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ÄNGLAGÅRD

Symphonic Prog • Sweden


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Änglagård biography
Founded in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden - Disbanded in 1994 - Reformed briefly in 2002/03 - Active since 2008

Änglagård were a short-lived band who nonetheless generated critical acclaim and a loyal following in the early nineties with their brooding Mellotron and synth heavy sound that also featured virtuoso percussionist Mattias Olsson and classically trained flautist Anna Holmgren.

The band was formed in the summer of 1991 by guitarist and lead vocalist Tord Lindman and bassist Johan Högberg. The pair placed ads to form a band in the vein of the seventies progressive bands such as Yes and King Crimson, which were successfully answered by keyboardist Thomas Johnson and guitarist Jonas Engdegård. Drummer Olsson and flautist Holmgren were soon added and by the following spring the band were touring and logging studio sessions that would yield the well-received album Hybris. The release was followed by an American tour which included an appearance at the 1993 Progfest in Los Angeles. By 1994 the band had released their second and final album Epilog, followed again by an appearance at Progfest. This would prove to be the band's final performance. The Progfest recordings were engineered and released in 1996 as the live requiem Buried Alive.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2012 ⭐

Founding member Lindman went on to a career in the film business after the demise of the band, while the remaining members reformed briefly to tour in 2003, but are currently on indefinite hiatus. Olsson has since had a hand in the formation of Nanook of the North and has played in Pineforest Crunch and the Par Lindh Project, among others. Johnson has also appeared on studio released for the post-rock project Reminder.

Änglagård's sound is rich in mellotron, Hammond and piano, and a brooding wash of guitars and bass/bass pedal accented by Holmgren's moody and precise flute. The band's compositions are characterized by long, often instrumental tracks with significant tempo shifts and sometimes intense guitar flourishes. The Epilog album is instrumental in its entirety, and many of the tracks are distinguished by striking passages from Johnson's grand piano. Early Porcupine Tree also comes to mind, particularly when listening to Epilog.

Änglagård deserves a place in the Archives for their admirable effort in carrying the banner of lar...
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ÄNGLAGÅRD discography


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

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

4.35 | 1824 ratings
Hybris
1992
4.08 | 714 ratings
Epilog
1994
4.26 | 1152 ratings
Viljans Öga
2012

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

3.65 | 173 ratings
Buried Alive
1996
4.68 | 104 ratings
Prog På Svenska - Live In Japan
2014

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

4.80 | 41 ratings
Made In Norway
2017

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

3.88 | 8 ratings
23 Years Of Hybris
2015

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

ÄNGLAGÅRD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Viljans Öga by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.26 | 1152 ratings

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Viljans Öga
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

5 stars The Indomitable Album

"Viljans Öga" is Änglagård's third and last studio album, released 30 years after the emblematic Hybris, their debut album. Exclusively instrumental, this is not a breakthrough in their discography but a reinforcement of hierarchy and a demonstration that, despite the fact that 3/10 of a century has passed, the band's name has never lost weight. If there's one thing you learn listening to these monsters, it's that you have to take advantage of every dosis of their music they give you. 4 sides, 4 songs, Tales From Topographic Oceans' manner (but with an almost totally opposite music, let's be clear). Here we go.

The opening song is called "Ur Vilande". The album starts quietly, with a dominant flute from the beginning. The other instruments will enter either accompanying or making some nice arrangements. The track gradually descends into dark, mournful and somewhat mysterious melodies. The evolution of the song is joined by a guitar and a cello that keep trying to decipher the aforementioned mystery as if they have some clues, with some simply spectacular bass lines! And as if the whole thing has been disturbed and erupted, the instrumentation collapses and breaks through the first coating to continue working on its own project. Änglagård works so well in their style that it is a pleasure to listen to every second. It is worth remembering that the driving instrument of this song is the flute; it volatilises the song in moments of fury, calm, thought and transition. The electric guitar provides elongated or curved notes to give a wonderful sense of movement. You'd just know this song is theirs by listening to 5 random seconds. Halfway through the song, Johnson along with his must-have mellotron lends a rather entertaining solo, accompanied impeccably by Olsson with just the right amount of percussion. From here on, i.e. its final minutes, everything is utterly out of control but not sloppy, as if it represented a fight between two angry family members who are flinging everything at each other, with its moments of calm and ruthless and, somehow, comfortable fury. The enigmas unfold on instruments that take on confidence and become inextricably friendly, without abandoning the motif of this song. As usual: Impeccable!

