Isildurs Bane and Steve Hogarth - Colours Not Found In Nature album review

Bold collaboration between veteran Swedes and Marillion’s H pays off handsomely

Isildurs Bane and Steve Hogarth - Colours Not Found In Nature album artwork

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Although Marillion’s Steve Hogarth needs no introduction to Prog readers, Sweden’s Isildurs Bane may be less well known.

Formed in the mid-70s and with numerous line-up changes over the decades across multiple releases, they’re led by keyboardist and principal composer, Mats Johansson. In the last 10 years they’ve focused primarily on an annual IB Expo concert where invited musicians, such as Hogarth, collaborate with the group. The six pieces here were premiered at 2016’s event and the 14-piece chamber rock ensemble provides an abundance of orchestral detail to lyrics Hogarth composed largely while on the road with Marillion. Lightning-fast rivulets of guitar and keyboards course between razor-sharp arrangements that bring both grace and force to H’s up-close and near-breathless tales of addiction, love, loss and metaphysics. When he’s not striking a bargain with God during Diamonds And Amnesia’s meditative hymnal, he’s assuming his own megalomanic omnipotence declaiming ‘Bring the Earth to me now!’ during the titanic clashes of Incandescent. Emotional catharsis and resolution comes through the touching yet troubled ballad, Peripheral Vision, new material boding well for IB’s international return.

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.