Anglagard – Viljans Oga
Progarchives: The return of Änglagård: Viljans Oga sees the band admirably developing their sound. Whilst there’s clearly a continuity between the approach of this album and that of Hybris and Epilog, at the same time the band evade the trap of simply catering to the nostalgia crowd by repeating past glories. Instead, they take their sound forward by putting a somewhat stronger emphasis on the acoustic side of their sound; Jonas Engdegård’s guitar playing approaches folky territory, whilst Anna Holmgren’s flute performances, whilst always a highlight of Änglagård’s material, is put in the spotlight like never before.
Compositionally speaking, it’s the usual roller-coaster ride between peaceful, tranquil sections and brash outbursts of noise. There’s a few sly references to their influences here and there; in particular, on the concluding track Längtans Klocka there’s a span of circus music before the apocalyptic finale, which reminds me of the structure of Sleepwalkers – the concluding song of Van der Graaf Generator’s Godbluff, itself a four-track reunion album from a prog unit which had been on hiatus for some years. A clever nod indeed – and yet, despite the presence of such references, at the same time the acoustic focus of the album sets the Änglagård sound apart from its inspirations a bit more in this release. In fact, I don’t think it would be unfair to suggest that this may be the most original musical statement the band have ever made.
Line-up / Musicians
– Mattias Olsson /drums, percussion, noises
– Johan Brand / bass, taurus
– Thomas Johnson / pianos, mellotrons, synthesizers
– Jonas Engdegård / guitars
– Anna Holmgren / flute, saxophone
Anglagard – Viljans Oga Tracklist
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