The second song is "Sorgmantel". It wins you over from the first 4 subsequent notes. Again, Holmgren takes the reins from the beginning with his enchanting concert flute and acoustically opens a new scenario (and this already tells us that the flute is indisputably the north of this album. Engdegard slowly approaches with his fascinating electric guitar to give Brand his cue with his unmistakable bass to form a section led by them. Truly these guys bring ineffable melodies every time they appear. Striking notes strung together, one after the other, breaking through any kind of distraction and grabbing the listener with windy but not friendly arms. This song is 3 minutes shorter than the previous one, and that seems to be compensated here with a bit more savagery, with a more frenetic and catchy structure. Again, the second half of the song is where the gunpowder is played. The 7/8 pops up every now and then to clean up the vulgar and sit the listener down in case they've rambled too much (there's no shortage of reasons with this music) and it works as a great resource in songs of this style where the energetic inevitably becomes sluggish.

Then we move on to "Snardom". Well, it's a bit complicated to describe, but the calmness that started the songs on side 1 and 2 has completely disappeared. The song is full of chaos before the first second is completed. Dissonant notes, quirky and fierce percussion and an untamed electric guitar coming in to reclaim territory. As the longest song on the album, the first time I listened to it I thought I would find a slow and patient pace, and it turned out to be the opposite (thank you Änglagård for being an ocean of surprises). This song in a sense reminds me of "The Gates of Delirium" for its martial traits and peaceful resolution. Midway through the song, cello, piano and flute come together to create possibly the most beautiful section of their entire discography. A warm, deep ambience where every note is a stepping stone to enlightenment. Honestly, listening to something of this calibre I think how blessed are those of us who know this music. I remember that in the book of their first album (Hybris, of course) a member had written something along the lines of "We seek to break out of musical standards and we don't stop until we do", and they have achieved this in each of their works with an archetypal hierarchy.

"Langtans Klocka" closes the album brilliantly. It's my favourite of the album. I could never imagine a better closer. The song begins with the flute and piano creating a beautifully detective-like balloon. The most accomplished acoustic on the album, residing in a layer that is held aloft by tangible and knocking instrumentation. Its rhythm is so fun that it seems to go faster than it actually does. Mellotron and percussive effects blend together for circus-like arrangements that strangely make way for a nostalgic-tinged? transition. It's hard for me to describe how I perceive the last few minutes, but you can be sure that any adjective comes close to flattery - they manage to bring epicness to a circus tune! The textures of this part are astonishing and worthy of standing up and applauding. Everything becomes dissonant and concludes in a funny impertinent xylophone.

I always like to remember that Änglagård is one of the VERY FEW bands that have almost entirely instrumental albums (this one is 100% instrumental) of a spectacular level and quietly sitting among the privileged positions. Right now Hamburger Concerto by Focus comes to mind, but none other. Hybris and Viljans Öga are masterpieces from beginning to end and never lose their touch. Here we may be talking about the best instrumental album in progressive rock, but that's for another topic.

 Hybris by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.35 | 1824 ratings

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Hybris
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

5 stars In the 90s, more retro and symphonic styles of progressive rock was taking a turn. Bands such as The Flower Kings, Spock's Beard, and Echolyn were garnering some big buzz, and high praises across the board. Their styles and ways of creating new and exciting music really helped them stand on their own way. Unlike those bands, there are more obscure and darker sounding bands from around that time that looked at the more bright and celebratory Prog rock music that was going around a lot and thought to themselves, 'Nah, let's get a little dark and gothic'. There were two signature bands that had this mentality, our darlings from the USA, Discipline, and their Swedish brothers over with 'nglag'rd.

