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RAGNARÖK

Prog Folk • Sweden


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Ragnarök picture
Ragnarök biography
Formed in Kalmar, Sweden in 1972 - Recording hiatus from 1992 to 2007 - Reformed in 2003

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 : : :

NOTE: Not to be confused with the New Zealand symphonic prog group from those very same years (also HERE on PA) or the Heavy Metal unit from the 80-90's.

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RAGNARÖK discography


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

4.04 | 108 ratings
Ragnarök
1976
3.40 | 28 ratings
Fjärilar I Magen
1979
3.24 | 14 ratings
Fata Morgana
1981
3.13 | 8 ratings
3 Signs
1983
3.77 | 4 ratings
Well
1991
3.70 | 18 ratings
Path
2008

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

4.00 | 4 ratings
Live in Tokyo
2012

RAGNARÖK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RAGNARÖK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RAGNARÖK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

RAGNARÖK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ragnarök by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 108 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by Kingsnake

5 stars What a wonderful album.

It's fully instrumental and blends jazzrock and folk. It has this wonderful pastoral feel to it. It's not entirely acoustic, there's electric leadguitar, fender rhodes and elec. bass. Together with the drums it gives the band a jazzrock-sound, but the flutes, acoustic guitar and sax give it a more organic feel. A good recipe for outstanding and varied music.

I love how every song has a different approach, there's influences from Santana and some Camel. This is the kind of record to play in the summer, when riding the bicycle (like the artwork).

I love it, and I hope the other Ragnarök albums are kind of similar.

 Well by RAGNARÖK album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.77 | 4 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, 1976
4.04 | 108 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, 1976
4.04 | 108 ratings

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Ragnarök
Ragnarök Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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, 1976
4.04 | 108 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, 1976
4.04 | 108 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
3.24 | 14 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, 1979
3.40 | 28 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, 1976
4.04 | 108 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, 1976
4.04 | 108 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.

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

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