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EPILOG

Änglagård

Symphonic Prog


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Änglagård Epilog album cover
4.06 | 463 ratings | 62 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prolog (2:00)
2. Höstsejd (15:32)
3. Rösten (0:14)
4. Skogsranden (10:48)
5. Sista somrar (13:10)
6. Saknadens fullhet (2:00)

Total Time: 43:44

Bonus disc on 2003 and 2010 releases:
1. Rösten (3:38)

Total Time: 3:38

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mattias Olsson / drums, cymbals and percussion
- Johan Högberg / bass
- Thomas Johnson / Hammond organ, mellotrons and other keyboards
- Jonas Engdegård / guitars
- Tord Lindman / guitars
- Anna Holmgren / flute

Guest musicians:
- Åsa Eklund / voice
- Martin Olofsson / violin
- Karin Hansson / viola and double bass
- Jan Christoff Norlander / cello

Releases information

CD Not on label (Änglagård Self-released) HYB CD 010 (1994 Sweden)
CD Exergy Music EX 10 (1995 Sweden)
LP Gates Of Dawn GOD 002 (1995 US)
2CD Änglagård Records ANG02 (2010 Sweden)*
2CD Arcàngelo ARC-3036/37 (2013 Japan)*

* Includes bonus disc with a full version of "Rösten"

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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ÄNGLAGÅRD Epilog ratings distribution


4.06
(463 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
41%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
39%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

ÄNGLAGÅRD Epilog reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars This second album is definitely a progression on the previous one but would have probably gained from not being a totally instrumental. The problem is that the numbers sound too much alike and adding vocals could have differentiated them from each other. For the rest , the music is even more prog than the debut and has more personality. One of those melancholic album like only the Scandinavians can do it

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#766) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 05, 2004

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Does your taste in music extend to instrumental "symphonic" progressive rock? If so, EPILOG, from the 90s Swedish sextet Anglagard, is an album for you!

Admittedly, not everyone is attracted to the idea of longer, vocal-less songs, but if, like me, you thrive on variety in your musical options, and really appreciate top-notch musicianship, you shouldn't be disappointed by this excellent disc. Anglagard's music is very dynamic; it's full of surprises and changes in direction. Slower, softer passages featuring piano, flute and/or acoustic guitar are followed by louder, dramatic sections where the electric guitar, solid bass and drums, and synths are "to the fore," until the melancholy beauty returns again. Shades of classic Genesis and Yes can sometimes be heard here, but Anglagard is no mere pale imitation -- they're much too talented and strong a band to be dismissed as a clone.

This is good background music for reading, as there are no words to interfere with the words on the page. Another great way to appreciate Anglagard's soundscapes is to close your eyes, and supply your own images to accompany the lush and varied music: for me, some parts of "Epilog" evoke battle, while others had me thinking of a lone house at the edge of a wood, with fall leaves drifting down, and clouds scudding across the autumn sky. This music can provide great inspiration for the active imagination and "flights of fancy!"

EPILOG is highly recommended, and it amply deserves inclusion in the thinking prog fan's collection. Mental medication!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#767) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 09, 2004

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Founding Moderator
3 stars I had originally given this album three stars, then taken one away based on discussions on the "rating system" thread. Now, with the new rating system, and having given the album another very serious listen, I am restoring the third star. / In listening to a great many European neo-prog bands, I have found that, whether they come from Sweden (e.g., Anglagard) or Italy (e.g., Il Balletto di Bronzo), most of them "wear their influences on their sleeves." In this regard, since few (if any) of these bands actually add anything "new" or innovative to the prog-rock "lexicon," their "success," in my opinion, is determined largely by the degree to which they "channel" their influences into something interesting and listenable - and, if they're REALLY good, "original," exciting and/or compelling. Anglagard is very successful here, melding influences that include Yes, ELP, solo Wakeman, and even a touch of Gentle Giant. And as my colleague Peter Rideout notes, they are also one of the few neo-prog bands that successfully blends in some Genesis as well, particularly their early period. Although the three extended pieces do tend to ramble and sound somewhat similar overall, there is so much real prog creativity going on that you find yourself wanting to forgive them. Hostsejd has some extremely tasty prog bits, Skogsranden is a very well-written piece, and Sista somrar is excellent: the jam that starts at about 4:15 (and goes for about five minutes) is particularly superb, and includes a section that sounds like "Apocalypse in 9/8" - backwards!! / Overall, I found this album very pleasant to listen to. If you like instrumental symphonic prog (there are no lyrics or vocals, except for some nice mellotron vox), you will really like this album. Indeed, if instrumental prog were a separate category, I would give this album four stars, possibly even four-and-a-half within that subgenre.

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#768) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
4 stars One of my all time instrumental fav's from Sweden. This is a prog lovers haven with heavy mellotron drenched pieces centered around ever changing tempos and themes. The listener never gets even slightly bored here and is kept on the edge of their seats throughout. I find this album to move through many different moods...from tranquil to tremors....This very clever recording runs like one entire piece of music and ends all too soon.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#770) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, March 06, 2004

Review by Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Now here ia a Monster Synphonic Prog Masterpiece!!!!..haaa, that will sit perfect aside other monsters from the 70' on your collection; this is not an understatement. Influences are several, the prime suspects are: Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes and King Crimson, but far away of being imitators, this 6 piece band kept their Sweden Melancholic Rock nature and that to me is one of the most important aspects to call this a Masterpiece!! They probably sparked the reborn of Progressive movement in Sweden, and also may have created the same spark around the globe (I might be wrong), but the truth is that based on the date of this album issue (1994) that may have been the case. I totally missed them at that time, while I was thinking that the prog movement was DEAD or at least mute (How wrong I was!!!), then I came across Buried Alive around the turn of the Century, and I was impressed; but, until I was able to get the re-issue (on a killer digipack) then their true work manifested on me. Beautiful Mellotron, Genesis-like arpeggios and use of flute, killer guitar and a fantastic drum in contrast with that melancholic Scandinavian taste make this piece of work a definitive MUST for any progressive rock fan, rather essential work of certainly one of the best band of the nineties. Indeed, for many the lack of vocals maybe a minus to call it Masterpiece, but personally I do not missed the lyrics, since there is so much taken place musically in the album. I will recommend Anglagard any day of the year, Highly recommended/5 stars.

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Send comments to Prognut (BETA) | Report this review (#793) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Another winner, this time ANGLAGARD is a mature band, whose music is more personal and excellent as usual!! This work is very experimental and original too, another must have album by which you can draw your own music experience within the symphonic genre, after such a repetitive and careful listening!! As for the fascinating long theme and its importance for all their following "proselytes"; or once again despite of being an instrumental album (sometimes a bit prolix and you could also erase one star if you're disturbed or tired for it...) is anyway highly recommended for a normal fan of classic prog!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#792) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Sweden deserves 5 stars. The land of eternal nights and vikings who looks like Rupert in Survivo. I'm fond of many swedish products such as Volvo, Ikea and Ingwie Malmsteen (a cross between J-S Bach and David Lee Roth). But, this record only, gave me the strenght to trespass in the dark side of prog...the 90's. I know, in my profile I desrcribe myself as a prog-purist and it's true. But Anglagard is a terrible exception. Why? A lot has been said but this record is a step back in 1973. So fresh and convicing, Anglagard is a proof of a vintage sound mixed with today's production. It's simply THE record of the year for me, as a new discovery (and I bought a ton of gems this year). It starts with a lot of flute and yesterday's keyboards such as the mellotron (which why this album sounds sometimes like Nursery Cryme). Who cares it sounds like Genesis? The Fountain of Samalacis is a great song, and to be true, Epilog sounds a tad (okay, a lot) like it. But what really blows me away is again the homogenic gather of many influences and the huge mental trip it provides. A good appreciation of this starts with A LOT OF IMAGINATION. To me, Epilog is starts with a quiet walk in an autumn forest and then, wham! Things starts to creep out of the woods. Maidens walking on water, elvens running through the woods on unknown missions, young children dancing in circles in a rain of white, silky petals. But also, black clouds and storms that projects a rain of dead leaves in the air, fights of warriors without fear, stylished vampire hunters on a cloudy night in search of preys, airships tearing the sky on a pursue of treasures ... and whatever music brings up spontainously in your head. From furious rushes to calm flutes, your appetite of lushious musicianship is fulfilled. But, many listens must be done get the full taste of this impressive banquet. Gentlemen, dinner is served.