'nglag'rd is one of those bands that sort of just appeared, disappeared for an eternity, and came back just to disappear all over again. Their three album run is all around very positive with the only one that could be considered their worst still could be considered a great if not an excellent album. Their influences vary from the more jazzy side of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator and the symphonic and artistically charged Yes and Gentle Giant, however even with these influences they clearly have their own sound and style, combining more gothic classical stylization with their rock output while also cleverly sneaking in some folk elements as well. All of this creates a steaming pot of a great and cryptic sound that can be best described as gothic. I have expressed in the past that this style is a guilty pleasure of mine and will most likely stay as one for years to come. So you bet that with all these attributes this band soon became one I grew an attachment too, and you are absolutely right.

This uncanny valley can be entered through with the first song, Jordr'k. This instrumental track really sets the stage pretty much instantly with the beginning piano melody. The song pretty much builds off of that into guitar and organ driven riffs that just go into this hauntingly rich chord progression. This song just plays off of the first two minutes and they do it so well by showcasing true progression in the music. Even though it all sounds complex and even a little chaotic, it feels so fine tuned to where even the most complex of riffs feel very easy to get a hold of. Added onto this is the very great guitar work. I know most people would draw into the organ, but I think the guitar is the best instrument here. It strangely feels less like a guitar and more like an instrument that doesn't exist and I just love when a band can just make an instrument sound completely different from what we are used to. You can hear the European influence this has screaming all around it. The almost Beethoven-like structure and the old dark age feel this has really let's this song stick to me like glue. First impressions can really make or break an album for me, and this song really made me want more of this style.

We still continue the same style, but in a different light. Vandringar I Vilsenhet adds vocals into the mix. This adds a new layer to their uncanny style of music. The harmonies the vocals provide really make this song feel so much more enriching without it muddying up the instrumentation. In fact I think the vocals really add to it all. You can really feel the music with the singing a lot more now, almost as if the vocal work done here is in itself an instrument the band uses to move the music forward. I know they aren't Zeuhl but I do get some vibes from Magma's Stella Vander's operatic vocal works from pretty much all of their albums. I do not know if Magma did give this band some kind of influence, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I should also talk about the bass here, because it is pretty nice. It has this funk to it, but still be in line with the music presented here. It just shows you how well this band can adopt and convert a wide range of styles and fit them in line with their music.

Even with their shortest song, Infr'n Klarhet till Klarhet, we still get a strong use of progression in the music. While the style mostly remains unaltered, how the band conveys it feels all too different. These subtle yet noticeable changes truly makes this album so excellent. I would like to point my attention to the more bucolic parts. Not everything in these songs are all chaos of course, there are moments here that are a lot more laxed. These more laxed segments really do add a level of thought and care into the music. I am an avid supporter that not every progressive act should just be nothing but insanity. Progressive rock isn't and has always not been about creating chaos in music, but rather utilizing more obtuse elements in ways to advance the music forward into different directions, and sometimes those directions can be a lot quieter and introspective. Even in the quietest moments they find a way to entice me with their amazing sound.

Everything comes to a close with the last track, Kung Bore. As a finale to this album, I think it pays off in gold. It continues what the last songs have done, refines the aspects they introduced a little bit more, and really settles the album down with a nice finale piece. Really what I had to say about the last 3 songs apply to this one as well. This album doesn't end on a giant crescendo or something that is big and grandiose, instead it ends on how the album began, a cryptic yet beautiful melody. They really wanted to end this album off on their own terms, going against the already norm bending fragments of progressive rock by not going big and huge but instead ending things off how they would want to be ended off. Their hubris really is a testament to why I love this genre of music so much. It can branch out and grow and evolve into so much to where every band of Prog rock has a little something special to them, and this album shows why.

This album is a good showcase on what progressive rock truly means to me. It is a style that can evolve to whoever bends its will, and by doing so can create something amazing. This gothic album is a clear cut masterpiece through and through. If you love Prog rock and you haven't heard it already, 100% check it out. It is not that long, being only 44 minutes, yet it has so much to unpack that the album really does feel like an experience. It really is one the best out there.

