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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover

HYBRIS

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.41 | 1197 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a wonder it must have seemed to hear Anglagard for the first time back in the early 90s. As far as I'm concerned this group is quite clearly the best prog rock group to emerge over the last 25 years ... at least it beats out the hundred odd "newer" bands that I've given a chance to. Now, a word of caution ... if like me, you came to Anglagard having heard all kinds of hype about the band's brilliance, you might be a little disappointed at first ... give the discs a few spins, and as Anglagard's unique voice makes itself heard, your doubts will slip away.

Having said that, the opener Jordrök is an instantly gripping, absolutely majestic statement that is still my favourite Anglagard piece (although Höstsejd on the second album runs it close). Thomas Johnson's keyboard and Anna Holmgren's flute are but two of the spectacular most elements that go towards this combustive Nordic brew. Whether it's during melancholy, pastoral moments or fult tilt heavy attacks, Anglagard's music is always emotional and dark. It's hard to even wade through the numerous beautiful shifts that this single piece goes through, let alone provide a blow by blow account of Anglagard's compositions

Second track Vandringar i Vilsenhet starts off another brooding, gothic affair, with Holmgren taking the lead on flute, over some acoustic guitar backing in. It too soon bursts into life in absolutely spectacular fashion ... a bit of a "formula" that was to serve the band well over the course of Hybris and its successor Epilog. When they come, Tord Lindman's vocals are almost a surprise as Anglagard is largely an instrumental band. While the vocals aren't strong in a technical sense, they add to the overall intensity of the piece. The conclusion with echoing bells and deep ominous bass is superb. I have to say that the other "vocal piece", Ifrån Klarhet Till Klarhet is actually the least strong of the tracks here, but after a poor beginning, it too has some fine moments that recall Trespass-era Genesis. Kung Bore is yet another fully functional epic work. The vocals threaten to diffuse the intense momentum brought to the song by the rest of the album, but one needn't worry, because Anglagard are simply too good to let that happen. Rapid-fire runs, jarring attacks, delicate sombre flute passages ... they all return with double the intensity.

Amazingly, Anglagard would go on to make another equally superb album before imploding. ... 80% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |

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