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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover

HYBRIS

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.41 | 1179 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
4 stars There comes a time when we drive through a period of music dryness: when none of our previous loves seem faithful. All albums are daunting, there's no light in music, every instrument is a curse from God! I used to have specific albums that helped through these momentary droughts - I had back-up albums, so to speak. Albums I've cherished since childhood: Minstrel in the Gallery, Dark Side of the Moon, Foxtrot. But the magic faded from even these albums; I seemed utterly alone and hopeless in the world of music. Then I heard Hybris, and life was restored in the musical me.

From the very first key of Jordrök, the utter brilliance of the precise, sharp intrigue lured me again into the musical realm. A profound internal shift caused such a dramatic connection to the music: I wasn't hearing that dark, melodious piano, I was feeling it. Instantly, a knowledge swept over me: this music is special. The novelty of their sound lies in their polished flawless playing and the perfect sound quality. High-end musicianship, bewilderingly complex songwriting, ever-changing moods, and brilliant production all add ot the experience.

The sometimes sinister, sometimes epic atmospheres hold up throughout the album, and never falter. Really beautiful flute playing, reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's, adds a dynamic touch to the sound. The use and near abuse of the infamous mellotron generates a perfect reproduction of that classic prog sound, and the aggressive bass, guitar and drums creates a driving modern feel. The end result is a superb blend of 70s style prog with a more contemporary flavour (and, of course, the great modern sound quality).

The lyrics (translation available on their website [listed here as their "official" website, but, as I understand it, it truly isn't official]) are extremely thought provoking and exploratory. When reading the translation I paused and considered each sentence. It's very fine poetry, even in a translated form which is undoubtedly watered down from the original state. Or perhaps not - perhaps the translators took some liberty. Either way.

Overall, this album is extremely well written and played, leaving a sense of accomplishment after listening. Musicianship is top notch, and, once again, a great thing about this album is how neatly and faultlessly the mathematical phrases are played. The epic scale will undoubtedly floor any casual symphonic fan who has no prejudices against modern music. And I'm proud to say now that Hybris is in my list of back-up albums now (along with my fore-most albums).

Shakespeare | 4/5 |

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