Anglagard
Viljans Oga


4.5
superb

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (79 Reviews)
October 21st, 2012 | 52 replies | 5,725 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A triumphant comeback from symphonic prog rock legends Anglagard after nearly 20 years in the wilderness.

Anglagard didn't last very long in their first incarnation after their formation in 1991. They did however manage to release two excellent albums in their brief career which generated considerable critical acclaim and allowed them to carve out a niche in prog rock history. In 2009 it was announced by Mattias Olsson that the band were once again recording new material and then finally the wait was over three years later with the release of their third album 'Viljans Oga'.

After a hiatus of nearly 20 years one might expect some changes in sound and style but it is almost as if the band never went away. Anglagard were renowned for their 70's style symphonic sound with heavy doses of flute, mellotron and guitar latticed over arrangements with shifting tempo changes. Nothing much has changed from that approach on their comeback release apart from perhaps more of an emphasis on the folkier side of their sound. This is pretty much the same line-up that gave us 'Epilog' back in 1994 and indeed this is another purely instrumental release in the same vein. Opener 'Ur Vilande' begins with plaintive classically influenced flute and cello with piano and bass guitar entering into the fray. A meandering current of tenuous melodies weave in and out of the composition painting a backdrop of pastoral moods and colours until chunky angular guitar and heavy bass lines take over and propel the sound bubbling over into the rapids. 'Snardom' opens with some vintage Jethro Tull inspired electric guitar and flute and settles down with some excellent prog inspired riffing interspered with trademark flourishes on the flute from Anna Homlgren. This is not easy music to embrace on a first listen. The sometimes abrupt melodies and ever shifting rhythms lend the music an urgent and slightly impenetrable sheen until finally the intensity relents somewhat and falls away to allow Anna to come to the fore as the song melts away to a more introspective mood with beautiful repeating lead guitar melodies that betray the influences of the likes of Camel's Andy Latimer.

The music on here is quite mesmerising in its restrained passion and complex beauty. Dense compositions full of subtle nuances and jagged riffs with soaring melodies subtly coalesce out of the gentle mist of classically inspired string and woodwind timbres. The compositions seldom settle into a recognisable pattern but seem to build up in intensity like waves about to break on the shore. The breakers crash and fall away to reveal an underwash of attentuated melodies receding into the ocean to build once again to a crescendo. The sheer inventiveness on offer is quite astounding at times as the music ebbs and flows and refuses to descend into any form of stagnancy.

It would be premature to proclaim that 'Viljans Oga' ranks up alongside 'Hybris' but this is without a doubt a masterful effort full of the dynamism, creativity and exemplary musicianship that marked out their previous releases. As I mentioned before in passing this is not the sort of music that bestows all its charms in a single listen, there is just too much going on. If you give it time to grow however it could well become one of your treasured albums. Definitely one of the best progressive releases of 2012.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

needed some sort of review as it is pretty much one of the major prog releases of 2012

Digging: Ian Anderson - Homo Erraticus

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This and clockwork angels, echolyn, beardfish, astra and anathema i spose. Loads of obscure ones too tho.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i doubt it, u are a pop punk fan arent u, many more tunes

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i mean green day are releasing more albums this year than the whole prog lot put together

Jruined
October 21st 2012



1273 Comments


Great Mena. I totally forgot this was on it's way.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it landed 3 months ago, gooooooo get it :]

Jruined
October 21st 2012



1273 Comments


Running as fast as my fingers can (checking my bank account first though).

Hybris is such a satisfying listen.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



18198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only listened to this once so far, need to give it a few more spins before making a proper verdict. It's definitely great stuff though.

Great job on the review, pos'd.

Digging: Benoit Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thx jamie, ye it takes a while to absorb. Dont think this matches Hybris but its as good as Epilog imo.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 21st 2012



7162 Comments


This is really good from what I've heard. Rad review!

Change "it's resreved passion" into "its reserved passion". Also, I don't quite get this: "and instead the musicians seem wont to build the music up" Rephrase please.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks mate have changed those bits

GiaNXGX
October 21st 2012



4867 Comments


Yeah, this new Anglagard album was amazing. The new Flower Kings is also

Jethro42
October 21st 2012



12033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A brand new Flower Kings..? A brand new Echolyn...? It's good to know.
This is probably my fave Anglagard album. I need couple other listens to confirm.

Jethro42
October 21st 2012



12033 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorgmantel

Chortles
October 21st 2012



17509 Comments


need to listen to this band. good review too bud, pos'd

Digging: Chico Buarque - Construção

TheNotrap
October 21st 2012



7817 Comments


Nice work, have a pos.

Will check this out.

RunOfTheMill
October 21st 2012



1239 Comments


Fantastic review, I loved the imagery in the second paragraph

I listened to Hybris, because I wanted to see what the Swedish prog revival of the 90s was about. I thought it sounded really strange; I shuld give it another chance, since it was unlike anything I've ever heard. I will check this out too!

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thx guys, ye runofmill give it another chance ;]

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2012



26404 Comments


rev owns bra Pos'd.

Been seeing this around a lot

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ty capt



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