Website info: “All Traps On Earth is the name chosen by Anglagard's founding member and bassist Johan Brand for this project of his, involving keyboard player Thomas Johnson and drummer and percussionist Erik Hammarstrom from the same 'source band'. They are joined by Johan's talented daughter, Miranda Brand on vocals, as well as a plethora of guests from the Swedish scene. Almost five years of painstaking work and an obsessive care and attention even for the smallest details have led to the creation of an exceptional work.”
Inspired by the cascades of euphoric reviews and praise from fellow progheads, I listened to this album today and to be honest, with a healthy amount of scepticism because I am not very much into experimental and too varied music. Well, after a few listening sessions I have to conclude that this music evokes very mixed feelings. One hand I am blown away by the very compelling and dynamic symphonic rock parts, soaked with majestic Mellotron choirs. The musicians are outstanding, with awesome interplay. But on the other hand I don't feel comfortable with the multiple turns into RIO, avant-garde and experimental, or pure jazz interludes. And I can't stand the high pitched opera-like female vocals. Listening to All Traps On Earth is also like listening to King Crimson from their first two albums, creating 24-carat symphonic rock to strong avant-garde overtones, the hints are obvious, along others like Goblin, Zeuhl and Canterbury.
So if you like a blend of symphonic rock (like first Anglagard and King Crimson) and a variety of styles and a wide range of instruments, then this is a spectacular album to discover. Personally it's too quirky for me, and I don't like trumpet, flugelhorn and high pitched opera-like female vocals. But it is adventurous and daring music, and like Italian prog sensation DAAL, prog is still alive anno 2019.
***+ Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)
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