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Anekdoten - From Within CD (album) cover

FROM WITHIN

Anekdoten

 

Heavy Prog

4.15 | 273 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

fuxi
Prog Reviewer
4 stars What's this? The CD cover is dark, the CD itself is dark, the band members dress in dark, the band's lyrics are dark - I guess this must be... Dark Prog!

Once again Anekdoten have tried to make an album that lies somewhere between Joy Division's CLOSER and 1970s King Crimson at their gloomiest, and once again one must admit they've succeeded. From Joy Division they inherited stately, funereal tempos; plangent, dirge-like vocals; Bible-black lyrics and a prominent, rumbling bass. (It is, of course, entirely possible they weren't influenced by Joy Division directly; they may have listened quite a lot to intermediate bands I know very little about, such as Soundgarden or Sonic Youth.) From Crimso they inherited, above all, (well, apart from that rumbling bass which may remind you of John Wetton) Bob Fripp's assonant guitar excursions and a penchant for glorious pseudo-orchestral mellotron climaxes. Indeed, by now Anekdoten are absolute, unrivalled MASTERS of the Mature Mellotron Climax; whenever they insert one of those, it's a joy... I can see only one point where the band get it wrong, and it comes at the start of their second number, 'Kiss of Life'. If your opening tune ('From within') ends majestically, surely it's a mistake to open the next track with exactly the same sound and in the very same key?

Anyway, several of the tracks here belong to the best I've ever heard from this band. 'Hole' and 'Slow Fire', in particular, are two pieces every prog lover should hear. Anekdoten achieve an emotional intensity which is rare in prog - and thank heaven they do this without resorting to growling, shrieking or any other types of intimidation. I also find it remarkable that their music is so restrained and free of empty virtuosity: every note helps determine the album's mood. Twenty years ago who could have predicted such mature prog would emerge out of Scandinavia? You could argue, of course, that all the wallowing in darkest melancholy seems a little 'adolescent', but compared to certain other bands (Radiohead, for example), the gloom is never 'in-yer-face'. And time after time, those magical mellotrons save the day! I'm keen to explore Anekdoten's other work.

fuxi | 4/5 |

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