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Posted Saturday, April 10, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It's hard to believe ÄNGLAGARD released another fantastic album, but I am willing to believe this is actually a superior album in many ways to "Hybris". For one thing, the musicians don't seem as so nervous (I noticed a nervous air with "Hybris"), so they obviously sound more confident here. Also the music tends to be more exploratory, and perhaps less cliché-ridden than their previous. Again, like before, the band won't lay their hands on digital equipment, so the Hammond organ and Mellotron is present as ever. The band was still making some incredibly complex music, where there are some loud passages, and after a bit they become quite (only here the quiet passages tend to be quiet for longer periods). It's hard to believe that ÄNGLAGARD topped themselves. "Hybris" was a difficult game to top, and they managed it with "Epilog".

Strangely, "Epilog" also made it on LP, as well as privately produced CD. The LP was released in America (believe it or not!) on a label called Gates of Dawn, out of Santa Cruz, CA. But if you own the LP, side one is the label with the Gates of Dawn logo, while side two is the label with the strange face. If you own the original privately released CD, it's a collector's item, as it's long out of print (and I'm certain same goes for the LP).

A classic of '90s prog in my book.

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Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Many reviewers have already preceded me in saying this: Anglagard's 'Epilog' managed to do what seemed less likely, to top their excellent debut album ' Hybris'. Evidently, the band's performing virtuosity is properly matched with their ability to function as a cohesive instrumental unit, yet you can tell that they have achieved a more cohesive integrity and a more aggressive sound. The compositions themselves demand stuff like that, since it's full of wicked chord and tempo twists, sharp contrasts of mood, and a major recurrence of dissonance. The three longer tracks (2, 4 and 5) are the most sombre and disturbing pieces in the whole Anglagard's repertoire: it doesn't mean that they don't contain some playful moments (the closure to track 2, for instance, is a marvellous circus-like climax), but definitely 'Epilog' is basically a kingdom of emotional distress and psychological tension ruled by the tyrant hands of unpredictable dissonance and Gothic ambience. Each one of the many acoustic pastoral passages that appear here and there is not an invitation to relax actually, but a momentary act of constraint that cannot hide the impending explosion of obscurity that is sure to come shortly after: the electric energy and overwhelming power of the stronger moments gets in this way effectively enhanced. The 2-minute opening track, aptly entitled 'Prolog', is a beautiful orchestral tour-de-force that announces the oppressive gloomy spirit that is going to accompany the listener for the next 45 minutes; while the closure, also 2 minute long, is a grand piano solo that reflects a meditative, eerie farewell to the listener, introspective yet uneasy, like a subtle expression of silent frustration. Anything you hear on this album is full of emotional tension and reflective discomfort, either explicitly or not: I think that this was Anglagard's ultimate artistic goal, therefore I see 'Epilog' as their top achievement, as well as one of the brightest prog masterpieces of our era.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#794) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 04, 2004

Review by 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.

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Posted Saturday, June 05, 2004

Review by progmonster
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Anything has been said upon this one i guess. Retrospectively, "Epilog" stands for me as the real progressive gem of the nineties era and stands proudly amongst the better albums of the golden age. Unlike my friend Hugues, i am glad they did not put words on this dark and moody symphonic masterpiece as music really speaks for itself.

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Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Review by The Prognaut
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars To be perfectly honest, I have to say I wasn't that much convinced with this ÄNGLAGÅRD second album in the very beginning, but as the months with all its weeks and days went by, it completely earned my admiration. The harsh thing for me to overcome when paying complete attention to "Epilog" after listening to and embracing "Hybris", was the incomparable sound the band's first production carved out on my mind. This prominent second composition was quite a challenge not only for the band to arrange, but for the fans to accept as well. The energy placed in between every single track of "Epilog" is constantly projected in a different shape not to overshadow "Hybris", but for to prove that this Swedish band could go further off from the already crafted, to make themselves sure that what they accomplished in their first album wasn't a fortuitous strike, and most of all, to keep on growing as the icon Swedish prog band they still are.

ÄNGLAGÅRD suffered way to many changes and went through considerable rough patches. Tord quitted the band to pick up his filmmaking career from where he left it, Anna went back to college in Stockholm to study a M.d. in music, Thomas is currently a Ph.D. student in theoretical fusion plasma physics, pretty advanced stuff that no one else understands... and so on. Eventually the band decided to split up and went separate ways. They toured for a while and performed before thousands of people at several stages such as the Progfest in '94 (Double CD compilation available) and most recently at the last year's NEARfest. Later on, they released a live recording, "Buried Alive" (recorded at the Variety Arts Centre, Los Angeles on 5th of November 1994, during Progfest '94) which wasn't that much convincing and satisfactory among the prog community.

"Epilog" is an outstanding artistic work. It has got not only the mellotrons and the exceptional drum striking by Mattias, it contains the pure essence of the nowadays Scandinavian prog. This album still works as the engine for some other Swedish bands to innovate and to reach certain level, not to match the one achieved by ÄNGLAGÅRD, but to walk hand in hand within the European scene.

I found this production spotless. Every single detail from beginning to end was harmoniously entwined and played. This symphonic piece called "Epilog" posses two of the most revealing Scandinavian prog songs: Rösten and Sista Somrar. Very powerful, absolutely intriguing and wonderfully executed. The instruments sounded off heavenly soft yet strongly shocking. The poems to Rösten (The Voice) and Sista Somrar (The Last Summer) were written and translated by Rut HILLARP.

Hardly to oversight, "Epilog" is the complementary phase to "Hybris". Can't get one without the other. Absolutely Swedish, completely bold and musically unexpected. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to The Prognaut (BETA) | Report this review (#774) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 02, 2004

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars The guidelines of this page tell us to be very careful with 5 stars rating, but when I make reviews of ÄNGLAGÅRD it's very difficult to be careful because the music is so majestic that's almost impossible to leave away the impulse to give the album the maximum possible rating.

The main difference between Hybris and Epilog is that this album is instrumental and much more mature, maturity should be good in any normal band, but in the case of ÄNGLAGÅRD it's hard to know because something I admired very much in the debut album is that innocence they showed. The band didn't cared how many influences they played with, so it was easy to notice Crimsonian passages, Yes sounds and Genesis chords all mixed together, almost like a child builds houses with his multicolor bricks, but they were able to build incredibly beautiful and intelligent music, almost as if the child would have turned into an architect who can make monuments using the same color bricks to remain innocent.

In Epilog their own sound is more developed, the listener still notices that King Crimson and Genesis had a strong influence in ÄNGLAGÅRD, but it seems more distant. The absence of Tord Lindman's voice may satisfy those fans who believed he was weak and maybe too feminine, but the sound is colder without him, you notice something is missing, even if you're not a particular fan of his vocals. The music is stronger and less derivative but they lost that naïve charm they had in Hybris.

The album starts with "Prolog" (Prologue), and what a way to begin, simply delightful music, I'm sure that any person that doesn't know about ÄNGLAGÅRD will qualify this track not as Prog' Rock but classical music. The Baroque atmosphere achieved with guitar, violin (by Martin Oloffson who is a guest) and keyboards is simply perfect, it's sad, melancholic but extremely beautiful. At the end you feel 2 minutes are not enough, they should have made this song 5 times longer.

"Hostejd" (Rites of Fall) is a song where all the band shows how much they matured, there's clear King Crimson inspiration, but they work it being less evident than ever before. The abrupt changes perfectly fit one after the other, the whole band's work is amazing, but Anna Holmgren's flute is the one that carries the weight of the track, you can feel the main melody as if it was surrounding the sound of louder instruments until they all melt in one. Also great drumming by Mattias Olsson who has better feet work than in Hybris.

"Rosten" (The Voice) doesn't really deserves a comment, 14 seconds of almost not audible sounds gives not too much to talk about.

