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Anekdoten - Vemod CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.05 | 440 ratings

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5 stars What will be the status of Anekdoten in the year 2025, 10 years after their latest (or last) effort entitled Until All The Ghosts Are Gone. Will this Swedish prog formation be remembered as legendary Nineties Skandinavian progressive rock? Or as a very good prog band, but too derivative? If I take a look at this website I notice that Anekdoten was a highly acclaimed band between 1993 and 2015 (all albums around a 4 star rating) but then Anekdoten gradually turned from highly acclaimed into pretty overlooked. The reason for this intro is the fact that I recently watched Anekdoten live footage on the Internet, and again I got very excited about their music. I decided to play their praised debut CD entitled Vemod, this title is close to the Dutch word 'weemoed' and also means 'melancholical mood', a strong indication for the Anekdoten sound.

1. Karelia - instrumental (7:20) : What a legendary Mellotron intro, especially when the violin section joins, goose bumps! Then the music explodes with a propulsive, powerful and dynamic rhythm-section and fiery electric guitar, early King Crimson rules, very exciting. The music frequently alternates between dreamy and bombastic, this creates a lot of tension in the music, embellished with wonderful work on the Mellotron and the cello by Anna Sofi Dahlberg.

2. The Old Man and the Sea (7:50) : More KC inspired prog, the drummer shines with his inventive play and assorted percussion, and the bass growls, very powerful. The English vocals sound inspired, the focus is on emotion, from dark to fragile, but at some moments the singer lacks a bit power. The bombastic and heavy outbursts are awesome, with Mellotron choirs, 'Red meest ITCOTCK', how thrilling! The mellow parts delivers subtle piano work, again creating lots of tension.

3. Where Solitude Remains (7:20) : A heavy and bombastic atmosphere, fuelled by an agressive bass sound and embellished with Mellotron layers, this is trademark Anekdoten. Then dreamy with Mellotron flutes and melancholical vocals. Halfway a great build-up with howling guitar and Mellotron floods, supported by an awesome rhythm-section!

4. Thought in Absence (4:10) : The music turns into mellow featuring a jazzy guitar and fragile vocals. In the end subtle piano and gentle electric guitar runs, simply wonderful.

5. The Flow (6:58) : An intro with sound effects (Genesis with The Waiting Room comes to my mind), then biting Fripperian guitar, a thunderous rhythm-section and Mellotron flutes. The distinctive melancholical vocals match with the dark and compelling atmosphere, topped with majestic Mellotron violins and dark cello work. In a propulsive and heavy, catchy beat we can enjoy a distorted cello solo and Fripperian guitar runs, fiery and biting, like a musical chainsaw! The final part is bombastic with a heavy cello solo, an adventurous part.

6. Longing (4:50) : Another mellow track, with tender classical guitar and cello, evoking a very melancholical atmosphere. To me it sounds like sublimating deep sorrow, very emotional. And what a huge contrast with all those heavy, bombastic and agressive parts on this album.

7. Wheel (7:52) : A bombastic Mellotron drenched atmosphere with powerful drum beats, then mellow with cello and a bit high pitched duo vocals (male and female), pretty hypnotizing and dark. Halfway agressive work on guitar and bass, blended with Fripperian guitar, powerful bass lines and a flugelhorn solo, like the more avant-garde side of King Crimson. The music explodes again with biting electric guitar (overdubs) and a powerful and dynamic rhythm-section, and in the end the flugelhorn, a strong musical idea.

8. Sad Rain (10:14) : I bought the Japanese 1995 CD version because of this mindblowing bonus track, to me it sounds as Anekdoten its dark answer to the titletrack of ITCOTCK. The music starts with a slow and bombastic atmosphere with wonderful Mellotron violins, then dreamy with twanging guitar and tender vocals. The exciting contrast between the dreamy and bombastic parts is the perfect formula in this epic composition, topped by majestic Mellotron violins and flutes. Halfway the music gradually culminates in a very compelling 'grand finale' featuring the Mighty Tron in its full splendor, wow, this is Prog Heaven, goose bumps!

I have always had mixed feelings about Classic Prog band King Crimson: I love their melodic and harmonic work, and I dislike their more experimental and avant-garde compositions. Well, Anekdoten started as a King Crimson cover band, and I am very pleased that on this first effort they have blended the melodic and harmonic elements of the more mellow King Crimson album ITCOTCK and the more agressive and dark album Red. This has resulted in very dynamic, contrasting and compelling music, topped with wonderful work on the unsurpassed Mellotron. So a big hand for Anekdoten their debut album, for me a masterpiece of Nineties Skandinavian prog, along with the first albums of contemporaries Landberk and Anglagard!

TenYearsAfter | 5/5 |


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