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Anekdoten - Chapters CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.05 | 72 ratings

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4 stars I will start off by saying that this is not a new full-length CD - though all of you probably know this because of how progarchives organizes albums into their proper categories - but instead a kind of 'Best of' album and an extra disc that contains mostly demos of songs already available on other studio releases, with the exception of an unreleased track on the first CD and original cuts from the Vemod album.

As a ' best of ' album I have to say that the selections here are pretty representative of each album. 3 of the 4 tracks that are provided by this website are included on disc one and I remember it was those tracks that made me an instant Anekdoten fan. The first disc may seem a bit biased since 8 of the 11 songs come from the last 2 full studio albums: Gravity and A Time of Day. Despite this with the two discs combined feature every Anekdoten album.

---------------- Disc 1: ----------------

1: Ricochet - This is an unbelievably positive song from a normally melancholic Anekdoten; this is a cut from the 'Gravity' album, an album that has many Anekdoten fans divided. Personally it is one of my favorite songs in Anekdoten's repertoire and off of the album. Anna Sofi exchanges the cello for a farfisa organ, but just as always she is at the fore and uses it to the utmost. It is recommended that everyone interested in Anekdoten hear this song since it shows a different side of Anekdoten.

2: The Great Unknown - Another great selection. This is the track that makes you proud to own Anekdoten's latest album: Great intro guitar riff, organ, mellotron, flutes and atmosphere abound. The juxtaposition of this track and the previous track 'Ricochet' reveal the many facets of Anekdoten.

3: From Within - This track features vocals from guitarist Nicklas Barker and from the same guy, some of Anekdoten's most obscure riffing. Anyone who likes a creeping mellotron will instantly like this track. And again, great selection considering the first two tracks.

4. In For A Ride - An interesting selection for a record like this one. Like Ricochet, this song stands out quite a bit from Anekdoten's normal song structure: it is the fastest Anekdoten song that I know of, and contains one of the most upbeat riffs and drumming. This is not a negative thing, but helps you to understand their early psychedelic influences (Syd Barrett Pink Floyd, Amon Düül) and perhaps, even slightly, some of their more straight ahead rock and metal influences such as Motörhead. With this in mind though, Anekdoten also twist and turn this one even including a section that I could only best describe as being in a submarine near the abyssal plains at the bottom of the ocean.

5. The War Is Over - The band had shot a video of this song in the Swedish archipelago and for good reasons. It is a song that features the acoustic guitar as the rhythm and lead and with that, the versatility of the guitarist Nicklas. Again, the more psychedelic influences show up in this track.

6. Monolith - The track title says it all.

7. A Sky About To Rain - Absolutely beautiful mellotron, perhaps some of the most emotive (what about this instrument cannot be emotive?). Great clean guitar intro, but contains one of the heaviest riffs Nicklas has written and an interesting solo by Anna Sofi. Also a quirky lyrical passage "Then you asked me how this came to be A quite selective memory In what dirty river did you find the water that would make you lose your reflection?"

Not necessarily the words themselves, but rather the inflection used on the word 'reflection' and the fact that the rhyming verses crumble with that one lyric.

8. Every Step I Take - Beautiful keys and the closest thing Anekdoten have ever come to post-rock (think Explosions In The Sky); the only thing more that needs to be said about this track is that like on the CD "A Time of Day" this track immediately follows the last track, 'A Sky About To Rain'. The tracks combine without you noticing.

9. Groundbound - An extremely Fripp-ish discordant and frightening track. Mellotron does it again, but also spooky Rickenbacker bass from Jan Erik.

10. Gravity - title track with incredible lyrics. The voice is what really gets me about this track, trembling and melancholic. It's another rocker too.

11. When I Turn - An unreleased track. Anekdoten is notorious for using keys, but never the grand piano. Well this track features it (more of it on the second disc played by Per Wiberg of Opeth on their first album). Anna Sofi's wonderful talent is fully expressed here as the grand piano, organ and mellotron crescendo into something heavenly, kind of reminiscent of the experimental works from Ulver.

-------------------- Disc Two: --------------------

1. Sad Rain - The first Anekdoten composition every written and probably one of their best. This song is only included on the Japanese release of their first studio album, Vemod.

2. Wheel - Wow this track is different. The most avant-garde track off of the dreadful, the beautiful, Vemod. To my knowledge it is the only Anekdoten track that actually features a horn solo (trumpet I think and 2 of them at that); and with an 'evil' Rickenbacker bass backing. Vocals from Anna Sofi as well, eerie.

3. The Old Man And The Sea - King Crimson 'Red' era with a touch of Larks' Tongues In Aspic, but also distinctly Anekdoten. Beautiful cello, and maybe the first time you here cello on this compilation, also Per Wiberg on the grand piano.

4. Nucleus (demo) - An incredibly stripped down version of this unbelievably adept and intelligent song. The original is still on of my favorite Anekdoten tracks and a favorite for introducing people to 'strange music'. I like this version alright, though it pales in comparison to the original. Still a great look into the primordial mold of this song.

5. Book Of Hours (demo) - A track that seems heavily influenced by early Pink Floyd (after Syd Barrett but before Dark Side Of the Moon). I do not know how different this one is from the original, from what I hear it is pretty similar.

6. This Far From The Sky (demo) - More of that wonderful King Crimson influence. Absolutely scathing.

7. 30 Pieces (demo) - Pretty true to the original recording off of their latest ' A Time Of Day '. I would suggest hearing the album version as this one does not yet include the flute solo from Gunnar Bergsten - an absolute must. Some of my favorite drumming from Peter Nordin, but again more developed on the actual album.

8. Prince Of The Ocean (demo) - Brooding; in a good way of course!

This review is an Anekdoten fan's review, but I will own up to it. I would recommend this as a great introductory album for someone who wants to hear the best of what Anekdoten has to offer. The re-mastered version of Nucleus contains the better portions of the songs on disc two; the same can be said for the other two songs from ' A Time Of Day ' off of disc two. Overall, I recommend this album with 4 stars, a rating that I would give all of the Anekdoten studio albums.

WillieThePimp | 4/5 |


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