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ALL TRAPS ON EARTH

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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All Traps On Earth biography
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2013

The band is a Swedish quartet led by ANGLAGARD Johan BRAND including 2 other members of the same band, Thomas JOHNSON and Erik HAMMARSTRÖM, and JOHAN'S daughter Miranda. It's a simple bass note written on a Fender Rhodes piano that started everything. Thomas played a big role in the songwriting and the production and with his playing skills. The album "A Drop of Light" also received the help of 5 musicians playing sax, flute, and trumpet. The release of the album is the result of 5 years of work. You can hear apart from the obvious influence of ANGLAGARD some Canterbury prog and some Jazz tones.

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⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2018 ⭐

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4.45 | 342 ratings
A Drop Of Light
2018

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ALL TRAPS ON EARTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars All Traps On Earth isn't Anglagard, but it's terribly close to it, with multiple members of the band joining with Miranda Brand (daughter of Anglagard bassist Johan Brand) adding an important extra texture in the form of her impressive vocal talents. Without distinct words, this is very much in the realm of voice-as-instrument, which might prompt some listeners to draw comparisons to classic Magma, whereas musically this very much feels like part of the Anglagard family tree, with the mid-1970s King Crimson influences perhaps peeping through a little more prominently than usual.

The total package isn't quite as groundbreaking as Anglagard's early works were, but it remains an impressive accomplishment and establishes this side project as a force to watch out for, should they decide to lay further traps for unwary listeners.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by spleenache

5 stars Devastating, powerful, driven and full of beautiful moments.

These days I rarely have time to write reviews but for this record I had to make an exception. I purchased the it almost as soon as it came out and listened to it a couple of times. My initial thought was; this is intense. It had all the elements that makes a music great for me. It took additional concentrated listening sessions to familiarize myself with all the melody lines and the intricate structure of the compositions. Now I reached a point where this record is firmly in my ALL TIME top 5 best records list.

Last time I was this excited about a piece of music was in 2009 when Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo) was released by Present. Since then there has been several notable releases but nothing has reached to the top 5, "all time" level for me.

Musical structure is complex; although it incorporates many musical styles, they are unified into seamless compositions. Transitions between musical styles are exceptionally smooth. I think this is so because the transitions between various instruments are so flawless that everything fits together in absolute perfect harmony with the musical structure.

Musicianship is superb. Erik Hammarström's drumming is especially outstanding. At times bass woodwind instruments are so uncommonly aggressive, it gives you goose pimples. Base guitar is the tent pole where everything else hangs from. I love its fuzzy, distorted, in your face sound. Even the supporting guest musicians are all masters of their instruments. It is a pleasure to put the headphones on and take the music apart instrument by instrument and appreciate the skilful communication between players throughout intricate and complex compositions.

Due to the musicians' origins, it is hard to not discuss Anglagard in this context. Anglagard is one of my favorite bands and I am very familiar with their sparse discography. Yes there are moments where you can recognize the Anglagard sound and its style but All Traps On Earth is much more complex, aggressive, dynamic and incorporates a huge variety of musical styles and influences into a single organic sound. I listened A Drop of Light and then immediately switched to Viljans öga. When I compared these two masterpieces back to back a few things stood out for me: Anglagard was way too melodic, it had many pastoral passages which went on much longer than anything in A Drop of light and it had, excessive amount of flute. I think A Drop of Light could not possibly be the next step from Viljans öga. It is more like a bifurcation occurring at Anglagard before Viljans öga was released and now Viljans öga and A Drop of Light are in a parallel but completely separate musical paths.

I also very much enjoyed the sound of this recording. The closest I could come to explaining what the recording sound like is like is perhaps calling it "Dusty" as in ray of sun traversing a dusty room. I really like this sound quality instead of crystal clear recordings; it suits the music absolutely perfectly.

I cannot conclude my review without mentioning what a significant contribution Miranda Brand makes to this record. Her tone and immaculate delivery is significantly contributing to the success of this record.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by uribreitman

5 stars "Rare Masterpiece Alert", everyone. This one took a little time to digest. Anglagard fans like me were drawn to this album, almost by instinct. Over time you learn to realize just how brilliant this album really is.

