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Agusa - En annan värld CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.16 | 135 ratings

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4 stars Swedish instrumental prog rockers are back with a slightly shifted lineup and a much more focused retro psychedelic Prog Folk sound.

1. "Sagobrus" (25:01) nice, laid-back, simple Folk-Rock for the first five minutes. As a matter of fact, one might say that this song is divided equally into five perfect fifths. In the second fifth it goes CAMEL--or at least, tries to. All instrumentalists (guitar, organ, bass, drums) are competent and recorded and mixed fairly well, but nobody blows me away. The 1960s analog-like sound (and recording- ?) choices probably make this a great ride for people wanting to sit back and ride a nice, long wave of late-1960s nostalgia (there's a lot of Doors- and Procol Harum-like feel here). In the third fifth, the flute gives it a nice touch of Moody Blues, Focus, and Camel; the rhythm guitar play, bass, and saw-organ give an almost Supersister/Hatfield and the North funk. The fourth fifth takes a minute to define itself but ends up falling cleanly into a Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here despite the flute arpeggio that remains as a foundational motif throughout; the keyboard work and guitar are definitely straight out of Floyd. In the nineteenth minute we get another pseudo shift as the fuzzed-up bass leads over a weave of mathematic minimalism. By the 20-minute mark, we have moved into a fury of Camel-like tension building, somewhat crescendoing with the multiple guitar tracks merging and weaving in the 22nd-minute, giving it more of a Focus feel. The from 22:00 out is Camel flute and then Hammond taking turns leading the way over the driving theme carried by the rhythm section. Nice. (44.5/50)

2. "Uppenbarelser" (21:13) opens with some harp sounding like a nostalgic Celtic sea shanty. Plodding toms take over over the top of the the psychedelic synth work. This is giving me the feel of being on a journey--of some processional dance being led along the rocky Irish sea coast, flutist and dancers moving at a very slow and staccato pace, very sacred and yet also, at the same time, profanely fertility-oriented. Were it not for the organ, I would think this something that could totally be performed outdoors, while dancing along the coast! In the eighth minute electric guitars join in and the intensity rises, but then, at the 8-minute mark things thin out again, breaking down all the way to slow toms and bass. The organ, and then flute and electric guitar, take up the slow melody, and together build and build, with Cream/Eric Clapton-like electric wah guitar taking over the lead, all the way until the 13-minute mark when things break down for strummed acoustic guitar to take over leading the way. Jazzy drums, bass, gentle flute, and picked Spanish guitar make me think that the processional has moved south--perhaps into the Basque regions of Spain, or its Mediterranean coasts. Community building in the 16th and 17th minutes leads into another attempt at the guitarist to take us over the top. Unfortunately, chaos reigns over cohesion as the dance must become totally bacchanalian--until, that is, we again reach a resting/restarting point at 18:22. This is when we are reminded and/or restored to the original Celtic setting. It feels as if the message here is that it's sleep- time. The final two minutes are very bucolic in a kind of Anthony Phillips way. I do love that a cohesive story seemed to unfold here. Well done! (36/40)

Total Time 46:14

I can see how other reviews call this album full of "addictive" music--especially the second track. I, for one, love the visual and visceral image of myself fully engaged in that highly enticing fertility dance. The synth, bass, and flute performances are wonderful--never overstated or bombastic. I am not, however, very impressed with either the guitarist's electric lead work nor the drummer's timing and mix/recording/engineering choices. While I love the nostalgic feel of the retro sounds and familiar styles, I am more inclined to go back to more original material. Still, a pair of nicely composed, well-collaborated prog epic tracks.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music on the retro psych-folk-rock side of things.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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