"Skogsranden" (Eaves of the Forest) starts again with a flute semi solo by Anna, soon followed by the piano, again the band takes the path of classical music, but this time less baroque and more romantic until the piano an organ announce another sound explosion that remembers us we're dealing with a very complex progressive band that can go from classical to shocking rock and then to a soft keyboard and chorus section as almost no band ever before. In this track Thomas Johnson is outstanding, he uses piano, organ and mellotron with equal skills. The song ends with another surprise for the listener, a hard complex instrumental section that ceases in one instant without anything that makes the listener guess the end is near.

"Sista Somrar" (The Last Summer) starts with a soft piano that works as an introduction with a soft violin and guitar, the track remains calm and soft until about the 6 minutes when the complexities start, beginning with a strong passage followed by an almost silent section that leads again to another explosive and rhythmic chord where all the band show what they are capable of. Before the end there is a guitar and drums section that reminds me of Focus, specially to Jan Ackerman's solos, this resemblance is more obvious when Anna joins with her flute. A very complex song.

The album ends with "Saksnaden Fullhet" (The Fullness of Longing) another short track that may easily be confused with classical music, played only with a sad and melancholic piano. Simple and beautiful.

The album is as beautiful as Hybris and probably more complex, for most fans is their masterpiece, I can't disagree because it's obvious that ÄNGLAGÅRD is at this point a much more solid band, but still there are things I miss from their debut, specially the criticized vocals by Tord Lindman and the simplicity they left behind.

Sadly this is the last chapter of ÄNGLAGÅRD's short saga (Except for Buried Alive, an album recorded in Nearfest), as a bright star they shined with great intensity and illuminated the 90's but as anything so shiny they burned too fast. Lets hope for their rebirth, something not too hard when most of their members are still in the late 20's and early 30's.

This time I will restrain my high rating impulses and give Epilog four solid stars, even when 4.5 would be the exact rating IMHO.

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Posted Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Review by diddy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Anglagard, one of those bands EVERY proghead should have heard about. Lately I tried to get around reviewing the two Anglagard albums because I try to concentrate on bands without a general echo like Anglagard. But now it's time to write a little bit about this great band. I woun't tell you new things, just take a look on how many times Anglagard got reviewed here but I may help to proof that Anglagard is a band no proghead should leave out. I got to know Anglagard due to a german prog site. The two albums are rated as the two best prog albums of all time, at least refering to the rating and amount of reviews. And what can I say? I don't think that you will find a better prog band. I consider Anglagard's music to be perfect, nothing is missing, nothing bothers me, just perfect. I really love the fine mellotron-work, truly awesome. The mixture between beautiful, mellow parts and weird, crazy almost wild sections. Unlike their debut "Hybris", "Epilog" is a totally instrumental album.

"Prolog" is, as the title implies a short mellotron dominated intro, quite mellow and melancolic. "Höstsejd", the second track maybe is the highlight. 15 minutes of pure energy, mellow moments, ups and downs and of course mellotron, really awesome. when you listen to this song with headphones, quite loud, there may be shocking moments, namely the transitions of mellow and loud, wild parts. "Rösten"...I don't really know what it should be, a strange 14 second sound. "Skogsranden" is a raising song. It starts very quiet, with some piano and flute and gets louder and heavier just to end quite mellow again, very nice. "Sista Somrar" is another highlight. I really love the melody in the middle of the song. I also like the development of the song. The bass is truly awesome, a real highlight. "Saknadens Fullhet " is an outro, an Epilog. Piano dominated and melancolic, beautiful.

"Epilog" is a masterpiece. I consider both Anglagard albums to be the best prog albums of all time. Genesis, King Crimson, ELP or Gentle Giant just to name a few, nobody of them really enthuses me like Anglagard does. For me, Anglagard is the measure. Without any kind of overstatement, "Epilog" (together with "Hybris") is the best prog album of all time. If you don't know Anglagard, you definitely missed something. More than highly recommended!

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Send comments to diddy (BETA) | Report this review (#776) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2004

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Hmmm...

If you pine for something "Old Skool", then this is it. If the fact that music changes and has changed over the decades bothers you, and you want all music to sound the same as it did back in the 1970s, then you will definitely enjoy this album.

It's hard for me to consider this as progressive, as it is so blatantly regressive. The minute "Prolog" started, I thought "Early Genesis"? But then I realised that there was no Gabriel - indeed, no vocals. The flutes and acoustic guitars sound quite nice, but I really am not keen on the parallel 5ths and octaves, although the suspensions work fairly well. The intention seems to be to sound mediaeval, rather than Baroque, but ends up sounding like a dirge as the 3rds are often missed from the wrong places to lend the required movement in the music. The entire 1st section is repeated with denser orchestration and uncharacteristic chromatic clashes which do not work, and end up making two minutes feel like ten.

Höstsejd starts very much like an early Genesis track, with some repeated random chords thrown in, and a somewhat haphazard approach to structuring. The concentration appears to be on the texture at the expense of any actual music. Melodies are in short supply, and all voices follow the same sort of lines, eliminating any contrapuntal sense. That said, the textures are nice - but have a tendency to be spoilt by the layering of ideas rather than construction of any meaningful form. 3 minutes is quite enough of this. I skipped through, pausing at intervals to see if anything interesting turned up, but it didn't.

I don't know what Rösten is supposed to be apart from a few bumps.

Skogsranden sounds tiringly familiar, with amateurish sounding melodies and duplicated parts, indicating a shortage of musical ideas. A battery of noise starts a bit later, and I get fed up with this.

If this is your bag, then great, but I see very little musical merit in it, compared to any Genesis album pre "Duke", and nothing new at all.

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Posted Thursday, July 22, 2004

Review by Jim Garten
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Retired Admin & Razor Guru
4 stars Having only recently been bullied into listening to Anglagard by various forum members, and seeing the almost universal praise heaped on this album, cynic that I am, I approached this album with not a little trepidation.

I knew of most of the musicians in Anglagard from Par Lindhs good but patchy album 'Gothic Impressions' where their playing came over as technically solid, but cold and unfeeling - playing 'Epilog', however, hearing the same musicians united with their own keyboard player, and playing their own compositions, this is a totally different animal.

The individual and ensemble playing is truly exceptional, with especial mention going to Thomas Johnson on keyboards (no wonder Par Lindh did not include him in the 'Gothic Impressions' sessions); not only is he a truly gifted Hammond/Mellotron player, but the feel he brings to his playing genuinely echoes the '70s heyday of progressive rock (the Mellotron playing definitely owes a debt to Fripp in the early days of King Crimson, circa 'In The Wake Of Poseidon').

The overall sound of the band yaws between Genesis, ELP and Yes (from their classic periods), but something I've heard distinctly on this album, which I don't think has been picked up in any of the other reviews, is the definite influence (especially in 'Höstsejd') of Frank Zappa, both in the (almost playful) rhythmic/melodic changes, and the guitar style.

If I had to criticise anything on this album, it would be the constant shifting between ideas, without allowing some phrases to develop, almost as if there were a surfeit of ideas, and they wanted to get them all in; oh yes, and the track Rösten, 14 seconds of vague background mumbling. If it weren't for these 2 minor points, I would not hesitate to grant 5 stars.

True, this is not the most original album in the world, with Anglagard wearing their influences firmly on their sleeve for all to see, but this is not a criticism. The early 1980s saw many bands trying desperately to emulate the sounds of the classic bands, with varying degrees of success (or failure), and the 'new wave of British prog-rock' fizzled away to virtually nothing by the early 1990s - then along comes Anglagard in 1994, and releases 'Epilog': a true masterpiece which, if I were been told it had been released in 1974, I would have believed it without question.

All good things must come to an end, though, and the band split soon after - a real loss to 21st century progressive rock.

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Posted Friday, August 06, 2004

Review by penguindf12
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album features some very nice (entirely instrumental) material, but I liked Hybris better. The Swedish lyrics seem to fit better with the music (except in the case of Jordrok, an amazing song).

This album begins with some classical flute and violin work, then enters the excellent instrumental "Eaves of the Forest," which is constantly building and fading. The band again functions as a single instrument here. This track ends with a buildiup from some simple bass and drum into a full blown fiery instrumental. Wonderful.

The next track, "The Voice" blew my mind. It's only 15 seconds long, and features a few barely audible bumps and thumps. Amazing stuff! Amazing that anyone would want to include something so pointless! Maybe the liner notes explain, but I can't read Swedish. But this track is inconsequential anyway.