 Viljans Öga by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.26 | 1152 ratings

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Viljans Öga
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Juan K

5 stars This review is very simple: I can not live without this album. For years I play it in my stereo, my car, my mp3 player or my phone at least once a week. Viljans öga is like a religion for me. It's something that came from other dimension to speak to my mind directly. Pure magic. I can't thank enough these Swedes for recording this masterpiece. It's hard to pick up something from it, every second is precious, but if I had to I'd choose Snårdom: a sonic delight, a brain orgams, a wild and wonderful creation. In my personal Olympus of Prog.
 Hybris by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.35 | 1824 ratings

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Hybris
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Swedish group Anglagard stunned everyone in 1992 with their debut album Hybris, which marked the resurgence of prog and the success of Scandinavian prog. Much of the best symphonic prog has since come from Scandinavia. I have never listened carefully to the Scandinavian prog, and only recently have I tried to evaluate it, in particular this record which is in the top 30 in the Progarchives chart, the only one from the 90s to have such an advanced position.

Side A

1. Jordrök (Smoke of the Earth) (11:10) After a classical and very beautiful beginning with the piano, the music becomes hard-rock and syncopated, very sustained, with the rhythm section in the foreground (Mattias Olsson on drums and Johan Högberg on bass). The band is produced in changes of tempo and atmosphere, slavishly tracing the initial theme of the piano. Around 3 and a half minutes it is the turn of the acoustic guitar and then the flute which, together, paint an almost folk and pastoral atmosphere. Until now, great use in the production phase to arrange the same melodic theme in the most diverse ways. At about 5 minutes we can hear Thomas Johnson's church organ which then deepens into a Bach- style "aria" but, after a few seconds, the initial frenzied rhythm restarts. There are too many stop and go, too much display of technicalities, it is not so much the virtuosities that tire because the sound is of the whole group, but there is an exasperation of rhythm changes and arrangements, such exasperation that in the end the nucleous of the melody is missing. Already we can clearly see the strengths and weaknesses of this group: among the strengths the ability to arrange and the sound, among the defects the prolixity and the exasperated and redundant exhibitionism. This long and contort instrumental piece has a melody that the Anglagards doesnt develop in his potential beauty. At about 8 minutes and 15 seconds the music stops, yet another twist arrives, for a few moments there is a slow symphonic piece, but it is a bluff: immediately after the frenzied rhythm starts again: these changes of rhythm and atmosphere that last few seconds are pure cerebral masturbation. This piece makes me angry for how the Anglagards want to exceed in everything, they want to amaze (as true exhibitionists) without giving us time to get excited. Wasted talent. Rating 6.5 / 7.

2. Vandringar I Vilsenhet (Wanderers in confusion) (11:53) Anna Holmgren's flute gives a lot of serenity to the second song that goes on for two minutes, until a prog progression begins which then stops, then starts again, then the vocals of Tord Lindman arrive, and continues with a syncopated math rock a la EL&P but characterized by the rhythm section, which produced a flamenco arrangement for a few moments; but it isnt long enough to enjoy, it is difficult to understand where the composition wants to go. The vocals return and finally something like a verse is heard, then the syncopated rhythm returns, then again the folk piece with the flute. Everything happens with an American film montage: superfast. Towards 10 minutes the music stops, but I already know that a supersonic rhythm will soon start again and in fact it happens after a march rhythm. Like in the first song, after a brilliant start, the track got lost behind the endless changes in rhythm and arrangements. Rating 6.5.

Side B 3. Ifrån Klarhet Till Klarhet (From clarity to clarity) (8:04) It starts with a folk accordion from street music that soon gives way to the electric guitar. The music immediately becomes very sustained. After less than two minutes we can hear the vocals by Tord Lindman: glamorous, elegant way of singing, with an acoustic guitar in the background, but then the music returns to being thunderous. Song shorter than the others, which does not find its center. Rating 6.5.

