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Änglagård - Viljans Öga CD (album) cover

VILJANS ÖGA

Änglagård

 

Symphonic Prog

4.26 | 740 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

uribreitman
4 stars After Hybris (1992) and Epilog (1994), comes Viljans Oga and does not disappoint. The Swedish masters have done it again, although they've waited 18 years too much. The instrumentation is the same, and so are the compositions. It's the same band, same atmosphere and same melodies.

Although the 2012 album does not surpass the two earlier efforts, it is a classic example of superior compositional ability. There is simply no other band capable of this level of sadness, tension-control and attention to detail. No one can repeat this or clone it.

The standout track is "Snardom" (#3), with a perfect structure and unforgetablle melodical lines. It's on the same level as the best stuff on Epilog. It's exactly what you'd expect from Anglgard: "aggressive melancholic disorder", never a dull moment. The other tracks are superb as well, but not as memorable as Snardom.

Anna Holmgren's flutework has improved, in my opinion. She was excellent in the 90's, now she's even better: more accurate, courageous and unrelenting. The other guys are good as usuall, and Mattias Olsson's percussion ideas are wonderful as ever. They all sound like the best prog orchestra out there, by a long shot. No Jazz, no Metal, no Pop and no happiness. It's dark, gloomy and dramatic.

So, why only 4 stars? I don't find this stuff essential any more, in the art-history sense of the word. Anglagard have made their mark in the 90's, but now they are not exploring new grounds. Epilog was just Hybris taken one step further. Next to those two bright stars, Viljans Oga is not moving to any new direction.

A spectacular return of an elite group, for sure. Amazing studio recording, crsytal mix, the works. You have everything you would hope for, if you've known them before. But it's not a surprise, not even a mild shock. It's a musical delight, but not a musical milestone of modern prog. A very good purchase, but not a "don't miss" album in the history of sympho-prog.

uribreitman | 4/5 |

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