Painstaking attentio to detail. Amazing ear for pure analog sound. Outstanding arrangements. Marvelous transitions and compositions. Super-complex musical thinking. A challange to every prog listener.

This album bites your soul away. The beauty of utter musical terror will blow your mind, if you mind is still alive. These Swedish masters are just as perfectionist, as pure, as inspiring and as melodic as Anglagard.

"A Drop of Light" is much more than another European art-rock project. It's a spellbinding exercise in musical philosophy. It's dark but full of depth and creativity. It posseses all the necessary elements for a thrilling listening experience.

You can spot the MAGMA influences pretty quickly, but this is no MAGMA clone. You can spot the Anglagard refrences pretty quickly but this one is an original work of art. Once you reach the last piece (Bortglömda Gårdar), your brain goes places far away, like a cinematic adventure. Sung in Swedish, once translated to English, you get caught up in the immortal lyrics and ultra-beautiful vocal work.

What can I say? albums like these don't come often. Maybe once in 3, 4, 5 years. Johan Brand and his pals have done it, and it sure wasn't easy for anyone of them. The painful work is clearly self-evident. I bow down to this amazing achievement, which came from nowhere. A perfect storm, it's everything you can ask for.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "Great but quirky"

Website info: "All Traps on Earth is the name chosen by Anglagard's founding member and bassist Johan Brand for this project of his, involving keyboard player Thomas Johnson and drummer and percussionist Erik Hammarstrom from the same 'source band'. They are joined by Johan's talented daughter, Miranda Brand on vocals, as well as a plethora of guests from the Swedish scene. Almost five years of painstaking work and an obsessive care and attention even for the smallest details have led to the creation of an exceptional work."

Inspired by the cascades of euphoric reviews and praise from fellow progheads, today I have listened to this album. To be honest, with a healthy amount of scepsis. Because I am not very much into experimental and too varied music. Well, after a few listening sessions I have to conclude that this music evokes very mixed feellings. One hand I am blown away by the very compelling and dynamic symphonic rock parts, soaked with majestic Mellotron choirs. And the muscians are outstanding, with awesome interplay. But on the other hand I don't feel comfortable with the multiple turns into RIO, avant-garde and experimental, or pure jazz interludes. And I can't stand the high pitched opera-like female vocals. Listening to All Traps On Earth is also like listening to King Crimson their many faces, from 24-carat symphonic rock to strong avant-garde overtones, the hints are obvious, along others like Goblin, Zeuhl and Canterbury.

So if you are up to a blend of symphonic rock (like first Anglagard and King Crimson) and a variety of styles and wide range of instruments, this is a spectacular album to discover. Personally it's too quirky for me, and I don't like trumpet, flugelhorn and high pitched opera-like female vocals. But what an adventurous and daring music, like Italian prog sensation DAAL, prog is still alive anno 2019!

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by Progressive Woman

5 stars I usually don't review music, but after listening to this album for a couple of weeks, I feel that I have to write a few lines. For this is really amazingly good!

My expectations were quite high when I two years ago heard that Änglagårds bassist Johan Brand was writing music for a solo project. And the expectations have really been fulfilled!

All Traps On Earth consists of Johan Brand on bass, keyboards, vocals etc., Thomas Johnson on piano and various keyboards, Erik Hammarström on drums and various percussions, and Johan's daughter Miranda Brand on song. All of them are excellent musicians. In addition, there are several guest musicians.

Listening to A Drop Of Light is like stepping into a magical world where just about anything can happen. You are taken through a varied musical landscape with beautiful melodies, jazzy influences, sometimes almost slightly ghosty moods, alternating with more intense and "crazy" parts.

Sometimes the music sounds like sunlight that seals through the foliage in a forest glade, sometimes you can almost hear the outrageous troll stomp and tumble around, followed by something wonderfully jazzy, or something that could have been well suited as film music ... Yes, it is difficult to describe the music, and the experience is certainly different for each one.