4. Kung Bore (Winter King) (12:57) A dazzling start in the name of a symphonic power-pop a la Yes (with a contribution from EL&P and Gentle Giant). The stop-and-go as always exceeds, and the music is heard only when the atmosphere relaxes, the arrangements become sober and the flute comes out. The vocals this time are very expressive and represent the best of the whole album (together with the piano of the first song) because then the usual forced stop and go guided by the guitar return, and that pieces are bad, until the return of the vocals, sung with a completely different tone, I would say expressionistic: another beautiful moment, but then Anglagard return to the bombastic sound to end up with the flute. Rating 7+.

This Swedish prog record, epigonal of EL&P, Yes and Gentle Giant (and perhaps also Genesis) represents everything that should not be done in prog: continuous changes of rhythm and forced arrangement, aimed at showing off originality, unpredictability, technical ability, with the result of preventing the musical theme from settling, leaving its mark, hitting on an emotional level. It seems to witness a fireworks competition of a music acrobat. The best moments are those where the arrangements are leaner and there are the vocals, unfortunately they are few. In most cases, this group has wasted its melodies, its musical ideas by exaggerating in the arrangements, exasperating the composition with endless stops and go and changes of rhythm. Art is not exhibition, art is judged on the basis of "BEAUTY": Anglagard have a beautiful sound, indisputably, and the ability to produce interesting arrangements, but they have not been able, in this record, to put their talents at the service of the beauty, they preferred to put them at the service of exhibitionism, they want to hear: "Wow, how good you are, original, full of ideas and technically skilled". They should try to focus only on the music and the emotions they want to convey to get much better results. They got the talent to reach this goal.

Rating 7. Two and a half stars.

 Hybris by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.35 | 1824 ratings

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Hybris
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Argentinfonico

5 stars Magnificent. I just heard it for the first time, because it was an album that I had pending for a long time (my main territory is Spotify and this gem is not there). It has a sound as mature as it is precise that induces you gradually in the firmness of the record. It starts so perfectly that one cannot even refrain from being surprised. They already make it clear from the beginning what is to come. A kind of aggressive classical music (inexorably influenced by Bach) accompanied by short choirs with wind instruments that give it more than progressive connotation. I think this album deserves a concise review and written from the vision of a single song, because when listening to it I have felt that it was a work of an infinite caliber divided into 4 parts. I will keep this album in my memory to recommend it to those who start, because despite being an album with such complex compositions, it contains 4 pieces from another universe. Rarely was I so sure to give an album 5 stars.
 Hybris by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 1992
4.35 | 1824 ratings

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Hybris
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars Music is such an enigma. Anglagard is a band that popped practically out of nowhere, none of the members were known from other projects and they were also considerably young. But somehow, their first release is still one of the greatest records of its genre. I discovered this album and band from this site because I had never heard about them. It's no doubt that they deserve all the credit they get.

It's safe to say this record is a cult classic. Very unknown, but hailed as a masterpiece. It has only four tracks, three of them very lengthy, clocking over ten minutes. But not ten long, boring and overextended minutes, instead ten minutes of excellent symphonic prog.

The first track, Earth Smoke, is a dynamic and generally fast-paced instrumental. It has a really high number of sections that flow surprisingly well. It features flute solos, guitar solos, keyboard solos, in other words it's the quintessential track of the album. It ends with a calm flute and Mellotron.

The second track, Wonderings In Confusion, has amazing flute work and constantly changing time signatures. It features flamenco influence in multiple sections and the Mellotron never fails to provide a great sense of suspense, emotion and mystery.

The third track, King Winter, is my favorite from the album, and in my opinion the most beautiful track of the record. The main chorus is wonderful, and it features a small build-up around the middle that explodes in the best section of the record, a dramatic instrumental section with some powerful guitar work. The song and album ends with a faint flute that always sends chills down my spine.

This album has grown alot on me and it has become one of my favorite symphonic prog albums ever. It's a true statement for its genre and it's without a doubt worth at least one listen.

