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Änglagård - Buried Alive CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.67 | 189 ratings

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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*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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