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Asgard - In the Realm of Asgærd CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.45 | 48 ratings

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Dr. Judkins
5 stars I've always enjoyed finding and listening to obscure and long-forgotten prog albums, loving the feeling of finding a real diamond in the rough and adding it to my list of favorite groups, but they of course can be very hit or miss. Asgard was an immediate 'hit' for me. I've listened to this album a million times over and it never ceases to amaze me, how something this unique and well-produced could go so unnoticed for so long.

I think the best way to describe In The Realm Of Asgard would be something that bristolstc said in his review, that in 1972 Asgard succeeded at what so many 80s metal bands tried and failed at. If you've ever looked at an 80s album with an epic title and even more epic cover art, only to be utterly disappointed once again by 12 less-than-imaginative 3 to 5 minute tracks, look no further than Asgard to restore your faith in that ultimate sound you've been waiting for.

The group manage to stay heavy, original, and mix in a healthy amount of traditional musical influences and Norse lyrical references, without making things too cheesy or seeming too ambitious. And the music comes out utterly excellent. The lead-off title track should give you a pretty good idea of their abilities right off the bat, with a wonderful crying violin and resonating vocal harmonies that seem to fill the space, and simply compliment the music all at once. It's heavy, proggy, and tells a delightful story of Thor the God of thunder searching for love in the immortal realm of his father, Odin.

If you like that track, the rest of the album is a real treat to the ears. The other highlights for me include Town Crier, which makes a return to the epic choral accomplishments of the title, Children Of A New Born Age, which comes across as somewhat of a band anthem, where some of the best vocal harmonies on the disc are found, and Starquest, reminiscent of space rock and not without some possible early David Bowie influence, condensed down into five minutes.

Regrettably, the album is rather short, as are the tracks, Starquest being the longest at 5:17, and as far as anybody seems to know, the members never ventured into recorded musical territory again after In The Realm Of Asgard was released on The Moody Blues' Threshold label. Fortunately, however, the album really sticks with you if you allow yourself to be immersed by it. I don't mind listening to it several times in a row, and I'm sure others would agree.

This album is definitely worth the effort to obtain it. It was finally re-released on CD a few years back, so don't hesitate to try to find it online somewhere. You won't be disappointed.

Dr. Judkins | 5/5 |


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