The next two songs are also instrumental, in the same form as most ANGLAGARD material. Not too much to explain here, you should listen for yourself. Then the album ends much the way it began, this time with a melancholy classic piano piece exactly as long as the opener.

Overall, this album's sheer inobtainability takes it immediately down from essential. Then you include that factor that "Hybris" was better (in my opinion), then you add the mediocre prelude and postlude (if postlude is indeed a word) and the amazingly pointless interlude and you have something that is 3.5 stars and worth a listen to anyone who can import it online (or get it elsewhere online).

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Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The second album of Änglagård continues stylistically the direction which was pointed out in their debut album "Hybris". Three suites lasting between eleven and fifteen minutes are surrounded by two minute opening and closing numbers, and there's also a short track with just few noises called "Rösten", which is just a really stupid joke in my opinion.

The first track "Prolog" is a stunningly beautiful opener, the melody resembling the romantic classical music. Sadly the following maneuvers slightly caused disappointments for my hopes, which the wonderful album opener evoked in me. There are still very good moments in "Höstsejd" (The Autumn Rites), but also some annoying elements; The sounds of electric guitar and drums are maybe "too modern" for my taste, bringing up more associations of the 80's neoprog than the older symphonic music of the 70's. These features don't luckily emerge from every movement of this composition, which wanders a bit too much around for my own personal musical taste, not reaching many climaxes, but more like just searching it's way to the finale from all possible directions. The appreciation of this kind of music with enormous amount of themes and details is certainly a question of preferences. And I underline that despite my criticism there are some very stunning moments on this album. I just find it frustrating as I can't escape thinking that maybe there should have been more time used for working more to the integrity of arrangements for the group's musical ideas. "Skogsranden" (The Edge of The Forest) begins with beautiful melody of piano and flute, where more instruments of acoustic chamber orchestra joins. The creation of strong feeling here has been accomplished very successfully, there are calm, beautiful elements combined with more fearful melodic passages, it could be just like the title suggests, looking to a dark forest from a lighter pasture. I didn't like the trademark of this band which soon follows, an aggressive part which jumpy rhythms. There's a wonderful calm eye of the storm in the later part of the composition, with some subtle female vocals. "Sista Somrar" (The Past Summers) follows the opening style of the preceding composition, and luckily for me continues as calm and very harmonic and calm classical music influenced quite long long. But as the fourth minute is reached, the elements which I dislike and specified before assume the control again. In the ending the music turns again more sweeter and melodic, leaving me wondering how wonderful folk-oriented art music these musicians might have been able to do. The short closing track "Saknadens Fullhet" (The Missing Completeness) is again melodic, with very beautiful descending piano melody. Irritatingly, the short opener and closer were the tracks which pleased me most on the record.

The song title translations are my own conclusions, so I won't guarantee that they stand absolutely for what the band meant with them. This record with an exceptionally fine album cover is recommended for mellotron enthusiasts, fans of Swedish prog renaissance of the 90's and those who are interested of symphonic rock music with aggressive compositional solutions. If one accepts the band's invitation to their chaotic and jumping neurotic realms, this record will be a true joyride. I admit that these musicians are truly professional players, but not as qualified as composers in my opinion. I liked "Epilog" a bit more than "Hybris", but haven't spent much time listening to this either.

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Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have had "Hybris" and "Epilog" for a while now, i got them both at the same time and i have always loved this band. "Hybris" is original, daring and overall a masterpiece. Their music does not sound like something out of the 90's as it has a very early 70's sound to it, this is done by only using instruments and recording techniques that were around in the 70's i believe. So both of their albums have a very great sound that is rare to hear in modern prog. Definetly one for Karnevil9 to consider!

I have been hooked on "Hybris" but sadly, this album does nothing for me. When i first played "Jordrok" from the first album i was instantly blown away by the astonishing piano intro and excellent guitar work. All that is present here, along with some classic Anglagard top notch flute, organ and mellotron work. Unfortunately there is nothing really new or outstanding on this album, whilst Hybris was bold an exciting, this album is boring and dull. "Epilog" is great musically, and no less creative than the debut, except for the lack of vocals this time round. When i listen to this there is nothing that wow's me, it sounds like Anglagard didn't push themselves to create anything different and it is a very mindnumbing album to listen to. This was their last album and not a great way to leave off, but there is enough good material to secure Anglagard as being wonders of the progscene.

The only track that really grabbed my attention was the last track but it was much too short and didn't build to anything, i just really liked that soft piano piece to go out on. As for "Rosten", i have no idea what this track is here for. 14 seconds of humming, it is absolutely pointless. Overall this is a good album, if you begin with this album over "Hybris" then you might lose interest in the band and not want to give "Hybris" a chance. If you listen to this after "Hybris" you will just be bored as this album lacks excitement and passion like the first one did. Overall i would award this album 2 stars for its dullness but since this album IS good musically i think it deserves an extra star. Maybe the live album will feature better highlights from this album but i would just stick with "Hybris".

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Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is a follow-up of the Swedish band's critically acclaimed debut album "Hybris" released two years before. In my opinion, Änglagård was one of the top 10 bands of the 90's even though they did not last long. After this album the band took a very long break until they did a live record in 2003. The music of Änglagård is really dark in mood and it draws influences from King Crimson and Genesis. The music is similar also with Sinkadus. Jonas Engdegård (born in 1974), Änglagård's lead-guitarist, was also the main composer of "Epilog" together with Thomas Johnson (keyboard).

With a classical music influence, "Prolog" (2:00) opens the album with flute and string arrangement augmented with acoustic guitar. It's a beautiful opener that sets the whole ambience of this album. The music reminds me to King Crimson's Lizard and Island album. Hammond organ continues the music into "Höstsejd" (15:32) which has loads of Hammond and mellotron work. Composed in slow tempo fashion, the music brings us a dark mood with a combination of continuous stream of music. There is also strong indication on avant-garde style especially on parts where the song enters into quiet passages. "Skogsranden" (10:48) starts with a very quiet passage where flute and keyboard give dominant textures of the music. The music turns into aggressive style at approx min 2:40 featuring a complex arrangements using guitar, bass, guitar and keyboard. Whenever this part is happening it's a great listen really as the music is complex yet harmonious. Unfortunately this track contains so much quiet passages. "Sista Somrar" (13:10) is also explorative in nature as it has much of quiet passages. The combination of mellotron and other flute is really good. The album concludes with "Saknadens Fullhet" (2:00) that comprises piano solo in quiet mood.

Overall, this is a very good album as it has a mixture of strong composition combined with excellent musicianship by the band members. So how I can recommend you? Put it this way: if you are open mind and willing to receive arrangements that do not sound melodic to your ears, this album is a very good choice to be in your collection. And remember, the overall mood of the music is dark. You will find a lot of styles exploration combining complex music as well as quiet passages for relatively long duration. The decision is yours. As a matter of personal taste, many passages of this album move very slow and make me bored a bit. Whatever your decision is, keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW.

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Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sometimes when writing about a band that emerged long after the great prog bands of their past reached their peak, it is tempting to go on about which passage reminds you of Genesis or Gentle Giant or King Crimson. Despite executing a passing resemblance of each of those bands for fleeting moments during this intoxicating recording, there is no doubt that Anglagard has a voice that is unique and powerful. The only real dilemma I now have about Anglagard is over which of its two excellent albums I prefer. Upon careful reflection ... I've given up trying to decide!

After the tasteful classical intro Prolog, Anglagard launch into the epic eerie instrumental Höstsejd, which is 15 minutes of Gothic prog magic. It occasionally veers into metallic chaos, but by and large relies on the daring punchy keyboards of Thomas Johnson, while Anna Holmgren's flute combines with acoustic guitar to give the pastoral sections a beauty of their own. Skogsranden also has the balance of light and heavy sections, but it is the bleak landscape in the middle of the piece that always gets me ... the way the band breaks out with an angry calculated venom to conclude the song is truly beautiful. Particularly kudos to the outstanding rhythm section of Johan Högberg and Mattias Olsson, who hardly seem to get the credit they deserve.

