Review Summary: In conclusion, this is truly a classic of prog rock that needs to be in your collection.5 of 6 thought this review was well written
These Swedes were responsible for giving the sagging prog rock scene a new kickstart. It's really hard to believe that the members of Änglagård were all between the ages of 17 (drummer Mattias Olsson) and 24 (guitarist Tord Lindman), meaning they were too young to participate, or not even born yet, during the glory days of prog rock. It's easy to see how this group took the prog world by storm. If you were turned off by Marillion and their contemporaries, this group came around acting as if neo-prog never existed. Keyboardist Thomas Johnson would lay it on thick with Hammond organ and Mellotron, giving the Mellotron the spotlight it hadn't seen since the late '70s. They had two guitarist, Tord Lindman and Jonas Engdegård and a lot of their playing is in the Steve Hackett or Anthony Phillips style of playing (alternating between electric and acoustic). Mattias Olsson, just 17 at the time, is regarded as one of the finest drummers the prog scene had in recent years, he not only had a regular drumset, but tons of percussion of all kinds, the kind to make Neil Peart jealous. And Hybris, released in 1992, gives you little reminders of its 1990s origins, with heavily complex arrangements and complete avoidance of digital equipment (Thomas Johnson wouldn't touch a Yamaha DX-7 with a ten foot pole, and for good reason). And believe me, this album is not easy going, you need to listen to it many times to get it. The first cut, "Jordröck" sounds a whole lot like SFF's Symphonic Pictures, letting the whole world know what one of their big influences were. Another goes to American group Cathedral and their wonderful 1978 album Stained Glass Stories, who often did a similar approach to Änglagård, some 15 years before, although Änglagård would include Nordic influences in their music, and there are not many vocals (what little vocals there are, which are in Swedish, wasn't the high point, but they are only brief).
And thanks to this group, it's little wonder contemporaries like Anekdoten and Landberk received attention, and later on, groups like Sinkadus and Norway's Wobbler. And I'm certain Spock's Beard and the Flower Kings would not have received the success they had were it not for the '90s prog revival.