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Anekdoten Nucleus album cover
4.02 | 456 ratings | 41 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nucleus (5:13)
2. Harvest (6:57)
3. Book of Hours (9:59)
4. Raft (0:59)
5. Rubankh (3:25)
6. Here (7:26)
7. This Far from the Sky (8:50)
8. In Freedom (6:32)

Total Time 49:21

Bonus track on 2004 remaster:
9. Luna Surface (6:41)

Bonus tracks on 2020 remaster (CD only):
9. Nucleus (demo) (5:47)
10. Book of Hours (demo) (9:36)
11. This Far from the Sky (demo) (9:15)

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicklas Berg / guitar, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, pump organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Anna Sofi Dahlberg / cello, Mellotron, vocals
- Jan Erik Liljeström / bass, vocals
- Peter Nordins / percussion

- Helena Källander / violin
- Tommy Andersson / Fender Rhodes (2), co-producer

Releases information

Artwork: Teolinda with Tomas Nyberg (photo)

CD Virtalevy - VIRTA 002 (1995, Sweden)
CD Musea - FGBG 4165.AR (1995, France)
CD Arcàngelo - ARC-1002 (1995, Japan)

LP Record Heaven - RHPD 9 (1996, Sweden)
LP Gates Of Dawn - GOD 003 (1996, US)
MC Prog Rock Music - PRM 036 (1996, Poland)

CD Virtalevy - Virta 002 (2004, Sweden) Remastered by Christoffer Stannow with 1 bonus track
CD Arcàngelo - ARC-1074 (2004, Japan) Remastered by Christoffer Stannow with 1 bonus track

CD Arcàngelo - ARC-1002 (2008, Japan) Papersleeve reissue

LP Virtalevy - VIRTA LP002 (2014, Sweden) Remastered by Christoffer Stannow, Limited edition

CD Kscope - KSCOPE657 (2020, UK) Remastered by Hans Fredriksson with 3 bonus tracks
LP Kscope - KSCOPE1057 (2020, UK) Remastered by Hans Fredriksson

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ANEKDOTEN Nucleus ratings distribution

(456 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ANEKDOTEN Nucleus reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After such a stunning debut album, Anekdoten was certainly looking to expand on their previous . and with Nucleus, the group certainly takes a bold and daring bet, delving in sombre violence, erasing much of the debut's quiet melancholy. Right from the gloomy and menacing eyeball staring at us, we are uneased and pushed by an evident discomfort, as the industrial desert landscapes of the booklet (coupled with the doomed music) are not given us a moment of respite, taking us to the depths unsuspected of their lunacy. Whatever natural elements presented in the artwork seems to have mutated after having survived a nuclear blast, even the pretty butterfly looks menacing and the mushrooms poisonous or radioactive. One of the characteristics of this album is Anna-Sofi's rarer use of the cello (compared with the debut) and she spends much time on the most menacing and oppressive mellotron layers, whiler Nicklas Berg handles a bunch of keyboards.. There is much less overt soloing on this album as well, the group being content on a superb tightness.

Starting off with the atrociously-torn and twisted climates of the title track and its follow-up Harvest is anything but pastoral, plastered with violence, spewing from every pore of the your speakers. Then comes the lengthy Book Of Hours where the violence segues into a slow angst that crescendoes slowly (the first movement Pendulum Swing) to reach havoc with a restrained anger (the second movement The Book, the mellotron-laden finale). The short Raft and Rhubank (both instrumentals) allows you to rest and recuperate while keeping the oppressive climate on the full blast position. In the later Anna-Sofi graces us with a nice cello solo. We find again the cello (but in a drone lower layer) in Here, which is the album second highlight, where Nordhin's drums are distilling a bit of finesse in this brutal planet. The closing chords of here are ringing the end of the lull, as This Far From The Sky tears whatever's left of your eardrums and mess them up with an alternation of ultra-violent riffs and unsettlingly quiet interludes, Liljeström's singing imperturbably over both. The last track In Freedom is a bit over an anti-climax and not the best suited to close this album, IMHO.

This sophomore album is one of the most desperate I've been given to hear outside the Zeuhl-RIO realm, and many of the industrial-screaming-tearing-ripping-twisting climates are quite unnerving. To save this album being labelled neurotic and depressive, it is a good thing that the album's two longer tracks are the most accessible, but this album is not to be listened when feeling depressing: it could lead to drastic acts. The album's feeling was strongly reinforced by the first concert of theirs that I saw, organised by a friend in a Brussels dive/ruin called Le Sud with Finnegans Wake's Henry Krutzen came to play the sax on a few tracks including some Crimson covers.

Review by The Owl
5 stars Form the first scrapings of metal strings, you know this is NOT going to be some flowery dungeons 'n dragons prog outing.

Anekdoten, while being heavily influenced by Starless or Red-period King Criomson takes great pains to NOT be a clone. Instead, they manage to transcend their influences more times than not.

Overall, the majority of "Nucleus" presents a sometimes barely controlled maelstrom of harsh dissonances occasionally counterbalanced by fragile beauty (evidenced in songs like "Here", "This Far From The Sky"). The relentless heaviness is the product of the rhythm section of Peter Nordins (frums) and Jan Erik Liljeström's angry, distorted Zeuhliish bass. This is counterbalanced by the layers of Mellotron (played by both Nickolas Berg and Ani Sophia Dahlberg) stern piercing guitar (here, notable for its restraint from showy pyrotechnics) and haunting cello lines. The overall mood is somber and at times despairing, but yet oddly beautiful at times. The final track "In Freedom" bears out this dichotomy rather beautifully with haunting, longing major-key overdubbed cellos set against minor-key guitar figures and hazy Mellotron vibes (a rather arresting sound that doesn't get used a lot by 'Tron fanatics).

If Anekdoten could be faulted for anything, it would be the vocals. They're not bad or unbearable by any stretch but they're not exactly commanding or compelling either. In the overall picture though, this is a mionor quibble as there is plenty or instrumental and compositional variety and brilliance to go around.

If you're in the mood for something relentless and intense, this is your ticket. However, don't listen if you're despairing or about to hang yourself.

Review by Dick Heath
5 stars Simply my favourite prog album of the 90's. However, it isn't for the fainthearted and before you listen to this album I recommend you first test the water with Anekdoten's offical debut album "Vermod". (But don't go to "From Within" just quite yet). Anekdoten first formed as a Krimson tribute band - there is a demo cassette doing the rounds, with precursors for "Vermod" and 3 or so Krimson covers; the recording predating "Vermod". "Vermod" itself is clearly derived from classic Krimson circa 1974, but with added Swedish melocholia, cello and a touch of grunge, which might have made Kurt Cobain happy.

