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RAGNARÖK

Prog Folk • Sweden


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Ragnarök biography
Not to be confused with the New Zealand symphonic prog group from those very same years (that should belong in the site soon) or the Heavy Metal unit from the 80-90's, these Swedes managed four albums on Silence Record and some more (not listed here) in the early 90's. They are a typical example of atmospheric and melancholic prog like only Sweden can produce them. Their first album is a real classic known as a minor classic among progheads and they will participate to another group (KUNG TUNG - much harder) before doing their second album where those influences from that group will leave a mark. It is reputed to be as good as their debut. The later albums listed here remain of a good standard. Among the non-listed albums is "Well"(91) and is rather new age and sometimes industrial - not much to do with the earlier works.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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RAGNARÖK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RAGNARÖK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 101 ratings
Ragnarök
1977
3.38 | 23 ratings
Fjärilar I Magen
1980
3.20 | 11 ratings
Fata Morgana
1981
3.40 | 5 ratings
3 Signs
1983
3.91 | 2 ratings
Well
1991
3.68 | 16 ratings
Path
2008

RAGNARÖK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Live in Tokyo
2012

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RAGNARÖK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Well by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.91 | 2 ratings

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Well
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by begnagrad

4 stars Well is an album that does not fit the rest of Ragnarok's discography, that's not a bad thing, all the opposite, the album is truly fantastic, but you must understand that none of the original members are in this album, however, 2 of the 3 members were already in the second album, so I consider it the same band.

The sound is more experimental and metallic ( due to the instruments) , quite dark.We find a more energetic band experimenten with a completely different sound and style. So if you were expecting the melancholic sound that the band is know for, this album might not be for you, but it surely deserves to be listened.

The band would return once more with Path, back to its origins, setting this album apart in the band's history.

 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ragnarok's debut album finds them playing a gentle, mellow blend of charming folk rock and laid-back progressive rock. An all-instrumental affair, it boasts guitar and flute work which in conjunction put me in mind of a substantially folkier version of Camel. On the other side of the equation, the folk influences remind me of West Coast folk rock more than it does, say, the sort of folk motifs Jethro Tull were emphasising in their work at around the same time, or the pastoral influences that would characterise early Genesis. The end result is a folk prog album which has a unique sound and which I think has been mildly unfairly overlooked. I don't think it's a full-on lost classic, but it's certainly a very charming album which doesn't deserve the obscurity it's languished in as far as the international prog scene goes.
 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars Instrumental folk jazz at its smoothest and most beautiful--not at all unlike CAMEL--and this from this Swedish band's debut album!

1. "Farvel Köpenhamn / Goodbye Copenhagen" (2:30) (8/10)

2. "Promenader / Walks" (4:40) This is my second favorite song on this album of beautiful melodic grooves. (10/10)

3." Nybakat Bröd / Freshbaked Bread" (3:01) (9/10)

4. "Dagarnas Skum / Foam Of The Days" (8:07) (8/10)

5. "Polska Fran Kalmar / Reel From Kalmar" (0:46)

6. "Fabriksfunky / Factoryfunk" (4:49) My favorite song on the album. Kind of like SANTANA playing CAMEL. (10/10)

7. "Tatanga Mani" (4:34) opens as an acoustic guitar solo sounding much like the wonderful harp music of Alan STIVELL--only with a little more Spanish influence in the flourishes and progressions. Then, at 2:10 flute and bass join in as the music transitions into a little more of a bluesy rock John MARTYN way. Nice bass and flute play. (9/10)

8. "Fiottot" (1:23) Rhodes electric piano chords bouncing along with electric bass and muted electric guitar--and drums! A brief, upbeat little stroll through the park.

9. "Stiltje-Uppbrott / Calm-Breaking Up" (4:21) opens with some bluesy piano play like from a smokey piano bar-- before turning into a soft acoustic ELP like song with gentle flutes and picked acoustic guitars leading the way. Then, at 3:20, aggressive downstrums on the guitar and firmly plucked bass notes announce a louder message--which the flute and recorder respond to until song's end. (8/10)

10. "Vattenpussar / Pools Of Water" (4:08) opens with fery deliberate and steady Fender Rhodes arpeggiated chords playing in a couple of minor keys. Electric guitars (one in each channel) and acoustic guitars and electric bass complete the weave. Woodwinds play separate yet harmonious melodies over the top before yield for acoustic guitar and Fender piano interplay. Beautiful, very emotional song. My third favorite on the album. (9/10)

Even if the music on this album does mostly constitute what would later be called "smooth jazz," this album is wonderful ear candy and makes for very pleasant background music.

