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Änglagård - Viljans Öga CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 1018 ratings

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Kay Jay
5 stars Well, what an album this is for my first review here on PA. Not chosen an easy one to discuss due to the complexity of the music. I am so impressed by the quality and structure of it. I feel I need to be a musician to do it justice. But I am not, just a big fan of quality music and especially of progressive styles . As much as they are obviously influenced by early English prog they certainly have their own strong sound. Early Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant and Islands period King Crimson come to mind but so much more here which I have not heard other bands do. They are Symphonic/chamber prog. It's truly amazing to think this is their first album in 18 years. To write such quality compositions (can't call them songs as all instrumental) and sound as if they have been playing this stuff for ever.

Their music is not easy to come by and I had not heard Hybris until I went onto You Tube to find out what they were about and hear why it sits at # 11 in the PA all time chart (but surely never as good as such classic albums as Larks Tongues in Aspic, Fragile or Nursery Cryme which are below it). Yes it's excellent but Viljans Oga is much better in my opinion. It is though a shame Hybris is unavailable. There are second hand copies on Amazon going for '23 or more and I am not paying that. Surely the band are missing out here as many would wish to own a copy of that album. Even Viljans Oga is not easy or cheap to buy, I would love it on vinyl but at '51.99 no way. This must be holding them back a little. Anyway here are my views on the album itself.

T1 Ur Vilande: Starting with some lovely pastoral flute then track builds into the main theme and great sounding mellotron, an old classic sound but sounding so fresh here. The flute and guitar combine to play the theme again ebbing and flowing in and out of the piece. From 11:00 in it takes another step up and the main theme returns and more mellotron and guitar work. This is Music of classical structure and complexity. They are obviously very highly skilled musicians and just hearing this opening track you know you are listening to prog of the highest quality.

T2 Sorgmantel: Starts off as Chamber rock, much like. They play such lovely melodies that keep you interested throughout, you can never guess what is coming next. Love the bass line from 7.45 in with elements of the main tune on mellotron coming back in joined by the guitar and then the whole ensemble taking to the piece to a wonderful climax. Then pulling back to the lovely flute only to build up again, and ending gently' fantastic stuff.

T3 Snardom: My favourite track and top track of 2012 so far too. So much going on here with some great ensemble playing and I can't get the guitar out of head from 7' in'such a classic soaring lead line tune and then even better at 13:50 taking the song to fantastic finish. Brilliant!

T4 Langtans Klocka: Gentle flute intro again. The use of flute is so good in their music, especially in this track. This leads into more complex Gentle Giant style moments and great guitar lines. Then a clarinet (I guess)brings in an a quirky tune sounding like a village band complete with vibes, this then gets a bit chaotic before the guitar pulls it all back again and the vibes come back in to end the track gently .. 'amazing stuff. As said this has not been easy to review, but I do know I really love it so much and with each listen I get more out of it. At about a dozen plays it is still gripping me. Off to play it again now, then again and'..

Kay Jay | 5/5 |


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