"Nucleus", their second album finds Anekdoten starting to put some clear water between their music and Krimson. Musically, their sound had both become significantly more gut-punching and cerebral simultaneously, without full abandoning the Krimson roots. They had found a rich vein of music only partially mined by Fripp and Co. in the mid 70's, and here with refining and processed in Anekdoten's particular way, giving something new. The tunes are more angular and angry - there are sudden changes within a piece, a startling whistle maybe used to mark such a change. As such Anekedoten seem to have found the liberty to be experimental. They are loud and heavy, driven by bass and drums, while a little lightness is given with mellotrons and cello infills. "Nucleus" is a heavy album, with only a little light relief from its stridency. In comparison, the next studio album " From Within" is a more mature album with much more light and shade.

Brilliant - a word that should not be used too often - and an album I keep going back to hear more.

Footnote: I reckon if you like Anekdoten then you may have problems with the tireder neo-prog of the likes of Spocks Beard.

Review by progmonster
4 stars I've been told that Anekdoten feels uncomfortable with that one nowadays. And the other albums that followed this one actually tend to prove it. There's anger, passion, frustration, a clear sense of danger and urgency in "Nucleus" that makes it not only a fantastic prog album, but plainly a great rock album. Sometimes good things occurs in bad situations ; "Nucleus" is a flawless living proof.
Review by loserboy
4 stars Sandwiched somewhere in the prog-metal, avant-prog school of genre categorization comes ANEKDOTEN's second and IMHO most complete work "Nucleus". Musically this band show no sign of anything but high adrenaline performance skills and although have a strong tendency towards an aggressive style on this album, also behave in contrast with mellotron led interludes and passages that ebbs and flow. Up and down , high and low . this is the trade mark of "Nucleus" and in many ways plays out like Japan's "Happy Family" with hard, crazy hectic musical explosions and highly controlled passages. I guess by nature it is hard not to draw some similarities between KING CRIMSON (aka "Red" era) and ANEKDOTEN. Guitarist Nicklas Berg's does play in a FRIPP-like manner at times and musically their songs act in the mid CRIMSON period flavour.

Their originality is branded in their mix of Scandanavian folk and avante-garde prog-metal. Line up is Peter Nordins (percussion), Jan Erik Lijestroem (bass, vocals), Nicklas Barker (guitars, clavinet and voice) and Anna Sofi Dahlberg (cello, Mellotron, voice). Those lucky enough to own the Arcangelo Record remastered version will immediately hear the major sound improvement in the re-mastering and according to liner notes ANEKDOTEN were never really pleased with the original sonically and this is a major improvement. Also with this version is an additional and awesome tune "Luna Surface" which was cut from the original line up and now has accurately been placed on the album as originally intended.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Anekdoten was previously King Edward - a band that was formed in the vein of King Crimson. The arrival of keyboardist / cellist Anna Sofi Dahlberg remarked the change of band's name to Anekdoten. Guitarist Nicklas Berg and drummer Peter Nordins were previously members of the Manson Family Band - a band with roots in psychedelic vein; influenced by Cream and Jimi Hendrix. Not a lot that we knew the music of King Edward. It seems only one song "Sad Rain" that appeared on the Japanese version of Vemod., the band's debut album (1993). Vemod is a Sweden word that means "melancholy" and basically represented the band's music. Nucleus is second album that has pushed the melancholy mood further into a darker - and a bit harder - music with more complex composition. Nucleus is truly a prog album with variety of styles and frequent tempo changes. Peter Nordins' drumming style is excellent. His snare drum sounds like Bill Bruford's.

Nucleus opens the album with a fast tempo music at its intro part with a distorted guitar work, solid bass line, heavy mellotron sounds and dynamic drumming in noisy style but it's nice. It turns into quieter passage with bass and drum to accompany vocal part. Having done the quiet passage the vocal turns louder with the music in faster tempo and it returns back to quieter mood with solid bass line. I observe the drumming beats are so dynamic. I love Nordins' drumming style! Cello is sometimes used to accentuate transition parts or during the singing line. It's a beautifully composed music with a hard driving rhythm and dark mood. It's gonna be tough for those who are new to this kind of music. But for those who've been familiar with King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator sounds would love this track.

Harvest begins with an ambient keyboard followed with a vocal part in mellow style, in the vein of Hammil's. Drum work enters the music into a faster music in relatively complex composition with distorted guitar, dazzling bass lines and dynamic drumming. It turns quiet whenever vocal enters the music. Oh man . I love Peter Nordins' drumming style! Awesome! The vocals are also superb. This track has a rich combination between loud and quiet passages, high and low points with an intense influence from King Crimson.

Book of Hours was I thought a reminiscent of King Crimson's Book of Saturday with a melodic and mellow style. In fact, it's totally different kind of music. It starts off with solid bass lines and drum beats that accompany the keyboard exploration in relatively long duration. The mellotron sounds gradually enter this long opening in a nice way. As the music flows steadily, the drumming increases its variations firmly. The long opening then turns into a more complex texture combining guitar and bass accentuated with drumming. It then turns into a quieter passage with drum beats and bass lines to accompany voice line. I do really enjoy the transition piece to this voice line - it provides a great musical nuance. The ending part demonstrates a complex combination of guitar, mellotron and bass guitar, followed with a quieter passage that accompany vocal. An excellent prog tune. It's truly prog man!

Raft is a one minute track that comprises guitar exploration in Fripp's style that sets an atmosphere for the next track. Rubankh is an instrumental piece that explores great drumming, stunning distorted guitar, excellent cello augmented with inventive bass lines. This track is probably far from being melodic, but it has a very tight composition and strong song writing.

Here begins with a combination of cello and keyboard sound that accompany a voice line augmented with percussives. It's melodic singing part reminiscent of Hammil's style. Cello sound accentuates the textures of this opening. The music turns a little bit louder with more energetic singing, projecting the dark image of the song. Violin / cello solo in the middle of the song is stunning and produces a killing melody! Oh man . it's killing me really .. These guys are truly masters of melodic dark music! I'm really impressed with this song. As this song mostly explores vocal and violin / cello sounds, the drum mixing has been made thinly. Even the drum song is different with other tracks. A great track!

This Far From The Sky starts off with a complex music an it suddenly turns into quieter passage with bass guitar and keyboard, soft drum beats. It turns into a louder music and returns back into quieter passage with soft guitar fills to accompany voice line. The mellotron sounds produce melodic and dark sounds. The structure of this song is relatively complex; in some part it produces simple and nice combination of guitar and bass lines and the other part it provides a complex sounds of multi-instrument. The lyrical part produces a melodic sound augmented with a catchy mellotron sounds. It's an excellent composition.

In Freedom opens with a bit of jazzy style as it is characterized by the guitar fills. It flows into a melodic singing part in dark nuance, accentuated by the sounds of violin / cello. Overall, this is a mellow track exploring the sound of violin / cello and some mellotron.

Only one thing that I think is lacking from this album, overall, i.e the sonic quality. It's not that bad but I think it's not as clear as I expect. It bothers me during the parts where the music is complex with some distorted sounds from guitar or mellotron / keyboard. Their third album From Within that I reviewed last year has much better sonic quality. But, put aside the sonic quality / production, this album has a superb composition, and flawless performance. And, for this album I wanna give a rating that excludes the sonic quality. That's why it deserves five stars rating. Keep on proGGin' .!!!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The few years between Anekdoten's 1st and 2nd albums matured this promising band to the highest X.O. standard.