Not essential but an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Perhaps this is not more folk than Kaipa, Änglagård or Atlas but it is sweat symphonic music with wonderful acoustic guitars. Ragnarök's debut album from 1976(not 77) feasts the listener a very melodic and nice meal with a lot of qualitites. A fantastic thing about this band is that it comes from Kalmar, a pretty city I've lived in for two years when I was a teenager, and also my mothers birth city(and a place I'm going to tomorrow). The name of the band, "Ragnarök" is from the nordic religion "Asatron" where "Ragnarök" is a future happening when a last fight between giants and men is going to take place and the world will fall apart, to rise up again as a new world with new gods and men.

Not a single minute is abd or boring on this record but sometimes are better than others. The first track "Farvel København" (Farewell Copenhagen/Farväl Köpenhamn) (10/10) manages to show us magnificent acoustic guitar play. I can honestly say that Ragnarök's guitars are better than many good prog band's guitars. "Nybakat bröd" (newly baked bread) (10/10) is the other faultless track here, a funny, honest and wonderful melody played on flute and guitar with a jazzy touch in the middle. "Promenader" (Strolls) (9/10) has a jazzy feeling of the seventies that is wonderful in guitar and piano. "Stiltje - uppbrott" (Lull - Decampment) (9/10) is another magnificent track which first grows calmly to explode in the end, allways with skillfully played instruments. Amongst the other tracks "Dagarnas skum" (8/10) a longer, experimenting piece, "Polska från Kalmar" (8/10) a short folk song played on flute and "Fabriksfunky" (8/10), a rich musical world with a unique melody, are worth naming.

When listening to progressive rock I'm often in heaven, and Ragnarök's music is candy for my ears. But I wouln't consider it a masterpiece. If they had done longer, more advanced compositions, perhaps with vocals, it could have come closer, or just fail. Four stars is my not so surprising statement.

 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by BORA

5 stars One of the most intelligent and enchanting works I've heard in a long time.

A large percentage of Scandinavian Prog contains Folk elements. In all honesty, I have little interest in Folk and due to that, until now, this band has eluded my attention. Little I realized that the Folk tag is perhaps incorrectly applied here.

True, there are some very tasteful pastoral passages on acoustic guitar and flutes, but in reality, the whole album has little - if anything - to do with Folk. No more than, say "Ummagumma" by Pink Floyd.

Indeed, the music sounds like early 70's Pink Floyd meet early Camel, Jade Warrior with a brief appearance by Ian Anderson. Melodic compositions enhanced by laid back bass and a slight jazzy touch on electric piano. No sign off stress, scorching guitar runs, but captivating, gentle pieces. That however, doesn't result in a boring New Age material. Not at all, but in a fine balance between thoughtful, meandering compositions and skillfully restrained, brilliant musicianship. Just superb!

An absolute masterpiece? Perhaps not quite, but more like a "missing link" that was worth the long wait. Considering the pleasure I derived from five(!) consequtive spins, I can't go under 5 stars here. A must have for any connoisseur of that era in the 70's.

.

 Fata Morgana by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.20 | 11 ratings

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Fata Morgana
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars really

Fata Morgana from 1981 is their third album and to me is better then previous one in any aspect. Little more jazzier and with more intresting moments, Fata morgana in places have some experimental art rock parts almost gone towards avant prog to my ears. Not bad , specially the 4 pieces of the A side are pretty intresing. Not very much to add, just that Ragnarok didn't manage to capture the auditorium as they wanted, releasing some more albums later but gone almost unnoticed. Fata morgana stands a as good album for sure, but aswell like previous album, no groundbreaking moments here. 3 stars maybe 3.5 for some arrangements.

