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Anekdoten From Within album cover
4.08 | 478 ratings | 36 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. From Within (7:25)
2. Kiss of Life (4:40)
3. Groundbound (5:25)
4. Hole (11:09)
5. Slow Fire (7:26)
6. Firefly (4:49)
7. The Sun Absolute (6:39)
8. For Someone (3:31)

Total Time 51:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicklas Berg / guitar, Mellotron, Wurlitzer, vocals
- Anna Sofi Dahlberg / Mellotron, piano, Rhodes, cello, vocals
- Jan Erik Liljeström / bass, vocals
- Peter Nordins / percussives, vibraphone

- Simon Nordberg / Hammond organ, piano, co-producer & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Teolinda with Eva Levau and Anna Sofi (photo)

CD Virtalevy - VIRTA 003 (1999, Sweden)

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

(478 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ANEKDOTEN From Within reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars A small four years between Nucleus and this third effort, this had us worried for the group's future. When it did finally come out, the group toured Western Europe, and a buddy of mine (not the same as previously) had them play in a converted barn in the middle of nowhere. From the looks of the artwork, this album was not to be in any lighter mood than the previous two, this time keeping the illustration to a very dark minimum. While retaining its own personality, From Within was a bit of a return to Vemod's template, but clearly the album's themes were incredibly intimate and personal. The group uses a wider array of instruments, mostly in the keyboard dept, this time mostly handled by Anna-Sofi, thus reversing the oddity of Nucleus.

Right from the opening notes of the title track, you can feel that the melancholy is back , replacing the oppression so present in the previous Nucleus, but the album seems to really begin with Kiss Of Life and its great energy. Groundbound and Slow Fire (already available through the Live Bootleg album) are average track and could almost qualify as a filler if we did not know of its longer existence than most of its sister-tracks. The album centrepiece is the 11-min+ Hole, that hasn't held the distance (in terms of durability) as the middle part is a bit empty for a crescendo. One of the few highlights of this album is the tense Sun Absolute, which shines like a lone star in a rather empty galaxy. This track is a slow building crescendo that has us climbing up the walls for delivery, which, unfortunately, fails to come. Instead, we are soothed with a sappy, insipid and unsavoury ballad.

Some detractors might argue of this album's vacuity, which is a defendable theory that relies on the almost greater dependence on delicate atmospheres, and while at first I thought this album as good as the debut, I must say that repeated listens have slowly eroded its varnish, but it remains a classic, even if Anekdoten would need to reinvent themselves very soon for fear of stagnation. Not really as essential as the first two albums, this might just be one of their weaker albums in the long run. Almost a non-event.

Review by Greger
4 stars One of my favourite bands, ANEKDOTEN, is here with their third studio album. Besides some tracks that sound typical ANEKDOTEN, there are also some tracks that show a small change of direction in their music. The change is towards a softer, more unique and own sound. ANEKDOTEN 's music is comparable to KING CRIMSON and HÖYRY-KONE with lots of Mellotron and other interesting instruments such as Cello, Rhodes, Vibraphone and Wurlitzer. Their music has a big contrast between melancholic, slow and quiet to bombastic and chaotic but yet complex. My favourite tracks are "Kiss of Life" with powerful Mellotron and the 11-minute "Hole". Although I haven't got used to Anekdoten's slightly new approach, this album isn't bad at all, but it doesn't reach the same heights as their previous albums "Vemod" (1993) and "Nucleus" (1995). ANEKDOTEN is still high above the average bands today, and this album is highly recommended.
Review by Dick Heath
4 stars Like their previous, second studio album "Nucleus", "From Within" reveals Anekdoten moving away from the accusation of being a Krimson-covers/imitator band. With this record there is a level of considerable musical independence, while hanging on to some of those early roots which makes their sound both gut punching and cerebral at the same time, with mellotron(s), guitar, bass, drums and the occasional cello and vibes. Anekdoten have uncovered a rich vein of music only skimmed over originally by Fripp and Co. in the mid 70's, and and this Swedish quartet have refined and processed it , giving out something new.

"Nucleus" was a heavy album, with only a little light relief from its stridency. In comparison, "From Within" is an album of light and shade. A couple of the tunes can be heard road-tested on their earlier double Japanese import, "Official Bootleg" but here have evolved into something tight and different. The newer tracks surprise because they show significant movement forward.

The 13 minute piece "Hole" is outstanding and is recommended as an example of Anekdoten's musical style. The track opens with an anthemic explosion by the band, mellotron-lead. Anekdoten know how the mellotron can be used to provoke emotions- as Krimson did on their classic "Epitaph" - honed for instance as part of a 4 mellotron set up, known as Mort Macabre on an album covering Italian horror film music. After the heightened emotional ache, the sound subsides to the vocals: both the words and the inflection are reflective and (let's say it again) angst ridden. Vibes break into the background, as a bell chiming/tolling. By the middle of the tune the pace has dropped to an idle walk, the refrain set to repeat in a mantra-like way: indicating deep thought? The mellotron powerfully breaks in, as a reality beckons the thinker out of the depths. The end is inconclusive but suggests many things. The ambiguity of the piece reflects the maturity of the musicians.

Brilliant - a word that should not be used too often.