The music is varied, complex and intricate, not least rhythmic. Themes are repeated, varied and developed, intensive parties move into quieter and more airy. You can hear influences from classical prog, jazz, RIO, Zeuhl, avant-prog, opera, film music and modern classical music. Maybe even a little Swedish folk tone. Of course one can also hear the kinship with Änglagård, but All Traps On Earth is not a "Änglagård clone", it is something completely different. Although the music spans such a large field, the work hangs together and it never feels sprawling. The instrumentation is rich with lots of wonderful mellotrons and other keyboards, various woodwind instruments, percussions etc.

Miranda Brand's rich alto voice gives an extra dimension to the music. The song is often wordless, ie the voice is used as an instrument among all others, which is very effective. There is only on one track - the beautiful "Bortglömda Gårdar" - with lyrics.

"A Drop Of Light" is a great album that should attract many more listeners than the traditional prog rock listeners. It may not be as easily accessible to the unaccustomed listener, but the album grows the more you listen, I promise!

The entire album is out for listening to Spotify, but I suggest that you should buy it. I am very grateful that there are still musicians who put their whole soul down in doing this ambitious and uncompromising music. Well composed and well produced. This is definitely the Album of the year (2018) for me!

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the twentieth review of "A Drop Of Light" which until now has only 19 reviews (but in total 207 ratings). And it is, with so few reviews, at the twelfth place in the prog album ranking of all time, after "Fragile" and before "Larks Tongue in Aspic" (thirteenth), followed by "Nursery Crime" (fourteenth). I must confess that this fact gives me the creeps. The summit is a few positions higher up. Do I really listen to an absolute masterpiece of the history of progressive rock? Is "A Drop Of Light" able to keep up with the greatest masterpieces of Yes, King Crimson, Genesis (and Pink Floyd and Van der Graaf)? I don't know, I usually wait two or three years before writing a review, because I prefer to "settle" an album for various seasons. But with this review I want to start writing my impression on the contemporary prog, knowing that I could change my mind on this Lp in the next future. So what is my impression? Well, I can't say Ihad the thunderbolt.

This music, very cerebral and convoluted, very composite, seems to me a display of compositional and executive ability, of original arrangements, rather than the result of clear, crystalline inspiration. I don't discuss the high class of the initial suite "All Traps on Earth" (18 minutes, vote 8), the initial lyrical opera tone (Miranda Brand), the orchestral passages that mix lyric singing, obsessive rhythm and suond almost heavy metal. We are dealing with a very eclectic symphonic rock, the insertion of wind instruments (saxes, trumpet and flute, I guess) is very original, and the frenzied rhythm seems a race to want to surprise at all costs, but what is affected is the pathos, the emotion, which has no time to develop because the mind remains dazed.

The second song ("Magmatic Warning", 16 minutes: another suite, almost entirely instrumental, vote 7,5), which begins with the grand piano (Johan Brad, the factotum: composer and arranger and producer), soon follows the orchestral atmosphere at a frenetic pace (with more melodic flashes) than the previous one. Listening to it, I begin to realize that the pieces I like the most are the less orchestral ones, where the most "noble" instruments are heard: saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet. There are various enjoyable moments, but on the whole the piece lasts too much, the last 5 minutes are dragged along, save for a jolt towards the end, when the tone becomes more solemn and the lyric (mezzo-soprano?) voice of Miranda enters. The beginning of "Omen (13 minutes, vote 7,5/8), again in lyric style, recalls the King Crimson's "Pictures Of A City" (as already some moments of the first song). When the orchestral part arrives together with the lyrical voice, I can't deny that I seem to have already heard those musical moments, and after a while I get the impression of listening to something extremely verbose and devoid of a central melody, of a bearing structure. Again, the less orchestral pieces seem to me when the wind instruments peek out. I begin to think that the album is logorroic, hyperproduced and formed by continuous instrumental variations on an absent central theme. These critical observations don't indicate that the music is bad or poor: on the contrary, the music is high class and extremely refined, but does not reach, in my opinion, the top of excellence, just for the reasons mentioned.

