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16 Sep 2017

O Terço "Criaturas da Noite" 1975 Brazil Prog Symphonic


O Terço  "Criaturas da Noite"  1975 Brazil Prog Symphonic...recommended..!

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O TERÇO started life playing straight rock and pyschedelic rock, introducing elements of Progressive Rock in the second album. For this third album two of the previous three group members changed, keyboard player Flávio Venturini joined to make it a foursome, and the group - all talented musicians it should be said - produced its first classic album, a big hit in Brazil. Although the last track '1974' - an instrumental if one discounts the occasional vocalisations - is the highlight of the album in Progressive Rock terms, I find the other tracks very pleasant indeed; this is Brazil, sun and the '70s put to rock music. I like the light, carefree feel of the tracks and the way some incorporate Brazilian rural and popular music styles (even a samba beat on occasion), straight rock and Progressive Rock. And thank goodness the singing is in Portuguese. 
Here's a rundown of the tracks: 

'Hey Amigo': Early 1970s-style simple rocker, but not bad for it - good, in fact. A foot-tapper and the band's anthem ("Hey friend, sing the song with me"). 

'Queimada' (burnt): Some lovely, upbeat Brazilian-style acoustic guitar. A bouncing melody, with Brazilian rural influences and happy-sounding vocals. Nice one! 

'Pano De Fundo' (backdrop): More Progressive Rock-sounding than the previous two tracks, this pleasing song rocks along nicely. Near the end it changes style and reminds me a little of the music of SANTANA. 

'Ponto Final' (final point): Another Progressive Rock-sounding number. Apart from the vocalisations this is a laid-back instrumental, and a very pleasant one too, with some nice electronic keyboards and piano. Good melody. 

'Volte Na Proxima Semana' (come back next week): Another simple rocker along the lines of 'Hey Amigo', although sounding more 1960s than 1970s. It's a bit of a head-banger. An OK song, but no masterpiece. 

'Criaturas Da Noite' (creatures of the night): Another of the band's hits. This title track starts nicely with calm piano and high-pitched vocals. It has a rather 1960s pop-style melody, with backing strings. A simple enough song but I find this very pleasant, and it gets more complex and classical-sounding about two-thirds of the way through. Sunshine Prog? 

'Jogo Das Pedras' (game of the stones): Another track with acoustic guitar and with a nice, upbeat melody that reminds me of Brazilian rural music. A lovely, sunny feel to the music and a catchy tune. Another 'Sunshine Prog' number. 

'1974': Tinkling piano starts off this 12-minute Progressive Rock masterpiece. I really enjoy this one. There are some vocalisations but, to all intents and purposes, it's an instrumental. Again, it's 'Sunshine Prog', with a light, breezy feel and lots of melody. There's even a brief samba beat at one point, which works perfectly with the keyboards and guitar and does not feel at all out of place. A high point of the genre in my opinion, which should be heard by all lovers of Progressive Rock. 

If you want moody, profound, complex Progressive Rock then look elsewhere, but if you want Progressive Rock that makes you hum along and feel good (not to mention want to get out into the sunshine) then this is definitely worth adding to your collection. It's so consistently enjoyable that I'd be tempted to award it 4.5 stars if such a thing were possible, but I'll settle for 4 (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection). Highly recommended if you're willing to try something different to the usual European/North American fare. 

By the way, the LP was re-released on LP under the title "O Terço" instead of "Criaturas Da Noite" and with a different cover: a photo of the band on stage, with the front showing Sérgio Magrão and Luiz Moreno's drum kit. The tracks were the same as on "Criaturas Da Noite", though. The cover of the copy-controlled 2003 "2em1" (two LPs on one CD) CD from EMI Brazil shows the cover of the re-released LP plus the cover of "Casa Encantada". N.B. The 2003 "2em1" CD was a different release to the 1999 "DOIS EM UM" (two in one) CD containing both "Criaturas Da Noite" and "Casa Encantada". Unlike the 2003 release, the 1999 release did not have copy-control software on it. Confused? I don't blame you! Anyway, whether you buy the 1999 'two LPs on one CD' or the 2003 'two LPs on one CD', you get the same tracks, although the latter installs software on the hard disc if you play it on a PC or Mac. It doesn't stop you ripping the tracks to MP3 for your portable player, though.....by Fitzcarraldo .. 


O TERÇO is doubtlessly the most important symphonic band in the Brazilian scenario, and I'm quite sure that they are also important in the continental range (I put things in the present tense, 'cause they are still ACTIVE). The original line-up grouped in 1968 and since the beginning they did art-rock and although they grabbed influences from Procol Harum, Moody Blues, late Beatles, etc, the main fuel came from their proper country, be it popular or folk or even experimental and avant-garde. They were very original, if you consider the real time, and influenced many other prog acts, since they were heard in many parts of Latin America and Europe too, hence they need to be more recognized and appreciated as bulwarks of the prog-rock. 
That said, after a 3-year hiatus, in 1975, they released "Criaturas Da Noite" which happens to be their magnum opus and with at least 2 noticeable features: 
First, a different line-up, led by the omnipresent Sergio Hinds and adding the figure of Flavio Venturini, who proved to be an asset to the band, with his tangible lyrics, fine keyboard playing and brilliant singing ability - one of the most tuned voices amid all Brazilian singers. O TERÇO, a band always very concerned in the singing section reached then an impressive paramount; and 
Second, the incredible deed, certainly dubious for some prog-heads, of hitting three tracks on the parade. 
What? Well, follow me. 

'Hey, amigo', the first track in the album, was one of the mentioned hits, a nervous and swung hard rock that was a fine choice to open the can. The folk 'Queimada' did also the parades and what a nice melody it is, provided with heart-of-the-country guitars and soft and catchy vocals. 

'Pano de fundo' starts album's middle-section with powerful playing and singing, soon softened with the mellow and romantic 'Ponto final', an intermezzo before the rockabilly 'Volte na próxima semana' begins, with its funny and amusing tunes. 

'Criaturas da noite', the third hit of the album is the most beautiful track heard here, a dreamy and unique song - what a majestic vocals and mesmerizing tunes! Truly unforgettable. 'Jogo das pedras' is a neat and exquisite short song that prepares the ground for the mini-epic '1974', a rare and splendid work, one of the best prog songs ever produced in Brazil. Think in all good things our beloved genre can produce, do you? You'll find them all waiting for you in '1974', a year to last forever for the band. 

As soon as the album is fading a feeling with a blend of joy and sadness passes by the spine. was it real or another dream? Even not being exempt of certain flaws, "Criaturas Da Noite" is a definitive landmark in the band's catalog and mainly in the entire Brazilian prog-rock landscape, hence an incontestable masterpiece..........by Atkingani ...... 


One of the most important albums in Brazil´s prog music. O Terço was, up till then, considered a good rock band by critics and public, but not outstanding. With Criaturas da Noite everything changed. Gone were the primitive recordings and the basic rock format. Now the band has a permanent keyboards player (Flávio Venturini) and a new bassist (Sérgio Magrão). With that line up they´d record their best albums ever and would produce some of the best prog rock songs of the 70´s brazilian scene. 
Criaturas da Noite showed the many faces of this talented outfit: straight rock songs (Hey Amigo, Volte na Próxima Semana), Folk rock (Queimada, Jogo Das Pedras), symphonic prog (1974, Pano De Fundo, the title track) and even an interesting instrumetal tune (Ponto Final). The musicians were very talented and skilled (everybody in the band wrote songs and all the members sang lead and harmony vocals). With no fillers and done with passion and skill, the album was, deservely, a massive hit at the time. Even the production was superb for a third world country at that period. 

Introducing some new elements like the brazilian viola (a 10 string acoustic guitar, not the classical instrument) to their sound, it gave a brazilian country feel on some songs, something quite unusual until then. That feature would be further explored in their next album, Casa Encantada, but that´s another story. For the progheads, this is the album to look for if you´re interested in the evolution of Brazilian prog scene in the 70´s. 

A classic, a masterpiece. At least for us, in Brazil. You should listen and judge for yourself. For its beauty, novelty and importance, 5 stars, no less....by Tarcisio Moura ... 


01. Hey! Amigo Magrão destructive of low at the beginning, the sound of the typical 70's Prog, but done in Brazil. Beautiful. The guitars are sensational, the timbre of the vocals and keyboards duplicates (Brazilian Progressive's common practice). The second most Rok 'n' Roll is dancing to the marrow. Strangers in voice tones are added to the end of the chorus and then presents in Hinds with a wonderful solo with his guitar SG that everything will go beautifully 
02. Queimada The side of the folk group first appeared, the vocals make a duplicate of fire and guitar tone. Violas and guitars take care of everything as only those who understand the things do. Soil and folks singing voice on freedom of dust in the wind. Need more? 

