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Anekdoten - Until All The Ghosts Are Gone CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.14 | 678 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Since the early 90's, Swedish band Anekdoten have delivered a series of melancholic Mellotron fuelled heavy prog albums, and their latest release `Until All the Ghosts Are Gone' is only their sixth studio album in 22 years. The band have never released anything close to a poor album, each one a honed progression and refinement of the previous work, always growing in confidence every single time. While `Ghosts' doesn't herald a massive change in direction, it moves on from some of the Alt/Indie rock experiments of previous discs `Gravity' and `A Time of Day' for something of a return to the earlier brooding lengthier moments of the albums before those (without the outright heavy King Crimson aping of their early days), and it quickly reveals to be their most dense, mature and even subtle release to date.

Opener `Shooting Star' instantly pleases with heavy gutsy guitar bursts, slinking bass, Hammond organ ripples and that searing Mellotron that's the Anekdoten trademark, and despite being loaded with lengthy instrumental passages, it features an early killer chorus that roars like a chest-beating anthem. Some of the twisting riffing guitar moments over eerie electronics remind of the recent Opeth albums (unsurprising to find an ex-member of that band Per Wiberg guesting here on organ), and the opening electronic drone is the hint of a direction that the band should explore more often in the future! A plodding heaviness pervades `Get Out Alive', and Anna Sofi Dahlberg's softly groaning cello in the finale is sophisticated and grand without being overwrought. `It Comes Down To You' is an instant Anekdoten classic, as surprisingly romantic and warm as the band can get with gorgeous chiming guitars, a calming vocal from Nicklas Barker with a wistful lyric and a reflective flute solo from guest Theo Travis, it's sure to become a favourite amongst fans.

Founding member, bass player and original main vocalist Jan Erik Liljestrom takes his sole lead vocal on `Writing on the Wall', driven by weeping sombre Mellotron but with a few scorching devilish twists to make it truly infernal and overwhelming! Cello, flute and 'Tron weave together throughout the gloomy title track, and instrumental `Our Days Are Numbered' is a thrilling finale. Mellotron alternatively swoons with orchestral-like flair and slices like a razor, the bass rattles and pulses with purpose, guitars wail histrionically, Peter Nordin's snappy drumming holds down dark grooves and Gustav Nygren's unhinged saxophone blares with dirty debauched unease.

As always, the vinyl length format the band adopts means the album stays at a reasonable length and never allows any filler moments to sneak in, just six extended atmospheric pieces and not a wasted second. The status Anekdoten now hold these days in progressive rock circles is well deserved, and it's also refreshing to find a band that takes their time with each work, not putting out product every single year to fill a gap, instead patiently releasing superior musical statements that make for yet another superb addition to their small but precious catalogue of work.

`Until All The Ghosts Are Gone' is a crowning achievement for Anekdoten, one of the absolute standout progressive rock albums of 2015, and sure to feature highly in the end of year Top Ten lists.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |


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