Review by The Prognaut
5 stars I think of this album as ANEKDOTEN's most signifying achievement during their promising career in producing and arranging excellent music. This very recording to me, represents that inner leap the band has taken to new horizons in order to advance yet retake the essential, crucial meaningful moments of what is it to be a impressive and very convincing band. "From Within" has got it all, dark passages evoking what once brought together members from ANEKDOTEN and LANDBERK to pull together that project exquisitely composed: MORTE MACABRE. There, in "Symphonic Holocaust"; musicians from two of the most representative Scandinavian prog bands got to accomplish high almost unreachable levels in prog to prove it ain't no fluky success and "From Within", committed to do that as well. Brilliant composition, "Hole", is one of those songs that gives immediate recognition when referring to an album, its the seal and the real context of this recording. Masterfully created and played, "From Within" will certainly give you an approach to what ANEKDOTEN was back then from "Vemod" to present days and to what they have to show on every display of geniality like this very album.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Oh boy . I cannot wait any longer writing my view about this album. It's a BIG FIVE STAR for this album by a Sweden band. It's an amazing prog music in the vein of early King Crimson, I guess. King Crimson ripped-off? I don't really care. These guys have done a great job! For those of you who miss the mellotron sound of 70's, this might be the answer! I don't think there is something special or complex, chord-wise as well as overall composition of the album. The only critical point is the ability of the band to create musical nuances throughout all tracks in the album by exploring mellotron sound, bass guitar, cello, drums and wurlitzer brilliantly! Top notch music!

The opening track "From Within" is an upbeat tempo music with drums, bass and mellotron dominating the scene. It ends up with a lower sound to accommodate the vocal part. The guitar play is stunning coupled with dominant "walking" bass play. It's a nice composition. You can hear here the "In The Court of Crimson King" style of mellotron sound in relatively long period. I'm satisfied with this act. The vocal part is heavy and very clear.

Now we enter to more uplifting and dynamic song "Kiss of Life" with again mellotron- based music, followed by a voice in "Radiohead" style of singing. Beautiful opening. The music is so simple with minimum chords changes but it does a pretty good sound especially when mellotron and guitar played altogether. Oh man .. this piece of music really touches me especially when I play it loud! What an experience! I cannot bear it anymore when mellotron howls loudly and dominantly in this segment.

The next track "Groundbound" is opened with a heavy voice (this time is not Radiohead- like) something as heavy as Peter Hammil in Van Der Graaf Generator. Hey, I just reckon now that the singer voice is somewhat similar to Hammil's!! Can u imagine? It's a kind like marrying VdGG and King Crimson?!!! What a nice dream! Wow! I like the guitar part played starting at minute 3:20. It definitely reminds me to "Starless and Bible Black" album of KC! I don't mind to repeat this track again to ensure my true orgasm about this album .

Track 4 "Hole" really killed me the first time I listened to it. What a nice yet simple music they provide for the hungry listener of this sort of music! IMHO, this track itself is enough to justify that this album should be in your collection. Especially the hard core fan of early KC, it's a satisfaction guaranteed deal!! Opened with a dazzling simple chord of mellotron (swear! The intro of this track is early Crimson stuff!!) plus other instruments as background, followed by an immediate silent as to open the gate for vocals part to start. Observe how the voice starts beautifully with Hammil's kind of heavy voice "I wonder why I let time slip by unconcerned .." oh my GOD! This is very nice! The whole track is well written.

Overall, by judging the first four tracks is actually enough for you to decide purchasing this CD. Again, if you are an early Crimson freaks and open mind with other musicians play in the similar style. But other tracks are OK as well. "Slow Fire" is probably the most complex (?) and noisy compared to the other at intro part. But it's gonna be OK when vocal part fills in. "Firefly" and "The Sun Absolute" are also worth enjoying. The only different thing is last track "For Someone" where the acoustic guitar is the main instrument. The vocal part and violin solo are wonderful.

If there is a downside, probably, would be the possibility of getting bored due to similar style (especially the way guitar is played) across various songs (except last track). But, it's OK though. So, this album, for me, deserves FIVE STAR even though the music composition is not that complex. Prog rock does not necessary mean complex stuff, right? What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars If you compare this album to their exciting but a bit too obvious King Crimson inspired CD "Vemod", it's amazing how this Sweish formation has turned into a progrock band with an own identity: very dynamic and compelling compositions featuring two different singers, a powerful bass, splendid, very creative and propulsive drums and many waves of the unsurpassed Mellotron, WHAT A MOVING SOUND!! The atmospheres frequently changes from mellow with twanging guitars and soft Mellotron to propulsive and bombastic with fiery guitarplay, an agressive bass, majestic Mellotron eruptions and excellent drumming (like in "From within", "Kiss of life" and "Slow fire"). The vocals have a bit melancholical undertone that fits perfect to the music. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of the songs: mellow electric guitars, cello and piano in "Firefly", a simple basic rhythm with vibraphone, cello and intense Mellotron in "The sun absolute" and twanging acoustic - and electric guitars with fragil evocals and cello in "For someone". The highlight on this CD is the longest track entitled "Hole", it contains splendid shifting moods: a heavy wall of Mellotron and guitar, soft interludes featuring sensitive vocals, guitar and Mellotron and nice instrumental passages by the vibraphone and Hammond organ. The only obvious King Crimson inspired track on this album is "Groundbound" delivering biting Fripperish guitarwork and moving waves of the violin Mellotron in the vein of "In the court of the crimson king". IF YOU LOVE EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN PROGROCK THATS SOUNDS DYNAMIC AND ALTERNATING, THIS CD IS YOURS!!
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album introduced me to the music of Anekdoten, and perhaps therefore I like the sound of their recent albums more. I appreciate the overall feeling of their music, which is created with mellotrons, dark and moody melodic guitar passages, and a fine rhythm section. Compositions are also good, and the tracks follow each other nicely with fine dramatic logics. Lyrics are also sincere young person's homemade poems, and not too produced artsy legends. Though their earlier albums can be justified to resemble King Crimson, which was their biggest early influence, here the music has already matured as highly unique and very pleasant to listen. I understood the collaboration with Landberk's musicians on Morte Macabre project had its part on this progression of finding more unique own sound. "The Sun Absolute" carries the soundtrack feeling of that project, which could have fit to some Dario Argento's film. "Hole" stands as an ultimate catharsis of self-distress experienced on snowflake filled streets of a city, with no way in nor no way out. The heavier crushings of "Kiss of Life" and "Groundbound" conclude eventually to hopefulness of coda for someone. Very strong powers emerged from this accessible classic album, and many times have I burned the midnight lamp alone, finding solace from this powerful gatecrasher of emotions and psyche.
Review by Prog-jester
4 stars My second favourite from ANEKDOTEN ,"From Within", shows a movement towards more mellow sound in modern-prog vein.Beginning with head-blowing intense riff,the band pushes into psychedelia in the middle of the title track."From Within"(the song) is probably the most typical ANEKDOTEN song and it can serve as an example of their creativity."Hole" wwith its awesome mellotron is even more psychedelic - ANEKDOTEN hypnotises you,and the culmination of their hypnosis is in "The Sun Absolute",one of the best instrumentals I ever heard.Closing "For Someone" makes cry a bit...very touching and sincere song. Note for ANEKDOTEN newbies:I'd recommend to start with "Vemod" and move right to this one - "From Within" is more accessible and modern,with great soundwork and excellent songs
Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars It is actually a man in a giant balloon on the cover of this record. This album still has those dramatic contrasts like the first two records, but there are much longer instrumental excursions where they drift along for longer periods of time.