- 3′44 With a Q of Black Sabbath (in the dark), starts with a riff and a strange body giving a strange tone, but the vocals come to get a completely different face, that follows the chorus in giving joy to the song, we get back to you point zero (love those inclined.) Then Santana in the vein, the soil is highly swayed from Hinds, next course, the basic rhythm of the song, the final part is a cheap. 

04. Ponto Final Linda structure of piano, which is being built next to the vocal (which is lacking in the current rock focus more on vocals as it was before, the thing of coral), the synthesizer married almost perfectly with the low ground, the battery in and worked wonderfully well and the foundations cadences (and sometimes distorted) give the feel of this instrumental major. The last part and that classical piano and the timbre is below Locanda Delle Fate (band of Italian symphonic prog) in the latter, pretty substantially. 

05. Volte Na Próxima Semana This here is my friend ROCK, riff, tons of them, organ, bass and drums playing together, and singing an ad Sergio Hinds and hippie nonsense (but wonderful) highly Hard Rock, actually the heavier of the disc. Listen at maximum volume. 

06. Criaturas Da Noite If the Rosary can 'borrow it' the name of his next album (Casa Encantada - 1976) of the Houses Of The Holy Led Zeppelin, Kiss also did the in his Creatures Of The Night (1982)! Creatures of the Night is one of the most beautiful things in our rock. Vocal on the piano for Venturini, and orquestrações the GRANDE Rogerio Duprat (who died a little over a month). It is purely beautiful, with a beautiful letter, worthy of further study, and want to know, just listen and feel, you do not need more than that. 

07. Jogo Das Pedras Oh, how I love this song, it has a melody that I try to take the guitar (laughs), a low mark. The staff singing (all by the way) about the uncertainties of life, is that you can throw a rock without the high it hit you? It is possible or not, that the fate (or whatever the worth, I do not believe it is well) gives us a path or take it in our hands. Then one of great guitar solo, Sergio is one of the great from 6 strings that keep on forgetting. 

08. 1974 This here is classic baby. This music is pure and progressive symphonic feeling, in a season that was nothing too compose and record a sound of more than 12 minutes and instrumental .... beautiful, which arouses many feelings at once, you do not typically lose 5 minutes in the refrigerator open mind in life? So, lose a little more thinking about the life of 10 to the sound of the soundtrack of the century ... 1974! (Even after 32 years. The music is timeless, you know that the other thing is?) Challenge you are (as) to contradict me, because for me hit the front quelquer cm sound gringo! 

Creatures of the night! I bought the CD in one of editions made by EMI, very cool, sound remastered from 1st Capinha well done (I missed the letters, but ...) and paid a trifle for $ 15! As the phonographic market in Brazil is stingy! Because I'll buy a new disc for $ 40, if I can take the third at home for less than half the price ??!!! Brazil nonsense that we live....by ProgShine ..



A very melodic and pleasant Symphonic album that was released by O TERCO in 1975. As others have noted this recording is one of the first and most famous progressive albums from Brazil. 
"Hey Amigo" is catchy with prominant organ throughout. It's a good full sounding song with vocals. "Queimada" opens with strummed acoustic guitar as vocals join in. Another pleasant and enjoyable track. "Pano De Fundo" has more bottom end to it and the vocals are outstanding. The guitar solo 3 minutes in is a nice touch. "Ponto Final" is my favourite. It's mellow with piano and vocal melodies to open. Synths and bass then take over. We get a heavier sound before 2 minutes. Nice. Some raw guitar leads come in briefly followed by strings. Just an impressive sounding song. 

"Volte Na Proxima Semana" makes me smile 'cause it sounds like TEENAGE HEAD a punk band from my area. "Criaturas Da Noite" is a piano led ballad with some strings but it's a little too sweet for my tastes. "Jogos Das Pedras" is melodic and lush with beautiful vocals. The guitar 2 1/2 minutes in is fast yet light. "1974" is the 12 1/2 minute closer. It opens with piano as synths, bass and drums join in. Vocal melodies 2 minutes in. The tempo picks up 5 1/2 minutes in. A calm 2 minutes later as vocal melodies return followed by bass then drums as the tempo picks back up again. Another calm 10 1/2 minutes in with vocal melodies and piano then it kicks back in. 

A significant album that in part helps it to be a 4 star album....by Mellotron Storm .......

7 reviews so far, 3 of them awarding 5 stars, but I'll be the first one to give 5-star rating - outside of Brazil area. So why would I want to do that ? Well, because O.T. deserves it, for creating this masterpiece. Not wholesome Prog (it's rather 2/3 [yeah, I think that you can count Jogo Das Pedras, the rest would be Ponto Final, title track and that ending epic 1974] pure latino symphonic prog and the rest are good Rock songs). 
This title track is what I call main attraction. Because we Prog lovers are also human beings, we can enjoy various kinds of music, different genres. But while I enjoy Rock, Pop or Soundtrack music, I come here to ProgArchives to enjoy Prog, we talk mostly about Prog (and relation of album's music to Prog), praising, arguing about and generally talking about this umbrella term we love so much. Well, so the title track, comprising of about 1/3 of the album, this is the reason why Prog lovers should get this album - oh, what a good year it was ... OK, I didn't get to be alive for more than 14 years, but still, I am sure it was a great year. Must have been, else such wonderful song wouldn't be created. I am not Braz(s)il expert, but from a quick look at history section from wikipedia, I don't see anything special there. Maybe it's something personal for band member's, or perhaps this album itself was created in '74, being released following year. Wonderful, magical, consistent in general and slowly graduating into big finale (not as big as Dream Theater's Six Degrees CD2 finale, but still it is big). 

Nevertheless, it's been a week since I've found this album, dozen or so plays and I feel like I cannot hold all these thoughts back any longer. Nothing weird here, it's a common reason why people are writing reviews....by Marty McFly 


RIO DE JANEIRO - I have always liked (good) music, from childhood until today, when it is really difficult to find an artist who does something of quality. So, as Arnaldo Baptista would say in one of his songs, I have been clinging to the past in search of ever more enriching sound travels. 
One of the groups I met after the age of 30, because when they first appeared, it was not the kind of music my father listened to on a regular basis was O Terço. A band from Rio born in 1968 with Jorge Amiden (guitar), Sérgio Hinds (bass) and Vinícius Cantuária (drums), started in a more classical direction, participating in some International Song Festivals (FIC), with "Tributo ao Sorriso" and "O Visitor ", getting good placements. 

Sérgio Hinds was the first to fall out of the group, giving place to Cézar de Mercês. But the old bass player would return soon after, to play electric cello. Another novelty was the creation of the "tritarra", a three-armed guitar wielded by Amiden. The formation would not last long, as Jorge fought with Sérgio Hinds, who registered the name of the group for himself, and fell out, setting up the Karma group at the end of 1971. 

It was a time of great influence of the progressive rock in the compositions and of the participation of Luiz Paulo Simas, then in Module Mil, in the second disc of the group. Vinícius Cantuária left to play with Caetano Veloso and soon afterwards Sergio Sérgio (bass) and Luiz Moreno (drums). 

The group was invited to play in an LP of Sá & Guarabyra and this participation strongly influenced the aesthetics of the band, which remained tuned with the progressive sounds, but open to new sonorities, more rural, more Clube da Esquina. 

Speaking of Clube da Esquina, Milton Nascimento was responsible for the entry of the miner Flávio Venturini in the group in 1974, to pilot keyboards and viola. Wise indication. With Cézar de Mercês out of the band (but still collaborating as a composer), O Terço was with Sérgio Hinds, Sérgio Magrão, Flávio Venturini and Luiz Moreno ready to commit one of the greatest records of Brazilian music: Creatures of the Night. 
With cover of the plastic artists Antônio and André Peticov, Creatures of the Night is a remarkable work in the discography of the band. It starts with the bass of Sérgio Magrão, opening the works of one of the hymns of O Terço, "Hey amigo" (Hey friend ... sing the song with me ... (...) in this rock we are all together ... in this rock we are close to being ... a end unit ...). 

The rural influence and the Clube da Esquina are felt in the second track, "Queimada" (It turns dust ... turns a bonfire ... turns dust ... fire bonfire ... turns the ground ... turns dust ... turns the ground ... turns to fire ... coal ... coal ), music that later would be one of the great successes of Zizi Possi. It is not the only track in this area, because "Juego das Pedras", another partnership of Flávio Venturini with Cézar de Mercês, as well as "Queimada", follows the same melodic touch with many guitars. 

