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Änglagård - Hybris CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 1586 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'll be brutally honest. I had never heard of this band prior to joining Prog Archives, but I am so glad I have. This is one of many new albums I have recently bought as a direct result of ratings and reviews on the site, and the fact is that this one is worth all of the praise that has been heaped upon it.

Scandanavian prog represents to me a very important part of the third wave of prog, coming on the back of the initial classic era, followed by the 1980's neo wave led by bands such as Marillion & IQ.

Hybris, in common with many others of this last wave of prog, takes its influences very much from classic prog such as Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson, but, as with class bands such as The Flower Kings and offshoots, makes it all into its own glorious symphonic sound.

Jordrok is a fine example, the album's opener. It's lovely to hear a modern take with flute, Hammond, complex rhythm section backing, the track simply roars along, and there is also some lovely, but delicately understated, guitar work, that reminds one of Fripp in his pomp.

Anna Holmgran, playing the flute, is at the forefront of this album, and no more so than at the start of the second track, Vardrigar I Vilserhet. Her flute playing really is exquisite and delicate. But, crucially, in order to satisfy ourselves as to the true symphonic nature of the album, it is as part of an ensemble, creating an orchestra of almost majestic proportions throughout. I really do think that in decades to come, music such as this will come to be regarded as the classical music of its time.

I would here make a point to people reading this who are put off by lyrics sung in foreign tongues - don't be. I don't speak a word of Swedish, but, to these ears, the rare vocal moments on the album are absolutely complemented by the tongue in which they are sung, in much the same way as the best Italian prog bands. I would also address some of the criticisms that previous reviewers have stated about the vocals, that they sound nothing like Genesis. Well, good. I think that this is one of the joys of this album, making a clear homage to the classic bands, but in their own unique way.

I cannot praise this album highly enough. For those reading this who still love the old, classic, bands, but are looking to expand their horizons into something that is clearly retro in nature, but in a clever, modern sense, and also looking to move beyond the UK, start here.

In closing...Flute, mellotron, complex signatures, delicate, yet intense, playing , dark, symphonic in the classic sense. Need I say more?

I have done over 90 reviews on the site now, and I have learned to be a little bit more conservative in awarding 5 stars, because these should be reserved for true masterpieces.

So, when I award this 4 stars, I would state it is 4.5 stars really, and meaning every single word of that phrase, an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

Do as I have done. Expand your horizons. Get this album.

lazland | 4/5 |


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