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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 605 ratings

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3 stars Änglagård - Epilog

I wish to start by saying, to anyone new to the work of Änglagård, that this is a good album, by an exceptional band. Unfortunately, to anyone that has heard the 'Hybris' album, I'd say the same thing, just with a different tone - the emphasis on the disparity between the excellence of the band and the qualiy of this particular release. Having given 'Hybris' as near as dammit five stars, my review of this album will seem tinged with an air of slight disappointment. It's not as good, and that's that.

It's good enough, though. It merits at least a few listens, and a place in any symphonic progger's album collection. But, once you've acquired the phenomenal debut album, you may well find that it gets sidelined, and, sadly, forgotten. It's the B+ younger brother of the A* student, the nice effort displaying great competence, but trying to compete with brilliance. It can't help but fall short, and for the distance by which it does so to yawn all the wider for the natural and obvious nature and directness of the comparison.

There is still the same musicality here, make no mistake about it. It has some of the mania of the debut release, too. But it's there in moments, rather that attacking one's every sense. This sounds like a compliment (the album certainly has a more refined and honed feel for it) but it's not. In losing it's raw sense of schizophrenic muddle, it has exposed itself as simply a very pretty and slightly soothing 'true prog' album: good, but nothing special.

It suffers slightly, too, for the loss of the vocals seen interspersed through the first album. Though they were hardly a central feature of 'Hybris', they were an additional texture, sprinkled carefully, the pepper garnishing a gourmet sonic delicacy. This release is subtly flatter for the absence.

I really don't want to be overly-damning of this release. It is just that one feels that, if it were food (to continue the earlier metaphor), it would be a feature of a supermarket 'finest' range, when the previous course has been hand-crafted my a multiple Michelin-starred chef in his own kitchen. It's a more-than-competent release, it simply can't take the heat of the competition.

A slightly sadness-tinged 3/5 then, for 'Epilog'

stranded_starfish | 3/5 |


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