Anglagard - Hybris. 1992 Sweden
1992 Colours (Norway)
CD issues: 1992 Mellotronen; 2000 Mellotronen; 2003 Exergy; 2009 private; 2013 Arcangelo (Japan mini-LP)
The single foremost album that took 90s prog music kicking and screaming back into the 70s. Progressive rock was just beginning to make its comeback in the late 80s and early 90s, when Anglagard showed up and promptly flattened everyone on their ass. Most bands back then were more enamored with Marillion than Trettioariga Kriget (who?). Anglagard once and for all proved that the albatross moniker of "progressive rock" was a style of an era, not a philosophy that must be maintained with a certain high standard of modern creativity. Today, the term retro-progressive is used for bands like Anglagard, but that's a modern appellation. We were just grateful that "prog" was back at all, and in its original form. For that alone, Hybris will always be highly revered by rabid fans like moi. Of course the naysayers came out in droves at the time - just as they do now - stating mostly the obvious: It's not new. No, it isn't new. It is, however, an amazing distillation of a familiar sound - without any of the baggage of the 70s to get in the way. This was created by fans of the genre - for fans of the genre. Thank you Anglagard for paving that path that has continued to be well traveled today.
Originals come in a beautiful gatefold with all sorts of goodies (booklets, stickers, notes). The Colours label was perhaps the last great progressive rock LP-only label before CDs took complete control, and before the vinyl renaissance of the 2010's. Though Discogs and RYM list the CD as the primary release, I'm pretty certain the LP came out first. By 1992, I was buying CDs first without much consideration of owning "both formats". I just didn't have enough scratch to do that back then. So I bought the LP since it would have been the only choice (again, as memory serves - I don't have proof to alter the entries). Basically, I lucked out. This was one of the first new albums (perhaps the first?) where I had to have both, and I bought the CD as soon as it was available (though, as mentioned before, I doubt I would have bought the LP in reverse). In addition, like a complete collector geek, I had to buy the Anglagard box set of Japanese mini-LP's. For the real hardcore, Arcangelo offers up a 3 CD mini-LP set (2015) for this album only (demos, radio documentary, etc...). That seems a bit much for me, but hey if it walks in the door, I'd probably keep it!