sophisticated arrangements and Hammill's disturbing presence really compliment each other. I've read some online comments of critics who'd disagree - but who can honestly say he thought that Van der Graaf Generator sounded coherent at first spin? No-one I guess. On this album Hammill seems to care particularly little about pitch perfect singing - in stead focusing on immersing himself in the highly original material. This works really well, though the sophisto piano ballad 'The Day is Done' could have used a more subtle approach at times.

On side one of the vinyl the three pieces are a continues flow of ambient progressive music. Though pretty dark and dissonant, even my girlfriend reacted positive on it because of its imaginative effect. On the second side 'This is Where? ' is the most avant-garde styled piece, with less ambiance and a more dry & eclectic progrock-based pallet of sounds. Very original, but perhaps a little bit unfocused compared to the other tracks. 'The Day is Done' is a minimalist piece compared to the others in which the piano and song-writing of Hammill takes center stage. The addition of lots of creepy sound-effects keeps the listener on his toes. The ending track 'The Bird has Flown' then brings back the ambiance of opening tracks and offers a conclusive atmosphere to this dark album.

Conclusion. This album could almost be seen as a 'Blackstar' for Peter Hammill. A resurrection of his most artistically successful days, a great gathering of talent and an album where old age adds to the creepy dark vibe. 'In Amazonia' might not be perfect, but it has a lot to offer and really adds something original & substantial to the progressive rock releases of 2019. Four stars for sure.

* Bumped the rating to a solid five.

 Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.81 | 115 ratings

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Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill: In Amazonia
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The unmistakable disrruptive flow of Peter Hammill´s musical language finds a friendly space to roam in this 6 track: Isildurs Bane & Peter Hammill - In Amazonia (2019).

Somehow without the burden of carrying on the whole music writing and performance, Peter Hammill unleashes an energetic feel which sometimes his own later works lack.

Sound wise this album travels smoothly along varied moods and Eclectic Prog. atmospheres, with a subtle Symphonic Prog. touch thus, besides a here and there spiced oriental flavor, the styling is not far from Hammill´s and the Swedish ensemble Isildurs Bane and a long list of other notable collaborators play around the vocalists lyrics and stop-motion pace with creative and very well detailed performances and arrangements.

There is no doubt that this release is richer in musical ideas than Hammill own 2017 From The Trees, which somehow confirms a freer disposition and breadth in its sound and the corresponding fringe benefits of working with talented performers who are used to host other musician´s musical language.

****

 Cheval - Volonté De Rocher by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.34 | 46 ratings

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Cheval - Volonté De Rocher
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.

 The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.95 | 89 ratings

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The Voyage - A Trip To Elsewhere
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars At least IMO, Isildurs Bane is one of the most ambitious and complex bands of mid 90's and early 00's. Perhaps the band has some weak productions, most of their discography it's really amazing and the band has built during the years their own and singular style.

This album in particular has most of the elements that a dedicated prog fan loves: long symphonic epics, dark chamber rock sections, intrincated melodies and harmonies, mixture of classical and electric instruments and quiet and peaceful musical moments, starting with the opener "The Adventure of the Whirling Delerium", a sofisticated chamber rock piece with some madrigal elements, plenty of intrincated and beautiful chord arrangements but even with constant melodic changes and some proggy and sometimes almost RIO epic sections.

"A Telescope and a Hot Air Balloon" starts with a pleasant piano and violin intro which turns into a dark and almost heavy section leaded by electric guitar and drums to evolve into a beautiful proggy melody. The value of this piece is their constant come back to chamber rock elements without the lose of symphonic prog sound.

"Picassiette - First Wal"k maybe is an harmonic and quiet piece leaded by piano and flute but still with constant progression. Beautiful from the first to the last second. Then begins what I call "La Sagrada Familia suite" a serie of songs inspirated by the famous catalan catedral, all of them very short and built on thrilling church chorus arrangements.

"Das Junkerhaus" is the most avant garde song of the album, very experimental and dark doesn't fit totally with the rest of the album.

"Picassiette - Second Walk" has the same delicate and hypnotizing elements that their "first part" and act as a intro for Wild as a Toad, the long epic of the álbum, a piece with constant variations with some Crimson elements but fullfilled by chamber rock atmospheres. It's a track which has a lot of symphonic sections sometimes leaded by classical chords or exquisite electric guitar arrangements.

"Picassiette - Third Walk" is another fine and delicate piece leaded by a calm ald floating piano melody. Then we listen "Nimis - Wotan's Tower" a short and rhytmical piece which reminds me proggy tunes "a la Happy the Man".

The album ends with the powerful and complex "Magnificient Giant Battles", a piece which resume in 6 minutes most of the more raw and classic RIO sound with very galloping symphonic sections.

As I said before, we are in front of a complex album, probably too much directed to exquisite prog listeners perhaps that is the reason why this álbum is so enjoyable?

 Eight Moments Of Eternity by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1987
1.89 | 25 ratings

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Eight Moments Of Eternity
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars In 1986 Isildurs Bane hit the road out of Sweden for the first time.The band visited Germany for a three-week tour, playing mainly in pubs and having an overwhelming reception.In 1987 they recorded their fourth album ''Eight moments of eternity'' at the Starec Studio, the first far from a concept theory, introducing Czech bassist Fredrik Janacek in the place of Stigge Ljunglof.Another vinyl issue on the band's own label.

