In my opinion, "Epilog" is one of the best prog albums in the 90's, if not the best of them. "Epilog" was named that way when the group members knew that this was they're last album - the "epilog" of their career, even though they have released a live album in 1996 ("Buried Alive"), but it was too late beacuse the band was already broke up.
On "Epilog" the band has stepped one step forward to the modern classic music, unlike in there previous album ("Hybris"), which was based on a the basic lexicon of the symponic prog. It is a winter-style, sad, and even traghic, that wasn't able to stop moving between outbursts of pain and suffer and melancholic appeasement with nature and earth. "Epilog" is completely instrumental, without lyrics, which is maybe good, because, as you know swedish is not my mother language :)
Anglagard didn't made they're life easy. instead of tracks on constant tempo, that on them you can show virtuosity, they chose to rebuild a dynamic, complexed, and changefull composition. Each each musician has it's own complicated part, every note fills a big amount of surprising transitions and a lot of mood changes, and special effects. If in their previous album, the listener has to concentrate on the melodical evolution, and got some interesting tunes, on that case he enters to swampy sound world (in an extreme way) that demandes more energy than usual to listen and to investigate.
Anglagard attend to more often use of musical metaphores of a strong connection to the nature, rivers, dark forests and change of seasons. The keyboards is simulating water streams, the drums are symbol of flood, the flute symbols the dark northern visions and the percussions give enrichment to the production in accociation to village and lonely world of scandinavia. There is less of the 'groove' or virtuosity of pure instrumental performence, and there is much more of an expression to the complex dialogue between the swedish culture and the multi-culture technological dissonance of 20th century.
The Band was focused on the meet between opposing world basics, on the one hand, the acoustic pastoraly, that was based on a melodic musical motif, and on the other hand, the short, effective and sharp breaks, that was based on a noisy mellotron, a stormy hammond, dramatic electric guitar and a deep electric bass - this is a smart idea that "rocks" the listener between intimate touches to a musical blizkrig. Such a demanding album is not suitable to mainstream music fans, and is opposing to the demands of the commercial radio and the expections of the record companies.
On the album, the productions are moving between low music to a music which is so loud that it will drive your neighbours crazy. Only the ones who'd like to hear this almost masochistic music can find it's big potential. With every listening you can find a new layers of music, that reveals the stracture of the album. It more than sure that the original MTV listeners won't find this album as a worth listening. It is pretty sad that best Anglagard album is, traghicaly, their last.
Sista Somrar 13:10
Saknadens Fullhet 2:00
There a very few albums that can be called "perfect", when you don't do it in a rush of a moment. "Hybris" is simply the most pure, constant, mature, balanced, deep & unique masterpiece I've heard. A combination of church atmosphere, a bit of metal & a touch from the gothic culture, created a great album. I can really say that "Hybris" is one of the best prog albums of the 90's. After one of their tours in 1993, viewers defined them as "the best prog band in the world" - and i can't agree less. The reviews of this album was also at the same height.
The major plus of the album is the moving tunes, Anglagard keeps the stable melodic attitude, that based well on the basic principles of classic music, but on the same time they give a strong feeling of the stress between two different cultures fighting against each other. The rich & eclectic productions are known for their wide dynamic, and that's what makes listening to this album interesting & exciting.
It's hard to pick several favorite tracks, but here are two of them: "Jordrok" - The opening track, one of the best instrumental tracks i've heard, brilliant solos, with the help of a new, scary melotron, 70's techniques with brilliant additions. "Kung Bore" - If anyone will ask me why do i love this album so much, i could say this will define my opinion. "Kung Bore" proves how much Anglagard uses the basics so well...
"Hybris" is a mith-breaker, because it shutters down the saying that "prog is a 70's-style". Anglagard are proving in the album that prog music can develop, and enrich itself. If only music lovers could treat it like they should, and put it on the same place with "Wish U Were Here" or "Selling England By The Pound", it would be a justice because this title fits this album like a glove. A good investment to every prog fan. It would be a big injustice to even compare it to the 70's bands, beacuse it's a modern masterpiece, that takes the basics that Genesis & Pink Floyd taught us and built their own style above it all. And the funny part is, it's not even their best album.... :)
Vandringar I Vilsenhet 11:53
Kung Bore 12:57