The overall feeling of the "Nucleus" album is violent, mystical and very emotional. The first track is a quite straightforward rocker, and in my opinion the poorest song on the album (still being quite ok, and one of their favorite live numbers). "Harvest" is then a very powerful schizoid song, with strong contrasts of calmness and disorder, beautifulness and horror, but all this still melting together as a compact, logical song. "Book of Hours" follows with this tendency, but with longer lines. First part of the song titled as "Pendulum Swing" has a nice idea, where the one and same continuous bass line ties together the guitar and mellotron chords, which swing around the central note, and bass also measures the rhythm where the drummer attacks upon. The following song is separated in two different tracks, where "Raft" works as an echoes of a closing-up storm, which is called "Rubankh". It sounds little like the most violent parts of King Crimson's "Fracture". "Here" brings a contrast to the overall aggressiveness of the album, as it is a very mellow and sad ballad (and very good also). "This Far from The Sky" continues the compositional ideas of the first cacophonic tracks, resembling the iconoclastic innovations of Van Der Graaf Generator. But somehow in the end, it doesn't fulfill all the promises which emerged during it, and it's ending seems little pathetic in a bad way. The final track "In Freedom" is a very beautiful song full of hope, and it also works as some kind of "relief chill-outer" after the psychedelic rollercoaster ride of this album. There's an interesting effect in vocals, as the first few phrases are sung by a solo male voice, but after few verses Ann-Sofi's vocals "sneak in" as a second voice. If you listen it casually, one could think there's just some kind of echo added to the vocals.

The only few things that lower this album's status for me are some compositional nuances on "This Far from The Sky" and the title track. And possibly too much listening of this record during the solitary nocturnal hours have also caused some inflation of it for me.

I have also checked out a picture vinyl version of "Nucleus", made by Record Heaven. I was amazed, as the "Raft - Rubankh" coupling is separated into different sides of the LP, breaking the compositional logics. This possibly reveals the state of piety, which was present at Record Heaven as they designed this "special release". There's also a remastered CD-version out with a bonus track "Lunar Surface", but I haven't heard that song myself yet.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars Edited Nov.6/08 This album has finally clicked with me ! About time I guess. I could never understand why so many people listed this record as their favourite ANEKDOTEN release until now. This is violent, grungy, brutal and dissonant, yet there are lots of mellow and pastoral sections that are mostly melancholic.The contrast is stark.This album was recorded at Studio Largen where both "Vemod" and the two ANGLAGARD albums were recorded. And yes ANEKDOTEN thank ANGLAGARD and LANDBERK in the liner notes.

"Nucleus" opens with experimental sounds before the angular guitars and pounding drums come crashing in, i'm sure this is what mayhem sounds like. Huge bass as the mellotron storms in. Things get quiet as the vocals come in, Nicklas and Anna sing the verses and Jan-Erik sings the chorus. Check out the awesome guitar assault around the 3 1/2 minute mark. "Harvest" features haunting melodies, and the music goes from mellow to heavy throughout this tune as Nicklas does the vocals. It opens with some atmosphere as reserved vocals come in. Cello follows then guitar, chunky bass and pounding drums smash their way in. It settles as this contrast continues. Love the vocals after 3 minutes. Check out the guitar before 4 1/2 minutes ! The vocals and sound 6 minutes in is fantastic as it builds in intensity. Mellotron ends it. Two amazing tracks but the next one is even better."Book Of Hours" is my favourite song on here. It opens with drums and I cannot express how much I like the sound of the atmospheric keys that come in. It's building slowly and mellotron comes in around 3 minutes. A full sound 4 1/2 minutes in. It settles quickly though as vocals arrive. A full sound again before 6 1/2 minutes as drums pound and the mellotron is at gale force. It settles down again with a haunting mood 8 minutes in.That is blown away by an explosion of sound a minute later. Incredible !

"Raft" is a haunting and experimental instrumental. It's like an intro to "Rubankh" which is the heaviest track on here. It's also an instrumental. So much bottom end on this one. There is a calm as mellotron floods the soundscape, but it doesn't last long as the powerful sound is back. "Here" is a really good, dark, melancholic song with restrained vocals and lots of cello. "This Far From The Sky" is another favourite of mine that has a frantic opening that quickly turns quiet, it's frantic again ! Angular guitar is followed by gentle vocals from Jan-Erik and beautiful mellotron. This song really sways back and forth from the violent assaults to the pastoral calms. Amazing track. "In Freedom" also features a lot of mellotron and cello, with Jan-Erik and Anna singing the lyrics. I like this one. The bonus track "Lunar Surface" is a spacey instrumental that doesn't vary much. It's a semi-improvised track that was recorded during the "Nucleus" sessions.

I admit I am an utter fanboy of this band. Masterpiece !

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Sheer sonic violence juxtaposed to delicate melodies abound in this excellent Swedish group's second release. The Crimson comparisons to are well-founded, but hardly do justice to Anekdoten's unique strengths. Fueled by a savage, devouring bass and sweeping mellotrons, "Nucleus" stands out as a great example of heavy art-rock, which maintains its fat sound and complex song structure without sounding pretentious or allowing themselves to experiment with alternate instrumentation-- such as cello and flute-- which really highlight the band's versatility and their more intense sections.

A may go out on a limb here and say that "Nucleus" may actually be better than the album whose comparison it can't escape (KC's "Red"), and say that it is more varied, more dynamic, and ultimately a more intense listen.

A great introduction to the world heavy progressive music.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following the path of splendorous melancholy and majestci density set by their fabulous debut album "Vemod", the Swedish ensemble Anekdoten managed to take a musica lstep forward with their sophomore effort "Nucleus", which I still today regard as their best album ever. The thing is that the band successfully enhanced their originally Crimson-meets-Gothic sound with the solid addition of 75-77 VdGG essences, avant- garde post-rock and even grunge (a genre that guitarist Nicklas Berg publicly celebrated in a favourite albums' list). The overall result meant the resolution of a more elaborated melodic approach and a more polished treatment of the repertoire's more languid moments, although it would be fair to note that none of this leads to a resignation on the Crimson-inspired neurotic delirium. This factos is still there, in your face, fillin the atmosphere with fire every time the guitar and the cello marry in an explosion sustained by the powerful and efficient rhythm duo. Many praises have gone for the particular labours of bassit Liljeström and drummer Nordins in other previous reviews, and they're not gratuituous at all - their input is full of creativity and intelligent complexity without letting go of their usual founding function. The album kicks off in an awesome incandescent mood with the eponymous title, a sonic fire briefly announced by the initial tuning of guitar and cello for the first five seconds. The presence of vocal passages during which the instrumentation gets a bit less loud only enhances the power of the instrumental moments. A bit less fierce but also a bit more complex, the second track 'Harvest' follows in the same vein of meditation and neurosis fused in one sole mental vibration. The 10- minute long 'Book of Hours' is the longest track in the album, mostly slow and moody. The combination of old (KC's 'Starless', VdGG's 'Still Life', Magma) and new (post-rock) makes this track display an effective sensation of renovation of an old art-rock tradition. The mellotron is both evocative and revealing in its absorbing, emotionally-charged textures, becoming the leading role in many ways. Nordins' drumming is also relevant, building its subtle dynamics in an incredible way. 'Raft' is a brief guitar soundscape that serves as a prelude to the energetic 'Rubankh': an impressive journey into the instrumental depths of Anekdoten. With 'Here' comes the album's first ballad: this is a moving declaration of affliction wrapped in a fog of deceiving tranquility. Awesome! The last ballad is the closer 'In Freedom', which, contrary to the aforesaid song, brings a message of emotional relaxation and serene optimism. The string section harmonies and the vibraphone touches are proper extensions of the song's idea. Right before 'In Freedom', 'This Far from the Sky' shows the band at its grungiest, but always bearing that Crimsonesque heritage and including softer moments as a source of old fashioned progressive contrast. Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is my all-time Anekdoten fave album, and generally speaking, an excellent item for any good art rock collection.

