Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Änglagård - Prog På Svenska - Live In Japan CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.62 | 115 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Prog på Svenska ? Live in Japan

My initial impressions upon first listen is that in spite of the member changes from one album to another, this band can still play very well together. This performance demonstrates their individual and collective talents very well. It takes a lot of preparation to properly perform these pieces, and playing them live is even more challenging than recording them in the studio; if someone makes a mistake or the balance is not good, you're stuck with the result, unless you edit the recording later. Änglagård's challenging music makes the risk factor of live performance very high, but with great risk comes great reward.

And the reward of this concert, in my opinion, is indeed very great.

To summarize the strengths of this concert, I would say that their performance is very balanced, musical, and technical.

*Balanced: They play in sync very consistently, and the sounds of each instrument blend together very well. I never felt like the flute was getting covered by the more naturally powerful instruments (drums, electric guitar), the bass could be heard at an appropriate volume, and each of the percussion instruments could be clearly heard.

*Musical: I love how you can tell this is obviously a live recording when you hear it. You can hear certain nuances that let you know these musicians are really playing their instruments on stage together in real time. I emphasize this because some listeners may want to remember that these are actual human beings playing challenging music together and executing a great team performance. Additionally, I truly appreciate the changes in dynamic level (loud and soft, crescendo and decrescendo) and changes in rhythm (slight accelerando and ritardando to let certain phrases "breathe" a little for musical effect).

I also appreciate how they adapted these pieces for a live setting. For example, in the studio version of "Längtans klocka", at one point the character of the sound in the "folk music" section is similar to an old recording (like a phonograph record). This would be very challenging to bring to a stage without some additional sound manipulation, so the choice they made in using the saxophone to play this section was actually very enjoyable, even though it was different from the original. I appreciate their creativity in adapting certain things to fit the stage without sacrificing the quality of their art.

Another good example of how they adapted their music for their band at that time can be heard in Kung Bore. The drum fills in the later part of the song are different from the Hybris album recording. I'm totally okay with this, and actually appreciate that their new drummer has a chance to put his unique musical fingerprints on the performance. Bold choice, and I greatly appreciate it.

The ability to play and balance so many dense layers of musical material sets Änglagård's musicians apart as elite artists, in my opinion. I was pleasantly surprised at how much music five people could play at once, and it still sound good! At the end of "Längtans klocka", I found myself thinking, "How are there only five people on stage?" They figured out how to play and blend so many layers and textures, which is very rewarding to hear. Also, given that Hybris was recorded with two guitarists back in 1992, I was curious if this album's pieces would sound like they were missing something since there was only one guitarist on stage for this concert. Thankfully, I didn't feel like anything was lacking. The sound was fine, and the pieces were quite enjoyable to hear in this context.

*Technical: It has already been well-documented in studio album reviews that Änglagård is a very talented group of musicians, so I won't say too much about that at this moment. All I want to mention is that as a musician myself, I understand and appreciate the preparation required to play music that is this challenging. Each piece is demanding, having very specific technical nuances that require a lot of skill and focus to play each time you get on stage. I give them a lot of credit for playing these pieces with as few errors a possible. And I appreciate that the challenge of playing the correct notes did not prevent them from focusing on "making music". It isn't just about playing the right notes; it's also about making these phrases and sections sound natural, flow into each other like a great story or a river, and share authentic human emotional expression. They did all of these things, and that is the mark of a truly professional group of artists.

I give top marks for these wonderful musicians. They not only played the notes correctly, but they made the musical phrases connect very well and played in great balance with each other. Thank you for your great concert and great contributions to music, Änglagård!

Neo-Romantic | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ÄNGLAGÅRD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.