7

Anglagard: Viljans Oga

Alex Franquelli By

Sign in to view read count
Anglagard: Viljans Oga Complexity can sometimes be considered a form of art in itself and it seldom follows simplicity. Complexity is also impressionism in its purest form. Its faithful depiction of the present may be deemed naïve and unsophisticated, but it remains an unfiltered, pure representation of the being. Less than 20 years ago, Änglagård's albums, Hybris (Mellotronen, 1992) and Epilog (Exergy, 1995), caused a stir in the progressive world. The blending of the archetypes of progressive Scandinavian folk and fusion was a synthesis of aesthetics-one of which was vaguely influenced by Van Der Graaf Generator's cerebral harmonies, King's Crimson's jazz impetus, and the tradition of the Swedish polska.

Despite the long hiatus, the band is back with an album whose sound is a natural, thoughtful excursus on the state of progressive rock today. Not only is the final result a fresh take on an otherwise artistically comatose genre, but its taste for sonic beauty, beautiful representation of the world, (strictly in minor) and the odd time signatures, all make Viljans Öga unmistakably Änglagård in both a good and bad way. The complex patterns on "Sorgmantel," or "Langtans Klocka," loosely follow the diktats of the avant-garde (composers like James Dillon, Arvo Part and some John Adams), while the intricate melodies pay homage to fusion jazz by making solid references to the likes of guitarist Pat Metheny and keyboardist/composer Joe Zawinul. The elaborate, shifting rhythms, the elegant composition, and the clever arrangements are therefore not an end to themselves-they are the medium through which the mellotron, the piano, and the flute draw the sonic paintings of a perfect and ideal pastoral setting.

If the sound still appears to be modern, this is mainly due to the wise balance between tradition and experimentation. This is synthesized in "Sorgmantel," where flautist Anna Holmgren leads the rest of the band into bold dissonances before letting the song rest on a quiet, albeit sinister, folk texture.

Viljans Öga is a complex album in an effortless way. This powerful contradiction lies at the very foundation of Änglagård's legacy in a way that shows the delicate relationship between musical experimentation and folk tradition in a post- industrial society. The idyllic scenery is tarnished by nostalgia, hence the unending minor key, in a way that is so typically contemporary and Scandinavian. It's colorful, it's pleasant, it's challenging, and it's complex. Easy.

Track Listing: Ur Vilande; Sorgmantel; Snårdom; Längtans Klocka.

Personnel: Jonas Engdegård: guitars; Anna Holmgren: flute, tenor saxophone; Johan Brand: bass, Taurus; Mattias Olsson: drums, percussion, noise; Thomas Johnson: pianos, mellotrons, synths; Tove Törnberg: cello; Daniel Borgegård Älgå: clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone; Ulf Åkerstedt: bass tuba, bass trumpet, contrabass trumpet

Title: Viljans Oga | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Alvarsdotter


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "House Of Waters" CD/LP/Track Review House Of Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 14, 2016
Read "Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings /...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Find the Way" CD/LP/Track Review Find the Way
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Alfa" CD/LP/Track Review Alfa
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 10, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.