I was quite surprised when I heard of this collaboration.
Isildurs Bane is a band where I bought a few records from back in 1988. I liked them very much, but I must admit the records were just played a few times through the years.
An excellent band though and very prog indeed.
Steve Hogarth is of course a well-known name in prog land since he replaced Fish in Marillion. But also his solo work and projects with other musicians like Richard Barbieri did not go unnoticed.
So, quite a combination. I don't know how they met. But this combination makes me curious.
It starts off with a slightly catchy, powerful jazz influenced song called Ice Pop. The first thing I noticed was the very clear sound of Hogarth's voice. Every detail can be heard.
In The Random Fires joined with some fiddling violins the track breathes a sophisticated Beatles kind of sound. Mixed with some Jazzy rhythms.
Also in Peripheral Vision his voice is extremely detailed. Especially when the track starts, in a quiet ambiance it stretches and builds up to a nice climax finishing in a soft ending. Standard but good to listen to.
Track 4, The Love And The Affair Steve's voice is more embedded in the music. An excellent prog track. With some folk influences this more than ten minutes minute epic has a nice ambiance with some dark edges. Speaking of epics. The epic length of a prog song should be at least 10+ mins. This one meets the requirement.
Starting with some 8 bit sounding synth's and string sounds this song moves to a Hogarth solo piece. A minimum of instrumental guidance makes this song a nice and sometimes gloomy “Ballad”.
Incandescent is the last sparkle on this six track album. It breathes an eighties sound and has enough musical variations to keep it interesting.
Isildurs Bane still proves to be an excellent band after a this long break. Combined with the voice of Steve Hogarth it is gold! A high quality prog album that has much potential.
It was a nice surprise, and I hope to hear more of them in this configuration.
**** Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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