What an intense opening to this record with the first track "From Within". This is just plain heavy as the guitar plays over top before a minute. It then settles with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Kicks back in 3 1/2 minutes with a wall of mellotron. Great sound. This heavy undercurrent continues throughout. Guitar after 6 minutes then keys come in. This is pure bliss for me. Vocals are back 7 minutes in to end it. What a powerful and emotional song. "Kiss Of Life" is a fan favourite, I love the vocals and of course the river of mellotron that floods this song. Huge bass in this one. Absolutely amazing song, one of my all time favs from them. They slow it down for "Groundbound", it's the only song that Nicklas doesn't sing lead. Jan Erik does a steller job while Nicklas is busy doing his Fripp impersonation. The guitar playing on this one is just mind-boggling, especially 3 1/2 minutes in as the bass shakes the soundscape. Killer section. The song ends very abruptly.

"Hole" might be my favourite track on here, it begins with mellotron and drums (I think we have a theme here. Haha) then things quiet down with gentle vocals that give way to the mellotron express. Fragile guitar brings peace until that mood is again shattered by the waves of mellotron. This song is like being in a dark, heavy mellotron storm. From the 5 minute mark to the 10 minute mark it's very pastoral then all hell breaks loose. Gasp ! "Slow Fire" gets better as it plays out. A ton of bottom end to start with. It settles a minute in when the vocals arrive. It calms down even more 3 minutes in. Mellotron a minute later. It's building. Guitar rips it up 5 minutes in as drums pound away. Vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes as the tension eases. It kicks back in at 7 minutes. Killer sound. "Firefly" is dark and heavy with vocals arriving early. Mellotron after a minute.This is fairly slow paced. "The Sun Absolute" is a cool instrumental, with bass throbbing to open. Love the sound 1 1/2 minutes in as drums come in. Gale force mellotron a minute later and 4 1/2 minutes in. "For Someone" is an interesting way to close the record. It's delicate, serene and beautiful. A time to catch our breath and reflect. Some cello in this one.

In the liner notes the band thanks among others HOYRY KONE, LANDBERK, DARK AETHER PROJECT and ALAMAAIMAN VASARAT. And I want to thank ANEKDOTEN for making my life much better for having their music in it.

Review by b_olariu
2 stars This band is a strange one for my taste, so from the beggining my rate is 2 stars. I simply don't like this kind of dark prog something a la King Crimson but in a modern way. I don't understand what is so big deal about this band, to me is almost a copy /paste band from the 70 prog era, and specially bands like King Crimson, and here and there Pink Floyd. Don't get me wrong but i don't likem at all, i enjoy most of the time prog metal bands. In the end no track tell me something, so 2 stars is my rate.
Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars A dark, moody, artistic, and mature evolution of the band's bottom-heavy savagery. "From Within" oozes with memorable riffs and BIG sounds, with Liljeström's bass once again leading the assault while the band's duo-mellotrons add a tremendous amount of texture to the complex mix.

More so than "Nucleas", "From Within" showcases more variety and interesting compositions-- adding several slow and romantic songs into their trademark sound. Liljeström has more control over his voice, and the inclusion of the vibraphone adding the icing on the cake. There is a lot to enjoy here.

"From Within" is a great success and likely a better intrduction to the band than their first two intense albums; perfect for those seeking something heavy and beautiful.

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

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I had read a lot about this Swedish band before I finally decided to give it a try. Many reviewers have praised this group (and specially this album) and that forced me to get a copy of the (from the ratings) best record by this hard-to-find outfit. Now that I've given the CD more than a couple of spins, I'm ready to share my thoughts.

Anekdoten is really one of darkest, gloomiest, less-optimistic bands I've ever heard. Their music, at least from what I can gather from this CD, is very obscure, full of shadows, full of hidden emotions and sad images. However, unlike that other genre which I consider the most depressing in prog-rock (post-rock), here the sense of desperation and solitude is achieved with a little bit of more light, more fire. This is not sedated, repetitive, narcoleptic music as much post-rock is, but more "regular" (the word doesn't really fit) rock played in the lowest of keys, with just the necessary notes, with just the minimum noise required; in a word, music with finesse.

If I was to draw comparisons, I'd say that the first band that comes to my mind is King Crimson, for the experimental, dark mood of the overall sounds. Another band that I got reminded of while hearing FROM WITHIN was Paatos, another Swedish outfit (is there something in Sweden that helps so many good bands to be born?) that plays music of the utmost elegance but also of the utmost darkness. This is music for the dark corners of your mind, for those that don't get enough light and that react better when the stimuli has less luminosity. There are jazz elements throughout the record, and the recording itself is much in the retro vain, with the drums in the background (the bass drum almost inaudible), clean-yet-not-overly-produced guitars, and soft-but-noticeable bass. The singer really conveys dark emotions, one can suffer, agonize with him, even though his voice is not brilliant but the way he sings works perfectly.

