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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover

HYBRIS

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.41 | 1210 ratings

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Melomaniac
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 1995. I was working in a record store. Was a lot into prog, metal and prog metal. A client asked me to introduce him to the modern day prog bands I was enjoying. He left with a copy of Images and Words. He came back the very next day saying he liked it but it wasn't the style of prog he wanted. But, in exchange for my suggestion, he gave me a tape, and said "This is a copy of a new prog band from Sweden. If you're into old Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and Gentle Giant, you should dig this". He had just named most of my favorite bands in the same sentence, so I immediately looked at the tape : Anglagard - Hybris. After work I went home and put the tape in the cassette player... and from the opening notes, I knew I had something very, very special.

Vintage prog, I thought, played on vintage instruments (mellotron, Rickenbacker bass, Hammond B-3, etc...). I remember thinking how much Anglagard sounded like a side project of members from the bands mentionned above, only recorded and mixed using modern technology (modern in the 92). And the musicianship only helped me think that way : what great musicians these guys are (were). Not only is their playing extremely good, but the songwriting is even better. Every note is carefully placed and played, with the proper intensity for each. Very melancholic, moody, contemplative, dark, delicate at times and rocking in others, and... even though it sounds like vintage prog, there is something fresh and exotic about Anglagard. Very northern. The vocals may sound strange at first, but once you focus on the melodies rather the sound of the words, everything falls into place.

So, to me, this album is a definitive classic, every song perfect as is the running order. As much a tribute to the symphonic prog bands of old as it is a breath of fresh air for the genre. 12 years after that stranger gave me the tape (never saw him again, so if you're out there, THANK YOU SO MUCH), I bought the CD twice (was once stolen from me) and I enjoy it as much as I did back then, if not even more.

Without a doubt, five superb shining stars. Mandatory purchase.

Melomaniac | 5/5 |

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