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars "Experimental and noisy", as my fellow Collab sinkadotentree says, it's even metalish sometimes. Far less enjoyable than any other release of them, Nucleus is still a solid one. With almost Post-Rocky "Book of Hours", almost alternative "Nucleus", almost jazzy "In Freedom" and almost genius "Here" album can please fans of many sides of Prog (even Zeuhl maniacs!), but it's a bit too diverse and eclectic. Anyway a strong effort and unescapable addition to any Art-Rock fan collection
Review by Flucktrot
2 stars Nucleus is decent when it rocks, but boring and irritating when it doesn't. I suppose that even the most hardened progger has a limit, and for me it's this. The lead singer is truly awful...he can keep a decent pitch (though he often deliberately chooses not to), but the apathetic tone and vibrato is really grating to my ears. This is violent, depressing and grating music: I'm rarely in a mood for music with those qualities, and I also wouldn't want to put myself there by cranking up Nucleus. Having said all that, there are plenty of redeeming qualities about this album as well, given a certain audience.

Nucleus, Rubankh. These are the two "rockers", and both hit you with full distorted bass, cello groans, and cannon-like drums for their duration. Noisy would be the best way to describe them, but they don't really sound original to me, given the Red period Crimson upon which they are heavily influenced.

Harvest, This Far from the Sky, Book of Hours. These tunes alternate between heavy, distorted parts and angsty, vocal/mellotron sections. I'm not terribly fond of any of them, though I as always with Anekdoten I enjoy the distorted bass.

Here, In Freedom. Thankfully, Anekdoten do deviate a bit from their noisy formula a bit, and these two pieces redeem the whole album for me. Here features absolutely gorgeous textured strings, and the vocals are more restrained and on a lower register, adding up to a uniquely melancholy and captivating song. In Freedom again utilizes the strings beautifully, except puts them under a bouncy, jazzy rhythm, and ends with a very effective die-down to close the album. The two album highlights for me.

To be honest, many parts of this album are often unbearable for me to listen. I like heavy music, especially when frequently drenched with mellotron, but the angsty and uneven vocal sections ruin more than a few of these songs for me (and I'm usually fairly forgiving with vocal distractions). I do have to respect the diversity and creativity though, and I also respect the band for their bold experimentation. Not highly recommended, unless you are familiar with some of their other work (Vemod would be a great start).

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It´s impossible not to think of King Crimson´s Red album when listening to Anekdoten´s Nucleus album. Nucleus is a very heavy album when it comes to bass and drums. The guitar plays lots of dissonant and strange things. What sets Anekdoten apart from the King Crimson shadow is the vocal melodies which doesn´t at all remind me of King Crimson. Nucleus is very mellotron laden and there are even cello and violin passages.

The term Heavy Prog has never been more true than here as many of these songs could have been heavy metal if the guitar had played power chords. Instead we get some very original prog rock.

The mood of the album is really dark and sad, which is something I like. No happy hippie S... here.

I think this is excellent prog rock, and something every prog head should check out. Not all will like this though, first of all because of the dissonant notes, and the lead singer Jan Erik Liljeström has a distinct and very special voice that takes some getting use to. The dark moods will probably scare some away too, but I´m sure others will like it just like me.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Anekdoten is digging deeper in the Crimson-esque sounds. Same sort of tortured, heavy and dark substance. They deliberately opted for a heavy, almost metal style for the title track.

At times too noisy for my ears, I'm afraid. To endure the cacophony of Harvest is rather challenging. Especially when you bear in mind that it started with an almost pastoral mood. Regressive work? Probably.

Some break during the suite Book Of hours. A moment of relief : quiet, dark, repetitive and building crescendo. Some sumptuous mellotron, great and impressive drumming. This is a fabulous piece of music for four minutes. It will then hesitate between Van Der Graaf Generator and Crimson again. One of the highlight, especially during the first movement Pendulum Swing.

I guess that Rubankh is another tribute to Crimson, but at this time of the album, I wonder where is the creativity of Anekdoten. Well hidden, that's a given!

Fortunately, another VDGG inspired song prevents this album from flooding. I like pretty much the very dark atmosphere of Here. Languishing, hesitant, melancholic. My favourite form this album but I am completely biased with Van Der Graaf, so.Great cello as well. A jewel of a dark song.

To be honest (as I always tend to be), I have to say that This Far From The Sky is a powerful number. Even if hard and complex (but the latter feature is an integrant part of this band), it holds certain magical atmosphere. The Red album influence can't be denied. But since it was one of my favourite Crimson release, I can't complain.

The whole of this work sounds as déjà vu. IMHHO, this band is quite overrated if you bear in mind that most of their work is derivative either from Crimson or VDGG. But still, Nucleus is a good album and deserves three stars as such.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What an absolutely stunning album this is! After Vemod, an incredible debut by anyone's standards, Nucleus released in 1995 is even better. Taking their King Crimson inspired template, this time honed to perfection, the music is even more dynamic than Vemod, it's tighter and heavier too.

Title track Nucleus is a thrilling statement of intent as the listener is pummelled by the brutal rhythm section of Peter Nordins on drums and Jan Erik Liljeström's bass, one of the heaviest bass sounds ever. Nicklas Berg's discordant, angular riffing (in the best possible sense) and Anna Sofi Dahlberg's eerie, haunting mellotron providing the icing on the cake. Things quieten down for the vocals on the verse adding light and shade, another lesson Anekdoten have learned from King Crimson that to make your heavier bits sound even heavier you stick them next to something more mellow.

The hushed and calm tones of Book Of Hours demonstrate another Anekdoten strength where they lock into a repetitive and hypnotic groove, subtle changes and inflections for added interest as it slowly builds into another musical maelstrom. The track like much of the bands material is full of dynamics over its 10 minute length and one of the highpoints on an album brimming with them. The restrained beauty of Here is perfectly placed between the brutality of instrumental Rubankh and the opening of This Far From The Sky until as is often the way with Anekdoten things take a lull for the melancholic vocals.