After a track of two minutes ("First Step"), perhaps the most melodic piece on the album, conducted by Johan Brand's piano, arrives the fourth and last suite, "Bortglömda Gårdar" (14 minutes), with, strange, a vocal incipit. Maybe this is the better track of the album (vote 8+), thanks to the melodic moments, the trumpet solo (there are many instruments that I love in this album, the arrangement is really sumptuous and composite, but no instrument makes a real unforgettable solo), the vocals passages. "Crescendo ending".

Overall we are between three and four stars. For the moment I remain cautious.

Vote album: 8. Rating: Three (and a half) stars.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by ZappaBowie

3 stars Arrangements well though out albeit a bit unsophisticated and stark in certain cliche ways. In many ways this music is a parody of itself with its machine-like wandering and familiar voicings and textures. If you love this kind of stuff you will find it highly enjoyable because it is very well done. But it is mining old ground and such herky-jerky asymmetrical play is soon intellectually boring unless the arrangement does something dramatic, especially in terms of density and texture. Its really a form of what I call Progzak, doing all the sort of instrumental proggy things without much sense of overall structure other than certain head banging jaunt thru whatever-feels-good-changes.

The quiet sections are by far the most interesting and I'd like to hear whole pieces developed out of these. There is definitely a gift here. Some nice sounds at times and overall a clear moodiness that makes one think of cold northern landscapes. But then when the drums and big textures return I feel a bit slapped around.

Well recorded and easy to listen to if you can dig it. Some of the quiet sections deserve 4 stars.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars This one came as a surprise just like the Hybris album 25 years ago. The project is the work of a founding member, bassist of Anglagard with other members of the same band and guest musicians. The result is a new kind of Anglagard with more intricate song structures and an atmosphere that sound like a movie, remind of Goblin at times. If the guitar has a minor role, the music is so rich with other instruments: mellotron, flute, sax, trumpet etc., that you don't suffer the lack of guitar. All this instrumentation is accompanied by the voices of Johan Brand's daughter Miranda who gives a dreamy atmosphere to the music. The symphonic music here takes the usual mood changes but with even more complex and unusual song structures, some light jazz, Canterbury tones, and avant-garde music. The songs can hit you with some sudden majestic passage that is embellished by the sound of a new instrument. This album sound if Anglagard had left the door open to the world and invite many people to the family using all the instrumentation you can use in the prog rock genre to craft a masterpiece that you learn to discover his great beauty with each listens.
 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by rooteen

1 stars The main qualm I have with this album is that it adds nothing to what has already been done. There's nothing innovative about this album. It's not very progressive in that way.

This album is very classically-driven and can get quite boring in places. Nothing sticks with me after listening to this. The only track I especially like is "Bortglömda Gårdar", which I would give a 7/10. The rest all kind of blends together and does nothing for me.

This album was once at 10, a position way too high. It's been slowly falling since, which is restoring my faith in this site. While the music is good, it's nothing groundbreaking. Maybe I'm just not getting it, but I've given it more than a few listens and while it is strong compositionally, it's just not nearly as good as so many other albums and artists. Above everything by Gentle Giant? This beats "Relayer"? "Moving Pictures"!?

I also find "Hybris" to be a stronger album than this one, and even "Hybris" is ranked way too high on this site.

 A Drop Of Light by ALL TRAPS ON EARTH album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.45 | 342 ratings

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A Drop Of Light
All Traps On Earth Symphonic Prog

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Eclectic Team

4 stars Well this was a pleasant surprise at the end of the year, good solid retro prog with a darker zeuhly feel from the Anglagard alums. Not sure it's bringing anything particularly new to the scene but a good enjoyable album. Not much more you can ask for. Recommended for anyone into Anglagard or similar dark symph instrumental music. The vocals tend to be of the wailing variety which fits the music well.

The core of the band is Johan Brand (keyboards, bass & vcals), Thomas Johnson (keyboards), and Erik Hammarström (drums and percussion), with Miranda Brand on vocals. There are a bunch of guest musicians playing horns, reeds, guitar and the like.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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