Änglagård ‎– Viljans Öga

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ANG03LP Änglagård Viljans Öga(2xLP, Album, Ltd) Änglagård Records ANG03LP Europe 2012 Sell This Version
ANG03LP Änglagård Viljans Öga(2xLP, Album, Ltd, Cle) Änglagård Records ANG03LP Europe 2012 Sell This Version
ANG03CD Änglagård Viljans Öga(CD, Album) Änglagård Records ANG03CD Sweden 2012 Sell This Version
ANG03CD Änglagård Viljans Öga(CD, Album, Unofficial) Änglagård Records (2) ANG03CD Russia 2012 Sell This Version
ARC-3038 Änglagård Viljans Öga(CD, Album) Arcàngelo ARC-3038 Japan 2013 Sell This Version

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d_fedorov

d_fedorov

December 31, 2013
referencing Viljans Öga, 2xLP, Album, Ltd, ANG03LP
Viljans Öga is a multiple mystery to me. Not the album itself, but the perception of it. For example, here on Discogs it's categorized as Progressive/Symphonic Rock. For as far as my opinion goes, this is true blue contemporary classical album; other than perhaps the usage of some instruments, there is not much on this album to connect it to the realm of rock. Then, on Progarchives the Viljans Öga has barely made it into the Top 100 albums. It's sitting 80 or so positions below another Änglagård ‎album, the Jordrök, which I think is not quite as good as Viljans Öga.

In brief, Viljans Öga is probably one of the pivotal accomplishments in modern serious instrumental music. The whole album is completely flawless, starting with the quality of the composition, the musicianship, the synergy of the sounds and rhythms, the palpable power of its inspiration and message, and of course the quality of engineering. The jacket and sleeves are outstanding works of art and are right in tune with the spirit of the album.

progfan97402

progfan97402

July 3, 2012
edited over 4 years ago
referencing Viljans Öga, CD, Album, ANG03CD

This is totally unreal. A new release from Anglagard. Who could have imagined? Hearing about this left me in total disbelief, as I'm sure many of you. I mean, I imagined the band would have broken up again before even recording an album, just like what happened in 2003 but instead hung around and did just that, a new album. With their appearance at Profest '93, they really shook the prog rock down to its foundations. The prog rock scene had been in serious trouble since the late '70s. Many people were fed up with substandard product Yes and ELP were coughing up in the early '90s (Union, Black Moon), and a few didn't think the neo-prog scene saved prog in the 1980s (I am convinced the big reason neo-prog received such a bad rep in some prog circles, other than often accused of being Genesis wannabes, Marillion included, is it frequently had that nasty '80s production and synths that didn't go down too well to those used to the '70s approach and production). And this group played prog like it's supposed to be, harkening back to the glory days, avoiding digital gear and sticking to the Hammond organ and Mellotron, and yet sounding fresh, and after all these years, still holding up. They managed a second album, Epilog, but broke up after completion (but still performed at Progfest '94 to stick with commitments). After 18 years since the last release, I would never have imagined! In 2002 I heard wind of their reunion without Tord Lindman, but it didn't last, and by 2003 they split again. Years later a new reunion, and this time one that allowed time for a new album to be recorded and released, and it's here! If you love their other albums, you need Viljans Oga, plain and simple as that. They take on an even more grand scale, with a few new tricks up their sleeves, as well as that unmistakable sound. Thomas Johnson still sticks to his trustworthy Hammond organ and Mellotron, but he also includes some Wurlitzer electric piano. Without Tord Lindman, it proves this band can still hold their own with just one guitarist. I have noticed the occasional Chamberlin female voices on this album, which is actually just the Chamberlin female voice tape installed in the the Mellotron M400 (I saw a video of Mattias Olsson playing the Chamberlin female voice on the Mellotron at his Roth Handle Studios) or perhaps the Memotron or M4000D (virtual Mellotrons that looks like the top half of a real Mellotron, which includes various tron and Chamberlin samples, sorta glorified M-Tron), as I saw Thomas Johnson use one of those on top of a real M400. I even notices some didgeridoo-like sound effects, but I don't believe they used a real didg. Anna Holgren's flute playing is even more dominant than before, and there's a brief passage where she pulls an Ian Anderson on us, given her preference of flute playing is in that gentle, Andy Latimer or Ray Thomas style. This album is not an easy listen. But then neither were their first two albums either. There is no doubt that this CD will be revisiting my CD player for years to come. This band continues that same approach of doing one thing and quickly move on to the next, but many times the more pastoral moments and somber moments are even more so, but they still can rock out as loud as ever. The band might now be middle-aged but they certainly never lost that edge. Too many artists (prog and non-prog alike) that enter middle age sound that way: Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, Crosby, Stills & Nash, surviving Beatles members, Bob Dylan, ELP, you name it, and many of them released substandard product (like CSNY's American Dream, Dylan's Under the Red Sky, ELP's In the Hot Seat, the Moody Blues' Keys of the Kingdom, etc.). It's great to know that Anglagard didn't fall in that "out of touch middle age sound" trap and instead sound just as great as ever, and really, if the current prog scene needs a boost, just as back in 1992, it would be Anglagard! This is the way reunions are supposed to be. Trust me on this, you won't be disappointed!

I can now easily say, that after a month of this CD rarely leaving my player that this is bound to be easily the best prog release of 2012, not only that, but just as great as the greatest prog albums made in the 1970s.