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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 741 ratings

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Jim Garten
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin & Razor Guru
4 stars Having only recently been bullied into listening to Anglagard by various forum members, and seeing the almost universal praise heaped on this album, cynic that I am, I approached this album with not a little trepidation.

I knew of most of the musicians in Anglagard from Par Lindhs good but patchy album 'Gothic Impressions' where their playing came over as technically solid, but cold and unfeeling - playing 'Epilog', however, hearing the same musicians united with their own keyboard player, and playing their own compositions, this is a totally different animal.

The individual and ensemble playing is truly exceptional, with especial mention going to Thomas Johnson on keyboards (no wonder Par Lindh did not include him in the 'Gothic Impressions' sessions); not only is he a truly gifted Hammond/Mellotron player, but the feel he brings to his playing genuinely echoes the '70s heyday of progressive rock (the Mellotron playing definitely owes a debt to Fripp in the early days of King Crimson, circa 'In The Wake Of Poseidon').

The overall sound of the band yaws between Genesis, ELP and Yes (from their classic periods), but something I've heard distinctly on this album, which I don't think has been picked up in any of the other reviews, is the definite influence (especially in 'Höstsejd') of Frank Zappa, both in the (almost playful) rhythmic/melodic changes, and the guitar style.

If I had to criticise anything on this album, it would be the constant shifting between ideas, without allowing some phrases to develop, almost as if there were a surfeit of ideas, and they wanted to get them all in; oh yes, and the track Rösten, 14 seconds of vague background mumbling. If it weren't for these 2 minor points, I would not hesitate to grant 5 stars.

True, this is not the most original album in the world, with Anglagard wearing their influences firmly on their sleeve for all to see, but this is not a criticism. The early 1980s saw many bands trying desperately to emulate the sounds of the classic bands, with varying degrees of success (or failure), and the 'new wave of British prog-rock' fizzled away to virtually nothing by the early 1990s - then along comes Anglagard in 1994, and releases 'Epilog': a true masterpiece which, if I were been told it had been released in 1974, I would have believed it without question.

All good things must come to an end, though, and the band split soon after - a real loss to 21st century progressive rock.

Jim Garten | 4/5 |


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