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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover

HYBRIS

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.41 | 1181 ratings

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stranded_starfish
4 stars Anglagard - Hybris

This is a largely, though not entirely, instrumental album resplendent with all kinds of instruments and odd noises and things twinkle and chime and toot and crash; essentially, we are in the traditional realms of symphonic prog, fuelled by pomp, circumstance, and bombast.

The instrumental focus is made clear from the start, and it is a full 15 minutes before we are allowed to hear any vocals at all (which ring out with a sort of Jon Anderson esque sweetness to them, albeit in Swedish. It is a style, incidentally, of which I must confess to not being a huge fan.), and they disappear again very soon afterwards.

It is an album with a slightly off-kilter feel, but, one suspects, intentionally so, as musical passages come and go with a sort of jittery rapidity that create an odd tension without having to resort to overly clich'd communications of this mood. Passages of gentle flute are interrupted by a thunderous organ, which flees away to leave a rising hum of guitar and bass, and so on. It is unsettled, but, in equal measure, unsettling.

The madness of it all almost comes unhinged halfway through, as track three opens with a brass segment which can only be described as asylum jazz, itself punctuated by the towering noise of an organ. This is then reigned in again for a more delicately melodic section'.and the ride begins again.

As a result of this only-semi-organised chaos, this is very much a 'have to be in the mood' sort of album. Nonetheless, when the listener is in an appropriate mood to listen, it is quite an astoundingly good album.

I shall score this with 4.5/5, which I am sorely tempted to round up to a full five stars, holding off only due to the vocal style mentioned earlier, my own preference for more singer- involvement, and because when one not in the mood for it this album can seem to drag on a bit. Rounding down, then, to 4/5, but with a strong recommendation attached.

stranded_starfish | 4/5 |

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