The King Crimson comparisons are no doubt inevitable and can't be denied but Anekdoten take it further than Crimson could due to their untimely split at the peak of their game and also stamp their own identity on it, incidentally something they would do more and more on each subsequent release making the comparisons less obvious. But I digress as Nucleus is a very modern sounding album despite the obvious paradox of the heavy use of a vintage mellotron. 14 years after its release Nucleus still remains one of the most essential albums of the progressive genre, not just of recent times but of any decade since King Crimson opened the floodgates in 1969.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars On this album, their second, Anekdoten has made great strides to get away from sounding like King Crimson. By doing so, they have pushed themselves into more adventurous territories. The music is darker, louder, more distorted, and more raucus than on the first album, Vemod. While I like this album very much, at times the cacophony is a bit too much for my ears. And maybe my stereo. Some of the tracks, with distorted bass, guitar and mellotron all at once, sound like they are played through blown speakers. Not a pleasant listening experience.

The vocals on this album are a big step up from the first album. Where previously, singer Jan Erik Liljeström sounded quite a bit like Boz Burrell, he has now added dynamics and more interesting phrasing to his singing. The best comparison would be to Peter Hammill.

And don't worry, the Crimson influence is still discernable, but the band has used it as a starting point to develop their own unique sound.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by Moogtron III
4 stars This album is uncompromising and beautiful at the same time. Anekdoten is one of the Scandinavian bands which came up in the 1990's, which added a fresh breeze to prog. Well, breeze? Call it a storm, a tempest! One that you won't forget soon.

Yes, Anekdoten is a heavy band. The band is prog for sure, but there is also a clear element of metal, a grungy element to their music. Of course, this was that era in music, after some of the hollow sounding bands of the 1980's, where people were looking for autenthicity again. And you will find autenthicity in this group.

People often compare Anekdoten to King Crimson, but sure enough, that only says a litlle bit where the group stands for. The opening track, Nucleus, starts with some unstructured sounding noises, which makes you wonder what is going to happen the next few minutes. Suddenly the storm breaks loose with Metallica - like minimal barbarian guitar / bass riffs, though much deeper sounding, slower also, though that is not a pointer for having less strength: on the contrary. It is as if a force of nature (like an earthquake) sets the pace for the rest of the album.

Then comes the singing of Jan Erik Liljeström, and there is something unsettling in his voice, like the artwork of the cd booklet is unsettling (the artwork really is in touch with the music). Then for the chorus: (Well, chorus? Sort of... The music is too progressive for tags like verse and chorus) : Jan Erik's voice turns into a barbarian shouting.

If you never heard Anekdoten before, it may take some time to really appreciate them. If you are not afraid of a heavy prog group, and if your music doesn't have to be melodious all the time, then this may be a band for you. Because Anekdoten obviously is influenced by '90's metal. But they are so much more than your average metal / grunge band. There is a definitive Scandinavian touch in the music, hard to pin down but it's there.

Also, the music is often quiet as well. But don't hold "quiet" for "soft". Anekdoten is always powerful, even in their quiet moments. Anna Sofi Dahlberg's cello especially gives the music a certain extra, like in the magnificent closing song "In Freedom" (I haven't heard the 2004 remaster, so that's the closing song on my cd) . Also the use of mellotron and other keyboard instruments give the album a certain mystery.

The playing is wonderful, the production well suited for music like this, and the cd booklet is a treat in itself. Anekdoten really helped to take prog into a new era.

This album is truly progressive. Music like a barren landscape, but one in which you would like to reside from time to time. Ruthless and soaring at the same time.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nucleus is Vemod's companion album in every possible aspect. Most of the music stems from roughly the same period and the style is similar. I would have a hard time picking favourites between both but due to a few nice details I'd pick this one.

The early Anekdoten played a 90's version of Magma mixed with King Crimson's Red sound. Especially so in the heavy rhythm section with its high-tuned snare and thundering bass, also the mellotron and some of the chromatic guitar chords will bring KC to mind. On top of that you get some grungy power and Anekdoten's trademark smoky-dreamy vocals. The end result on Nucleus sounds very much like Anekdoten and like nothing else to me. It is more song-oriented then Änglagard and decidedly heavier and darker then Landberk.

The album boasts a number of powerful songs, or should I say that it doesn't contain anything but stellar music? The opener drives on a crashing bass groove and dissonant guitars and cello. Beautifully sad verses work against heavy breaks and spacey improvisations. Much more mature then the debut and one of my favourite Anekdoten tracks.

On Harvest and Book of Hours the King Crimson influences come to the fore but somehow they never sounded derivative to me. I believe Anekdoten managed to put some of their own identity into them. Raft / Rubankh adds some Magma to the Crimson stew. The kind aggressive bass playing here also makes me think of the bizarre punk of Nomeansno.

On Here and In Freedom they explore a softer style, something they would refine on their later albums, but also here, it is already very touching and accomplished. This Far From The Sky is probably the hardest track to get into. It has a very heavy and dissonant main theme and equally disharmonious quiet parts. This is not composed to make it easy for the listener but then, people with limited attention spans don't like prog anyhow.

My 2004 reissue adds the ethereal instrumental Luna Surface that was recorded during the Nucleus sessions, it's a non-melodious ambient piece that would have fitted well on the Morte Macabre's album, it's something inbetween KC's Moonchild and Can's sound experiments. Many will skip it but I think it fits this album very well.

Together with A Time of Day, Nucleus has proven to be the hardest Anekdoten album to get into for me, but of course the reward comes a hundredfold.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Indeed, to the hell with peace, embrace the violent chaos. As Dream Theater once said: "Systematic Chaos" (wait a minute, it was name of the album). Well, suddenly, my former rhetorical question rises again to prominence. Do you enjoy pain through suffering, or pleasure through suffering ? In first case, I'll redirect you to some Death Metal, but if you're the second case, let's keep track with your local generic vendor and seek, seek like a devil and find this album, grab it and run away (if you want to be dramatic, run without paying, but I can't recommend it, believe me, I've tried once).

So, this time we're far more experimental than before (and after), which somehow helps to stirr the waters, which would be sometimes better still (hello Robert Brown). And Rubankh reminding Anglagard's Hybris rough, wild and savage brother.

I say, why not, let it be insane album. And so it was, weirdness through back of your mind, fast forwarding sceneries of pure madness in contrast to short parts of calm oasis like Raff (I mean Raft, sorry, pun intended, otherwise, I would correct it).

Don't be fooled, this album does not give answer, only raises questions. But that's fine, because if you were able to get this album in 1995 (to be honest, I discovered it in 2009 ), you had a long time to think about it. Years to be correct. Were they worth ? They rather should be, as there's a lot of material to have thoughtful discussion, some mystical session with tea, smoking candles and so.