From Within (8.5/10) This nerve-breaking song starts with a relentless drum roll and then a frantic riff unfolds, a riff that speaks of an insane mind. The mood gets more atmospheric with the arrival of the piano and the drunken voice. What follows is a dark, ominous song with a constant drum roll that helps to give the listener the idea of a mentally derailed person. Very good song.

Kiss Of Life (9.5/10) This kicks off with more energy and a slightly saner (but equally somber) riff. The keys give the song a powerful atmosphere while the singer does a fantastic job. My favorite track in the record, is as desolated as any, yet it shows that even in oblivion you can try to fight, though the music tells us that fight is worthless and useless, as it ultimately is a lost cause.

Groundbound (8/10) This one sounds even more like KC, with a kind of erotic (if depressingly so) mood. The music is like a narcotic that attacks your ears, then your brain. Good song, not fantastic. The middle section is too noisy for me (even if that noise fits the mood of the track).

Hole (10/10) The best song in the album, starts with such a melancholic, pessimistic, depressive, YET BEAUTIFUL musical figure that all you can do is try to smile at the darkness of life and try to understand that it so ugly and short and meaningless that the least you can do is to actually try to live it.with MUSIC. A totally foggy atmosphere, a slow tempo that takes us back to long-gone years but that, curiously enough, immediately brings us forth to the bleak, sordid future that awaits us. Halfway down we have such a minimalist section where everything is so quiet, yet we know the emotions are anything but. This rest is like the calm that precedes utter destruction; sounds keep getting added to the main musical line until the melody from the start rises again with all its depressive perfection. A true masterpiece of dark music. This is not the darkness of evil, but the darkness of a lost soul, of a helpless spirit.

Slow Fire (8/10) A song with a much harder start, bordering on the metallic. The darkness that we feel here is more of the other kind, of the evil, dangerous, demonic kind. We believe we're in a weird hell, a hell made of dark-purple flames and complete surrounded by a black wall, a hell where not the bad people are sent, but the sad people. This one reminds me of Radiohead at times. Good song.

Firefly (7/10) Another dark song that sounds less retro than the rest (except for the production of course). It's the least interesting song in FROM WITHIN, as is a little bit repetitive.

The Sun Absolute (8.5/10) A more up-tempo track, equally somber, yet more energetic. The bass line is so persistent that it starts to get on one's nerves at some point. The keyboards add to the atmosphere with elegance but never losing obscurity. A good instrumental, with no solos or difficult section but only atmosphere achieved through sonic experience. Good song.

For Someone (8/10) To close the album we got an acoustic "ballad" with the singer lamenting over guitars. Nostalgic, brief ending to a somber yet inspiring piece of music.

All in all, a terrific album, not perfect for me as I don't like the retro production that much and as I don't particularly love a couple of the songs. But the best tracks are of the highest quality, and deserve the categorization of ART ROCK as much as any.

Recommended for: fans of atmospheric, gloomy, dark rock; fans of King Crimson; fans of good music of any kind.

Not recommended for: People looking for virtuosity or displays of technique; nor for people looking for violence; and, specially, people looking for music to lift up their spirits.

.the suffering here really comes FROM WITHIN.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars Third album from this Swedish band. They have finally matured and their cloning character is somewhat left aside (but it was about time).

Not that you couldn't related this album with Crimson, but it holds much more personality than its predecessors. One of my fave it the wonderful Kiss Of Life. Great mellotron, gloomy mood, cold atmosphere. In one word : superb.

This album has definite affinities with some later Porcupine Tree work (From Within) but what pleases me an awful lot are these fantastic mellotron lines. They are rescuing a song as Groundbound for instance which is rather noisy at times (and more like their previous works if you see what I mean).

The jewel of this album is of course Hole. Symphonic dark? A new genre, maybe. Vocals dig again in the VDGG ring. And the same persevering mellotron just makes it so great. Ambient at times, it get wild as well. Almost metal. Almost. They almost reinvented the mellotron usage. So far, this instrument was used in a symphonic way, but Anekdoten integrate it during dark and heavy passages, adding such an extraordinary feeling to their music.

Slow Fire is probably not the greatest song from this album. Not the best start to be honest, but while the powerful instrumental part catches up, it is really irresistible. Not a highlight here, but one good song more.

Anekdoten has accomplished a great combination between metal and symphonic sounds. A grandiose mixture and a daring step forward to a more own sound even if the hypnotic savour of several songs remind the master (The Sun Absolute). There is only one weak track in this album : the closing number. A tranquil goodbye on a melancholic tone.

I have to say that this is my fave Anekdoten album so far. An excellent work deserving a solid four star rating. Impressive. The omni-presence of the mellotron is of course not alien to my likings.

Review by fuxi
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 dissonant 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.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Frolic music for a warm summer day

Okay, I lied. Anekdoten's third album, From Within, has to be one of the darkest, gloomiest, and all around most brooding albums of all time. Like previous efforts, this one is very heavy on just about every angle. It's driven (mostly) by a pounding, swimming, heavy bass, a ton of mellotron and some very heavy guitar riffs spread throughout. Unlike other albums, though, the band really have decided to lay on the heavy tones (the melancholic ones) and instead of having the album move at a blistering speed a la Where Solitude Remains it inches along on heavy riffs and some very slow sections.