Linda, even striking, is the title track, inspired composition of Flávio Venturini and Luiz Carlos Sá, with arrangement of the great Rogério Duprat. "Creatures of the Night", once played here at home in the recording of the DVD of the group with part of the classic formation - since Luiz Moreno unfortunately died the victim of a heart attack - led the blogger to tears. 
The band's rocky and progressive roots were not forgotten, in tracks like "Come Back Next Week" (Sérgio Hinds) and "Pano de Fundo", with what Black Sabbath and even Santana - because of the Hammond organ that Gregg Rolie played before going to the Journey; and the instrumental suites "Ponto Final" (Luiz Moreno) and "1974" (Flávio Venturini), the latter of 12-minute chills. 

The group transformed this work into Creatures of the night, aiming at the international market, with all the letters spilled into English. I have no doubt that, in times when progressive rock played the cards, O Terço got some fans abroad. 

The formation with Hinds, Moreno, Magrão and Venturini lasted until 1976. Flávio Venturini left to play with Beto Guedes and later, with his brother Claudio and Sérgio Magrão, who would leave O Terço in late 1978, would form the 14 Bis. 

Between the comings and goings of the final unit, old and new partnerships, the group reunited in 2001, even after the death of Luiz Moreno, with Sergio Melo on the drums alongside his "xarás" Hinds and Magrão and Flávio Venturini. The group is on the road, not as often as it used to be, but it's exciting new and old fans with songs that have marked everyone who likes the previous works of O Terço......by Rodrigo Mattar.............. 

Line-up / Musicians 
- S?rgio Hinds / electric guitar, brazilian viola, vocals 
- S?rgio Magr?o / bass, vocals 
- Luiz Moreno / drums, vocals 
- Fl?vio Venturini / piano, organ, synthesizer, 12 string acoustic guitar, vocals 

Guest: 

Cezar De Merces - percussion (3), vocals (4) 
Marisa Fossa - vocals (4) 
Rogerio Duprat - orchestrations 

Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Hey amigo (3:22) 
2. Queimada (3:04) 
3. Pano de fundo (3:44) 
4. Ponto final (4:38) 
5. Volte na proxima semana (2:51) 
6. Criaturas da noite (3:41) 
7. Jogo das pedras (3:25) 
8. 1974 (12:27) 

Transit Express "Priglacit" 1975 France Prog Jazz Rock Fusion


Transit Express "Priglacit" 1975 France Prog Jazz Rock Fusion ....recommended

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This group started as a back up of one of the most secretive but highly regarded singer of La Chanson Française, Yves Simon, but soon decided to form their own career in parallel to their monetary occupations. The standard prog quartet was lead by keyboardist Perathoner and they recorded in Herouville their first album, Priglacit, in 75 and released it through Y Simon's label RCA Balance and they developed a good jazz-rock that's somewhere between MAHAVISHNU and BRAND X. They were joined by US violinist David Rose for their second album the aptly titled Opus Progressif. By the time of their third album's release Couleurs Naturelles in 77, their jazz-rock had veered more PONTY-esque (understandably so with the violin), but sadly this was to be their last (but excellent) album. 

All three albums were released on the French RCA label and all three albums have been re-issued in the CD format on the Piano Bass Music Label under Perathoner's supervision. Perathoner also released later a solo album, which features its author solo on piano, but played as guest on many projects and albums. David Rose went on to Catherine RIBEIRO & ALPES. .. 


During one of the timeout in Yves Simon's schedule, his backing band profited from the spare time to record their first album. Indeed this was quite quick (6 days in mid-May at Studio Davout), because they had had time to prepare it, and where even playing their own numbers at soundchecks of the singer's tours. The standard prog quartet developed an excellent jazz-rock that was rivalling the classic-driven Mahavishnu Orchestra, where the songwriting was fairly evenly spread out between the four accomplished musicians, although I wouldn't call them seasoned veterans. On a Spanish scale, you could place them between Fusioon's first two albums and Iceberg's jazzier opus like Coses Nostres. 
The artwork might induce you to think the group is very percussive, but the sound is very much balanced. 14 relatively short tracks (max 3'40") that meddle into one giant number. In some ways, you'd guess that the tracks written by drummer Bouvier are more rhythmic, but then once they morph into bassist Guselli- written ditties, they don't necessarily become funky. As the short tracks keep speeding by, the listener is never bored, because they (tracks) are all very different and never repeat themselves. Their jazz-rock is still fairly academic, but complex, melodious and subtle finesse. 

An excellent but short debut album that did not go unnoticed in the French jazz scene, Priglacit (no idea as to what the title means) is probably the best introduction to Transit Express' music, but you can't go wrong by choosing anyone of their three opus. And when this is the case, it's best to start chronologically....by.....Sean Trane .. 


It took me a while to get used to the sound here. The sound quality is excellent it's just that the drums are very upfront.The guy is an outstanding drummer so it's all good. There 14 relatively short tracks here but several do blend into the next song.TRANSIT EXPRESS are a Jazz / Fusion band from France. This is all instrumental and quite impressive. Some clavinet to go with the electric piano, synths, guitar, bass and drums. 
"Priglacit" sounds really good when the sound gets fuller. It suddenly settles with piano though, before kicking back in before 2 minutes. The drums sound so crisp. "Drousia I" is drum led as piano then guitar joins in. The guitar is outstanding to end it. "Drousia II" has the same style as the previous tune with piano, drums and bass leading. It blends into "Contrat-Session" which is uptempo with those ever-present drums out front. "Planerie" is laid back with no drums (gasp) until they kick in after a minute. This sounds better. It ends as it began. "Bahar" features drums, piano, synths and some good guitar. 

"Contradiction" is uptempo and drum led. "Ludion" is a great sounding song with some atmosphere. The guitar is killer. I like the electric piano as well. "Wanda" opens with acoustic guitar, bass and we get some atmosphere as well. It picks up before 2 minutes. The electric guitar before 2 1/2 minutes lights it up. "Vinitier" has some spacey synths to start followed by an uptempo soundscape as the spacey mood stays. "Connection" is relaxed yet drum led. It blends into "Flaure" where we get some clavinet. This blends into "Coexistence" where the tempo slows while the drummer and guitarist do their thing. Keys and bass a minute in. It picks up after 2 minutes and the guitar is on fire. "ILS" has this catchy beat that takes over. Guitar after a minute then that beat returns as contrasts continue. 

A low 4 stars from me. Well worth checking out.....by Mellotron Storm .. 


Finally, finally! These three pearls of the French Fusion / Jazzrock have long had to wait for the CD resurrection. No bonustracks fill the CDs, which are therefore as short as the original LPs. "Priglacit" (1975) brings it to just 29 minutes, "Opus Progressif" (1976) is 37 minutes long and "Couleur naturelles" (1977) makes 33 minutes full. But no matter, dear short albums without sagging, as CDs with a long playing time, which is bored with a lot of tonal noise (as today's Neo prog bands like to do so ...). Transit Express was founded in 1975 by Serge Perathoner (keyb), Dominique Bouvier (dr, perc), Jean-Claude Guselli (bs) and Christian Leroux (g). All four musicians composed songs for the three short-pitched albums. Untypical is "Priglacit", which consists of 14 pieces, the longest of which is not yet 4 minutes long. The fragmentary compositions lack any idle time and are characterized by concise, fresh, and straight-lined sounds. Nevertheless, this album (like the others) is typically jazzrock / fusion of European imprint, that is, played without serious bluestypische game, but with serious, almost classical correctness, nevertheless very emotional, liquid and improvisative soli. Most of the songs remain relaxed, without many excited, loud and violent outbursts. Of particular note is none of the three albums, it is worth mentioning that from the last song on "Opus Progressif" (the 10-minute title track) and the following album "Coleurs naturelles" the violinist David Rose plays electric violin, thereby furthering the musical framework becomes. All fans of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Brand X, Return To Forever and Fermata should be concerned about the three inspired and excellently composed and rehearsed albums. Urgent recommendation!..............by....Volkmar Mantei... 



Line-up / Musicians 

Dominique Bouvier / drums, vibraphone, percussion 
Jean-Claude Guselli / el & ac bass 
Christian Leroux / guitars, synths 
Serge Perathoner / el & ac piano, clavinet, ring modulator, synths 



Tracklist 
1 Priglacit 2:50 
2 Drousia (I) 1:40 
3 Drousia (II) 0:55 
4 Contrat-Session 2:25 
5 Planerie 2:25 
6 Bahar 2:20 
7 Contradiction 0:50 
8 Ludion 1:30 
9 Wanda 3:40 
10 Vinitier 1:30 
11 Connection 1:15 
12 Flaure 2:00 
13 Coexistence 3:40 
14 "ILS" 2:20 
15 "ILS" (Live) 2:12 
16 Priglacit (Live) 2:23 

Änglagård "Viljans Öga" 2012 2xLP Swedish Prog Symphonic


Änglagård  "Viljans Öga" 2012  2xLP Swedish Prog Symphonic...highly recommended..!
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3rd studio album from 2012 by this incredible Swedish progressive rock band. A masterpiece!.....