4(+) - prog for people who aren't easily aroused 4(-) - for other humans

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nucleus was my introduction to Anekdoten and their new imaginative take on the great music from the '70s. I heard this album almost five years after it's original release during my preparation for the concert I was attending at the time where they happened to be one of the supporting acts. At the time Nucleus was Anekdoten's "it" album since From Within was still relatively new and surprisingly I haven't heard any talk about Vemod. Originally I felt very indifferent to the music offered here mainly because I didn't enjoy the vocal performance and the quieter moments felt a bit too dark for my tastes. Luckily my opinion changed entirely after my first concert experience!

During Anekdoten's gig the band performed a few numbers from Nucleus like the ingenious title track and This Far From The Sky. Surprisingly the compositions didn't grab me as much as the band's stage presence that made the performance truly memorable. To this day I've had the privilege of experiencing three Anekdoten performances and I still consider my first encounter to be my personal favorite. Needless to say I just had to give this album more attention than what I have done to that point!

Nucleus features a weird mix of compositions and the overall mood of the record is very dark compared to anything else the band has released over the years. The highlights for me are the heavier compositions because, to be perfectly frank, I still struggle with many of these low key performances like Harvest and Here. The title track that opens the album is definitely my favorite composition closely followed by Rubankh and This Far From The Sky. The final track In Freedom gives a good indication of the direction the band will evolve towards over the course of the next couple of albums.

In conclusion Nucleus is one of the strongest albums in Anekdoten's discography but it's probably not the best introductory album since that title, in my opinion, is reserved for their excellent debut album.

***** star songs: Nucleus (5:13) Rubankh (3:25) This Far From The Sky (8:50)

**** star songs: Harvest (6:57) Book Of Hours (9:59) Raft (0:59) Here (7:26) In Freedom (6:41)

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Extreme virtuoso musicianship and dynamic atmospherics in the Nucleus

After a sensational masterpiece debut Anekdoten continue the trend for innovative creative prog on their 'Nucleus' album with a different lineup but the same melancholy dark sound that has earned them a place on the prog map. The purple eyeball stares at us from beyond a purple landscape as we hear the first metallic scrapings across a string and we are soon travelling into the strange world of Anekdoten; a dark world with despairing lyrics and intricate musicianship that rises and descends at intervals, you are never quite sure where the music will lead you, but it is never dull and brimming over with creativity.

The first track is intense, heavy and foreboding, with King Crimson angular guitar riffing as Fripp loves it, and a very deep bassline churns out. The unmistakeable sustained mellotron sound adds another dynamic. The drumming is very odd and off time sig but somehow enhances the sound. Finally the soft vocals chime in, reminding me of how Muse's singer croons: 'Beauty Sky, earth and moon always moving beating in tune, turning around, Reaching, drawn to the light, wanting, shooting into the night, glowing.' It is a heavier sound in the chorus than the debut and, as a result, rather disarming. A definitive highlight, the title track has everything for the prog addict, a sonic onslaught of guitars and then mellotron-soaked nuances of light and shade with extreme virtuoso musicianship. The instrumental has a freakout section of frenetic guitar chaos and it ends abruptly.

'Harvest' is another excellent track with strange thought provoking lyrics, 'Watching the world through the eyes of a child, Leaving the past behind me, Curiously peeping behind each door, Already longing for tomorrow, There's no need to fear as long as you're here.' The riffing on this is chaotic, speeding up and pulling back throughout. The track builds helped along by pronounced mellotron tones. The pace moves onto a 6/8 time sig and then a faster tempo with spacey guitar bends, that twist and turn along the scale until it breaks into an off tempo feel; the sound is gloomy but appropriate to the overall mood.

'Book of Hours' has a killer bassline that locks in as the mellotron sparkles along the scape. Sustained chords fill the atmosphere that becomes haunting and insidious. As sinister as the sound is, there is an uplifting chord progression with Frippian guitar and the vocals are sung at a higher octave range: 'There's no need to fear...' The instrumental break launches in to a half time feel sig and a very strong keyboard progression is played over a glissando guitar riff. 'All of the reasons were lost in the way...' croons Liljeström and we believe him, such is the conviction he conveys.

Another highlight is 'This Far From the Sky' with a crashing interlude of drums and guitar blazing at full speed. Then it lapses into a strange angular riff with accentuated licks and atonal mellotron pads that impale you to the wall. The vocals are again very melancholy and there is a minimalist feel in the verses with simple guitar arpeggios. There is a fantastic lengthy instrumental break with very heavy funk bass and sliding scales of Berg's guitar and Nordins' crashing drums. It is a much darker sound than the debut, heavier and unsettling nuances pervade the atmosphere. Some jungle effects are heard, a return to the debut album's 'The Flow'. The verses return later and the raucous chorus with orchestral shades streaming across; the end unleashes a great crescendo of sound. Wonderful.

'In Freedom' moves along nicely and the lyrics are again melancholy and downbeat: 'Come, step through my head again and show me where I stand, I need the aim to guide me, Leave the time that made the agony burn, Lift me up again, The road I thought I'd burned suddenly appearing out of the blue...' The cello is a contrasting instrument, similar to the debut, played with finesse by Anna Dahlberg. She really shines on this track also vocally, complimenting Liljeström, and reminding me of 'Wheel' from the debut. This is a quiet lullaby song but as a contrast to the hyper mayhem on the album it works.

Overall 'Nucleus' is another great album from Anekdoten to savour with much to offer the heavy prog/ symphonic progger, though this is not quite to the standard of debut 'Vemod', it is still a killer album with some of the best tracks from this innovative Swedish virtuoso band.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 4.5 stars really!

With Anekdoten's second effort, they reach to another level of sound, a lot more Avant Prog and Heavy Prog sounding and with some less noticeable King Crimson influences. "Nucleus" shows how quickly a band can reach a mature sound, even though the procedure definitely isn't completed yet. But there is no doubt saying that Anekdoten in 1995, three years after they're impressive debut, release their first masterpiece.

Whoever loved the debut is probably not going to enjoy this album as much, since it is very different: the atmosphere is a little more bizarre, the songs are veiled with paranoia and schizophrenia, especiallt in the title track.

This track in fact presents very heavy and strong bass lines, reaching only at times an hearable melody, and paranoid sounding vocals. Probably my favorite track.

"Harvest" is another weird song, with some nice and calm moments but always full of experimentation, like the bizarre sounding keyboards. Very interesting. "The Book Of Hours" is the longest song off the album. It starts very mellow, but then explodes very slowly, and in a way that really impresses me. after the one minute interlude, we have "Rubankh" a short instrumental with heavy moments and the usual crunchy bass guitar, but very interesting and with great performances by the individual musicians. "Here" is a very nice song, mellow, with some weirdness here and there, but still hearable and enjoyable. "This Far From The Sky" is just as heavy as "Rubankh" or the title track, but less appealing in my opinion. Indeed there are some appreciable passages and nice moments, but none of them can repeat the magic of the previous songs. "In Freedom" is a great closer, very calm, it pretty much has the same structure as "Here", but with less experimentation.

