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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.35 | 1865 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I have done myself a great disservice ... instead of embracing Änglagård gradually, I jumped into their ultimate chef d'oeuvre Viljans Öga as soon as it had been released last summer. The impression was extremely positive, so we bought Hybris a few weeks later to serve as a sort of prequel to VÖ. Hybris shouldn't not be a disappointment in any way to anyone, I haste to say. The great quality of musicianship and sound engineering is there. There is no lack of elegance, sense of measure or sophistication in the compositions. The cover art is not only tasteful, but also a dead-on reflection of the album's vibe pattern, which helps the listener to tune in. The whole album is full-bodied, sharp, intensive, lush music ... no slack, no fillers here.

Now, it's time to do the "sad pahty poopah" impersonation. My only problem with Hybris is not with what is missing ('cause nothing seems to be), but with what IS there. The vocals. There, I said it.

The Änglagård's singing talents aren't really a close match for their virtuoso instrumental capabilities. Besides, for some of those who aren't blessed with Scandinavian heritage, the lyrics in Swedish - instead of adding an extra dimension to the compositions - can be more of a distraction, like 'why are those people talking when I am trying to listen to the music, and what the heck are they talking about?'

Perhaps, it's just my uncontrollable fear of getting into an embarrassing situation, so eloquently depicted in the infamous Soesman Language Institute commercial. If you want to Google it up, do make sure there are no minors and/or folks who disapprove of inappropriate language next to your computer :)

Nevertheless, I am glad to assign 5 stars to this album, even though it's half a notch "lower" than Viljans Öga on my chart.

An unexpected byproduct of having listened to Hybris a few times: a re-assessment of Steven Wilson's recent efforts. I thought GFD was pretty great, and originally rated it with 5 stars, but now I realize (with a degree of indignation) that 50% of GFD's 80' is time-stretching techniques, so it's down to 3 stars.

Argonaught | 5/5 |


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