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Änglagård - Viljans Öga CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 999 ratings

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5 stars How rare is it for a band to reform after nearly twenty years and record an album that actually surpasses their earlier, legendary albums? I can't think of another example. But Anglagard have somehow managed it.

This is a truly wonderful album by a very inventive group of musicians. The quality of the composing is particularly impressive. Structurally, the music is closer to classical music than it is to standard progressive rock. It is certainly far removed from the standard formulas of neo-prog. Yet despite its complexities, it is accessible and full of feeling. It delights both the head and the heart.

The pieces might sound sprawling and chaotic on the first few listens, but after a while you can begin to discern the skill with which this music has been put together. Each piece is a long, twisting journey with interlocking themes coming and going, often repeated in different arrangements by different instruments in later sections. Each theme is usually pre-introduced in little snippets hidden within previous passages, before eventually brought to the forefront in all their glory and then put through some variations, only to disappear again into little snippets again. There is also a strong harmonic consistency throughout each of the four pieces. Because of all this, each piece flows smoothly despite the wild variations from one passage to the next. It is clear that the band has a strong grasp of compositional technique.

The tone and colors of the intruments are also beautifully captured and have a pristine feel, which adds enormously to the beauty of the music. This is an album which really comes alive with a good sound system or quality headphones. The flute and the bass in particular sound wonderful, but everyone in the band admirably plays their part.

This is a really special album that combines the musical language of 70's prog with Swedish folk and experimental avant tendencies to create a riveting musical journey. How could any prog fan not like this album? Perhaps those who like a lot of pop in their prog will find it hard going, but for me it is a stellar album that is destined to be ranked up with there with the greatest classics of the prog genre. Five stars, no question.

oddentity | 5/5 |


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