Friday, 16 May 2014

Hríslan og straumurinn (Eik, 1977)

Most of prog fans out there think that Icelandic prog was born with Sigur Rós a few years ago.To them, this band and this suite will come as a surprise, but Eik were there, among the snowy volcans and the hot geysers of their island since 1971. This suite is a good specimen of their eclectic symphonic rock. Hríslan og straumurinn (meaning "The Twig And The Stream") is the title track of their second and last album, released in 1977. After a long and visionary intro, including classic symphonic rock, jazzy twists and a beautiful flute, comes a melodic choral sung section, somehow not too far from Gentle Giant's model, but lighter in mood and arrangement.

Eik only released two albums, in 1976 and this one in 1977.

After these dreamy vocals, the song completely changes and here you are an up tempo interval, featuring a feast of keyboard progressions and effects. From here to the end of the track - the total running time of the song is more than 14 minutes - you'll find sung sections andf musical interludes in a beautiful succession and showing a wide range of moods. Definitely, following the song title, the listener of this track is like a twig driven by a quick stream... I also imagine this song like a spiritual trip into a hidden world, an uncompromising but pleasant experiment with the full bodied taste of the '70s.