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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.38 | 1586 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is very famous, and I understand the appreciation it has attracted. However this enthusiastic artifact from the 1990's Swedish Mellotron renaissance did not please me as much as the records of Anekdoten and Landberk for example. I heard this album's music been compared to King Crimson's "Fracture" somewhere, making my expectations rise high. But I felt personally the record resembling more music of Genesis, if searching comparisons to classic progressive rock bands sound. There isn't in my opinion similar power and strength of feeling on these songs as on the divine composition from "Starless and Bible Black" album. Maybe one other reason to my personal disappointment lies also documented on the words printed to CD sleeve: "This music is built on a very human base through conflict..", and "We don't seek a well-balanced or predictable entity". I guess these facts wouldn't matter so much when doing avantgardistic recordings for example, but when aiming to symphonic structured music, I fear there should have been more work done in arrangements. But I consider this album is very important in the prog scene genre, and there are some very touching parts included on this carefully produced album, thus I agree with its importance in the progressive rock scene. Also the descriptions and the qualities of music most hopefully reflect the true insights of the musicians; A factor which I respect more than artistic creation's capability to satisfy my own personal whims.

There are lots of beautiful themes and feelings which are presented neatly and evolved, but they don't seem to lead to logical climaxes in my opinion. Also the music doesn't sound so "vintage" as I expected, though the instruments are mostly from old school selections. I especially liked the quotations of classical music, which appear at least on the "Vandringar I Vilsenhet" track, which I adored quite much. The best track for me is still "Kung Bore", which is the most compact composition of all of these mini epics, and has the best melodic ideas in my opinion. The album cover art is also so nice, resembling the symbol familiar from "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" album, and the booklet is full of beautiful pictures, consolidating the fine production quality of the record. It's also nice that the few vocal parts are sung in Swedish.

So if you see this somewhere it is very recommendable to give a listen, as you might like it much more than me. The bonus track on re-mastered CD released by Mellotronen is an early version of the song "Skogsranden" from their next album "Epilog". I don't think that this is a very essential feature, but interesting anecdote if one is especially interested about the song creation progress of this group.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 3/5 |


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