 Prog På Svenska - Live In Japan by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Live, 2014
4.68 | 104 ratings

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Prog På Svenska - Live In Japan
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 435

Anglagard was born in 1991 out of the Swedish Progressive Rock movement. They released their first album, "Hybris". They disbanded in 1994, the year of their second album "Epilog", after the final performance at Progfest in Los Angeles. The recordings of that live concert were released as a live album named "Buried Alive" that was launched only in 1996.

In 2009, Anglagard, after a long hiatus of time, reformed and returned to action working on some new compositions, and after a long period of rehearsals and recordings, in 2012, they were able to released their third studio album "Viljans Oga", surprisingly maintaining the high quality level obtained in the two previous studio albums. In March of 2013, Anglagard played in a series of three concerts at Club Citta, Tokyo in Japan to promote "Viljans Oga". At the time Anglagard was sharing the bill with The Crimson ProjeKCt. They performed with a varied track list and a revised line up.

So, the line up on "Prog Pa Svenska - Live In Japan" is Anna Holmgren (flute, saxophone, Mellotron and recorder), Tord Lindman (guitar, vocals, gong and atmospheric sound), Linus Kase (vocals, Hammond organ, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes piano, Moog Voyager, piano and soprano saxophone, Johan Brand (bass, Taurus bass pedals and atmospheric sound) and Erik Hammarstrom (drums, cymbals, vibraphone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, cran casa and gong).

"Prog Pa Svenska - Live In Japan" contains songs from all three studio albums of Anglagard. In addition to the older pieces, you also can get one brand new piece that was previously unreleased. This new piece shows that the band can still write fantastic prog rock songs. About the all old pieces, "familiar" is probably the right word to describe them, even if they have demonstrated some growth since the last time we heard them. On all pieces, the band have altered the tempos and added some new sounds. Saxophone parts and synthesizer sounds were added on some of those pieces.

Since "Prog Pa Svenska - Live In Japan" is pre-eminently a live act you won't hear the same versions that can be enjoyed on the ordinary studio albums. However, the renditions here rarely diverge from the originals. But, in some places, guitar replaces keyboards or sax replaces guitar. However, one of the things that makes or breaks a live album, for me, is the arrangements. With Anglagard, the arrangements are constantly in flux and that makes these tracks worth hearing in different versions and the album worth buying. Personally, I feel a bit ripped off when a band plays the same arrangements time and time again, but Anglagard constantly challenge themselves and their listeners. So, despite the pieces aren't properly as different as the originals, to have something different is what I always liked in all live albums.

"Prog Pa Svenska - Live In Japan" has seven tracks. "Introvertus Fugu (Den Asociala Blasfisken) Part 1" is the new piece. It's an impressive atmospheric intro. It's the shortest piece here and probably is the biggest draw for Anglagard's fans. Beginning with some spacey piano chords and a disjointed arrangement, the piece gradually rises from freeform chaos to dynamic Anglagard form to its conclusion. "Jordrok" and "Kung Bore" are from "Hybris". "Jordrok" is a dark and melancholic instrumental. It's complex with constant changes and where all members have its function and no one dominates. "Kung Bore" is a complex song, very nostalgic, with great vocals, some classical parts, good keyboards and a good rhythm section. "Hostsejd" and "Sista Somrar" are from "Epilog". "Hostsejd" has moments of pure energy, is mellow with abrupt transition passages between calm and mellow parts and loud and wild parts. "Sista Somrar" starts calm and soft until changes with a strong and aggressive passage. It will continue throughout the entire theme. Here, we can see the perfection and harmony between the classical and rock. "Langtans Klocka" and "Sorgmantel" are from "Viljans Oga". "Langtans Klocka" brings an autumnal tone with an elegant and almost classical style. It has great guitar riffs, supported on the back by keyboards, twined by beautiful bass lines and great drumming performance. The track's rhythm, stop and start, so common on Anglagard. "Sorgmantel" is a melodic number. The music flows smoothly and continuously with often tempo changes. The striking contrast between Mellotron and distorted guitar is excellent.