The album kicks off heavily with the title track, a song that very clearly lays out the path for the rest of the album. From Within features that ever-present bass that Anekdoten utilizes so well. Much like Chris Squire wrote memorable bass lines for Yes, Jan Erik Liljeström rips away at the speakers with some oh-so-unforgettable bass sections. The title track features this, but so most of the other songs. In fact, sometimes it's hard to hear the guitar over the sea of bass - and that's a good thing! It really sets a mood which the rest of the instruments carry well. Kiss Of Life has the guitar put a bit more to the foreground, and the mellotron works very well here, but the bass still carries along the sound in general. One of the more ''thin'' songs actually turns out to be a very big standout despite the fact that it doesn't have quite the swimming bass, Groundbound is a fast starting song that gives way to a slower section midway though - and the vocals really shine in this one.

Some of the album really gets quite slow at points though, and this can be distracting. If you're used to the force of Vemod then some of this album can seem a bit poky. Hole gets off to a great start and at 11-minutes in duration is very promising, until it hits the slow part in the middle. While this does eventually catch on if you give it time and many listens, this can be a little bit off-putting. This happens throughout the album, like on the quick starting Slow Fire, which soon burns to a crawl - and then picks up again at the end for a nice finish. Firefly is another slower, very heavy tune, and a good one at that.

More great moments near the end are still to come. The heavy, brooding instrumental, The Sun Absolute is a wonderful piece that lasts for a good 6 and a half minutes, more bass and mellotron to get lost in here. For Someone is a delicate acoustic closer that still swims in mellotron. Good vocals and lyrics in this one finish off the album on a very melancholic note.

I've struggled with a rating for this album for a while now. While the album does have some moments of pure brilliance, the album doesn't have quite the momentum of Vemod. This is certainly a very good album, maybe not if you're looking for something upbeat, but in terms of brooding melancholy - Anekdoten really does take the cake. 3.5 stars for this very good album. It catches on after many listens, but you really have to be in the right mood for it. Recommended for people who want some really heavy, dark music - this album actually has a lot in kin with some ''experimental prog metal albums, so I recommend it to fans of that genre as well.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From Within is the third studio album from Swedish progressive rock act Anekdoten. Anekdoten´s first two albums Vemod and Nucleus are excellent heavy progressive rock albums. They are both heavily influenced by the bass heavy King Crimson era ( Lark´s Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red) with dissonant guitar riffs, heavy bass and drums and an overall dark mood. From Within continues the dark style from the two previous albums but adds a more emotional dimension and generally leaves out the most dissonant and complex parts that were a dominant part of the first two albums.

The music on From Within is very dark and heavy ( not heavy metal though) and the melancholic melody lines are really emotional and adds greatly to the atmosphere. The music is drenced in great beautiful mellotron waves which gives it a symphonic approach as well.

This is not easy listening music and if you don´t like dark and melancholic music this is definitely not for you. Songs like From Within, the 11 minute long Hole or the instrumental The Sun Absolute are all black excursions into a dark andhopeless landscape. But really all songs are like that. I don´t hear any light on this album. The only other band present here on PA that I can think of who makes music this dark is Saviour Machine. The tension is never released and after you are finished listening to From Within your mood will not be light.

The musicianship is excellent and it´s hard not to be impressed by the prominant bass lines and the challenging drums. I also greatly enjoy the mellotron that is used to build up the songs. The guitar is probably the least important part of the album but it´s still great and does take the lead role a couple of times throughout the album ( most notable on Groundbound) . The vocals are an aquired taste for sure. It took me a while to appreciate the vocals but now I enjoy them.

The production is excellent. Dark and warm.

From Within is easily my favorite of the first three albums from Anekdoten. A dark and melancholic journey that I fully enjoy. 4 stars is well deserved for this black pearl of an album and I fully understand the reviewers who think this is a masterpiece.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars From Within, the third album from Swedish band Anekdoten saw them moving away from the King Crimson influences that had been highly characteristic of their early work. The same instrumentation is present including Anna Sofi Dahlberg's ever present and wonderful mellotron playing but the music despite having some powerful moments takes a somewhat mellower turn.

The music exchanges the in your face angular riffing that was characteristic of much of Vemod and in particular Nucleus for more atmospheric and melancholic songs. Of course moments like these have been present on past Anekdoten releases but here it is more prevalent and refined. Where lesser bands might bore you to death they have mastered a knack of locking into a repetitive groove that creates enough tension with subtle changes to maintain the listeners' interest. None better to demonstrate this than Hole which while being a song displaying dynamics where more bombastic sections collide with ethereal beauty it's the haunting and repetitive instrumental mid section that really makes the song work as you wait for it to explode back into life again. Wonderful stuff.

Fans of Nucleus won't be disappointed though as Slow Fire displays a powerful riff that would sit comfortably alongside anything on that landmark release. In the main though the music here is about creating grooves, not complex, but with lots of subtle inflections alongside the melancholic melodies. The Sun Absolute deserves special mention; a pulsing bass line drives the hypnotic groove of this brilliant instrumental along as it slowly builds into more powerful mellotron soaked territory.

Anekdoten have to be applauded for not resting on their laurels and producing Nucleus part 2. This is truly progressive music and despite being a different beast to Nucleus it is the equal of that essential prog masterpiece. Now how may bands can claim to have released 2 consecutive 5 star releases? Not many I would guess.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From Within is a transitional album between Anekdoten's early Crimson-style albums and their own true voice that they've found on this album. While it boasts some of their best tracks, it unfortunately also features their two worst songs. (Actually that would be the only two weak tracks you could stumble on).

Now since you're all so curious to know how on earth I have found weak tracks here and which ones they are and why, I will no longer keep you. The reason is the singing and the tracks are Kiss of Life and Firefly. Now, I don't share the common criticism that the singing is Anekdoten's weakness. Not at all, in most cases it fits the songs and the mood just perfectly and both Jan Erik and Niclas have an excellent feel for melody and for strong catchy tunes. But here, when they're so forcedly squealed and so off-key? No thanks. If you don't have a strong voice you need to use it for what it is good at and no one will take notice. But these two tracks always make me jump for the remote as soon as they open their throat.