The sound is similar to the previous release, you can tell by the half futuristic/half childish front cover that you expect nothing less than an 80's-styled Prog album with all its goods and bads regarding the period.''Eight moments of eternity'' has a slight dash of a more symphonic vibe compared to the previous album, still it's rooted somewhere between 80's Prog, New Wave and Fusion, suffering from weak keyboard sounds, unbearable beats and a very mechanical drumming.The trumpet and horn parts are among the album's highlights, very warm and melodic, in addition to some sax and flute parts, which offer injections from the band's previously folkier stylings.They still use some of the old KAIPA sweet, melodious textures during the more symphonic sections and they are confident enough to combine them with the heavy horn parts.Instrumentally they are pretty solid, all melodies and arrangements are worked till' the last detail, this could be a really serious competitor, if recorded in the 70's, using the vintage instrumental and production values.But as it is, the album sounds a bit robotic with the production and instrumental selection being the main reasons.Big surprise comes from the short instrumental ''The second step'', which follows the lines of THE ENID, featuring great guitar work and an excellent orchestration on percussion, flute and oboe with a full orchestra line-up, the only piece recorded at Studio 38.

Good arrangements, but bad production/instrumental selection.Things are pretty clear.If you can stand the weak 80's recording techniques, ''Eight moments of eternity'' is still a pretty decent album.Otherwise this will end up to be a far from enjoyable listening...2.5 stars.

 Sea Reflections by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.52 | 32 ratings

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Sea Reflections
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars In 1985 Isildurs Bane made an impressive turn.They introduced a 3-part wind section with Bengt Johansson becoming a full-time member and Christian Jerhov with Jan-Ove Nilsson participating in the third album ''Sea reflections'', performing on trumpet, trombone and flugehorn.Bassist Ingvar Johansson was also replaced by newcomer Stigge Ljungloef.Another release on their own private label, ''Sea reflections'' was recorded and mixed at Studio 38 during the summer of 85' and appears to be a tribute by the band to the sea and the people close to it.

The concept around the album comes only through rumors, because this is an all instrumental effort, which the band characterized as an attempt on Symphonic Jazz and a further development over the previous albums.Half true, half false.To my ears ''Sea reflections'' sounds an attempt by the band to limit their melodious lines and increase the more furious intercations (which propably sounds fine), linked with Jazz Music, but the time of the release did not help at all, because even if the album contains some nice instrumental cuts, the slick production and the weak keyboards along with the uninteresting sax lines fail to strengthen the group's profile.Plenty of the included pieces, especially those with the wind instruments in evidence, sounds like hillarious, commercial Fusion with uninspired melodies and standard 80's values.No surprise, the moments linked with Isildurs Bane's previous style are the most interesting ones: Great guitar work along the lines of FOCUS and KAIPA with supporting, dreamy keyboard textures offer fortunately some beautiful moments of sensitive, semi-symphonic music, showered by a deep sense of melody.That is the good part, because the bad one says that these are too few to save the mediocrity of the album.

Isildurs Bane saw this effort a step towards the right direction.I see it as the most commercial-oriented effort of the group regarding its first three works, often with an unacceptable sound due to the 80's-styled acoustics.For fans of the band...2.5 stars.

 Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen by ISILDURS BANE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.69 | 37 ratings

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Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen
Isildurs Bane Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In 1982 Isildurs Bane had their first real big tour, performing lots of concerts, at a time when original keyboardist Bengt Jonsson had already left the band.Not to be confused though with sax player Bengt Johnsson, who was making guest appearances with his sax for the band since early-80's, like in the band's second offering ''Sagan om den Irländska Älgen'', an album treating with nuclear war and its consequences in human life.The album was recorded in late 83' at Farm Studios in Helsinborg and released in 1984 on the band's newly established Isildurs Records.

The album follows more or less the style already offered in Isildurs Bane's debut, smooth Symphonic Rock in the vein of KAIPA with beautiful, dreamy instrumental textures but also plenty of skillful moments.However it is a more tight listening that ''Sagan om Ringen'' and the main reason for this is the extremely coherent 29-min. eponymous symphonic suite, divided into six movements.This is a fantastic epic with strong KAIPA and GENESIS vibes, highlighted by the incredible instrumental opening with its tremenmdous interplays as well as the elegant flute parts, the sensitive Swedish lyrics, the strong moog synths of Mats Johansson and the diverse guitar workouts of Mats Nilsson.There are a fair number of changes between atmospheric themes and more complex ideas and the folk elements remain always a main component of the band's overall symphonic approach.The pair of shorter closing tracks show the more Fusion side of Isildurs Bane, even some nice saxes appear in ''Marlboro Blues'' (played by the now guest musician Bengt Johnsson), while the performance is still quite strong with plenty of breaks.Great guitar work again by Nilsson and lots of synth solos by the talented Mats Johansson.

Excellent sophomore work by this daring Swedish combo, highly recommended to all Progressive Rock fans.Both ''Sagan...'' albums have been released in 1992 in a single CD, certainly easier to find than the original vinyl pressings.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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