Isildurs Bane - MIND Volume 1

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Svenska Unikum
Catalog Number: SUCD 197
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:39:00

Comparable to After Crying, Swedish band Isildurs Bane also is a collective which injects a lot of classical music within its original compositions. By adding percussive textures and brass the band crosses progressive paths with jazz, experiment and improvisation. Having been together for well over twenty years, the members of Isildurs Bane know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Based around the initial compositions of Mats Johansson, the music on Mind ? Volume 1 kind of reaches us like you zap from channel to channel on your wide TV-screen. Sometimes "older" melodies are revamped and given a second chance so people familiar with the band's "vintage" work will immediately feel at home. By using a wide array of instruments such as marimba, vibraphone, mallets, djembe, crotales and dombak, the unpredictable gets the upper hand, melding nicely with flute and brass in order to give it a jazzy flavour. In the title the word MIND doesn't stand for the obvious as you have to see it here as Music Investigating New Dimensions.

The illogical marriage of marimba and violin sets the tone for the dramatic "Ataraxia." Violin and flute are given more space during "In A State Of Comprehension" also sporting some great fretless bass. By adding bells and rainmaker, "The Pilot" almost introduces world music to the Jethro Tull feel before turning towards Focus. The technical prowess of a band like Isildurs Bane enables them to switch from one atmosphere to the other, from one musical style to the other. Fuelled by piano and occasionally helped out by cello, "Unity" is the kind of music that makes a great track stand out from the rest. Timeless as it sounds, it is a song that will be loved by prog heads or classical purists alike. In fact, both worlds seem to meet during "Opportunistic Walk ? Phases 1-2," where once again percussive details inject the energy. Here the band's love for Frank Zappa and passion for avant-garde excursions becomes apparent.

Similar to After Crying, the cello also plays an important role in the music of Isildurs Bane. In "Holistic Medicine" the music is woven around the various moves of a chess match. As the game approaches certain critical moves the music becomes more dramatic. The music changes from bluesy guitar to Miles Davis-like trumpet improvisations and back again. Heavy distorted guitars then drive the composition to an absolute climax resulting in [something that sounds like] Bondage Fruit meets Happy Family. Then one of the chess players "resigns" making way for an "open ending." The CD closes with the intimate nature of "A Blank Page," which sees a high pitched guitar being flanked by dramatic strings in a wonderful classical arrangement.

By including well known musicians such as guitarist Janne Schaffer and Björn J:son Lindh on flute, Isildurs Bane has delivered one of the most mature albums of their entire career. Mind Volume 1 is a musical journey which in years to come will still take its listeners to places they've never been before. Truly unique and unrivalled!

The Flight Onward ? Phases 1-5 (12:05) / Ataraxia (3:27) / In A State Of Comprehension (4:24) / The Pilot (5:38) / Unity (3:31) / Opportunistic Walk ? Phases 1-2 (15:15) / Holistic Medicine (14:51) / A Blank Page (3:08)

Klas Assarsson - percussion
Jonas Christophs - rhythm and lead guitars
Joachim Gustafson - violin
Mats Johansson - keyboards, vocals
Kjell Severinsson - drums, percussion
Fredrik Emilson - bass


Björn J:son Lindh - flute and recorder improvisations
Janne Schaffer - acoustic and electric guitars

Sagan Om Ringen (cass) (1981)
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen (LP) (1984)
Sea Reflections (LP) (1985)
Eight Moment Of Eternity (LP) (1987)
Sagan Om Ringen (LP) (1988)
Cheval - Volontè De Rocher (1989)
Sagan Om Den Irländska Älgen / Sagan Om Ringen (1992)
Sea Reflections / Eight Moments Of Eternity (1992)
The Voyage (2CD in small cardboard carrying case + booklet) (1992)
The Zorn Trio Plays Matts Johansson (1996)
Mind Vol. 1 (1997)
The Voyage - Remastered (1998)
Lost Eggs (1999)
Mind Vol. 2 Live (2001)
Mind Vol. 3 (with Metamorfosi Trio) (2003)
Mind Volume 4: Pass (2003)
Songs From The Observatory (2005) Colours Not Found In Nature (with Steve Hogarth) (2017)
Off The Radar (2017)

Mind Volume 5: The Observatory (DVD) (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: August 31st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 967
Language: english


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