In conclusion, a near perfect masterpiece, a stunning work of a band that was slowly rising back in 1995. Now this band is considered one of the most important modern progressive bands, and this album is for sure one of the best modern Heavy Prog albums ever.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The Swedish quartet of Anekdoten is the perfect candidate for that otherwise arbitrary category here called Heavy Prog. And the band's second studio album, more than any other I've heard from them so far, is a particularly fearsome beast: brooding and aggressive from beginning to end (that's meant as a compliment, by the way).

The title track launches the album like a knife to the jugular, propelled by the meatiest bass guitar grunge since the mid-'70s prime of John Wetton. The similarity in style to "Starless"-era KING CRIMSON is hardly a coincidence, and the rest of the album adheres to the same malevolent formula, from the barely one-minute, formless improvisation of "Raft" to the ten- minute, two-part "Book of Hours".

The addition of a guest violinist alongside the melancholy cello of Anna Sofia Dahlberg does nothing to soften the mood. But as potent as it is, the music is also more than a little cold and clinical. This is a band with chops to spare, but (at least in this effort) lacking the heart to create an emotionally involving experience. The album works instead like an audio snapshot of northern Scandinavia in darkest midwinter, and the chill is almost too numbing at times.

Only twice does the onslaught relent: in the moody, moribund "Here", and in the unexpectedly wistful "In Freedom", closing the album in welcome contrast to the uncaged opening track. It's arguably the only genuine song on the entire album, and also the one number during which the insecure vocals of Jan Erik Liljeström (a much more assertive bass player) are matched to the yearning romanticism of a real melody. Elsewhere his amateur crooning doesn't fit the raw exposition of the music, and the English lyrics lack any local Scandinavian flavor, to say the least.

Still, any band taking its cues from the Crimson King gets my recommendation. But Anekdoten could, and in later albums would, do better.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Anekdoten's second album refines and focuses the approach of Vemod, taking the King Crimson-inspired style of that album and amping up the heavy, at points almost grungy guitar riffs. It's an intoxicating mix which at its best threatens to beat the 1990s King Crimson at their own game. There's still a mix of louder and quieter sections as on the debut, but this time around the quieter sections are a bit less inclined to drift off into a jazzy interlude. The end result is an album which does somewhat better than its predecessor at establishing an air of tension and pent-up energy that's unleashed in intricate instrumental workouts.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ''Vemod'' was shockingly good for the underground community of prog fans around early-90's , who waited for years for the ressurection of their beloved music.For Anekdoten this would be translated into a major tour around Europe - they visited Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Italy besides Sweden - and completed a transtlantic journey to the American grounds, highlighted by their performance at Progfest 94'.This gig would be part of both of the CD and Video formats of this festival by Musea Records.Next came the long-awaited second album of the band, recorded at the Studio Largen and released on Virtalevy in 1995 under the title ''Nucleus''.The same album was also released by Musea Records and the Archangel label for the Japanese market.

While using the same formula as on their debut, Anekdoten returned with an even heavier album, featuring some extreme guitar and bass parts, which usually led into an atmospheric lyricism.KING CRIMSON appear to be once more the center of their influences, the lovely and unique combination of complex guitar moves and powerful dissonances with the mellow lyrical parts had become a trademark of the band.''Nucleus'' seems to open a window into Alternative Rock paths at specific moments, the punchy guitar rhythms were a good reason for this change, but they still retained their genuine approach on Progressive Rock, as long as Berg and Dahlberg were handling the Mellotron and the cello respectively.While they sounded very modern, the use of analog keyboards, the KING CRIMNSON-ian atmospheres and the long instrumental parts with the orchestral overtones still showed some tight links to the vintage era.The Mellotron appears as a regular contributor in almost every track, complemented by occasional organ and electric piano washes, and the cello provides an even darker and more haunting taste to Anekdoten's music.The contrast between the sinister and complicated instrumentals and the ethereal, poetic vocals is always charming and the atmosphere at moments seems to enter a more dreamy and optimistic territory.Very good arrangements with impressive mood changes and the correct dose of prog complexity.

Similar to ''Vemod'', albeit a bit heavier, revisiting the old KING CRIMSON principles with a Scandinavian color of their own.Pretty personal style of atmospheric Heavy Prog, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

Review by FragileKings
4 stars It could be said that, more than anyone else, the Scandinavians instigated the prog revival of the 90's. Sure there were prog bands everywhere and prog metal bands had done well for themselves as the subgenre grew during the 80's. However, in Sweden and Norway several new groups formed with the expressed purpose of creating music with the same mindset as the classic groups of the 70's. One band to take a different direction, however, was Anekdoten.

Typically, the Scandinavian prog revival movement focused on symphonic prog and featured classic prog instruments such as Mellotrone and flute. Anekdoten went and took the Mellotrone and added some cello and violin, some gentle chimes and melancholy guitar and juxtaposed the whole deal with some frighteningly harsh and angular dissonant electric guitar and brutishly fuzz-toned bass.

The Wikipedia article on Anekdoten lists them as progressive rock, psychedelic rock, art rock, and early post- rock. I have also read them as being associated with progressive metal. You will certainly find elements from these subgenres throughout much of the album. The opening track, "Nucleus" features a bombast of churning aggression that might remind you of watching your living furniture turning in a room-sized clothes dryer, while "Rubankh" might been the audio equivalent of watching industrial robots attempt to get up and dance.

Several of the songs are over 7 minutes and others over 6, so there's room for the band to exercise all aspects of their repertoire. Look for the wintry depressing sound of "Here", the string and piano shuffle intro to "In Freedom" and the eerily beautiful yet desolate landscape of "Luna Surface" as well as the short but demented- sounding "Raft". "This Far from the Sky" offers more of the continuous shattering dissonant guitar chords against the assault of drums, cymbals, and a growling bass guitar that strikes like the multiple heads of an enraged hydra.

Musically, this is an interesting album; however, I do wonder when I might be in the mood to listen to "Luna Surface". While sitting up to my nostrils in bathwater late with a candle lit one night after a long day? Also, the vocals are not so impressive. Like many prog bands capable of intensely complex and creative music, the vocalist is often the member who warbles the least and not a truly talented singer.

An album for certain moods but not for just any day, "Nucleus" isn't an easy album to rate, somewhere between three and four stars, depending on how I'm feeling. And since I've been enjoying more aggressive music recently, I'll give it four.