Conclusion: Finally, we have here an excellent live album of Anglagard, the album the band always wanted to release. Who are used to Anglagard knows they were disappointed and frustrated with their performance on "Buried Alive". On this album, Anglagard proves to be faithful to the icons of the 70's and keep the true spirit of prog. With a huge maturity and own style, a great treatment with an instrumental sound of high level and an excellent production, Anglagard shows their whole personality, quality of execution and sound, knowing to join their personal brand with the mysticism and charm so characteristic of the Scandinavian musical expression. They proved the great music doesn't have time. In my opinion, not one single second on this great double live album is boring. It's just a fine addition to my already large collection of live albums. Of course, the complex music on this album isn't everybody's cup of tea. But, give it a try.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Buried Alive by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Live, 1996
3.65 | 173 ratings

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Buried Alive
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars I actually steered clear of Anglagard and groups like them for a long time because their music has so frequently been characterized as "dark and brooding". On this more affordable and accessible "farewell concert" recorded in 1994 in Los Angeles, I was surprised to find a lot of beautiful mellotron and flute passages (ala early Genesis) permeating their music, punctuated by bombastic angular outbreaks of polyphonic virtuosity (reminiscent of King Crimson and Yes). To me, their overall sound comes closest to Cathedral's "Stained Glass Stories". The vocals are sung in Swedish - not the group's best feature - but they only show up sporadically in a few songs, so no big deal. Other than the flute, there really is not much dominant soloing; instead, the group relies on a strong interplay among all instruments. The heavy Chris Squire-like bass is a real treat, and the drums are excellent. Unfortunately, some of the keyboard passages are mixed rather quietly here - I found the first four minutes of this cd almost tiresome.

I like this album, as uneven as it is in spots. You get all four songs from their studio debut "Hybris", plus three from the follow-up "Epilog". Probably not as clean as the studio versions, but well-done nevertheless. (Honestly, their live album from 18 years later is much better!)

Ideally, I like my prog a bit more on the melodic side, and with more vocal harmonies. But this is a very good complement to that style of prog, and proves very exciting in places; doesn't strike me as all that "dark and brooding" either! It was probably very fresh sounding when the band first came out in the early 90's. There have been many, many bands both past and present with comparable playing and songwriting skills. But I have no trouble recommending this album as a worthy addition to your prog collection.

 Buried Alive by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Live, 1996
3.65 | 173 ratings

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Buried Alive
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 342

Anglagard is a Swedish symphonic prog rock band with a critical acclaim and a loyal following cult of fans in the early 90's due to their unique sound. It became a cult prog rock band. Anglagard broke up in 1994. They briefly reformed in 2002-2003, and have been active again since 2009. Anglagard was formed in 1991 by Tord Lindman and Johan Hogberg. The duo published advertisements in order to form a new band in the same vein of the prog 70's bands. Eventually, answered Thomas Johnson and Jonas Engdegard. Mattias Olsson and Anna Holmgren joined them shortly after that.

Anglagard was probably the first band of the 90's to have become a legend of progressive rock music, and to have been considered at the same level as the 70's giants. And this didn't happen by chance. They're probably one of the best Swedish progressive rock bands, and constitute a dark counterpart to their optimistic compatriots, The Flower Kings.

The art of Anglagard can be characterized by a touch of Genesis-like arpeggios, Yes-like virtuosity, some soft flute melodies, a few bits of local Swedish folk, sudden mellotron apparitions and unexpected and violent King Crimson- like moments, always beautifully controlled and performed. All of this also shows a paradoxically well defined personality mainly due to their quite typical Scandinavian and immediately recognizable melancholy. Add to this perfection, not at all show off musical interpretation that is subservient to the compositional skills and you can get the complete picture. The compositions develop mostly with instrumental tracks that include sudden but always melodically rhythm changes.

'Buried Alive' is the debut live album of Anglagard and was released in 1996. The line up on the album is Tord Lindman (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mellotron and percussion), Jonas Engdegard (electric and acoustic guitars), Thomas Johnson (mellotron, Hammond B-3, grand piano and keyboards), Anna Holmgren (flute and mellotron), Johan Hogberg (bass and bass pedals) and Mattias Olsson (percussion).

