ASGAERD – In The Realm Of Asgaerd

Despite their name making it sounding as if they hail from Scandinavia, Asgaerd come from the West Country, and this 1972 release was one of the first to appear on The Moody Blues’ Threshold label other than their own discs. Not surprisingly, there is something of a Moodies feel to the music in places, but generally it is a good slice of 70’s progressive rock, very much in the Uriah Heep mould, with Ted Bartlett’s vocals having more than a hint of David Byron at times. The title track has some nice harmonies on the chorus, and ‘Friends’ is more of a hard rocker, with the addition of Peter Orgil’s violin giving it a bit of depth. ‘Town Crier’ has a distinct pop edge to it, sounding quite commercial and about four years younger than it really is. ‘Children Of A New Born Age’ is a confident prog rocker, and ‘Time’ brings out the heavy guitars again for a great hard rock track. ‘Lorriane’ eases the pace a fraction, before ‘Starquest’ brings it back up to close the album with yet another fine progressive hard rock track. It is probably this song which has the Heep influence most to the fore, but they are no mere copyists as the violin also brings a Celtic feel to some of the music. I would hesitate to recommend this album to Moody Blues fans just because it was on their label, but they and everyone else should just enjoy it for the excellent hard/progressive rock album that it is. Out on CD - much cheaper than the £250+ that the vinyl can go for!