The fun concludes with a final, brooding epic ... Sista Somrar, which manages to accomplish the not-inconsiderable feat of being, for the few minutes at least, the most sombre Anglagard piece ever. It does however, become a virtual "jig" at one point, and the mix of light and heavy passages (although both are dark) tends to be as close to a formula that Anglagard get, and it does have the effect of making some of the pieces indistinguishable from one another, if one is new to the band that is.

Anglagard had a few notable peers, and even the odd imitator (the highly accomplished Wobbler), but with Hybris and this album, the sextet put out a dazzling one-two combination that yet to be matched by any prog rock outfit over the last quarter century. A real knock-out performance which was followed by a tragic early demise, which will at least, add to the legend. ... 80% on the MPV scale

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Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If you are a nostalgic progressive rock fan of the 70's, especially Genesis around 1971, and think nothing similar has been done after 1980, then you should get this record to prove you are wrong. Well, the number one album of the seventies that describe the best the graceful and refined mellow parts here is definitely Genesis Nursery Cryme, mainly because of the omnipresent delicate flute, the typical organ notes and the mellotron parts. Most of the many loaded parts AMAZINGLY sound like The Flower Kings: the same guitar sound, the same drums patterns, the same bass style and even the same rhythmic organ and mellotron streams! However, it still has the old Italian progressive rock sound of the seventies, like Banco for the loaded parts and sometimes PFM for the mellow parts. Epilog is a very subtle album: even Gentle Giant is a good reference, and so is Harmonium for the mellow parts; finally, some percussive parts (small bells) and the gentle & delicate acoustic guitars are reminiscent of the Mike Oldfield's work of the 70's.

The only negative thing that I have to say if we dare to compare it to the best works of the 70's is that the album here has too much the ON/OFF style: many loaded & complex parts are often followed by too empty, lengthy and silent bits. For instance, the useless "Rosten", which only lasts 14 seconds, is so irrelevant that it makes "More fool me" on the Selling England by the pound album a complete masterpiece, as a comparison. Obviously, the airs here are not as memorable and as spine tingling as the ones in the 70's; is it because the album is totally instrumental? I do not think so.

For the reasons explained in the previous paragraph, I have to remove 0.5 star to this otherwise masterpiece of anachronic progressive rock.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Posted Sunday, March 12, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Majestic and dream-like, Epilog will captivate you.

Although I do not like this as much as Hybris, this is indeed still very good. The heavy use of mellotron and the style in which it is used reminds me more of Museo Rosenbach than any other artist. Their is a lot of dissonance here, with many complex passages subdued by softer moments, though Anglagard does well to not over dramatize these mellower, less intense sections. My personal favorite is Höstsejd, an outstanding display of musicianship and songwriting.

The lack of vocals does not bother me, as it gives me a chance to meditate and reflect during the calm moments here. When the music becomes intense it is very exciting and an abundance of thoughts will flow through you. I am a bit saddened by a lack of vision here, but that perhaps might have taken away the overall effect of this album. Regardless, Epliog is excellent modern symphonic prog.

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Posted Thursday, October 19, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars Änglagård’s second and final studio release doesn’t rise to quite the level of their debut album, but it sure comes close. There is still a fan club website dedicated to the band which includes a running petition to have the band release another album, and I have to say that it’s hard to imagine such a reunion wouldn’t be successful. The group tried a brief reformation without guitarist Tord Lindman a few years ago, but one has to wonder if the motivation was still there, as it seems to yield little more than a few live appearances and the occasional ‘new track’ popping up on various websites.

This is an entirely instrumental release, but considering the scarcity of vocals on the first album I’m not sure this is really a drawback. What’s more noticeable is the preponderance of lengthy slow, almost airy passages that give the album an overall less energetic feel than their first release. Also, the keyboard and guitar work here are much more reminiscent of King Crimson’s tendency toward a fusion type of sound. On the first album the arrangements seemed more structured, a bit less dissonant, and frankly a little more pompous, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for symphonic rock.

The opening “Prolog” is promising with its spidery flute and classic piano tones, but as this gives way to the lengthy “Hostsejd” the strident mellotron and fusion-like guitars set an altogether different tone than the Baroque stanzas that marked the debut album. This in itself is okay, since simply repeating their previous work wouldn’t have been all that interesting. But the segue to the long and repetitive keyboards and recurring dropoffs throughout this track get to be a bit tedious without the context of lyrics to help shape the moods. This comes off as an epic-like tale, which I’m sure it what it was meant to be, but the short free-form poem that goes along with the track doesn’t do justice to the range of moods expressed here.

After the brief transition of “Rösten”, “Skogsraden” (Eaves of the Forest) kicks off another lengthy and moody piece. Again, the accompanying poem is a bit cryptic, perhaps referring to some Swedish folk-tale or something – not sure. Here again the piano work is impressive, and the mellotron is energetic for the most part and stretches the traditional role of its sound. But again as well, the transitions are rather weak and there is no real context for making sense of them.

On “Sista Somrar” (The Last Summer) the long, almost inaudible intro seems inconsistent with a more forceful and upbeat sound one would typically expect for a song about summer. Perhaps way up north there in Sweden summer has a different mood and connotation that is does in places where beaches run deep in bikinis and beach balls. This seems more like a song about the ‘last days’ than it does the ‘last summer’. Or perhaps I’m missing the point altogether. Regardless, this ends up being the most animated work on the album, but it takes a while to get going. The acoustic guitar and piano toward the end are quite beautiful, and the final mood actually reminds me a bit of Opeth circa Blackwater Park. This is a complex work, and requires many listens to gain full appreciation.

Finally the album draws to a close much like it started, with delicate and mournful piano and light string-keyboards, quietly fading and leaving a uniquely Nordic sense of hope in its wake:

“I look in the deep brook, and I see a birch leaf floating by.

I believe that under that rock leads a path to heaven.”

Just a bit inconsistent, but at the same time an intense and quite rewarding experience, this final studio release of Änglagård’s is well worth a few spins for anyone who enjoys extremely well-arranged and intense symphonic music. Four stars might be just a bit of a stretch, but not by much.

peace

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Posted Monday, November 13, 2006

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Another BRILLIANT prog-rock release from the 90's !!! I can't really add to the glowing reviews most people have already submitted for this amazing album (so I've cheated by taking the easy way) - to analyse each track in words is darn near impossible !! I can say that the Gates Of Dawn vinyl issue shuffles the initial track order (I guess that's to balance the length of the sides out evenly) and that possibly takes a bit away from the intended flow - to have an incredibly beautiful piano piece (Saknadens Fullhet) at the end of side 1 kind of kills the design a bit as it's a perfect end piece for this breath-taking album, which is where it SHOULD be.....

Minor quibbles aside, the compositions are of mathematical complexity, all musicians are clearly heard and absolutely phenomenal players on their respective instruments, and it's 'stuffed to the gills' with amazing MELLOTRON playing. No prog lover should go without at least hearing Anglagard, in some ways they summarise the best of 70's obscure prog music with a modern edge !! Please get this.

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Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Worthy of much of its praise, "Epilog" is a fantastic showcase of symphonic/dexterous playing with a very classic prog sound. The album is equal parts intense complexity and moody beauty, with all players delivering the goods.

There is very little to complain about here, but I submit that "Epilog" is so similar to the excellent "Hybris" that distinguishing them can only be done by the very dedicated fan. Perhaps "Epilog" has a slightly darker tone, but there is nothing here that wasn't already done on their debut.

Still, it remains that "Epilog" has some killer moments, and deserves to be investigated by anyone digging fat, complex compositions with a classic '70's instrumentation.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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Posted Monday, May 14, 2007

Review by FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A disappointing effort after Hybris.

I have never managed to get into Epilog and shortly before this review I listened to it a good 3 times through before coming to my final verdict. My main problem is that it feels very disjointed and lacks the cohesion that Hybris had, which is a shame because there was so much potential for an even better follow up. Prolog is a good start and Hostsjed starts off very promisingly with a great motif before descending into the quiet mire that this album never seems to emerge from, there are good dynamics and then there is just being too quiet and subdued too often.

Epilog is a genuinely decent album harking back to the symphonic days of old and the instrumentation is fantastic but it really fails to capture my attention and the highlights are few and far between. Stick with Hybris, if you're a big fan of that then you may enjoy this - but then again it's more likely you'll probably be disappointed.