 Fjärilar I Magen by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.38 | 23 ratings

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Fjärilar I Magen
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ragnarok from Sweden is a little known progressive rock band from late '70s, with minor succes at the public back then as now. Their second album from 1979 named Fjärilar I Magen released on CD only as far as I know on Tachika Record label as mini Lp sleeve is a quite odd album to my ears, but in a good way I can say. Ragnarok offers a kind of folk moments combined with jazz fusion elements all constructed on progressive atmosphere. Well, at first listning I was kinda surprise what I've hered, is quite diffrent from their debute who was more calmer and with a more pastoral feel, this one is from the beggining more edgy like on opening track Adrenalin, a short tune with pumping bass lines and with a crimsonesque atmosphere. Overall all pieces are ok, Var glad var dag! is another highlit, biggining slowly and mellow and then all musicians simply burst in some almost great arrangements with sax and guitar leading. All album is instrumental. So all in all decent, but I can say I was very impressed , really. 3 stars for sure, no mere no less.
 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars If you were transported by GOTIC's "Escenes", or enjoyed the less ambient peak period JADE WARRIOR releases, you might find this respected early entry for Swedish prog folk to be a soul mate. Personally, while I find it a pleasant enough listen, I can't get too excited about any of it. It seems to have more in common with the 80s new age to come than to much of its 70s brethren, people like SCOTT COSSU and ALEX DE GRASSI.

The best by far are the opener, which channels the group's obsessively chill vibe into a coherent composition, not to mention the densest acoustic guitar licks to be found here; and the relatively lively "Nybakat Bröd" in which the airy flutes are most prominent above the spring like acoustic backdrop. Most of the rest appears mired in a funk of its own choosing, groovy enough to be sure, but hardly of more than background interest given the intervening years. The lack of memorable melodies might work in a fully jazz oriented work but in a folk context is anathema. The imposing end sections of the final two tracks do crank up the appeal, if only because they remind me I am actually listening to something.

While Ragnarok's debut is a legitimate historical document and clearly appeals to more than just archivists, as a musical journey I find it sorely lacking. Your mileage may of course vary. 2.5 stars rounded down.

 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars Makes you want to live in that front cover.

Unfortunatley, the dilemma of giving this album 4 or 5 stars was quickly decided after the first half, it just didn't grab me like at the start although listening all tracks in order is highly recommended. Later tracks like "Fabriksfunky" and "Tatanga Mani" are more jazz oriented and this being a very backrgoundish or ambient kind of album doesn't help and they tend be a bit of a bore for me. On the other side of things when folky parts kick in with flutes or acoustic guitars it's great and sometimes very pastoral atmospheric in an floydian way, "Dagarnas Skum" is an example of this and a beautiful track.

You could call this very lightweight music, in the sense I sometimes use to describe stuff by CAMEL, very easy on the ear but I see how some might find it boring for being too mellow.

 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.01 | 101 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've been drawn to this album cover from the first time I saw it. I didn't know though until I got the album that the dark sky at the top wasn't the night coming but it's actually pollution floating across the sky. RAGNAROK are an all instrumental Swedish Folk band, and this is their debut from 1977.The music here is so tasteful and beautiful, and much like the album cover once you experience it for the first time you will be hooked.

"Goodbye Copenhagen" is led by acoustic guitar melodies throughout. Beautiful song. "Walks" opens with keys and bass as gentle guitar joins in. Electric guitar and drums before a minute then we get this CAMEL flavour. Themes are repeated. "Freshbaked Bread" is led by acoustic guitar and flute throughout. "Foam Of The Days" is by far the longest track at over 8 minutes. It's pastoral to start with intricate guitar. Flute then keys join in. A fuller sound after 3 1/2 minutes. Nice. This is simply gorgeous. "Reel From Kalmer" is a very short flute piece.

"Factoryfunk" has to be a reference to the factory on the back cover of the album where all the pollution is coming from. Intricate drumming and guitar on this great sounding track. "Tatanga Mani" opens with acoustic guitar then it starts to build as flute and bass arrive. "Fiottot" has a good rhythm to it. "Calm-Breaking Up" opens with piano then this beautiful flute / acoustic guitar melodiy takes over. "Pools Of Water" opens with laid back keyboards. Drums and a fuller sound after 1 1/2 minutes. Sax a minute after that. Back to the keyboards to end it.

Easily 4 stars and one of the best Prog-Folk albums I have heard.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Fitzcarraldo for the last updates

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