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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover

EPILOG

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 622 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nº 218

"Epilog" is the second studio album of the Swedish symphonic progressive rock band Anglagard and was released in 1994. In relation to their debut studio work "Hybris", which had lyrics written in their original mother tongue Swedish, "Epilog" is a completely instrumental work. It's a very dark album, and despite be also influenced by the progressive rock music of the 70's, it's a musical work much more inspired in the classical music. And, I also think that it's a more personal work of Anglagard. Curiously, the name of the album almost was fatal to the band. For many years we thought that it would be their last studio work. Fortunately they would return in 2012 with another studio album, "Viljans Oga".

The line up on the album is Tord Lindman (guitar), Jonas Engdegard (guitar), Thomas Johnson (Hammond organ, mellotron and keyboards), Anna Holmgren (flute), Johan Hogberg (bass) and Mattias Olsson (drums, cymbals and percussion). Beyond the band's members, "Epilog" had also the performance by a handful of guest musicians: Asa Eklund (voice), Martin Olofsson (violin), Karin Hansson (viola) and Jan C. Norlander (flute).

"Epilog" has six tracks. All music was written and arranged by Anglagard. The first track "Prolog (Prologue)" is very short and as its name indicates, is the musical introduction on the album. This is a very beautiful way to open the album. It's a very calm classical piece of music, very delightful with a sad and melancholic Baroque atmosphere. Despite be short is absolutely brilliant. The second track "Hostsejd (Rites Of Fall)" is, on the contrary, the lengthiest track on the album. It's a song with pure moments of energy, very mellow moments with abrupt transition musical passages between calm and mellow parts and loud and wild parts. This is a song absolutely fantastic and one of the highlights on the album. The third track "Rosten (The Voice)" is a short song with about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. But, first of all, I must explain that my CD version of "Epilog" is the most recent, and this version has an extra CD with only one track, "Rosten". So, my review has also this new extra track. As the band explained, when "Rosten" was written for "Epilog" in 1993 was in its original version composed merely to mellotron. Before recording the album they decided to also use acoustic strings and flute. However, because some difficulties, lack of time and different perceptions of the music, they decided to not record it. Anyway, that decision was taken very late, because the cover of the album had already been printed including the title of the song. So, they developed an alternative solution which consisted of a mysterious sound stage. In 2003 when the printing editions of "Hybris" and "Epilog", the group had plans to record the song completely acoustic with strings, but that wasn't possible once more due to lack of time. So, only on this version it was possible. The final version of the song grew up and has several instruments with grandiose arrangements. "Rosten" is a magnificent piece of music, very grandiose, graceful and extremely beautiful with lots of mellotron. It's one of the most beautiful moments on the album, which is truly amazing, within its spirit and that adds even more quality to the album. The fourth track "Skogsranden (Eaves Of The Forest)" is another very complex piece of music. Again they show to us their roots in the classical music, starting the song in a very quiet way with flute and piano. But after a couple of minutes the song explodes with aggressive and abrupt musical passages. That happens through all the song and that reminds us that we are in presence of a band with a very complex progressive music. The fifth track "Sista Somrar (The Last Summer)" is another very complex progressive music. Like the previous track it starts very calm and soft until the song changes with a very strong and aggressive passage, and that will continue throughout the entire theme. Here, we can clearly see the perfect marriage and harmony between the classical and rock music, that Anglagard is perfectly skilled in doing. This is one of my favourite songs of them. The sixth track "Saknadens Fullhet (The Fullness Of Longing)" is a very short song composed and performed only for piano in a very classical music style. It's a very sad and melancholic song in the Scandinavian style and is a simple and beautiful way to finish this album.

Conclusion: "Epilog" is another incredible and beautiful album of this astonishing Swedish progressive rock band. Its music is less simple and naïve but more mature, complex and sophisticated than the music on "Hybris". If on "Hybris" the main influences were the progressive bands rock from the 70's like Genesis and King Crimson, here we have the classical music as the main domain. However, and as I said before when I reviewed "Depois Do Fim" of the Brazilian band Bacamarte, there are some similarities between these two great bands, because of some guitar sounds and especially due to the sound of the flute of Anna Holmgren. Perhaps "Epilog" isn't better than "Hybris" is, but it's surely a progression inside their music, I think. So, I highly recommend Anglagard for all fans of the classic progressive rock music with an open mind. Their albums are bright and represent some of the best music ever made in our prog world.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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