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Posted Monday, October 08, 2007

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Here's one they made earlier

Although this album is clearly highly regarded by many of this site's collaborators, I have to confess to being unfamiliar with the work of Anglagard. Hailing from Sweden, "Epilog" was the second of the band's (only) two albums released in the early 1990's. The all instrumental album consists of just three lengthy (10-15 minute) pieces plus three further interlude tracks.

The lush mellotron strings of the brief opening title track, accompanied by the building orchestration signal that the mood of the album is to be primarily retro. "Höstsejd", the longest track on the album at 15½ minutes, opens with early Genesis/Yes like mellotron, staccato guitar and keyboards. We are then taken through a myriad of soft and harder sections which alternate regularly to create a slightly disjoined but generally satisfying effect. While the music here has clearly been carefully crafted, there is at times an improvised feel to certain passages, thus this is not an easy listen in the way of more accessible instrumental symphonic bands such as Sky.

After the brief, all but inaudible 14 seconds of "Rösten", we indulge in the second long piece, "Skogsraden". This is very much a continuation of "Höstsejd", the bursts of choral mellotron offering a vocalisation of sorts. Once again, the abrupt alternation between loud and soft passages can be unsettling and seem rather clumsy. Overall, I find myself drawn to the softer symphonic, mellotron soaked parts.

The final feature track, "Sista Somrar" once again continues in an identical vein, indeed for those listening to the album for the first time, it would be all but impossible to distinguish between the three main suites. The album closes with the short coda "Saknadens Fullhet", a simple piano melody.

In all, a pleasingly dated sounding album which features plenty of good old mellotron. The symphonic, quasi-classical nature of the music means that it is not really for the casual listener, but those who stay with it will find themselves well rewarded.

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Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Mellotron fans (like I am) will be delighted to listen to "Epilog". Of course, references to the past giants are many, just like in Hybris. It is all well performed, and even if it is true that this type of music is not highly creative (since it was all done already), to listen to these sounds procures me lots of pleasure.

Änglagård's music still combines the early "Genesis" with the most symphonic sides from Crimson (the one I prefer by far) which results in a perfect symbiosis of both styles.

The long "Höstejd" constantly hesitates between these two sources of inspiration. It brings you through the most pastoral notes form "Trespass" and "In The Court", but doesn't forget a darker and stronger Crimson mood available on later releases. At times, it is even as quiet as "Moonchild". As you can see, points of comparison are many.

The most hectic song is by far "Skogsranden. It is the least "Genesis" oriented; so I guess that you know from which band they got their inspiration from. Add a bit of ELP for the keyboards to get the full picture.

Now, to be honest, I can't really say that this work is highly original. It seems that they have it all said in "Hybris" already. So, maybe they wisely called it quit after this one (even if a live album will see the light in 96, but it was recorded in 94).

The last long number is just an extension of what has been heard before and at this time, my interest has dropped dramatically.

Three stars for this good but not creative effort.

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Posted Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Don't Neglect this Gem!!!

Anglagard's debut album Hybris was such a blast of fresh air for prog fans that the follow-up, Epilog, is sometimes mentioned only as an afterthought. Most prefer the debut, and certainly Epilog holds to the already established signature Anglagard sound. However, the band has clearly evolved a bit between albums, and to me the second album is much more mature from a compositional point of view. It's also a little mellower as a complete unit, but like all of the band's work, the album contains a fair share of very intense moments. Probably the biggest distinction between the two is a more open mix, which allows a better clarity for each individual instrument. It seems as if the band feels a little more comfortable to take their time to allow things to develop.

My first exposure to Anglagard was a prog sampler mix CD a friend made for me which contained the magnificent song Skogsranden. This classic epic begins with pastoral piano, acoustic guitar, and flute, and slowly picks up steam until it's like a train rushing down the mountain. The dynamics are astounding, ranging from soft and delicate to firm punches to the gut. The brutal Anglagard bass comes in, with the electric guitar goading it on in percussive fury. It is perhaps the best track from one of the giants of the genre, probably the best one to come after the classic era.

Compared to the debut, Epilog has a more obvious Genesis influence, especially with the use of flute and increased quiet pastoral sections. Mellotron is also prominently used, along with very occasional vocal textures. Unlike Hybris, no actual lead vocals are used. The two albums actually compliment nicely, combining into a single body of work that is nothing short of masterpiece level. To set aside the second half of that work would be to deprive yourself of some of the best symphonic prog. As essential as Hybris.

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Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars What defines the "rock" portion of "prog rock"? Is it the core instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards? If so, that is the only link to "rock" on Epilog, the masterpiece by Anglagard. This album comes closer to creating the electric rock band equivalent of 20th century orchestral chamber music than Fripp, Bruford, Wetton & Cross ever achieved with King Crimson in the seventies.

Detractors may not like the complete lack of traditional rock forms in this music, but that's not the point. Listen to Bartok, Stravinsky, or any of the great 20th century masters, and you will hear a lot of what is going on in this album. It's not for the faint of heart, as it can be powerful, ferocious, mesmerizing, and delicate, all at the same time.

Does it sound like I'm fawning over this album? It should! I love it!

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Posted Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Second Anglagard album is a real masterpiece! If debut album was very attractive,pleasant and competent mixture of all the best prog-rock from 70-th invented, the second one is more mature work. You can hear not only very competent citates, but more melted sound, band's sound.

Some reviewers think that absent of vocal lines is a minus there: don't think so. I think that vocal was one of rare weak points in band's debut, and even debut was mainly instrumental. There you have 99,9% instrumental album, and it sounds better than previous one!

The music is more deep, more personal, less guitar driven energy ( but still some Crimsonian sound breakes/peaks included). Think, it's group's highest point ( ok, three albums only were recorded), and perfect mature symphonic rock from early ninetees.

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Posted Monday, September 28, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Epilog continues the Swedish take on Genesis of Änglagards debut. It's entirely instrumental, which could have been an improvement over the debut which suffered from the average vocals. However, even though the playing is great again, I miss a number of essential features such as interesting compositions, a heart, and most of all, that hard to describe but essential element called a soul.

When I listen to a track such as Skogsranden, I hear a stupendous successions of notes, great melodic leads, lots of dynamics, experimentation and everything else I love, but this music has never urged me to keep listening to it. There's no feeling and not much of an atmosphere here, which sets it apart from the other bands of the 90's Swedish symphonic prog scene that somehow managed to add substance and passion to this style of music.

Also Hostsejd and Sista Somrar pass by without touching me. Maybe it's partially due to the absence of vocals, but mostly I would support the thesis that this is music that doesn't come from the heart but that is solely constructed in the mind, it's the result from trying too hard to sound like somebody else instead of moulding their influences into something of their own. It lacks inspiration, spontaneity and substance. In fact, it's very revealing to play it next to a Genesis original.

Änglagard are an essential band from a remarkable period and amazing country in Prog rock history, but they miss that essential Swedish sentiment that makes all other bands from this era superior to them. They may have been the instigators of the movement but Anekdoten, Landberk and Sinkadus exceeded them with ease. Also, I don't think Änglagard had anything left to say after their debut Hybris, which was a lot better in all respects.

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Posted Monday, January 18, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "Hybris" is one tough act to follow. I have to give the band credit for not just doing a "Hybris II" although I wouldn't have been complaining if they did. The vocals are gone on this one. I for one liked them, just like I enjoy ANEKDOTEN and WOBBLER's vocals. They suit the music. "Epilog" is much more pastoral than the debut with a lot of dreamy, laid back sections. That made it harder for me to get into but the advantage of all the mellow sections is how powerful this sounds when they let it rip. I have to also say that the sound quality of this recording is pretty much perfect, crystal clear.

"Prolog" is pastoral to start with organ but it turns much fuller after a minute. Some violin too. "Hostsejd" opens with organ, mellotron and drums as the sound rises and falls. How good does this sound when they kick in. We get a steady sound before 1 1/2 minutes with some nice chunky bass. The mellotron then storms the soundscape. A calm follows before they start kicking it hard after 3 minutes. It settles before 5 1/2 minutes then the mellotron rolls in a minute later. It kicks in again after 10 minutes with mellotron. This sounds so good. Guitar makes an appearance then it settles with piano after 11 minutes. It's building before 14 minutes. What an incredible way to end this epic.