'Buried Alive' has seven tracks. The set list includes tracks of the two first and only studio albums of Anglagard, at the time, 'Hybris' and 'Epilog'. So, from 'Hybris' we have four tracks 'Jordrok', 'Ifran Klarhet Till Klarhet', 'Vandringar I Vilsenhet' and 'Kung Bore'. From 'Epilog' we have three tracks 'Prolog', 'Hostsejd' and 'Sista Somrar'.

'Jordrok' is a dark and melancholic instrumental that reminds me the long and cold winter season in Sweden. It's complex with constant musical changes and where all the instruments have its function and where no one dominates. This is a great track, one of their best. 'Ifran Klarhet Till Klarhet' has a surrealist begin with a kind of a carnival circus sound. It sounds relatively complex, combining the great versatility of Anna Holmgren on flute, good guitar work, great mellotron sound, nice bass line and powerful drumming. This is another excellent catchy track. 'Vadringar I Vilsenhet' is another extremely complex track with great rhythm changes. Tord Lindman's voice is nice and delicate and, for me, it improves the song. There are on this song some amazing individual performances by all band's members. This is another brilliant track. 'Kung Bore' is a complex song, very nostalgic, with great vocals, some classical parts, good keyboards and a good rhythm section. It has an uplifting sound with light and dark shades. This is one of their best and is, probably, my favourite Anglagard's track. 'Prolog' is short and as its name indicates, is the musical introduction on 'Epilog'. This is a very beautiful way to open that album. It's a very calm classical piece of music, very delightful with a sad and melancholic Baroque atmosphere. Despite be short it's absolutely brilliant. 'Hostsejd' has great moments of pure energy with its mellowparts with abrupt transition passages between calm and mellow parts and loud and wild parts. This is one of the highlights of Anglagard, where the band shows their great maturity. 'Sista Somrar' starts calm and soft until changes with a strong and aggressive passage. It will continue throughout the entire theme. Here, we can see the perfection and harmony between the classical and rock parts, which Anglagard is perfectly skilled in doing.

Conclusion: This line up split up after this last concert of Anglagard at the time. 'Buried Alive' was issued after that split up and consists of almost the complete show on the ProgFest in Los Angeles. It has about one hour and fifteen minutes of 100% instrumental and breathtaking music. Let's just say that the audience could feel privileged to witness that moment, what is shown on the album. However, Anglagard knows this album isn't at the same quality level of their previous studio albums. They know there's something wrong with the sound of the album. Somehow, the band couldn't reproduce the excitement and the flame of the original recordings. The band has even confessed that they left the stage in tears, not for sadness, because it was their last live show as a band and they were to split, neither for joy because they were happy. On the contrary, they had tears in their eyes because they felt disappointed and frustrated with their performance on stage. Still, 'Buried Alive' is a great document and an excellent addition to any prog rock collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Viljans Öga by ÄNGLAGÅRD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.26 | 1152 ratings

BUY
Viljans Öga
Änglagård Symphonic Prog

Review by Mark-P

4 stars Viljans Öga is the third album of Änglagård that was released in 2012 ; quite long since their Epilog album 1994. Tord Lindman, the founding member of the band was not part of this album. Consisting of 4 long tracks (each is longer than 10 minutes) that are all instrumental.

Like typical Änglagård, the music has the accuracy of an orchestral work, that needs not only instinct and mastery of each instrument, but intelligence and disciplines.

Among distinguished features of this album are its richness in timbre (with cello, clarinet and saxophone - I suppose they were getting more and more experimental from Hybris, Epilog and this album) and darker atmosphere. Wind instruments play more intensive role in this album - and that's great.

While all tracks are kind of feasts of progressive music in one of its finest form, my favourite track is Snårdom (3rd track - 16:14). It has a amazing guitar parts, beautifully accompanied by melodic bass and wind instrument.

In my opinion, even we can (still) spot some traces of prog giants from 70's in their music but Änglagård has created their own sound and signature composition since their debut album, and that is getting more and more solid and experimental in this album.

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

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