Needles to say the rest of the album is top notch.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars End minutes of Hole are quite like mellotron driven post-rock, aren't they ? This album is a beast that's hard to tame. Very, very difficult to write review on. But this can be applied to their every album. At least I feel it that way. I know that I have to somehow do this review, because sooner or later, I would stumble across it again. But I even didn't know if I like this or not, as this music is simply weird. I know that I said this few times, but here, mellotron driven (mad) with heavy sounds to psychedelic states of minds of cursed poets with only one desire, to survive this madness.

4(-) I suppose. Don't ask me more, I really don't know. Yes, my first review when I openly admit that I simply DON'T have F-word clue what going on. Dark, dark, for certain moods only because it can bring you a solid headache, or pain in the buttocks. While the first one is more possible, don't abandon the second one. Literary said, because some tracks will force you to sit down and listen.

EDIT: \Oh, why art thee so heevy. Frankly, this weights more than weekly shopping we all have to do to feed our families, relatives, blood relatives, cold blood relatives, hot blooded relatives and also dogs. Dogs has special place and will mention them later.

Nah, I will most certainly not, as this whole review is about cats. Um, about Anekdoten's another (from my skip here skip there journey through their albums). I've spend dozens of listening on all their albums, trying to "get into" it and forgot that I'm already in (From Within - "No way out from the inside" indeed, I'm trapped here, with just this heavy music on my mind, unable to do anything else, in possession of ancient Anek demons).

Don't let this band fool you, this can easily be hundreds of years old, as something very old. Because it's Anekdoten, there is very clearly to be heard their sound. This time more like mellotron driven post-rock, very insane, yet interesting combination.

4(+), this time it's somehow weaker than before. Even for example first song (and few others) shows how repetitive music can be of great interest, really truly and ultimately enjoyable. Normal case would be boring repetition, but here, it's different. It's interesting, even the same is done over and over again. Like agony that you don't want to end. Do you enjoy pain ? Correct answer is: Sometimes. I would also take: When it's Anekdoten, in this case it becomes pleasant pain. So called Pleasaint.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It feels like this album has all the right elements to make it an excellent release but the components just don't hold together as they should for me.

After two great albums Anekdoten decided to add new elements to their sound which I don't blame them for because progress and improvement is what great artistry is all about. At the same time this is actually what becomes this record's major flaw for me. What I'm sure not many people outside Scandinavia realize is that the band hasn't done much innovation here but instead just adjusted themselves more to the popular Indie music scene that have dominated Sweden since the '90s. Artists like Anna Ternheim, Nicolai Dunger, Marit Bergman, Sakert! and A Camp are basically bombarding us this type of mellow music on everyday basis so when a band that I really enjoy goes for that same generic pop sound it just alienates me.

Of course I'm probably exaggerating the situation because this album is by no means a terrible record and many of its compositions have grown on me over the years. Still I can't help but think back to the bittersweet taste I felt after hearing it for the first time. On top of that many of the compositions on From Within feel minimalistic and at times drag for too long which can be tough to enjoy if one is not in the right mood for it. Now that I've got that out of the way let's get to the good bits!

The title track that opens the record might not be as great as the two previous album openers but does offer a fantastic build-up to the melodic vocal section which is followed by a nice instrumental interplay. Next composition entitled Kiss Of Life is my definite favorite from this album. This up-tempo track really works wonderfully in contrast to the other tracks and I would have loved it to stay on for just a little longer!

Originally I was very disappointed with Hole which starts off in a truly majestic fashion but then just fades into a low key setting that never delivers anything spectacular during its lengthy running time. Although it has grown on me over the years it's still no where near the band's greatest compositions.

I've always considered the second part of From Within to be inferior to the first so in order to mix it up a bit for this review I tried listening to the second part before getting to the first four tracks. Unfortunately it didn't make much of a difference with the minor exception of For Someone which sounded a bit more dramatic than what I originally have given it credit for.

Hopefully my writing will shed some light on the local perspective of this record and although I'm not speaking on behalf for the entire population of Sweden I know that a lot of my friends here in Stockholm share this opinion with me.

***** star songs: Kiss Of Life (4:40)

**** star songs: From Within (7:25) Groundbound (5:25) Hole (11:09) The Sun Absolute (6:39) For Someone (3:31)

*** star songs: Slow Fire (7:26) Firefly (4:49)

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As perhaps Eno would say "Somber Reptiles" !

