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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover

HYBRIS

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 1126 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Each composition on this Änglagård album is a Frankenstein's monster: Individually, most parts may be aesthetically pleasing or gripping, but sewn together, they make up something unsightly and ungainly. I must stress that these are incredibly talented musicians, and the production is remarkable (this album has one of the greatest bass tones). However, the methodology behind their compositions is that of stopping one section to bring in an apparently unrelated section, stringing them together piecemeal with precious little regard for flow or context. The pieces may build to what could be a satisfying conclusion, but no- another section is tacked on, and the tracks carry on in this rambling manner. The instrumentation should make this just about everything I love about symphonic progressive rock, but I cannot get past the compositions themselves.

"Jordrök" Following an anticipatory piano, expect punchy bass, Mellotron, and an ominous lead guitar. Light guitar, Mellotron, and flute ease in thereafter, but are abruptly cut off by a churlish church organ out of nowhere. No matter how many times I try, I simply cannot follow this piece, even though there are a few exceptional passages.

"Vandringar i Vilsenhet" Solo flute offers a pleasant melody that is gradually joined by other soft instruments. A shadowy organ that rises up and brings a section that is like Yes and Genesis thundering together on the same stage- "Close to the Edge" and "Firth of Fifth" at the same time. The bass riff is particularly derivative of Chris Squire's work on the former. Unfortunately, the vocals spoil it; in my opinion they do not fit the music, not in tone nor melody nor context. The ominous, almost haunting conclusion is powerful and well-executed, with a marching snare to lead us out.

"Ifrån Klarhet Till Klarhet" Don't turn up the speakers on account of the quiet, outlandish little twenty-second bit that sounds like circus music, because the band explodes into a brain-rattling jam, which quickly gives way to soft music and more substandard singing.

"Kung Bore" Classical guitar and piano double up for the quiet beginning, and the rest of the band eases in until erupting into a solid theme. The vocals return on this one, and aren't as awful as they were on the other song. Predictably, the action suddenly tapers off, leaving behind a quiet, minimalistic passage, followed by a more explosive one, which is in turn followed by a quiet one, this time with some spoken word, and so forth. The conclusion sounds almost borrowed from Yes's Tales from Topographic Oceans, especially "The Ancient."

"Gånglåt från Knapptibble" This bonus track opens with some disharmonious, jingly percussion, and in bursts the loudness of the band, organ and bass leading the way. The vocals are not very appealing. The second half involves distant tones with an eventual flute, very similar to Genesis. It eventually turns into a mess of instruments.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

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