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Anekdoten - From Within CD (album) cover

FROM WITHIN

Anekdoten

 

Heavy Prog

4.14 | 281 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I had read a lot about this Swedish band before I finally decided to give it a try. Many reviewers have praised this group (and specially this album) and that forced me to get a copy of the (from the ratings) best record by this hard-to-find outfit. Now that I've given the CD more than a couple of spins, I'm ready to share my thoughts.

Anekdoten is really one of darkest, gloomiest, less-optimistic bands I've ever heard. Their music, at least from what I can gather from this CD, is very obscure, full of shadows, full of hidden emotions and sad images. However, unlike that other genre which I consider the most depressing in prog-rock (post-rock), here the sense of desperation and solitude is achieved with a little bit of more light, more fire. This is not sedated, repetitive, narcoleptic music as much post-rock is, but more "regular" (the word doesn't really fit) rock played in the lowest of keys, with just the necessary notes, with just the minimum noise required; in a word, music with finesse.

If I was to draw comparisons, I'd say that the first band that comes to my mind is King Crimson, for the experimental, dark mood of the overall sounds. Another band that I got reminded of while hearing FROM WITHIN was Paatos, another Swedish outfit (is there something in Sweden that helps so many good bands to be born?) that plays music of the utmost elegance but also of the utmost darkness. This is music for the dark corners of your mind, for those that don't get enough light and that react better when the stimuli has less luminosity. There are jazz elements throughout the record, and the recording itself is much in the retro vain, with the drums in the background (the bass drum almost inaudible), clean-yet-not-overly-produced guitars, and soft-but-noticeable bass. The singer really conveys dark emotions, one can suffer, agonize with him, even though his voice is not brilliant but the way he sings works perfectly.

From Within (8.5/10) This nerve-breaking song starts with a relentless drum roll and then a frantic riff unfolds, a riff that speaks of an insane mind. The mood gets more atmospheric with the arrival of the piano and the drunken voice. What follows is a dark, ominous song with a constant drum roll that helps to give the listener the idea of a mentally derailed person. Very good song.

Kiss Of Life (9.5/10) This kicks off with more energy and a slightly saner (but equally somber) riff. The keys give the song a powerful atmosphere while the singer does a fantastic job. My favorite track in the record, is as desolated as any, yet it shows that even in oblivion you can try to fight, though the music tells us that fight is worthless and useless, as it ultimately is a lost cause.

Groundbound (8/10) This one sounds even more like KC, with a kind of erotic (if depressingly so) mood. The music is like a narcotic that attacks your ears, then your brain. Good song, not fantastic. The middle section is too noisy for me (even if that noise fits the mood of the track).

Hole (10/10) The best song in the album, starts with such a melancholic, pessimistic, depressive, YET BEAUTIFUL musical figure that all you can do is try to smile at the darkness of life and try to understand that it so ugly and short and meaningless that the least you can do is to actually try to live it.with MUSIC. A totally foggy atmosphere, a slow tempo that takes us back to long-gone years but that, curiously enough, immediately brings us forth to the bleak, sordid future that awaits us. Halfway down we have such a minimalist section where everything is so quiet, yet we know the emotions are anything but. This rest is like the calm that precedes utter destruction; sounds keep getting added to the main musical line until the melody from the start rises again with all its depressive perfection. A true masterpiece of dark music. This is not the darkness of evil, but the darkness of a lost soul, of a helpless spirit.

Slow Fire (8/10) A song with a much harder start, bordering on the metallic. The darkness that we feel here is more of the other kind, of the evil, dangerous, demonic kind. We believe we're in a weird hell, a hell made of dark-purple flames and complete surrounded by a black wall, a hell where not the bad people are sent, but the sad people. This one reminds me of Radiohead at times. Good song.

Firefly (7/10) Another dark song that sounds less retro than the rest (except for the production of course). It's the least interesting song in FROM WITHIN, as is a little bit repetitive.

The Sun Absolute (8.5/10) A more up-tempo track, equally somber, yet more energetic. The bass line is so persistent that it starts to get on one's nerves at some point. The keyboards add to the atmosphere with elegance but never losing obscurity. A good instrumental, with no solos or difficult section but only atmosphere achieved through sonic experience. Good song.

For Someone (8/10) To close the album we got an acoustic "ballad" with the singer lamenting over guitars. Nostalgic, brief ending to a somber yet inspiring piece of music.

All in all, a terrific album, not perfect for me as I don't like the retro production that much and as I don't particularly love a couple of the songs. But the best tracks are of the highest quality, and deserve the categorization of ART ROCK as much as any.

Recommended for: fans of atmospheric, gloomy, dark rock; fans of King Crimson; fans of good music of any kind.

Not recommended for: People looking for virtuosity or displays of technique; nor for people looking for violence; and, specially, people looking for music to lift up their spirits.

.the suffering here really comes FROM WITHIN.

The T | 4/5 |

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