Dark, dense and destructive within severe mellotron storms and relentless sonic siege, the music of Anekdoten reveals itself to be a beacon of creativity, constantly searching new tonal playgrounds albeit often finding itself winking towards a once glorious past (namely early King Crimson) but never too overtly. Everything is always contrasting with this northern drakkar crew, as delivered on the opener "FromWithin", a deep cry from within, a rousingly hypnotic bipod that soothes then aggresses in a constant ebb and flow that conjures up deep feelings of once unreleased pleasure. The mighty mellotron heaves and gurgles despicably , the edgy guitar and the bruising bass pack a mastodon punch while drummer extraordinaire Peter Nordins bolts down the traps as on the delectably engaged "Groundbound". With such fluttering angst pervading the horizon, how can one become oblivious to the rage! This is a monstrosity that defies description. Therefore its hard to grasp just how fantastic the next piece is, the scintillating 11 minute "Hole" with its majestic mellotron phases, symphonically sublime one minute and shimmering in serenity the next and thus crowning itself immediately as an Anekdoten standard (perhaps even their acme) but spicing things up with an Islands-era King Crimson upgrade and slinging the unsuspecting audience into the stratosphere. When bassist Liljeström underlines the main theme on his brazen Rickenbacker , the jubilation is complete. Prog doesn't get often this good, an enticing and sensual tempest of mood, style and atmosphere that, for some yet unexplainable reason is specific to Scandinavia and its legendary masterful school of Prog. Yes it can be soporific but they have also grasped the essence of early Pink Floyd, in that music is also about time and not just space. There is no hurry and it only makes the arrangements breathe even more intensely. The brash and abrasive "Slowfire" is certainly fiery but not quite slow, in fact the opposite is in early evidence, fuzzblasting the path for some abysmal introspective melancholia (another Swedish specialty) and then falling back to some comfortably numb ambience with the 'trons glowing like hot coals. I mean this is heavy prog, in more ways than one. Niklas Berg is not the greatest vocalist but strangely (and this has been oft quoted) it fits nicely within the context of this ascetic brand of progressive rock. But his guitar interventions are brutal and deadly. "Firefly" is actually close to pensive Porcupine Tree in that the bass lays down a groove that slowly amplifies into a major reflection on psychedelia and the quest for some kind of personal freedom. Another brilliant display of the Anekdoten kitchen's prowess, cooking up some tasty and solid comfort recipes and getting the job done! The instrumental "The Sun Absolute" is actually nearer to classic Space Rock, sounding like an obtuse version of Eloy or Ozric Tentacles via the Gongsters and Hawkwinders but with the added dimension of an imperial mellotron handled by the lovely Anna Sofi Dahlberg. This is another colossal piece of prog. The closer "For Someone" is a pastoral promenade , intensely acoustic and fragile , again very near the Islands King Crimson record but more reflective and ponderous. I hang about undecided on the previous album "Nucleus" which I cannot seem to get into but this is a definite clear- cut killer that prepared the balanced road they have displayed on subsequent jewels "Gravity" and the recent "A Time of Day". For you John 4.5 internal punctures

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars Anekdoten's third studio album is in my opinion the weakest effort of the band so far. Compared to the two previous works, the classic and beautiful Vemod, and the bizarre masterpiece Nucleus, "From Within" goes down a level. Even though the band reached maturity with this album, the sound is less appealing, a little more, I would dare to say, boring.

However, good moments are indeed present: The longest Anekdoten song to date, "Hole", is probably one of the very best songs of the band: It's overall a really mellow song, but with some fantastic moments that I really enjoyed, especially the more experimental part at half song, pure beauty. And the ending is absolutely breathtaking. Actually, all the songs are pretty good, all of them are listenable, but just not so appealing compared to songs in the previous albums, like I just said. Special mention to "Firefly", another gem, that made me want to give more stars than 3.5.

In conclusion, a pretty good album, despite all the negative qualities of it that I highlighted, and if you're an Anekdoten fan, you really should listen to this. However, if you're just a normal prog fan, I can't really recommend it as an essential album.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Continuing to establish the well-loved Anekdoten sound, this album sees the band approaching perfection--both sonically and emotionally.

1. "From Within" (7:25) usual rolling bass lines, supporting guitar arpeggi, and some truly spectacular drumming opens this one before things settle down for the vocals. The after-vocal instrumental section is highlighted by tension building Mellotron and cello work. Quite a solid, powerful song with lots of interesting ear-catching elements. (14.25/15)

2. "Kiss Of Life" (4:40) 'Tron and guitar try to establish melody over hard driving bass and drum track. Vocalist performance and sound engineering is off--almost detracting from the song. Cool pregnant slow down section starting at 3:00. (8.5/10)

3. "Groundbound (5:25) interesting strumming 60s guitar sound with alternate lead singer. Breaks into full rhythm section and full blown structure with the end of the first verse. Drumming is more distant, echoey, too--more like the sound Ricard "Huxflux" Nettermalm gets from his kit. Different, unusual, and interesting. (8.75/10)

4. "Hole" (11:09) Anekdoten's best song ever and one of the best prog epics of the 1990s. Incredible use of space to create and build tension. (20/20)

5. "Slow Fire" (7:26) this one fails to interest me both musically and vocally. Even the build up starting in the sixth minute is lackluster. (11.75/15)

6. "Firefly" (4:49) brooding rock with a different lead vocalist. Nice use of piano to spice things up.(8.5/10)

7. "The Sun Absolute" (6:39) big thick throbbing bass is joined by cymbal play and then gentle electric guitar arpeggi for the first minute before Mellotron flute and other keyboard-generated hits and notes are worked into the weave until at 2:30 a bank of 'tron strings signals a kind of chorus. Less than thirty seconds later and we're back to the original weave, building again, with more guitar lead and 'tron use, all the while the basic rhythm and structural form goes pretty much unchanged but for a total of one minute start to sixth minute. Odd ending. (8.5/10)

8. "For Someone (3:31) gentle acoustic guitar fingering with Greg Lake-like vocal and electric guitar inputs until the space between the first and second verses when vibraphone gently adds its own notes. Interesting and different. Gentle, soothing way to finish the album. (8.75/10)

