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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 656 ratings

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3 stars I had originally given this album three stars, then taken one away based on discussions on the "rating system" thread. Now, with the new rating system, and having given the album another very serious listen, I am restoring the third star. / In listening to a great many European neo-prog bands, I have found that, whether they come from Sweden (e.g., Anglagard) or Italy (e.g., Il Balletto di Bronzo), most of them "wear their influences on their sleeves." In this regard, since few (if any) of these bands actually add anything "new" or innovative to the prog-rock "lexicon," their "success," in my opinion, is determined largely by the degree to which they "channel" their influences into something interesting and listenable - and, if they're REALLY good, "original," exciting and/or compelling. Anglagard is very successful here, melding influences that include Yes, ELP, solo Wakeman, and even a touch of Gentle Giant. And as my colleague Peter Rideout notes, they are also one of the few neo-prog bands that successfully blends in some Genesis as well, particularly their early period. Although the three extended pieces do tend to ramble and sound somewhat similar overall, there is so much real prog creativity going on that you find yourself wanting to forgive them. Hostsejd has some extremely tasty prog bits, Skogsranden is a very well-written piece, and Sista somrar is excellent: the jam that starts at about 4:15 (and goes for about five minutes) is particularly superb, and includes a section that sounds like "Apocalypse in 9/8" - backwards!! / Overall, I found this album very pleasant to listen to. If you like instrumental symphonic prog (there are no lyrics or vocals, except for some nice mellotron vox), you will really like this album. Indeed, if instrumental prog were a separate category, I would give this album four stars, possibly even four-and-a-half within that subgenre.
maani | 3/5 |


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