At last, in their newest album "Viljans Öga", I suppose that ÄNGLAGÅRD might have completed what they wanted to play for anti-pop.
Under complex, eccentric rhythms and pitches, they spun out chilling, thrilling harmonies upon the edge, mainly with keyboard, guitar, and flute threads, that can blow us out into another dream. In my humble opinion, especially Anna's flute should not make us stay upon comfort but fling us out onto a hazardous cold crystal. Apparently by Jonas sharp-edged guitar sounds we cannot help weeping rather than uplift ourselves and spirit. And yes, the most comfortable and reliable are their deep / heavy / strict rhythms launched by Mattias' drums and Johan's bass.
All of the tracks in this album are 10 and more minutes long, and with frequent scene changes dynamically and dramatically, that can never be boring at all. Sometimes they throw breaking pitches like split-finger fastballs, sometimes stable heavy oscillations like big, splendid fireworks, and sometimes plaintive but beautiful melodies like flowery flavour of matured liquor. Sounds like that they'd approached this recording ready to take either a hard line or a moderate one as previously, and their aggressive playing has thrived basically on their tearful chord treatment, heard under riffs in the latter part of "Snårdom".
Consider it's meaningless to comment about each song indeed, but let me only say that they've never yielded to essence of pop or mainstream as above mentioned. Listen to their artistic symphony created with all instruments and techniques by them precisely, and we would get confused firstly and amazed / convinced finally ... that they should have done completely their original diplomatic strategy. Aside that every symphonic progressive rock freak could get fond of this stuff or not, we can mention that ÄNGLAGÅRD could construct their innovative ultimate music weapon named "Viljans Öga". Surpassed two albums upon their catalogue in this sense ... for me, not an extreme word, really. .....by DamoXt7942 .

 When no-one suspected it anymore, news in '11 arrived that Anglagard was really finally working on their new album (we'd heard this ever since their short reformation of 03), no-one actually believed it, until their drummer Olssen actually posted some work-in-progress of the band's studio activities. Soooo, their Viljans Oga became the most-awaited album of the 12 year and it finally arrived just before their short tour starting with NearFest, though its distribution had been erratic for a long while. It was a risky bet from the band, to release a third album some 20 years after their debut, when almost a whole generation had passed by; the risk further that they could damage their near-flawless discography (well, the Buried Alive album was not to standard). Not to worry, though: the Swedes' latest offering is sonically very close to what their fans could've possibly hoped, even placing it sonically soùewhere between Hybris (only four lengthy tracks) and Epilog (all instrumentals, despite offering some inaudible lyrics/poetry). The icing on the cake being that the classic line-up is almost full, since only the bassist Johan Brand is a "newcomer". In terms of artwork, VO is very much in the bucolic and melancholic forest landscapes of their first two releases. So everything is set for a superb trip down the land of the Trons.
Right from the opening notes of the flute in Ur Vilande, you'll know that you'll be riding the usual Angla roller-coaster, from the melancholic passage to the head-twisting and mind-bending breakneck-speed passages. You'll even find some bass rumbles that could come from an (unannounced) didgeridoo, though it could death throes coming from some horn's tripes (there are low-register horn courtesy of guests Borgergad or Ackerstedt. The following Sorgmantel opens like a classical composition, but soon veers Yes-like with that typical Swedish-mustard flavour. The album-longest (16-mins+) Snardom is probably my fave on the album. Disappointment strikes with the closing Langtans Klocka that repeats endlessly a theme that seems lifted from McCartney's Michelle, to end up with a Klezmer version. Not exactly the way you'd expect an Anglagard album to finish, though.
Sooooo, yes, some 20 years after Hybris, the band is able to repeat their studio performance and manage to remain equal to theirselves. And if you expect another shot of Epibris or Hybilog, you'll get it no problems, but to be honest, I was expecting a bit "more" than just that. And in the light of that kind of expectations, Angla certainly didn't deliver? but did anybody else but moi expected that from them? (are you sure you're following me??)
Nota bene: The tour to promote this album presented a line-up that's almost totally different than the studio band, and from what I gather there will be two versions of the band? at the expense of the credibility of the Anglagard name....by Sean Trane.....

The return of Änglagård 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.... by Warthur

Some of us wondered if this day would ever come. A new ANGLAGARD album ! Woot ! Woot ! It's been 18 long years since "Epilog" and the cool thing is that we get the same lineup minus Tord on guitar who's left. Johan is still here playing guitar though and at times he really comes to the fore like never before. Anna is back on flute and is very prominant but she also adds some sax this time around. Another difference is Thomas leaning heavily on the piano and synths while the Hammond organ takes a back seat. He still uses lots of mellotron thankfully. So yes there are some differences between this and "Epilog" and "Hybris" but there is no doubt that this is ANGLAGARD. We get four long instrumentals that add up to almost 58 minutes total.
"Ur Vilande" opens with solemn flute which is eventually joined by bass, cello, piano, acoustic guitar and more. These sounds seem to come and go and then it kicks in after 4 minutes with huge bass lines. It settles back with mellotron, a beat, flute and bass. It's fuller again with chunky bass as contrasts continue. Great section 8 1/2 minutes in as the drums and mellotron impress. Check it out before 9 1/2 minutes. This is vintage ANGLAGARD. A calm before 10 1/2 minutes then it picks back up with deep bass and more. Love the sound before 12 minutes then it turns intense. Mellotron alert before 13 1/2 minutes then it settles after 15 minutes with piano and acoustic guitar to end it. "Sorgmantel" opens with melancholic flute then cello and piano help out. It picks up before 2 minutes. Great sound. It settles after 5 1/2 minutes then kicks back in after 6 minutes. The guitar comes in lighting it up. I love how it builds 7 minutes in with mellotron. The bass and drum section is killer before 8 minutes. The guitar joins in along with mellotron. It calms right down late.
"Snardom" has a powerful intro with huge bass then the mellotron joins in as the drums pound. The flute comes and goes. It settles before 1 1/2 minutes but not for long. Killer bass and drums here. A calm 4 minutes in then it kicks in again. Such an uplifting section from before 7 1/2 minutes until it settles a minute later. Cello before 10 minutes as it continues to be laid back. Organ after 11 minutes but it's still mellow. It starts to pick up after 13 minutes and tasteful guitar joins in but then it starts to light it up late. Nice. "Langtans Klocka" is quiet to open, too quiet. Sparse piano comes in then flute. It picks up some before 3 minutes including acoustic guitar and mellotron. It kicks in hard before 5 minutes and the guitar rips it up with some angular melodies. It settles back after 6 1/2 minutes then turns fuller a minute later but it continues to change. A disturbing calm 10 1/2 minutes in then it picks up. Vocal melodies before 12 minutes. There's a 2 minute stretch in there that made me think it was a nod to HOYRY-KONE.
I still feel that "Epilog" and "Hybris" are better but "Viljans Oga" is also brilliant. The flavour is just a little different that's all. Besides this is still growing on me....by Mellotron Storm ..