Total Time: 51:04

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Review by Tom Ozric
5 stars ANEKDOTEN from Sweden. FROM WITHIN was my first taste of this remarkable musical unit back when I noticed the LP was available at the turn of the century. It knocked my block off (and I'm still looking for it....) with the overt Mellotron use, grungey Rickenbacker bass, distinctive lead guitaring and inspired drumming. Many of the longer cuts are composed in such a way where thunderous rhythms pound away for a while and then give way to rather beautifully serene passages. These polar opposites are arranged in a sensible way, never haphazard as some heavy/soft contrasts can be. And that's not saying the album plays through in a 'samey' fashion - there's plenty of differences from song to song. A slight KING CRIMSON flavour is evident here (though not as strong as their debut album VEMOD) and maybe some hints at PINK FLOYD, but these guys (and gal) are so much more. Sure they have a 'retro' sound but their knack at song-writing is very much here and now and there's plenty of originality in their approach. Amongst all the nostalgia and melancholia, there's still a sense of vibrancy, refreshment and modernity. Not a second of unnecessary 'filler' throughout its course - hats off to the track 'Hole' - just over 11 minutes of pure perfection with fellow Swede Simon Nordberg (from the equally wonderful 'LANDBERK') contributing some touching Hammond organ during the deep and spacious mid-section. Absolutely essential listening - as is most of their output. And I have to say that the guy in the balloon on the cover looks a lot like bassist Jan-Erik ??
Review by Warthur
4 stars Anekdoten's From Within finds the band still ploughing the old mid-1970s King Crimson furrow which serves as the basis for their sound. However, whereas I was initially impressed with their first two albums but became disillusioned with them over time, at first I was unimpressed with From Within but I have found that it has grown on me. There's a subtlety and delicacy on display here, from the title track onwards, which sees Anekdoten move towards a more distinctive and individual identity for themselves, which makes the album a richer and deeper prospect than their previous work. The opening number, with its crashing intro and its fragile lyrics, grabs the listener's attention instantly and the album doesn't let go for its entire running time.
Review by The Crow
3 stars Third effort by this splendid Swedish heavy prog band!

And this album saw the return of Simon Nordberg in the role of producer after his work in the band's debut Vemod. And while maintaining some of the raw force and heavier sound of Nucleus, this From Within take back some elements of Vemod like the predominance of beautiful mellotron melodies and a more symphonic approach to prog which reminds to King Crimson. But don't worry, the great heavy riffs of Nucleus are still there!

However, this album also brought back the vocal sound of Vemod. I never liked the vocalist of the band very much, but I think that in From Within he sings worse than ever spoiling the otherwise wonderful music than we can hear through the album. In Vemod the music was five stars, and because the vocals I gave this album only four. In Nucleus he improved a bit, making his performance a bit more bearable. But in From Within this high pitched, weak and slightly out of tone singing is annoying again, making that a four star album only gets three.

Best Tracks: Kiss of Life (wonderful music and incredible mellotron background), Hole (complex, long and very compelling one) and The Sun Absolute (the best track of the album, because it has no vocals on it)

Conclusion: From Within is a beautiful album, which mixes the best elements of Vemod and Nucleus, along with a pair of stimulating new ideas. It contains a stunning songwriting is most of the songs and the instruments sound fantastic. Nevertheless, and sadly, I find the vocals more annoying than ever, making the hearing of this album very pleasant and unpleasant at the same time.

Nevertheless, if you are into heavy prog, dark ambients and great mellotron melodies, please try Anekdoten!

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

3 stars On this release, Anekdoten updated their sound to be more contemporary, include more keyboard sounds but at the heart, King Crimson still remains a clear influence. Singing has improved to be more convicing although still lacking the range of a common singer. This album is a seminal change in th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2240212) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, July 27, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In 1999, the Swedish band ANEKDOTEN, led by Niklas Barker, created one of the most impressive albums in progressive rock: FROM WITHIN. This album is full of mellotron sound, and impressive bass lines, that together with the guitar, drums and other keyboard instruments, such as a hammond organ, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1025504) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Friday, August 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars From Within. Sometimes Anekdoten is refered to as a very King Crimson inspired band. Crimson was all over the place, with albums weaved together from very diffrent musical colours. This is a lot more consistent in the soundpicture/style chosen. But You might say it sounds a bit like "something" fro ... (read more)

Report this review (#313834) | Posted by tamijo | Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This band will never stop! This is the 3rd full-lenght album from the Swedish band. ''From Within'' does not contain something extremely different from the other band's albums and also does not change the well-known band's character. The same excellent line-up continues to compose and perfor ... (read more)

Report this review (#236253) | Posted by FatalV | Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars These guys have a sound of their own...... and it's a good one!...... I particulary like 'Hole'......I have never really heard another song like it at all....The mellow sections with the distinctive drumming are very very kool....It's pretty hard to go wrong with any of their first three albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#164798) | Posted by digdug | Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars MELLOTRON MANIACS! For all those who love tron loaded music, like i do, this is paradise. This is maybe my Anekdoten favourite, and i say maybe because also Vemod and ATOD are very close to that place. Anyhow, this was my introduction to this magnificent swedish act, that hooked me instantl ... (read more)

Report this review (#128817) | Posted by FranMuzak | Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the sound of prog. Any retro proggers who don't own this and say that there has been little good material since the 1970's should listen to this. Anekdoten hits the jackpot on their third studio release. Not only is it their most focused and complete album, but it also is more original ... (read more)

Report this review (#119020) | Posted by floydisgod | Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My first contact with this band and what a contact it was. This album is just mind blowing. Feelings going left to right with moody, sentimental, mellow, melancolic melodies mixed with dark and heavy beatings. And still there is somekind of "natural balance" in everything in this album. So com ... (read more)

Report this review (#106504) | Posted by Siddhartha | Monday, January 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars this album is just amazing. the music sometimes is kind of dramatic, dark, melancolic, mellow and heavy. it has beutiful melodies and very good bass rifs. The Crimson influence is always here but is ok to have Crimson influence. a graet album, smart music, Anekdoten is unique. if you like Pink ... (read more)

Report this review (#697) | Posted by kralic | Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Anekdoten really sounds great on this disk.I think the Crimson sound is more pronounced here but that is not a bad thing.I never heard Crimson keep a steady groove like Anekdoten does at times.The melotron however is a dead ringer.What seperates Anekdoten from other Swedish prog is the excelle ... (read more)

Report this review (#696) | Posted by | Sunday, December 5, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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