"Skogsranden" opens with laid back piano, then flute and violin join in. Piano only takes over again, then flute before it kicks in with power before 3 minutes. Killer sound ! Check out the guitar after 4 1/2 minutes. Mellotron follows then it settles. Female vocal melodies cry out of the atmosphere 6 1/2 minutes in. Acoustic guitar and flute follow. Beautiful. Mellotron after 9 minutes then it kicks back in. My God ! More great mellotron too. "Somrar" has a pastoral intro. Violin, organ and mellotron follow then it settles back again before exploding in after 4 minutes. The mellotron is so majestic 6 minutes in. Then we get a calm before it kicks back in before 7 minutes. Amazing sound here. It settles before 10 minutes then the flute comes in. It's fuller 11 1/2 minutes in with drums leading. A calm a minute later to end it. "Saknadens Fullhet" is a short laid back track filled with piano melodies.

I still prefer "Hybris" but man this just blows me away. It's 1A verses 1B.

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Posted Friday, January 29, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars My problem with Anglagard is that their compositions are messy instrumentals. Highly technical and well-performed they are, no doubt, but messy, and impossible for me to follow no matter how many times I try to pay attention. It's all far too haphazard for me to enjoy, and because of that, all of the extended pieces are needlessly lengthy.

"Prolog" This bittersweet opening is so promising, with strings and flute- a cinematic prelude.

"Höstsejd" Haunting organ flows underneath some menacing bass and drum business. Mellotron and lead guitar dance in a slightly discordant way. Much of the middle consists of lighter fare, at times a bit quirky, led competently by bass and flute. As I mentioned, it's a mess, and unfortunately the worst is yet to come.

"Rösten" This pointless track is barely audible and sounds like someone pushing a piece of furniture across the room.

"Skogsranden" Light classical guitar, flute, and piano create a delicate and lovely introduction. It soon turns into a loud and boisterous clutter of musical passages. The long quiet passage is pleasantly melancholic. The conclusion has astringent organ and a chaotic rhythm section.

"Sista Somrar" The atmospheric opening is nice, but barely audible. Predictably, nonsensical harder-hitting music moves in abruptly. Ultimately this is a mixed bag of stop-start composing; nothing flows, and nothing sounds natural. It's forced and disagreeable.

"Saknadens Fullhet" The final two minute track consists of a delicate piano piece.

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Posted Friday, May 21, 2010

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Some of the most completed and well-arranged tunes I've ever heard!!!

At last I decided to review another exceptional album in the world of progressive rock - Epilog by Anglagard. It's the second and regretfully last release by swedish symphonic band. With their debut Hybris, Anglagard established themselves as a genuine and distinctive band in the darkest hours of the genre with dynamic and saturated symphonic sound. With their next album Anglagard add quite more experimentation and complication of the composition and the result is: contemporary classic on symphonic scene. I would say even better than Hybris. Epilog is fully instrumental album containing less dynamic and more melancholic themes than the debut. Classic influence is very strong again. The musicianship is superior and precise. Just 5!!!

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Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars After enjoying the band's previous effort and later finding out that its followup release was an all instrumental album, I wasted no time and got myself both Epilog and the live album Buried Alive pretty much the next day!

Listening to this album for only a few times, I pretty much shelved the album for a few years without even once being remotely interested in picking it up again and playing even one or two tracks off it. This is quite surprising since I've been playing Hybris quite regularly during that same period. The reason for this had to do with my overall lack of appreciation for the direction that Änglagård have been going for with this album. The overall sound is much darker and much more atmospheric than its predecessor and the melodies, that eventually do turn up, are just not as memorable.

In a way, this album is a very accurate representation of the dark and gloomy conditions that fall upon Sweden every autumn and winter seasons, so having experienced it first-hand is enough for me without wanting to hear it in an album format! I'm also a bit disappointed about the mixing of the album where sound often shifts from very subtle, low-key, keyboard moments to the full band instrumental sections and the volume levels between the two are just too extreme for me to handle even during the mere 40-something minutes playtime span.

I'm actually very surprised about such a huge reaction shift of mine from the band's debut to Epilog. While I consider Hybris to be a very competent release that I rank highly in my collection, Epilog is pretty much on the other side of all that spectrum. I will give it a slight nod of a good, but non-essential rating because I believe that some fans of the debut album might enjoy this release but otherwise it's pretty much a collectors/fans only release.

***** star songs: Prolog (2:00) Saknadens Fullhet (2:00)

**** star songs: Höstsejd (15:32) Rösten (0:14)

*** star songs: Skogsranden (10:48) Sista Somrar (13:10)

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Posted Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Anglagard went all-instrumental for Epilog, and in addition continued their weaving together of varied prog influences into a sound which I feel is a bit more individual and distinctive than that of Hybris. The compositions here are at turns anxious, mournful, tense, melancholic and spooky, delving into murky emotional realms which the band's major influences rarely if ever explored (with the exception of King Crimson). The performances are great, the compositions are breathtaking, and on the whole Epilog is an album which left me hungry for more. If the persistent rumours of a follow-up album in the works are true, it'll be a day one purchase for me for sure; if not, Anglagard will still deserve a place in the prog hall of fame for the two superb studio albums they did create.

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Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I always considered Anglagard one of the most typical progbands ever. I mean if you wonder what prog is like or if a newbee would ask me I would say: take a shot at Anglagard with either of their studio albums and you get a pretty good idea (to say the least).

Hybris consisted of 6 songs, all clocking between 5 and 14 minutes whilst Epilog is much more extreme where the playing times are concerned. One of just a few seconds, two of exactly two minutes and the other three above 10 minutes. I wonder if this is done deliberately or that things simply turned out this way. Personally I prefer longer songs so my attention goes to the three mini-epics. From these three the longest, Höstsejd is the most challenging one; great variation, some experimentation alternated with much more catchy moments. Sista Somrar is a bit more coherent and all in all more accessible than the larger epic. Leaves Skogsranden as most gloomy as well as most laid back of the three (I mainly love the flute in the 8th minute). The short opener (Prolog) and closer (Saknadens Fullhet) are pretty good but too short to evaluate in a copious way, let alone Rösten (0:14).

Everything considered I feel both studio releases by Anglagard are essential for true progfans but that doesn't mean I consider them masterpieces. But both score the 4 stars easily. Hybris was more a 4,25 case to me whereas Epilog is something like rounded up from 3,75. At least I'm glad I spent my time discovering them. By the way, the cover art is great even though I'm usually not really into those things. Recommended !

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Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Having ordered Viljans Oga recentlty I thought I might as well pick this up as well. Hybris is undoubtedly one of the great masterpeices of symphonic prog and sensibly Anglagard don't veer too much from the core qualities that made that such a great album. Its awash with Mellotron of course and the music transports to some dark corner of Scandanavia where strange litte creatures torment the dreams of hard working country folk (well you know what I mean!). Its dark melancholic and never anything other than compelling.

The recording is very high end from any standpoint. Beautifull instrumentation as organ and mellotron dovetail perfectly with flutes and violins. The drumming is spot for me. Thats such an important part of any symphonic prog album and there is no shortage of quality in that dept. The main gripe is perhaps the lack of vocals that were present on Hybris but listening back again I don't really miss them that much to be honest.I'm inclined to think that this is as good as Hybris if not really showing anything particularly new.

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Posted Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review by Wicket
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars It's a shame I never got around to listen to Anglagard's repertoire recently. I've had their first two albums laying around forever. And yet it's the latter of the two I pick up and play first.

Interestingly, this second album is instrumental, unlike the first. Then again, instrumental jams are my favorite, and the three megaliths on this record are no exception. "Hostsejd" really introduces you to the flavor of the whole disc, with a collage of organ licks, stringy guitar plucks, and a bit of a circusy atmosphere. The key work is phenomenal, layering haunting lick after haunting lick. The syncopation and the pace is unbelievable, it's nigh impossible to keep up with the changing pace half the time. This is progressive rock at its core. The meat of the track (the middle) is constantly changing and fluctuating in terms of pace, rhythm and keys. The song even ends in a circus-like waltz filled with spontaneous cymbal crashes, plinks and plunks on wood blocks, tin cans, and probably other assorted percussion instruments. It's quite unique, but not a very accessible track to the introductory prog fan.