Anglagard has always had a special place in my prog collection after their glorious triumph 'Hybris' in 1992. This album alone deservedly catapulted them to prog legends, especially for releasing the no holds barred prog in a year when prog was struggling to grab a foothold after a decade of regression. I admired Anglagard for holding on to all the things that made prog great; thus keeping the dream alive with complex lengthy song structures, incredible virtuoso musicianship and above all innovative time signatures and creative layered symphonic arrangements.
I was certainly not alone in believing that the band had come to an unceremonious end, but Anglagard have forced reviewers and music connoisseurs to rewrite the history books with "Viljans Oga". Two years after 'Hybris' the band released 'Epilog' and then in 1996 a live album surfaced with 'Buried Alive' and they were never heard from again. However, 2012 is fast becoming a year of prog resurgence with many older bands producing some of the best material heard in years such as Rush, The Flower Kings, and now Anglagard, 18 years later.
The vintage sound is prevalent throughout the glorious 'Ur Vilande', with trademark flute played brilliantly by Anna Homlgren from the original lineup. Mattias Olsson is a master on percussion as always, Johan Brand plays Bass and Taurus, Thomas Johnson is back on Pianos, Mellotrons and synths, Jonas Engdeg'rd returns on Guitars, but there is no Tord Lindman on this new lineup. The instrumental is lengthy but never dreary, featuring some incredible guitar and percussion augmentations. It is a wonderful start to the album and a promise of a masterpiece is looming from the outset. Anglagard are definitely back!
'Sorgmantel' begins with gorgeous flute over musical box chimes, and then woodwind and reflective piano enters the landscape. The sound generated is mystical and comes from a faraway kingdom that fires the imagination. As Brand's bass begins to pulse, swathes of keyboards dominate and then a new time sig with flute and guitar embellishments. The band are tight knowing precisely when to stop and start, and when they move into full flight with all musicians breaking out on their instruments, it is a delight to the ears. The music breaks to allow musicians to showcase their craft, Anna's flute solo chimes over Johnson's swells of keyboard, Brand's bass jumps in and out of Olsson's percussion meters, and then polyrhythmic time sigs are unleashed. Olsson's drums are a celebration of mayhem, and they drive the music along with a passion unheard since Magma's Christian Vander. Engdeg'rd's lead guitar turns aggressive on this, the keyboard runs are frantic, and the flute warbling is intense. This is Anglagard at their heaviest, and they lift to a crescendo of sound and fury.
'Snardom' is a delirious flute driven instrumental with a pounding percussion and layers of keyboards. The beautiful flute is mesmirising as always by Anna, but I love the way it interrelates with the noisier guitars and drums. There are tons of intricate time signatures to revel in, and an incessant heavy blast of staccato musical explosions. It has a King Crimson style rhythm and some undeniably effective sax blasts, creating beautiful mayhem. The bassline is awesome and the way the beat changes almost at will as guitar and flute compete for the spotlight is a stroke of genius. It settles into a dreamscape of flute, piano and acoustic vibrations, that lull me into a state of bliss, almost to the point of tears. It builds back into a haunting melody and it ascends to the stratosphere with high pitched fret work and sustained string bends; it does not get any better than this. I am in awe of this song; really it is a masterpiece of prog, and a throwback to the glorious 70s in every respect.
'Langtans Klocka' begins quietly with piano and an ominous drone. The flute comes in like an angel on wings of gossamer. My heart melts with the exquisiteness of Anna's flute playing. The atmosphere builds with an upbeat bright guitar phrase over jumpy flute and chimes. Eventually Engdeg'rd's heavier guitar crashes in and the time sig is wonderfully irregular. The bass is amazing and it plays off the percussion leading to a passage of xylophone and saxophone, with very odd intricate metrical patterns. The complexity of the music is astonishing, and it soon leads to a segment of melodic guitar playing along with the flute, until a slower pace locks in allowing the flute to pour over the music like honey. Violined guitar and mellotron soaks up the atmosphere and then an outbreak of loud music punches a hole through the fabric. It ends with a grand guignol circus theme similar to the themes on 'Hybris'. There are even some vocal intonations to accentuate the angular circus style. This is weird but deliriously off kilter enough to end the album on an innovative note, with xylophone and glockenspiel thrown in; it is impossible to predict Anglagard's music and that is one of its drawcards.
I cannot believe 'Viljans Oga' is as good as 'Hybris' and yet Anglagard have done it again, and it is one of the greatest albums I have heard in years. The dynamic music is mesmirising and without the vocals of Lindman, it is not marred in any way, perhaps even improved as we can just sit back and have our ears caressed by mindbending musicianship. I actually didn't think this would measure up to Anglagard's masterful 1992 opus, as that is a tall order. I was wrong in every respect. This is a bonafide masterpiece and one of the definitive prog albums of 2012........by AtomicCrimsonRush ..

I always considered Anglagard one of the best (if not the very best) examples of what a progband sounds like. This is not strange if you realize mellotron and flute are two very prominent prog instruments and are very significant in Anglagards music. On top of that the complexity and sometimes inaccessibility is right there as well and are of course features of progressive music. Anglagard has always intrigued me because of all this and maybe it's even more interesting this Swedish band is a contemporary band and is maybe the best example of a progressive band playing retroprog in an own style and sound. Also their obscurity with the general public is a proof we're dealing with true 100% prog and not by accident one of the most popular bands amongst the prog devotees.
This latest album has a lot in common with both predecessor Epilog as with the bands famous debut Hybris. Obviously Anglagard prefers songs between 10 and 15 minutes and somehow they fit the band like a glove. At least they are excellent in composing them; these songs are all great and are Anglagards trademark ultimately. And so they are on their latest Viljans 'ga. It surely amazed me checking out the tracks and finding out they are all winners once again. Like I said, the compositions are complex and somewhat inaccessible. They are also darkish but the real reason I like this album is that the songs are also pleasant for the ears. Not easy to digest but not too weird or experimental to like (or even love) either for a harmonic music lover like me.
It went through my mind that this album should actually be protected from the usual bashers. People that want to be different from the rest and simply therefore give this album one or two stars. Or give these ratings out of some sort of sick jealousy because this album rises higher than their own favorites. I think we all know what I'm talking about. And I'm saying this because this masterpiece deserves no bashing from anyone. It deserves the same respect as Close to the Edge or Thick as a Brick, albums that are also pinnacles of our genre. Of course I realize life isn't like that and neither it isn't on our site. But I would really love to see this album gets the respect from everyone that it deserves. And that it will keep the high rating it has right now (some 4,65) so that it will end up in our top 10 or 20 where it belongs. And in the end I hope the band will keep up the great job they are doing for two decades now. A deep bow for Viljans 'ga. And 5 stars of course........by progrules .

A Strong Return.
After nearly twenty years, cult Prog Rock band Anglagard return with their third album, "Viljans Oga". Their debut album "Hybris", released in 1992, is already considered a major classic in the realm of Progressive Rock, and "Epilog" is a decent following to the masterpiece. The high anticipation of "Viljans Oga", as a consequence, was pretty understandable, and at its release, the album was immensely praised by fans. And it is for a reason; the band manages to keep the quality stakes high even after twenty years, by delivering another fantastic, complex, and challenging record.
Anglagard deliver to the public exactly what a fan might expect they'd deliver: an LP with extremely refined instrumentation, breathtaking musicianship, and excellent production. All four songs are structured to near perfection, and their songwriting skills haven't lost their power either. But it's in the executing and the planning where the band succeeds in the most, despite the fact that we're still dealing with great songwriters here. There is a noticeable difference on "Viljans Oga", and that is the absence of vocals. Although it would have been nice to hear at least a little bit of singing, to give more heterogeneity to the flow of the music, there really isn't a spot on the album where they could have been inserted, which means that in a way, their decision was a wise one. If there is one gripe that could have been fixed, that would have been the length of the whole thing: an hour for this kind of music seems to be a little too much, and there some parts in these four songs that could have been cut out, although all of the parts are pure gold.
"Viljans Oga" can't help but being a great album, perhaps not a la par with an album such as "Hybris", (considering that for accomplishing a full blown masterpiece, they simply needed to shorten the album and make the songs a bit more different from one another) but nevertheless a release worth revisiting again and again, because of its impeccable musicianship and fantastic songwriting........ by EatThatPhonebook ..


The legendary, cult favorite, Swedish prog band Änglagård had gone into hibernation after two incredible albums. Most of us thought never to return. Even the two albums, "Hybris" and "Epilog" were out of print. The rarity of the recordings only added to the band's mystique. In 2002 they decided to test the waters and try rehearsing together, only with Tord Lindman choosing to bow out. This resulted in some live performances and new hope from the fans. It was however short lived as Jonas, Anna, Thomas, Johan and Mattias retreated back to their separate lives. Then in 2009 "Hybris" was rereleased, followed by "Epilog" in 2010. There was also news about the band reuniting and recording again. 2012 saw a new dawn with concert dates and their first new studio album in 18 years, "Viljans Öga." Änglagård lives!
For those of you not familiar with Änglagård, you should be. There is a reason why the return was a major event in the prog community. Even one original member short (Tord has still not returned), this is one of the best bands you will ever hear. So good in fact, there was little concern about measuring up to the legacy after being gone for so long. I personally just about did backflips when I found out I was going to see them perform at NEARfest. Unfortunately the new album was not available before that time. I did manage to snag a copy before the performance and discovered that "Viljans Öga" is another masterpiece.
Honestly it did take a little more time for me to attach the masterpiece label. Hearing three out of the four tracks live certainly helped but digging into the CD a few times confirmed my original assessment. It is one of those albums that gets better every time you hear it. They seamlessly weave so many ideas through their compositions that there is almost always something new to discover. Plus, these musicians being at the pinnacle of virtuosity are never anything but captivating. Experiencing music like this reminds the connoisseur of why the obsession exists.
The album essentially carries on where "Epilog" left off. Entirely instrumental, dark moodiness and almost schizophrenic ups and downs prevail. I do however see a stylistic shift genre-wise. I'd say symphonic still works as a label but I am hearing much more RIO (rock in opposition) or avant-garde influence. This should come as no surprise as I believe that element was always present. It is what made Änglagård more than just a 70's prog revival in the first place. Incredibly I think each musician has improved as well. The maturity has seemed to transform them into people that belong more in the company of orchestral musicians than eclectic rockers.
Make no mistake Änglagård still rocks. Their swirling, angular crescendos still exist along with frenetic rhythms and howling mellotron. True to symphonic ideology this is of course blended with sullen softer passages. This may not sound like a stretch from the earlier work and it isn't. The craft is being further perfected, as any master would do. Moving toward the avant-garde side of things has also made things more challenging for the band and the listener as well. There is no expectation that anyone will be easily brought in through the tightly woven density. Effort will be involved and isn't that true of anything worthwhile anyway?
American Idol fans don't waste your time. I highly doubt these are the people that read my reviews anyway, but just in case? "Viljans Öga" is for the educated musical palette. It is the equivalent of an Angelo Gaja Barolo. If you aren't ready for it, go to the grocery store and get yourself some white zinfandel....by bhikkhu 

