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CORRIDORS OF TIME

Hagen

Progressive Metal


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars First release by this rather new Swedish band is actually quite difficult to categorize. The music presented here is a mix between folk metal or hardrock and symphonic rock. Just imagine a more folk-ish and hardrocking KAIPA or Flower Kings with a real good metal vocalist. Or maybe a mixture of the mentioned bands with Scandinavian ones like OTYG or FINNTROLL, but with less metal contribution and clear vocals. Anyway, if you stumble over this band and you like BOTH folk metal and symphonic prog with MELLOTRON you should give it a try, I think it will be no waste of money.

Most of the tracks apart of the first one,, which is a rendition of an old KAIPA song, "Mountain Song" and "June" are very much rocking. It's in fact a very good and versatile album, never becoming boring even after repeated spins and a quite impressing debut of this Swedish band. Not sure whether it's a real essential one, but definitively an excellent purchase for fellows with a broad musical spectre. For me worth 4 stars (maybe 3.5 would be more correct)!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#34140)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Greger
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is how it sounds if you're mixing Swedish folk music with Heavy Metal. Bass player Hans Rosén together with his violin-playing brother Anders formed the Swedish band HAGEN in 1996. The six-man-band also contains the keyboard player Hans Lundin who played in the legendary Swedish symphonic rock band KAIPA in the 70's.

The magnificent Swedish bands GARMARNA, HEDNINGARNA, HOVEN DROVEN and Kenny Håkansson/KEBNEKAISE have blended folk music with Heavy Metal on some of their songs, but HOVEN DROVEN's guitars are often heavier while HAGEN is playing traditional Heavy Metal with reminiscences to DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN.

HAGEN is at their best when the folk music parts are dominating. Unfortunately there are some plain Heavy Metal songs too, which aren't bad, but they don't fit into the concept. I hope that they will incorporate even more folk music on forthcoming releases. My favourites are the opening KAIPA song "A Summer Air", "For Kristina", "Questions", the nice violin dominated "Mountain Song" and the Kenny Håkansson/KEBNEKAISE inspired "For Ulf". "For Ulf" could've been taken from Kenny Håkansson's album "Kenny Håkansson spelar Springlekar och Gånglåtar" (Silence label) from 1978.

Most interesting are Anders Rosén's distorted violin and Hans Lundin's keyboards, which includes one of my favourite instruments: Mellotron. Michael Ohlsson is a very good vocalist and Anders Rosén is a real virtuoso on the violin, which is clearly shown on this album.

The beautiful artwork by Stephanie Law (www.shadowscapes.com) is like an illustration from a fairytale, and it also illustrates HAGEN's music very well. This is a really interesting album, and I hope that we will hear more from the band in the future.

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#38036)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink

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