Review by Progfan97402
3 stars Although I've been aware of Anekdoten since 1996, I only bothered buying any of their stuff recently. I was able to acquire original CD copies of Vemod and Nucleus for cheap, which helped me. I can understand why it took me this long to bother buying anything from them. They're simply overrated. They're not bad, but let me explain. Most detractors will accuse these albums as being nothing more than Red-era King Crimson ripoffs. That's not what bother me, but when I listen to this, it sounds more like '90s alternative rock that happens to used quite a lot of Mellotron. That grungy guitar from Niklas Berg could easily come from any given hard-edge alternative rock album of the '90s as would be King Crimson. Anekdoten is often referred to as a retro prog band, but to my ears it sounds clearly from the 1990s. Änglagård is much more retro, even though there's some traits yout can tell that it originated in the 1990s (despite the complete lack of digital keyboards). Regardless, I can see why Anekdoten appeals to many, because you can't deny the intensity of these songs. Nucleus is their second album, released in December 1995, and it sounds like a continuation of its predecessor, although perhaps a heavier approach. Anna Sofi Dahlberg gives some nice mournful cello work, and Niklas Berg is nothing short of a tron fanatic, so there's really no need in saying that on any given Anekdoten release you get treated with plenty of Mellotron. Honestly I'm really torn about this, I guess I need to be in the mood. I really can give it a three and a half star rating. I really feel that being blown away by Änglagård that I was perhaps expecting a bit more with Anekdoten. But even if it's not entirely my thing, I can still recommend Nucleus for those who like their style.
Review by The Crow
4 stars Nucleus is the second effort from one of the most interesting prog-rock bands born in the 90's.

And it's also a confirmation that this band is more of a King Crimson wannabe because they were able to develop and expand their sound in rather hoarse way, but equally interesting.

The album opens with the title track, with a rather aggressive and noisy mellotron, creating an exciting contrast with the more mellow and melodic first record. In the brutal chorus we can also hear that the main singer has also improved his singing, while we enjoy the piercing bass and the fast guitar melodies.

Harvest regain a Little the King Crimson's style at the beginning, but soon turns into a rabid punk tune with playful guitars. After that we are delighted with some cello melodies and a great and obscure final section, very prog.

Book of Hours starts with a slow and repetitive Melody with a persistent mellotron which is broken by dissonant guitars which lead to another marvelous Vemod-style tune followed by Raft, a Little dissonant instrumental song.

Rubankh is another instrumental song but much more hard and aggressive. I think this track is a good summary of that Anekdoten were trying to achieve with this album, developing a very distinctive and personal sound. This makes the album less accessible and rather difficult to appreciate at the first listening, but catchy and enchanting through repeated plays.

This Far From the Sky has a very fierce beginning with an interlude which brings automatically Vemod to mind with the typical interlaced mellotron, cello and psychedelia. The instrumental part is maybe the most intricated and psychedelic of the whole album.

In Freedom closes the album in a very beautiful and mellow way, with incredible strings melodies. Pure talent.

Conclusion: Nucleus was strong step forward in the right direction. The compositions are maybe not so catchy and resounding like in the marvelous opera prima Vemod, but the band achieved a more personal and distinctive sound, making this album even more valuable than the previous one in my opinion while almost maintaining the same quality in the melodies and structures of the songs.

The King Crimson tribute band is gone. Welcome Anekdoten!

Best Tracks: Nucleus, Book of Hours, This Far From the Sky, In Freedom.

My rating: ****

Latest members reviews

4 stars Anekdoten returned with another raw, uncompromising album that is subtle and mellow as a contrast. The first track shows the development in the last two years: More confidence in new instruments, more variation in singing and less stiffness, also some inspiration by avantgarde and metal music. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240208) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, July 27, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Where the debut Vemod, was like a twig,., holding on to a 70's branch of the Tree of Prog., Anekdoten have now matured a lot, and become its own very strong branch. With a very own sound and style troughout the album. The style have now become heavier and darker, and they deserve more the placeme ... (read more)

Report this review (#313831) | Posted by tamijo | Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 2nd release? A Masterpiece too.... Anekdoten release their second full-length album, ''Nucleus''...The band is in an extremely productive period and continues to compose and perform great Progressive Rock music. King Crimson's influences are always present. The band, after their masterpiece d ... (read more)

Report this review (#241839) | Posted by FatalV | Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Another strong album from this King Crimson influenced Swedish band.... This outing has a few more heavy moments than the predecessor....but there are still a few mellow places to take a breath here and there.... Definitely not a happy-go-lucky band here.... 4 solid stars again. ... (read more)

Report this review (#164794) | Posted by digdug | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is completely exhilarating, start to finish. Anekdoten does not fail to utilize a vast array of instruments and equipment, assembling shattered sounds into a beautiful composition that compels the listener for a full 47 minutes. You can't pass this one up. ... (read more)

Report this review (#162665) | Posted by MTZArts | Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Thesonic equivalent of a force-5 tornado ripping through the dark, seedy underbelly of some ghostly town at night, Nucleus is a revelation. It may not be a masterpiece (and hence only 4-stars), but it is a very strong 4-stars! Perhaps it is the creepy melancholy that permeates each song, conjuri ... (read more)

Report this review (#156886) | Posted by BigHairyMonster | Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars HERE... NOT THERE Another King Crimson oriented band? Uhm... I think yes from the first approach. However this Anekdoten are a good band for a contemporary Prog and Heavy Prog. The combinations of Cello and keyboards transform this umpteenth King Crimson oriented band in a very personal band. S ... (read more)

Report this review (#137776) | Posted by Lady In Black | Tuesday, September 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars EVOLUTION STARTS HERE This is second Anekdoten effort, and the begginig of the road that would transform them into one of the most exotic and hypnotic bands of the new Prog scene. As said many times before, their stunning debut Vemod put them on sight of all proggers inmediately but many comp ... (read more)

Report this review (#127674) | Posted by FranMuzak | Friday, July 6, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My '90 progressive favourite album, too. (count out King Crimosn as a Band from Different Planet). And the best by Anekdoten, i think. Still we will find here a lot of Crimson influences (less than on debut), but it can be forgiven, because influences here are used up in a very clever way. Anyw ... (read more)

Report this review (#69852) | Posted by kajetan | Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Honestly, I couldn't expect any more out of an Art Rock band! This album takes a genre, what I usually consider (with the exception of The Mars Volta) to be a little too poppy and narcacisstic, to a whole new level with an extremely gothic theme, elaborate instrumental/symphonic solos and intere ... (read more)

Report this review (#67870) | Posted by Legoman | Wednesday, February 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anekdoten and Anglagard have always been my favorite Swedish Prog.What seperates Anekdoten from peers is outstanding vocals and a very dark atmosphere.I love Nucleus because it is heavy and full of suprises.The book of Hours is my favorite track and is it just me or does Jan's vocals sound lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#67248) | Posted by James Hill | Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars ANEKDOTEN on their first album "Vemod" showed a King Crimson influence so obviously that some passages sounded like King Crimson rip-offs, however I liked that album a lot, there were very good songwriting and musicianship in there. On "Nucleus" they still sound a lot like Crimson. It's a muc ... (read more)

Report this review (#46721) | Posted by Prosciutto | Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars NUCLEUS, it's a HARD, DARK and DEEP album I've ever known in the scene of 90's Progressive music. I agree with the comments from many prog reviewer that consider their music as highly influenced by KING CRIMSON. But, indeed, Anekdoten has their own style, and it's unique. The fisrt time I l ... (read more)

Report this review (#673) | Posted by | Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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