Anglagard is one special creature, a strange animal within a massive zoo of fairly diverse species (a fitting description of progressive music, me thinks) and billed as symphonic prog yet closer to experimental than anything else. The foremost quality they possess in seemingly endless abundance is their own style of chaotic contrasts between the two extremities, whilst professing an eternal worship to the divine 'throne' instruments themselves, I have named King Mellotron and Lady Rickenbacker! The flute provides the serenity and the drums, the propulsion. Add a guitar and voila! Like a musical interpretation of 21st century living, the sounds emanating from their illustrious craft are both paralleling stress and comfort, refereeing work and play and signaling the directions towards heaven and hell. Complex, simple, authoritarian and yet anarchic, the music lives as a sonic dreamscape that hurtles through the spirit like some arctic phenomenon, utterly overpowering and yet fleeting. Others reviewers have autopsied this long awaited release and let us be reminded that Viljans Oga was 18 years in the making, so here is how I see and hear it.
Anglagard specialize in the 10-19 minute epic, a cinematographic entity that is fully arranged, orchestrated and composed as a creative work from a team of musicians who have completely stayed loyal to their 'raison d'etre', understanding their inherent individual value to the whole concept. "Sorgmantel" is a perfect example of their vision, a bold bass rumble that forges through mellotron mountains, flute clouds, guitar winds and percussive valleys, sometimes in complete harmony and then in raging disaccord, weaving into new realms of endless discovery. The talent is utterly phenomenal, all five members masters of their instruments, leading one to rightfully wonder how they pull all this off in a live setting?
This is not romantic, laid back, easy listening background music while one barbecues on the patio, guzzling down brews while the uncouth ladies nonchalantly apply another coat of nail polish to their already garish fingers! In fact, the poor girls might feel compelled to flee the monstrous sound in abject disdain and retreat to the powder room, clicking desperately onto some fluffy youtube vid, disposable flavor of the month. Anglagard will appeal instead to the same testosterone crowd as Magma, perhaps even Rush (Olsson can give Peart a scare) and any audiophile looking to be challenged by musicianship and melodic inspiration. Grilling the ribs and the zucchini will never be the same!
The brooding "Snardom" even has ponderous moments that will recall Focus '3' instrumental workouts such as "Answers, Questions" and "Anonymous Two", unafraid to include cello and jazzy guitar licks that seem closer to a harder Return to Forever. The charming flute wrestles with the manly bass, Thomas Johnson's keys enveloping elegance caresses the guitar screeches with imperial authority.
The windswept "Langtans Klocka" is a revelation, bringing a pastoral embellishment to their honed vision, perhaps closer to classical music that ever before, which may dismay the rockers out there, but Viljans Oga is not a remake of Hybris or Epilog, it's a natural progression. After such a long interval, what would one expect, a refried clone of an admittedly iconic duo of recordings? Just when you are about to become complacent, Brand's booming 4 string monster shatters the sweet softness with a sterling display of sound and 'maitrise', Johnson flushes the heart with torrential cascades of the mighty 'tron and Engdegard crushes some sensational licks (volume pedal slickness) while Olsson pulses madly again.
Beautiful mayhem indeed! Fab sound, artwork and packaging. Combine hard jazz fusion, symphonic splendor, folk accouterments and an experimental fervor, and you get Viljans Oga. Stubborn, insane, focused and slightly bizarre. Just avoid playing this for the prog hating ladies unless you really need some temporary space.
5 Eye's Wills........ by tszirmay .

I first heard of Änglagård through a mail order catalog back in 1996. I acquired an LP copy of Hybris on the Norwegian Colours label the following year (before prices started shooting through the roof). It already went out of print, but I knew I needed to get a copy then or I'd end up forking up the big money for a copy in the future. It blew me away, never realizing prog could be done like that in 1992. Then I acquired Epilog, knowing I needed that one too, and it too blew me away, and no vocals this time. The band broke up in 1994 after their performance at Progfest '94. There was a brief reunion in 2002 minus Tord Lindman, but it was clear by 2003 the reunion didn't last. Now they reunited (again without Tord), and I was sure they'd split after a few shows, but instead they hung around long enough to record a third album, and here it is, Viljans Öga! It was released on their own label, Änglagård Records.
Let me tell you right away, if you love their other releases, you need this album! They continue to make amazingly complex and challenging music, with Thomas Johnson providing tons of great Hammond organ and Mellotron, even some Moog. He even uses some Chamberlin sounds too, like some Chamberlin female voices. Bassist Johan Högberg is now going by the name of Johan Brand, and he just piles it with the Rickenbacker bass. Anna Holmgren's flute playing seems to play an even greater role than before. The band seems to work fine without Tord Lindman, leaving all the guitar duty to Jonas Engdegård. All the songs are around the 12-16 minute time range, and there is so much going on. Themes show up, and later on, variations on that same theme, which you might not notice until listening to many times. I love how all the instruments are clearer than anything on their first two albums, Thomas Johnson's Mellotron is more upfront, for example. "Ur Vilande" starts off with a gentle flute melody, but then soon you get some aggressive passages, and even one passage that sound like didgeridoo-like sound effects (although not from a real didg). "Snårdom" features some nice Genesis or Camel-like passages with Hackett or Latimer-like guitar passages, plus a slow, somber passage on the Hammond organ. "Längtans Klocka" has some nice flute themes, and circus music played by guests on wind instruments. It's unbelievable the 18 year gap since their last album, and they stay totally true to themselves, delivering an album just as great as the classics they gave us in the 1990s! It's probably safe to say Viljans Öga is easily the best prog release of 2012, not only that, an album destined to be a classic. I had my copy since early July 2012, and I was listening to it practically nonstop for a month. It blew me away that much. I couldn't believe that prog this good could be made in 2012! Your collection simply isn't complete without it!........By BENJAMIN MILER....

