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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 604 ratings

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4 stars Sometimes when writing about a band that emerged long after the great prog bands of their past reached their peak, it is tempting to go on about which passage reminds you of Genesis or Gentle Giant or King Crimson. Despite executing a passing resemblance of each of those bands for fleeting moments during this intoxicating recording, there is no doubt that Anglagard has a voice that is unique and powerful. The only real dilemma I now have about Anglagard is over which of its two excellent albums I prefer. Upon careful reflection ... I've given up trying to decide!

After the tasteful classical intro Prolog, Anglagard launch into the epic eerie instrumental Höstsejd, which is 15 minutes of Gothic prog magic. It occasionally veers into metallic chaos, but by and large relies on the daring punchy keyboards of Thomas Johnson, while Anna Holmgren's flute combines with acoustic guitar to give the pastoral sections a beauty of their own. Skogsranden also has the balance of light and heavy sections, but it is the bleak landscape in the middle of the piece that always gets me ... the way the band breaks out with an angry calculated venom to conclude the song is truly beautiful. Particularly kudos to the outstanding rhythm section of Johan Högberg and Mattias Olsson, who hardly seem to get the credit they deserve.

The fun concludes with a final, brooding epic ... Sista Somrar, which manages to accomplish the not-inconsiderable feat of being, for the few minutes at least, the most sombre Anglagard piece ever. It does however, become a virtual "jig" at one point, and the mix of light and heavy passages (although both are dark) tends to be as close to a formula that Anglagard get, and it does have the effect of making some of the pieces indistinguishable from one another, if one is new to the band that is.

Anglagard had a few notable peers, and even the odd imitator (the highly accomplished Wobbler), but with Hybris and this album, the sextet put out a dazzling one-two combination that yet to be matched by any prog rock outfit over the last quarter century. A real knock-out performance which was followed by a tragic early demise, which will at least, add to the legend. ... 80% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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