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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.07 | 607 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Except for the crystal-clear production it would be easy to mistake this for a early/mid- 70s prog album; the band has crafted a work which manages to be an ode to the classic bands (YES and early GENESIS especially) without seeming too derivative. The band is complete without vocals; I have seen too many bands where the vocal is the weak spot (and not just lesser-known bands- Lake and Wetton have both at times marred my enjoyment of certain KC and ELP songs). The sounds are perfectly selected and often lovely; the fluid guitar reminds me of Fripp, but also of Howe's too seldom used fuzz leads ("A Venture" would have benefited from a more extended solo!). I suppose I don't need to mention the excellent Hammond and Mellotron work, which ties everything together without taking more than their share of the mix. The rhythm section is incredibly tight, handling tempo and meter changes better than most bands handle straight 4/4 time; my only complaint is that sometimes in the faster and more intricate passages they seem to be striving for complexity over musical expression, but that is a hallmark of the prog genre as a whole and even my favorite bands suffer a little ( in my opinion) because of it. The slower passages are solemn without being melodramatic, and they are not afraid to make a section simple and sweet if it calls for it ("Prolog" especially, and also the later part of "Skogsranden" are beautifully understated, and "Saknadens fullhet" is almost heartbreaking). But what is "Rosten" and why is it there? Ultimately, the band is not trying to break new ground; they are celebrating the fundamentals of a form that by the 90s had all but disappeared. They establish a musical identity separate from those bands they emulate, and this album is worlds apart from the pop/metal/digital influences that seeped into the genre by this point. An impressive achievement and one that would be a welcome addition to a "classic" prog collection.
James Lee | 4/5 |


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