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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 1576 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Classic Masterpiece Album of Symphonic Revival

Anglagard's Hybris is a classic album that many have heard and the reviews tend to fall into either a "Flawless Masterpiece" or "meh" camp. I happen to be in the first group, but I recognize that this music represents one of my favorite subgenres of complex, truly symphonic prog. Certainly, Anglagard's sound reminds of Genesis and Lark's Tongues-era King Crimson, but the aesthetic is more akin to some of the RPI bands or pastoral faves Harmonium. However, what Anglagard has over all these bands (even KC) is a monster command of the use of dissonance. This is often harmonically difficult music, and those whose ears need a certain standard structure may not enjoy this album. It's certainly not for everyone.

But for those with a taste for massive amounts of tension and release, wide swings of mood and color, and a love of serious experimentation, this is one of the best albums ever made. There is NOT anything like it available in the classic era, though certainly the band is heavily influenced by the classic giants. Predominantly instrumental, the album's occasional vocals serve more as an additional texture than a lead, especially for non-Swedish speakers. The pastoral sections lie somewhere between Harmonium and Damnation-style Opeth, but the heavy sections are bludgeoning. The bass tone is especially overwhelming, and it often sounds as if the player were trying to beat the instrument within an inch of its life. The guitar distortion is light and full, but the lines played are very interesting, exploring melodic territory far beyond expected notes. The rhythm section is tight but organic, and the music sounds very much as if was composed to be played live. Overdubs are for mere accent, and seemingly at a minimum.

Again, the mastery of this album is that the band has created something that is very individual and unique using fairly classic prog sounds. This is in no way a rehash of old material. Absolutely essential despite its (only relative) obscurity compared to its companions at the top of the PA charts.

Negoba | 5/5 |


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