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Anekdoten - Chapters CD (album) cover

CHAPTERS

Anekdoten

 

Heavy Prog

4.00 | 52 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Being the kind of person who usually enjoys listening to songs on albums in the order they were intended there is normally little incentive for me to buy compilations. Now and again though one will come along that is a must because of rarities and unreleased tracks etc. Such an album is Chapters from Swedish proggers Anekdoten. Beautifully packaged in a double digipak format it's a 2 cd set that spans their entire career.

Anekdoten started life in the early nineties playing King Crimson covers and their own material was highly influenced by Crimson, at least to begin with. The powerful and dynamic rhythm section of Peter Nordins (drums) and Jan Erik Liljeström (bass) are complimented by the haunting keyboard sounds (the wonderful mellotron more often than not) of Anna Sofi Dahlberg as well as her occasional use of cello and guitarist Nicklas Barker (formerly Berg) with a style ranging from powerful riffs to subtle, delicate picking. Melancholic vocals are handled by Barker and Liljeström with occasional help from Dahlberg.

Musically Anekdoten range from the incredibly heavy to quiet sublime moments often in the same song giving them an extremely dynamic sound. As already mentioned, Crimson were a big early influence though they always stamped their own identity on their music and after the first couple of albums their music displayed these influences less and less over each subsequent release.

Of the previously released songs, any compilation is bound to bring up arguments about whether this or that track should have been included but the band have done a good job in selecting a broad section of material. I would have included the hypnotic Hole but it's of little matter as I already own all the studio albums. All albums are covered though strangely nothing appears from Nucleus except in demo form. Most of the previously released material appears on the first disc covering their last 3 studio albums which it would appear are the bands favourites. 2 tracks from Vemod appear on disc 2.

Of most interest to fans who own their 5 studio albums already is the wealth of unreleased material. Closing disc 1 is When I Turn, an old song which the band never felt they could do justice to due to problems playing the piano part. Finally it has been completed with help from Per Wilberg of Opeth fame. It finds the band in restrained ballad mode, keyboards and vocals only and is a lovely piece.

Disc 2 opens with Sad Rain, a song that was only previously available on the Japanese version of their debut album Vemod. It's an alternative mix that appears here and well worth having. Less bombastic than much of their early material, it treads the same ground as In The Court Of The Crimson King and is a beautifully melancholic song drenched in mellotron.

3 songs appear in demo form from Nucleus; the title track, Book Of Hours and This Far From The Sky. Not surprisingly, none of them are an improvement on the album versions but offer an interesting alternative. Likewise with the 2 demo tracks that appeared on A Time Of Day, 30 Pieces and Prince Of The Ocean.

Chapters makes an excellent introduction to Anekdoten for the uninitiated but equally worth getting hold of by existing fans for the unreleased demos and rarities. They're onto a winner with this one.

Nightfly | 4/5 |

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