Last updated: 10/24/2009 12:00:00 PM
Hagen is a new band from Sweden playing music in a way I've never really heard before. The band combines classic heavy metal with the sound of Swedish folk music. Yes I know this sounds like its been done before, but the sound of Hagen is still very unique and different. The band was formed in 1996 by bass player Hans Rosen and his violin playing brother Anders. Shortly their after they recruited Hans Lundin to play Hammond organ, synthesizers, Mellotron and backing vocals, and eventually would complete the line-up with the additions of Per Nilsson (Guitars), Michael Ohlsson (Vocals), and Patrik Jansson playing the drums.
As already mentioned Hagen mixes classic metal with folk music. At times the band plays a bit heavier and even achieves more of a power metal sound on a few of the songs, but most of the songs have more of classic metal and hard rock feel to them. To me these guys sort of sound like Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin mixed with the folk elements. A lot of the songs have a 70's feel to them but that's not hard to believe since some of the members of this band are quite old. Hans Rosen, Anders, and Hans Lundin are at least over 40 years of age if not more. And back in the 70's Hans Lundin played in the symphonic rock band 'Kaipa.' Anyways enough with the introduction let's get to the CD!
The album opens with a sort of dark sounding, but really beautiful song called 'A Summer Air.' The song opens with the folk music plus atmospheric keyboards, and the excellent vocals of Michael Ohlsson. I really like his vocals on this album, as they are at times softer sounding, but at other times really powerful. This particular song also features some excellent guitar work from Per Nilsson. Moving on to the second track 'For Kristina.' This one is actually an instrumental song and they blend the folk music with much more brutal music and this one has more of a power metal feel to it. Another song I really enjoyed was the 8th song 'Nobody's Listening.' This one basically follows the same formula as the others, and it has some really excellent folk music during the song plus more great vocals from Michael.
Overall Hagen has created one unique and excellent album here. My only real problem is I wish it were heavier at times as most of the songs on this album are rather far from sounding heavy metal. All of the band members are extremely talented and they have put together an album well worth searching for. If you like classic heavy metal or hard rock I strongly suggest you check out Hagen and their debut album 'Corridors of Time.'
October 12, 2002