"Skrogsranden" is a bit more definable. It keeps the pace of Hostsejd" in spectacular fashion, but there are more melodies to grab on to. The softer, slower organ/key sections are much more enjoyable because they add to the dark, dreary atmosphere that the entire album creates. It's a continuing theme that's peppered with what I call "shots in the dark", like certain scenes in movies where one big beam of light shoots through a sea of dark clouds like a ray of hope. This "beam of light" reference can be related to the soft subtle strings and flute that slide of the piano harmony about seven minutes in, and then roughly a minute and a half later it's gone again, replaced by more somber organ notes and gloomy choral pitches. Then without warning, the organ scythes through with an onslaught of harsh chromatic tones when the ensemble gets back together, like someone took out an entire three-story building to land right on your head. And of course the end concludes in similar hectic fashion.

"Sista Somrar" also begins with this very ominous piano/organ laced melody, soon to be replaced by strings and flute. Once the ensemble joins in roughly four minutes later, the hectic chromaticsim returns and the drums once again become the main focal point. Then, unusually, the band cuts out to a hint of medieval-style folk music, with the drummer laying out a waltz type beat for the flute to solo over, something I wouldn't have expected (and haven't seen) throughout the entire record. Still, it remains a high energy piece with a few "beams of light" and happy melodies scattered throughout., until it all drowns out and the acoustic guitar takes center stage with strings and flute.

VERDICT: After listening through "Hybris", I found much to be very similar with "Epilog" except two key things. 1) no vocals (which is a good thing; constantly moving lines and changing key signatures is NOT a kind of song you want to sing over) and 2) a much darker, gloomier atmosphere. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's one that sticks out like a giant zit on a supermodel. Then again, I'm biased to instrumental jams, catchy and unconventional. Again, like most albums, the ultimate decision comes down to the listener, but to me, the musicianship displayed here is unlike any I've ever heard. This is truly a unique, one of a kind record that all prog fans should at least consider.

Which makes me all the happier realizing they came back for another album last year.

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Posted Saturday, August 24, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars Epilog works off the same formula used in the band's previous effort Hybris, yielding an overall sound and style that is the same. While this one by no means is bad, it just doesn't have the same oomph as the debut. The musicianship is fine and they use all of the same instruments perfectly. The arr ... (read more)

Report this review (#828311) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Änglagård - Epilog I wish to start by saying, to anyone new to the work of Änglagård, that this is a good album, by an exceptional band. Unfortunately, to anyone that has heard the 'Hybris' album, I'd say the same thing, just with a different tone - the emphasis on the disparity between the ... (read more)

Report this review (#493822) | Posted by stranded_starfish | Sunday, July 31, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is similar to Aglagard's first and only other studio album; where it differs from that earlier release, it is usually to the detriment of the latter. This album is undermined somewhat by a lack of lyrics, which although very sparingly used on Hybris (and in Swedish!) contributed greatly ... (read more)

Report this review (#300760) | Posted by Cheesehoven | Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Epilog" is an essential purchase if you are a fan of the prog/folk genre. This is definitely a more intense experience in places compared to the previous album, which is probably due to this album being purely instrumental. You get a real sense listening to this album that the band real ... (read more)

Report this review (#282385) | Posted by Wyrtgeorn | Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What happens when you take the "rock" out of symphonic rock? Anglagard's Epilog may not be all the way there, but they do offer us a window into another sort of prog that doesn't seem to be as frequently explored. The album's predecessor, Hybris, was a powerful and captivating work that was non ... (read more)

Report this review (#265251) | Posted by KingCrimson250 | Wednesday, February 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars **A must-have for any prog listener** You should have this album if you: -love music -can appreciate musicianship, complexity, songwriting, and beauty in one band -like bands such as Genesis, Moth Vellum, Yes, Sinkadus, and Anekdoten -are breathing -are awake and alive What a band, I ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#241675) | Posted by smuggledmutation | Saturday, September 26, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Ah, what a disappointment. It's obvious that the members of Angalard are excellent players but I'm afraid their compositional skills are quite lacking. With the exceptions of the short opening and closing tracks the rest of music sounds strangely unfocused, an amalgam of musical parts that bear li ... (read more)

Report this review (#157638) | Posted by Tylosand Ektorp | Friday, January 04, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Epilog! Dark, moody, mysterious, powerful, aggressive, beautiful. A wonderful album from a wonderful band. This album goes everywhere from dark medieval folk, to incredibly dynamic, avant-symphonic prog rock, and mostly just those two, as is the fashion with Anglagard. The band does not really bre ... (read more)

Report this review (#153097) | Posted by endlessepic | Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars EPILOG, by ANGLAGARD. What can I say about it?... just what I was looking for. An instrumental extremly progressive, agressive dark, but also beautyfull, charming and even sometimes relaxing album from one of the greatest swedish 90's prog-bands. Just listen to the instrumentation, the female vo ... (read more)

Report this review (#141418) | Posted by wato | Tuesday, October 02, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 3.5 stars really. As much as I enjoy the first album, it is quite "cold" to me. Not a lot of emotion to it. But it is still a very engaging album that flows well and had much to enjoy. This album on the other hand............is still quite good, but more disjointed and experimental. There ... (read more)

Report this review (#123171) | Posted by infandous | Wednesday, May 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I simply can not "get into" this album -- despite numerous listens ...and it makes me sad because I feel like I've been left out of a great party or something. I'm a big fan of early 70's Symphonic Prog -- and after reading many rave reviews about ANGLAGARD, I was looking forward to getting ... (read more)

Report this review (#123164) | Posted by altaeria | Wednesday, May 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Änglagård is one of those bands that existed for an extremely short amount of time, but made such an affect on those exposed to them. Each band member is a master of their respective instrument, and has a very unique style and feel. Unfortunately, this band broke up after their next release, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#118069) | Posted by Shakespeare | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the only Anglagard album I listened to and I must say it is very good. Very symphonic, with some kinds of Renaissance sound and real progressive passage. I use to say that if a group has success with a instrumental album, musicians feel what they play, just as you can notice a singer h ... (read more)

Report this review (#102857) | Posted by Ziraffe | Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In my opinion, "Epilog" is one of the best prog albums in the 90's, if not the best of them. "Epilog" was named that way when the group members knew that this was they're last album - the "epilog" of their career, even though they have released a live album in 1996 ("Buried Alive"), but it was t ... (read more)

Report this review (#84263) | Posted by Open-Mind | Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I Listened this album after the monumental "Hybris" and I realized that it was very different and complex than Hybris and it requires several listenings to be really appreciated. First of all it is total instrumental, there's no singing words and surely for this reason it's not an easy work but a ... (read more)

Report this review (#81246) | Posted by nico | Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Having been completely blown away by Änglagård's first album Hybris, I had to get this one too. It took a while to get into Epilog as it doesn't quite have the immediacy of Hybris, but it's well worth the effort. There is so much to appreciate here; the neo- classical opening number, the echoes ... (read more)

Report this review (#71371) | Posted by bruin69 | Tuesday, March 07, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I would like to compare this album to LOCANDA DELLE FATE's one studio album. Both are fine and immediately likeable albums, but when you sit down, close your eyes and listen they strike you with their beauty and subtlety. Epilog has been compared to a fine wine which need patience and attention t ... (read more)

Report this review (#790) | Posted by | Saturday, April 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think, I like "Epolog" even more than "Hybris". Both are ten-star albums, but "Epilog", in my opinion, is more melodic, subtle and artistic. In "Epilog", there is less brute-force symphonic prog à la instrumental section of "Firth of Fifth" which keeps the listener in suspense all the time. Ins ... (read more)

Report this review (#788) | Posted by | Tuesday, April 05, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Sorry guys, what is all the fuss about? A nothing album of messy instrumentals. I took a chance on this album given it's standing in the prog community, but I just think it's awful with very little to recommend it. For example, Rosten is a complete unfathomable mess. No doubt they are grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#785) | Posted by RPainter | Thursday, March 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Incredible record, I think it is not possible to compare this with any band in the world. Anglagard is something special. When you listen to this record for the first time you understand this unique. It is dark but so f...ing beautifull, it is necessary to listen to it several times to understand ... (read more)

Report this review (#782) | Posted by J@pie Mol | Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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