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segunda-feira, 3 de abril de 2017

ÄNGLAGÅRD Symphonic Prog • Sweden

Änglagård were a short-lived band who nonetheless generated critical acclaim and a loyal following in the early nineties with their brooding mellotron and synth heavy sound that also featured virtuoso percussionist Mattias Olsson and classically trained flautist Anna Holmgren. 

The band was formed in the summer of 1991 by guitarist and lead vocalist Tord Lindman and bassist Johan Högberg. The pair placed ads to form a band in the vein of the seventies progressive bands such as Yes and King Crimson, which were successfully answered by keyboardist Thomas Johnson and guitarist Jonas Engdegård. Drummer Olsson and flautist Holmgren were soon added and by the following spring the band were touring and logging studio sessions that would yield the well-received album Hybris. The release was followed by an American tour which included an appearance at the 1993 Progfest in Los Angeles. By 1994 the band had released their second and final album Epilog, followed again by an appearance at Progfest. This would prove to be the band's final performance. The Progfest recordings were engineered and released in 1996 as the live requiem Buried Alive. 

Founding member Lindman went on to a career in the film business after the demise of the band, while the remaining members reformed briefly to tour in 2003, but are currently on indefinite hiatus. Olsson has since had a hand in the formation of Nanook of the North and has played in Pineforest Crunch and the Par Lindh Project, among others. Johnson has also appeared on studio released for the post-rock project Reminder. 

Änglagård's sound is rich in mellotron, Hammond and piano, and a brooding wash of guitars and bass/bass pedal accented by Holmgren's moody and precise flute. The band's compositions are characterized by long, often instrumental tracks with significant tempo shifts and sometimes intense guitar flourishes. The Epilog album is instrumental in its entirety, and many of the tracks are distinguished by striking passages from Johnson's grand piano. Early Porcupine Tree also comes to mind, particularly when listening to Epilog. 

Änglagård deserves a place in the Archives for their admirable effort in carrying the banner of large, expansive symphonic music well into the nineties, with a sound that both pays homage to the great progressive giants of the seventies, and advances that sound with virtuoso accompaniment and expansive, layered compositions.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Thanks Magal

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