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Änglagård - Epilog CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 700 ratings

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4 stars This album is similar to Aglagard's first and only other studio album; where it differs from that earlier release, it is usually to the detriment of the latter. This album is undermined somewhat by a lack of lyrics, which although very sparingly used on Hybris (and in Swedish!) contributed greatly to its effectiveness.

The album starts off with the inspired Prologue, two minutes of gorgeous mellotron. Alas this is not developed further. The lengthy Hostjeld is next. This combines beautiful passages almost reminiscent of "tubular bells" with hard edged but short eruptions of rhymnically and harmonically complex Jazz rock which has a whiff of Gentle Giant about it. At first I found these eruptions annoying but they grew on me. The problem is these passages are repeated rather than developed. The pointless 14 seconds of Rosten needs no comment. Skogsranden begins with an affecting flute melody taken up by guitar and mellotron. The harmonies become more avant-garde as bass and drums enter. Another jazz rock section, although repetitious, is more developed than on Hostjeld. At about the 5.30 minute mark this quietens down to to a subdued passage with some a disembodied voice gently ohhs in the background. Another flute solo ensues, developed at length with some beautiful percussion. When this seems destined to see out the end of the movement, another eruption which stops as suddenly as it began. Sista Somra again starts quietly with organ patterns followed by a classical sounding string section and another sudden eruption which soon dissipates into a quieter passage with flute prominent before building up again. Around 9 minutes a big tune is delivered by flute and electric guitar before once again dying into quiet acoustic guitar arpeggios. The album ends with another quiet 2 minute piece, this time a soft piano in nostalgic vein.

A charge of formlessness can be made against Anglagard, as can be that they learned one trick well and used it repeatedly: the juxtaposition of the quiet and atmospheric with loud angular passages. But the standards of musicianship are high.

Cheesehoven | 4/5 |


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