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Ragnarök - Fjärilar I Magen CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.40 | 28 ratings

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3 stars Ragnarök’s second album starts quite differently from their debut, but in the end the songs here are not all that distant from the mellow folk/fusion of the group’s first album. More keyboards here, and the occasional belted-out electric guitar lick just to keep listeners off-base a bit, but really the band established their core sound in 1977 and don’t vary much from it here.

‘Fjärilar I Magen’ (‘butterflies in the stomach’ or something close to that) comes nearly four years after the band appeared on the scene with their self-titled debut. After a short, heavy guitar opening on “Adrenalin” the music settles into familiar territory with piano, muted saxophone and almost synth- sounding electric guitars whining softly in the background. About their first album I once wrote that the music sounded like a seventies soft-porn movie soundtrack, and the same holds true here for the most part. Around the same time as this album there were quite a few artist putting out jazz/rock-based ambient instrumental music like this (Group 87, Jah Wobble, Wendy Carlos, Brian Eno), so the stuff isn’t exactly ground-breaking, but it was timely and topical at the time it was released.

“Var Glad Var Dag!” is another track with some heavy guitar work, and here the saxophone is quite prominent, but this is a notable exception on the album, not the rule (although “Blamolnfolket” has a similar arrangement only stretched out to more than eight minutes). “Brushanespel” has some oddly- formed guitar chords that reverberate in an unusual way, but this is just clever noodling in my opinion and doesn’t add to the song’s meaning or ambience at all.

The album ends with another eight minute track, “Vattenytor”, and this is the most disappointing track for me. I have to turn up the stereo volume pretty high just to hear the thing since it consists mostly of almost imperceptible guitar chords stretched out over plunky piano keys. I think this one took the concept of ambience to the extreme; either that or this is a tribute to sleeping or something. Not sure what the running water at the end is supposed to represent either, but it made me want to go to the bathroom.

I wasn’t hugely thrilled with the band’s debut, and would have given it 3.5 stars but had to round up since the rating system doesn’t allow that. I’ll do the same here except that I’m rounding up from 2.5 stars; this one has too many weak moments and not a lot that stands out. Better than a collectors-only piece, but not by much.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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