Band: Isildurs Bane & Steve Hogarth
CD Title: Colours Not Found in Nature
Label: Ataraxia Records (2017)
Rating: Great Stuff 4/5
This collaborative effort from Isildurs Bane and Marillion’s Steve Hogarth is sure to raise some eyebrows…and I mean that in a good way. The disc entitled Colours Not Found in Nature is made up of six mid-length tunes with the whole enterprise clocking in at forty-one minutes. It’s been quite some time since I last heard from Isildurs Bane, in fact this is their first full album since 2004 so once again I’m struck by what wonderful music they make. Throw into the mix Hogarth’s distinctive vocals and you have a very exciting musical release, even if the general tone of the music is a little subdued. The band’s chamber-prog-rock musical approach consisting of vibraphones, clarinets, strings, trumpets, classical guitar along with the “usual” instrument suspects goes a long way in matching the general tone and style Hogarth has cultivated over the years. The music is beautiful as it builds in hesitation on ascending chordal lines only to come back down in major resolves. Instruments and voice combine to build expectation and then resolution. The sound at times is soft, gentle, and introspective as you might expect a chamber-rock ensemble to be. What surprises is the times where the music explodes into grand flourishes that once again are matched with intense vocals.Isildures Bane craft a moderately complex musical style with plenty of musical change-ups and intricate layers of instrument arrangements given the number of performers. The music drifts from rock influences to some more jazzy and then some more classical. It’s all there. This is really great stuff, the kind of prog album you can listen over and over again and never get tired of. A welcome return. Recommended to fans of Symphonic Progressive Rock.