Δεκαοκτώ χρόνια μετά το δεύτερο άλμπουμ τους, "Epilog", οι Σουηδοί Änglagård, ένα από τα καλύτερα κρυμμένα μυστικά του progressive rock της δεκαετίας του '90, επιστρέφουν μετά τις πρόσφατες προαναγγελίες τους και παραδίδουν το τρίτο άλμπουμ τους με στόμφο και θριαμβευτική ορμή. Υπό διαφορετικές συνθήκες, ένα συγκρότημα σαν τους Änglagård θα είχε προφανή θέση, γιατί όχι, στο ProgSession, τη μηνιαία στήλη στο Rocking.gr για θησαυρούς του progressive rock οι οποίοι έμειναν στα αζήτητα και καθαρά μέσα σε underground πλαίσια.
Με το ντεμπούτο τους, “Hybris", οι Änglagård άφησαν μια μεγάλη παρακαταθήκη και έσπρωξαν τον σχεδόν εξαφανισμένο prog ήχο των 70s σε νέα όρια και καινούρια μονοπάτια, με το χαρακτηριστικό άγγιγμα του σουηδικού ήχου. Ένα κλασικό αριστούργημα του προοδευτικού rock, το οποίο αξίζει να μνημονεύεται και να αναφέρεται σε κάθε τέτοια ευκαιρία. Αν και εμπορικά οι Σουηδοί δεν ξεπέρασαν ποτέ την underground αποδοχή μιας μικρής μερίδας οπαδών του ήχου, η πολύχρονη απουσία τους και η προαναγγελθείσα επιστροφή τους με νέο άλμπουμ ενθουσίασε τους γνωρίζοντες την σημασία και την προσφορά του συγκροτήματος με την ομολογουμένως βραχύβια πορεία.
Έτσι, λοιπόν, με το "Viljans Öga" οι Änglagård καταφέρνουν να προσφέρουν ένα τρίτο άλμπουμ, το οποίο αν και σχεδόν μια εικοσαετία μετά το προηγούμενο πόνημα των Σουηδών, ακούγεται σαν να προέκυψε αμέσως μετά χωρίς να μεσολαβήσει ένα τέτοιο μεγάλο χρονικό κενό. Οι μελωδίες, οι περιπετειώδεις περιπλανήσεις σε progressive rock και folk μονοπάτια και η προσήλωση σε κεκτημένα αισθητικά κριτήρια ανάμειξης πειραματικών ήχων και κλασικότροπων μεθοδεύσεων δίνουν το παρόν σε ένα άλμπουμ που φαίνεται να στέκεται εξαρχής δίπλα από το αριστουργηματικό "Hybris". Το "Ur Vilande" ανοίγει ως οφείλει το άλμπουμ, με μια προβλεπόμενη αντιεμπορική ως επί το πλείστον χροιά με το φλάουτο να πρωταγωνιστεί εξαρχής και στην εξέλιξη της σύνθεσης να συμπορεύεται με δύσκολα μέτρα, καθαρά αυτοσχεδιαστικούς ρυθμούς και μια μοναδική ρετρό πινελιά χάρη στον ήχο του mellotron. Ο χαρακτηριστικός ήχος των Änglagård, βασιζόμενος στον σοφό συνδυασμό πνευστών και εγχόρδων αφενός και στην εκτελεστική ικανότητα του συγκροτήματος από την άλλη, προσφέρει εν τέλει ένα άλμπουμ με τέσσερις συνθέσεις συνολικά, το χτίσιμο της καθεμίας ξεχωριστά εντυπωσιάζει τον ακροατή. Για παράδειγμα, το "Sorgmantel" ξεκινάει με έναν μελαγχολικό τόνο που δίνει το φλάουτο μαζί με το τσέλο και προοδευτικά οι ρυθμοί του γίνονται απρόβλεπτοι, με τις κιθάρες και τον καθαρό ήχο του mellotron να συγχρονίζονται σε μια κλασική έκφανση προοδευτικού rock της χρυσής περιόδου.
Τέσσερις συνθέσεις επικών διαστάσεων προσφέρουν συνολικά σχεδόν 57 λεπτά μουσικής πανδαισίας, η οποία γίνεται αντιληπτή από την πρώτη κιόλας ακρόαση εντυπωσιάζοντας. Σε μια εποχή που η καλλιτεχνική διάσταση μιας τυπικά ταλαντούχας μπάντας προσμετρείται σε «χιτάκια» με ημερομηνία λήξεως, οι Änglagård μετά από 18 χρόνια απουσίας από την σκηνή, επιστρέφουν με την ίδια διάθεση που είχαν και στο "Epilog". Παίζουν μουσική που γουστάρουν οι ίδιοι να κυκλοφορούν και να ακούνε και παραδίδουν το "Viljans Öga", ένα αριστούργημα του σύγχρονου progressive rock, απαραίτητο προς ακρόαση από κάθε οπαδού του ήχου και οπωσδήποτε στο μέλλον μια ενημερωμένη δισκοθήκη θα πρέπει να έχει δίπλα-δίπλα το "Hybris" με το "Viljans Öga". Οι Änglagård μετατρέπονται από το καλύτερα κρυμμένο μυστικό του σουηδικού prog rock σε μια μπάντα που επιζητά και λαμβάνει πρωταγωνιστικό λόγο και ρόλο στον συγκεκριμένο ήχο....by...Πάνο Παπάζογλου.......

To cut a long story very short, I have always been into complicated music as I’m sure you know, but back in the late 70s prog had become a bloated and excessive beast that was elitist in the extreme and about as far removed from its fanbase as modern day football is from the terraces of old. It had to die, or at at least suffer a severe pruning, and here in Blightly along came punk to do the culling.
My musical tastes took a sharp left turn at around the same time, mostly due to the much missed John Peel. I still listened to the prog classics, but the era of keyboard players consuming takeaway curries on stage while the rest of the band indulged in an endless faux-Buddhist percussion clattering was well and truly over.
Prog continued gamely on well under the radar, although the second wave prog bands of the 80s were far removed from anything that might be termed “progressive”, preferring to hark back to the glory days for their servings of pale imitation, and were ignored by yours truly and almost everyone else.
Music for me was and is a constant search for the new, and back in the early 90s scanning mail order lists my eyes were alerted to the cover art of Anekdoten’s Vemod, the cover being highly reminiscent of Keef’s colour negative art for my obscure label of choice, good ol’ Vertigo “Swirl”. This was pre-internet so I had no samples to go on but I took the plunge as the description reckoned King Crimson similarities. When I got my hands on the CD I was blown away by the new Scandi-Gothic twist on the mighty Crims as belted out by these obscure Scandinavians, so the mail order list was scanned again, and just above Anekdoten was Änglagård, who not only had a similar sounding name and a similar line up but also hailed from Sweden. How could I resist the enticingly titled Hybris? Thus, Änglagård and Anekdoten were responsible for re-kindling my interest in a long neglected musical avenue, and the rest is indeed history.
Hybris came out in 1992, followed in 1994 by Epilog which had an unfortunate literal meaning as apart from the live album Buried Alive which was released in 1996, that was it, or so we thought. After an aborted attempt at relaunching the band in 2002, a successful reissue program over the last three years saw the band getting together again, writing and recording Viljans Öga (Viljan’s Eye*) and playing live, most notably at the final NEARfest earlier this year over in the USA. Looks like we’ll just have to wait over here!
I tracked down a copy of the album, which was not easy as I seem to have bought one of the very few that went on general release, but the good news is that according to the record label webpage the new edition will be on sale soon. I’ve put a link near the end of this piece to the only site I can find selling it, albeit on pre-order only, as well as to the record label and the band’s webpage. All I can say is, keep checking!
Logistics aside, the aural delights that greeted me on spinning the disc were like hearing a greeting from a group of long lost friends. Whereas Anekdoten took King Crimson as the main ingredient in their Viking melting pot, Änglagård went for early Genesis as a base. Both bands then mixed it all up with Scandinavian folk influences and black visions. That early Genesis infulence was slowly subsumed by Änglagård’s own sound and Viljans Ögacontinues that development into something that is simply “Änglagård”, no more no less. The aural canvas here is familiar but tempered by maturity, both in the composition and in the playing; the brooding Scandinavian dark but pastoral prog and folk-tinged vista has been widened by an expanding intricacy and cohesiveness in the composition, and the playing throughout is sublime. While the music on this album cannot be said to flow seamlessly, and is not intended to as the dissonant passages in opener Ur Vilandeattest, there is definitely a more cohesive whole on display here than on the last album Epilog, good as it was. The whole thing sounds like a soundtrack to an epic Viking legend, something for Thor to put his feet up with after a hard day smiting minions. Lovely!
With only one of the original band not present on this album it soon becomes apparent that the chemistry between the players is still there as the interplay feels instinctive rather than forced. There are four tracks, all instrumental and all of around fifteen minutes in length, and all four go through many twists and turns. The familiar swathes of mellotron blended with epic but tastefully restrained guitar passages rudely interrupted by avant dissonance are all present and correct, as the song above attests. The instrumentation this time round is further expanded from that on Epilog(see below) and this adds to the epic quality of the music. Having said that, there is nothing here that fans of the band would be surprised about other than the seemingly effortless nature of the playing after all those years.
Finally, Johan Brand must be complimented for the lovely and melancholic artwork and photos both on the fold-out digipak and on the tasteful booklet.
Younger readers who are not familiar with this band should check them out as should anyone with a liking for Ian McDonald era Crimson, early Genesis and modern bands such as Gösta Berlings Saga; you will not fail to be impressed. Indeed, drummer Mattias Olsson has a close connection with Gösta Berlings Saga, and their keyboard player David Lundberg appears with Änglagård on stage. You will probably have to make do with an earlier album though until the new one is re-pressed, as explained above......By Roger T. ..

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........by menawati.

The return of Änglagård 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.....by...Warthur ......
Following their successful reissue Program over the last three years, the news that seminal Swedish dark-symphonic Prog legends Änglagård had reformed and were writing and recording a new album was greeted with a cheer chéz moi, as this band along with compatriots Anekdoten were the two reasons I got back into Prog rock at the start of the '90s - blimey, was it that long ago? - after leaving the tired old genre way behind in December 1976. I can be that specific because that was when I first heard The Damned in session on the John Peel Show, which instantly made much of what I had been listening to irrelevant, and set me on a course that took me well away from what passed as Prog in the '80s.
Anyway, that's another story for another time. Viljans Öga takes up where Epilog left off way back in 1994, but with an added maturity both in the composition and in the playing; their familiar brooding Scandinavian dark pastoral Prog coupled with a misty folk-tinged vista has been widened by an expanding intricacy and cohesiveness in the writing, and the playing throughout is sublime. While the music on this album cannot be said to flow seamlessly, and is not intended to as the dissonant passages in opener Ur Vilande attest, there is definitely a more cohesive whole on display here than on the last album Epilog, good as it was. The whole thing sounds like a soundtrack to an epic Viking legend, something for Thor to put his feet up with after a hard day smiting minions. Lovely!
The musicians on this record are the same line up that made Epilog minus one, and they play together like they had never been apart, the old chemistry between the players being a wonderful thing to hear again. Although the instrumentation is expanded slightly from that on the previous album, there is nothing here that differs too radically from the sounds on Epilog as I'm sure fans of the band will be relieved to hear.
Finally, Johan Brand must be complimented for the lovely and melancholic artwork and photos both on the fold-out digipak and in the tasteful booklet.
Younger readers who are not familiar with this band should check them out as should anyone with a liking for Ian McDonald era Crimson, early Genesis and modern bands such as Gösta Berlings Saga; you cannot fail to be impressed. Indeed, drummer Mattias Olsson has a close connection with Gösta Berlings Saga, and their keyboard player David Lundberg appears with Änglagård on stage.
Highly recommended, and yet another fine release in what has turned out to be a great year for Progressive music.....by....Roger Trenwith.........


