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Isildurs Bane - Mind Volume 4: Pass

Isildurs Bane - Mind Volume 4: PassIf you read a novel and then watch a film based upon the book, chances are that the film will disappoint.  With a book, one's imagination comes into play and the likelihood that the film will mirror the pictures in your head is rather remote.  In addition, directors often change aspects of the story including characters.  On the other hand, if you see a film and then read the book upon which it is based, the book may not meet your expectations as the film has already put those images in your head.  Basically, whichever you do first, read the book or see the film, that first impression will be your favourite.

It doesn't quite work the same way for music though, or does it?

My first encounter with the music that is Mind Volume 4, and for that matter with Swedish progsters Isildurs Bane, was when I saw their fantastic live DVD, Mind Volume 5.  I loved the music.  Not quite as good as being there at the concert but near enough for me.  So my expectations of the studio album were high.

Mind Volume 4 is a great album.  It is coherent, mesmerising, delicate and aggressive with some superb powerful driving music, for example, in Cage and Idea to name but two of the tracks.  But I came to that conclusion after listening to the CD a number of times.  Initially, I was a little disappointed with it, having seen the band perform live on DVD.  Like a few bands, Camel, Grace and Santana spring to mind, Isildurs Bane ARE a live band.  The music is good to begin with but the energy and excitement that goes into the live performance gives it that extra dimension.  And that, I felt initially, was missing from this CD.  Until the sixth spin of the disc that is, when it all fell into place.

The album has the benefit of some woodwind and brass instruments plus violin, which, of course, alters the overall sound when compared to the DVD performance which lacks these instruments.  But it is these differences between the studio and live versions which make them both worth getting.  In fact these are essential purchases.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Isildurs Bane


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