Since the release of Hybris in 1992, Änglagård have attained near-legendary status in spite of a career characterised by long breaks between albums and live appearances. After the failed attempt at a reunion in 2002, which raised the hopes of their many fans, the news that the band had a few shows in the pipeline for 2012, and a new album scheduled for release in the summer of the same year, created quite a stir. Many of the attendees of the final edition of NEARfest (myself included) were of the opinion that the Swedish band should have been granted headliner status - seen the import of their appearance after a 9-year hiatus, which also served as a showcase for their long-awaited new material. 

A rather low-profile outfit in spite of their cult status, known for not willingly seeking the spotlight, Änglagård had their new album, Viljans Öga (Eye of the Will - Ed: I have it on good authority from a Swedish friend that "The eye of the desire" is the most accurate translation...) printed in a limited number of copies, which sent their many fans scrambling to get their hands on the few available, while others had to wait until the end of August for a reprint. This is not surprising, as their earlier studio albums - Hybris and its follow-up, 1994's Epilog - were out of print for years before their reissue in 2009 and 2010. The 2002 reunion - which resulted in a handful of hugely successful live performances (including one at the 2003 edition of NEARfest), but unfortunately very little else - saw the absence of founding member Tord Lindman, whose return to the fold was announced in the past few weeks. Then, just when their many fans had lost any hope of seeing Änglagård together again, came the announcement of the release of Viljans Öga - the outcome of almost four years of writing and rehearsing. 

In spite of the roller-coaster ride to which the band's loyal following has been subjected in the past two decades, the very name of Änglagård commands respect as one of the initiators (together with fellow Swedes Anekdoten, Landberk and a few others) of the "third wave of Prog" of the early Nineties, which flowed almost seamlessly into the 21st century. Though their detractors accuse them of slavishly imitating Seventies modes, their unique brand of technically impeccable, yet surprisingly emotional music, blending symphonic Prog, Scandinavian folk, classical music and avant-garde, is unlikely to leave the listener indifferent. Though I was one of those people who had not yet "seen the light", so to speak, the band's NEARfest performance was easily one of the weekend's finest moments as far as I am concerned. The quintet of Anna Holmgren (flute, saxophone), Johan Brand (bass), Jonas Engdegård (guitar), David Lundberg (keyboardist with Gösta Berlings Saga, who replaced studio-only keyboardist Thomas Johnson on stage) and the irrepressible Mattias Olsson (drums, percussion) delivered almost two hours of stunningly complex, instrumental Progressive rock that left most of the audience speechless, and proved that Änglagård, far from being a nostalgia trip, are still quite relevant. Three out of four of the tracks on Viljans Öga were presented on that occasion, and after the show the crowd patiently lined up at the band's table to purchase the new album. 

Like its predecessors - perhaps even more so - Viljans Öga is made of angles and curves, built on the skilfully handled contrast between moments of pastoral lyricism and sudden flares of electricity. The band's signature Mellotron softens the edges and adds that highly prized symphonic touch, but it is only one piece of the mosaic of Änglagård's sound. The instrumental web is woven very tightly, deploying a wealth of shimmering contrasts of light and shade in a mind-boggling series of twists and turns that, quite surprisingly, manage to sound natural and not contrived. Guest appearances by Tove Tårnberg (cello), Daniel Borgegård Algå (clarinet, baritone sax) and Ulf åkerstedt (bass tuba, bass and contrabass trumpet) add further depth to an already intricate texture. While some may find the structure of the band's compositions somewhat predictable - as if their writing followed a template of sorts - the end result is undeniably compelling. The four tracks featured on Viljans Öga all hover around the 15-minute mark - reaching that "epic length" that for many Prog fans is the true benchmark of a piece of music's worth, though without descending into pretentiousness. While the distinguishing features of the band's sound are still present, the edgy, angular component often seems to be pushed to the forefront, injecting somewhat dissonant nuances and even a slight metallic edge - more King Crimson than Genesis for sure, and sometimes recalling the likes of Univers Zéro or Miriodor with their solemn, highly structured angularity. For all its complexity, the music possesses its own internal coherence, and never feels cobbled together - as all too often is the case with the output of bands that are much less in control of their creative processes. 

Ur Vilande's acoustic, pastoral intro - led by Anna Holmgren's flute and Mattias Olsson's vibraphone, assisted by cello and piano - develops in a stately, measured manner, suggestive of classical music; then the track gradually gains momentum, its dance-like pace masterfully conducted by Olsson's magnificent, textural drumming. Jonas Engdegård's guitar is discreetly present, though occasionally erupting in bouts of razor-sharp Crimson-ian riffs. The sharp, sleek dynamics of bass, guitar and drums in the second half possess, the amazing precision of Yes circa Close to the Edge or Relayer, fading out in a melancholy, understated conclusion that hints at Genesis' more subdued moments. In spite of all this name-dropping, however, the result is anything but derivative, and reinterprets classic Prog influences in a very personal manner, rather than going for all-out imitation. Belying its title (which translates as "mourning cloak"), the 12-minute Sorgmantel (the shortest track on the album) contains a few almost upbeat moments, and is the most consistently melodic number - the music flowing smoothly in spite of the frequent tempo changes. The second half definitely ups the ante in terms of intensity, with powerful organ bursts and dramatic flute parts that suggest Jethro Tull, as well as the striking contrast between mellotron and distorted guitar that - like the rarefied, atmospheric outro - may bring to mind the contemporary flair of Gåsta Berlings Saga. 

Flute and Johan Brand's dry, twangy bass take centre stage in the 16-minute Snårdom, which opens in dramatic, energetic fashion, propelled by Olsson's imperious drum rolls and spiced by synth bursts. Some of the quieter moments hint at the austere sparseness of Avant-Prog, while the more fluid, melodic sections feature lovely guitar leads in the style made familiar by David Gilmour or Andy Latimer. Längtans Klocka wraps up the album with a meeting of autumnal tones with an elegant, almost classical lilt, and fiercely sharp guitar riffs twined with jagged bass and drum patterns, signing off with a skewed waltz that veers into Avant territory. Guitar and flute provide occasional solo spots, solidly backed by keyboards, and the track's choppy, stop-start pacing is even more evident than in the previous numbers. 

Lavishly packaged with Johan Brand's haunting cover artwork - whose distressed grey hues aptly reflect the music's mood - is a celebration of Progressive rock, with an eye to the past yet firmly grounded in the present. It is also one of those nowadays rare releases that will appeal in equal measure to fans of traditional symphonic Prog and those with a more left-field bent. Since the album's release, the band's lineup has undergone some dramatic changes: Mattias Olsson, Thomas Johnson and Jonas Engdegård have left, while Tord Lindman has rejoined, and two members of fellow Swedish band Brighteye Brison - drummer Erik Hammarstråm (who was also a member of The Flower Kings in 2008) and keyboardist Linus Kåse - have stepped in. This time, it seems that Änglagård have every intention to continue writing and playing live with this lineup - and, judging by the strength of their third studio album, this is very good news for the Prog scene. Highly recommended to all Prog fans - unless they strongly object to instrumental music - Viljans Öga can undoubtedly be counted among 2012's landmark releases.....by.....Raffaella Berry....... 

Line-up / Musicians 
- Jonas Engdegård / guitars 
- Thomas Johnson / pianos, Mellotrons, synthesizers 
- Anna Holmgren / concert flute, tenor saxophone 
- Johan Brand / bass, Taurus bass pedals 
- Mattias Olsson / drums, percussion, effects 

With: 
- Daniel Borgegård Älgå / clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone 
- Ulf Åkerstedt / bass tuba, bass & contrabass trumpets 
- Tove Törnberg / cello 

Tracklist 
A Ur Vilande 15:44 
B Sorgmantel 12:07 
C Snårdom 16:14 
D Längtans Klocka 13:18 


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