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ANEKDOTEN

Heavy Prog • Sweden


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Anekdoten biography
In the early 90s a wave of King Crimson inspired new progrock bands emerged in Scandinavia. One of the first was four piece formation Anekdoten from Sweden and they are still alive and progging, unlike their promising contemporaries Anglagard and Landberk.

Anekdoten their roots are in 1990 when Nicklas Berg (guitar and Mellotron) and Jan Erik Liljestrom (bass and vocals) decide to found a band to make progressive rock music. They name the band King Edward and the musicians start to rehearse, soon accompanied by percussionist Peter Nordin. Their repertoire consists of songs from King Crimson. In 1990 Anna Sofi Dahlberg joins King Edward, this inspires them to intensify their rehearsals, to write own compositions, to rename the band into Anekdoten and to release two demo-tapes under their new name in 1991 and 1992. With the second demo things start to roll for Anekdoten because several Skandinavian progressive rock labels show their attention and invite the band to make a CD on their label. But the band prefers to release their debut album entitled Vemod on their own label in the Spring of 1993. The press hails the obviously KING CRIMSON inspired and Mellotron drenched compositions. A strong point in the music from Anekdoten is the hugh tension between the mellow, often melancholical climates and the dynamic parts delivering ROBERT FRIPP-inspired howling electric guitar, an aggressive and propulsive bass and splendid drumwork.

In 1994 Anekdoten starts a worldwide tour (including Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, USA and Canada) with an acclaimed performance on the annual USA progressive rock festival Progfest as their absolute highlight. Some tracks from that treat of a concert are present on the "Nearfest 1994" double live CD and video.

Late 1995 Anekdoten releases their eagerly awaited second album entitled "Nucleus", the band succeeds to sound more original and is on the way to develop an own musical identity.

The next year Anekdoten tours around the same big European countries, but Japan turns out to be by far the most important country in which they've played and impressed a lot (after Sweden). Vemod soon gets re-released, followed by a mini-CD called "Live EP". Three shows the band performed in Japan, in 1997, lead to the release of an important double CD entitled "Official Bootleg - Live in Japan" (including five previously unreleased tracks), on year later. Tours reach, in the same year, the full North American...
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Until All The Ghosts Are GoneUntil All The Ghosts Are Gone
Import
Musea/Virta Records 2015
Audio CD$14.99
$19.55 (used)
VemodVemod
Import
Musea 1993
Audio CD$12.47
$9.99 (used)
NucleusNucleus
Import · Remastered
Musea 1995
Audio CD$13.38
$13.37 (used)
ChaptersChapters
Remastered
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.22
$14.51 (used)
Nucleus 2014 Reissue Vinyl [500 Limited Numbered Edition]Nucleus 2014 Reissue Vinyl [500 Limited Numbered Edition]
Virta Records
Vinyl$19.79
GravityGravity
Import
Musea 2003
Audio CD$14.31
$9.99 (used)
From WithinFrom Within
Import
Musea 1999
Audio CD$14.30
$12.97 (used)
A Time Of DayA Time Of Day
Import
Musea 2007
Audio CD$14.22
$30.00 (used)
From WithinFrom Within
Musea 2003
Audio CD$19.99
$29.00 (used)
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ANEKDOTEN shows & tickets


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ANEKDOTEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANEKDOTEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 321 ratings
Vemod
1993
3.99 | 312 ratings
Nucleus
1995
4.12 | 335 ratings
From Within
1999
3.80 | 254 ratings
Gravity
2003
3.94 | 317 ratings
A Time Of Day
2007
4.28 | 273 ratings
Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
2015

ANEKDOTEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 26 ratings
Live
1997
4.18 | 59 ratings
Official Bootleg : Live In Japan
1998
4.49 | 75 ratings
Waking The Dead - Live In Japan 2005
2005

ANEKDOTEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ANEKDOTEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 52 ratings
Chapters
2009

ANEKDOTEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ANEKDOTEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Since the early 90's, Swedish band Anekdoten have delivered a series of melancholic Mellotron fuelled heavy prog albums, and their latest release `Until All the Ghosts Are Gone' is only their sixth studio album in 22 years. The band have never released anything close to a poor album, each one a honed progression and refinement of the previous work, always growing in confidence every single time. While `Ghosts' doesn't herald a massive change in direction, it moves on from some of the Alt/Indie rock experiments of previous discs `Gravity' and `A Time of Day' for something of a return to the earlier brooding lengthier moments of the albums before those (without the outright heavy King Crimson aping of their early days), and it quickly reveals to be their most dense, mature and even subtle release to date.

Opener `Shooting Star' instantly pleases with heavy gutsy guitar bursts, slinking bass, Hammond organ ripples and that searing Mellotron that's the Anekdoten trademark, and despite being loaded with lengthy instrumental passages, it features an early killer chorus that roars like a chest-beating anthem. Some of the twisting riffing guitar moments over eerie electronics remind of the recent Opeth albums (unsurprising to find an ex-member of that band Per Wiberg guesting here on organ), and the opening electronic drone is the hint of a direction that the band should explore more often in the future! A plodding heaviness pervades `Get Out Alive', and Anna Sofi Dahlberg's softly groaning cello in the finale is sophisticated and grand without being overwrought. `It Comes Down To You' is an instant Anekdoten classic, as surprisingly romantic and warm as the band can get with gorgeous chiming guitars, a calming vocal from Nicklas Barker with a wistful lyric and a reflective flute solo from guest Theo Travis, it's sure to become a favourite amongst fans.

Founding member, bass player and original main vocalist Jan Erik Liljestrom takes his sole lead vocal on `Writing on the Wall', driven by weeping sombre Mellotron but with a few scorching devilish twists to make it truly infernal and overwhelming! Cello, flute and 'Tron weave together throughout the gloomy title track, and instrumental `Our Days Are Numbered' is a thrilling finale. Mellotron alternatively swoons with orchestral-like flair and slices like a razor, the bass rattles and pulses with purpose, guitars wail histrionically, Peter Nordin's snappy drumming holds down dark grooves and Gustav Nygren's unhinged saxophone blares with dirty debauched unease.

As always, the vinyl length format the band adopts means the album stays at a reasonable length and never allows any filler moments to sneak in, just six extended atmospheric pieces and not a wasted second. The status Anekdoten now hold these days in progressive rock circles is well deserved, and it's also refreshing to find a band that takes their time with each work, not putting out product every single year to fill a gap, instead patiently releasing superior musical statements that make for yet another superb addition to their small but precious catalogue of work.

`Until All The Ghosts Are Gone' is a crowning achievement for Anekdoten, one of the absolute standout progressive rock albums of 2015, and sure to feature highly in the end of year Top Ten lists.

Five stars.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

5 stars Now this is a Progressive Rock album! Great mix of styles and moods and lots of instrumental choices and stylings that are fairly fresh for Anekdoten. I guesss the eight years off tending to other projects served Nicklas, Ana Sofia, Jan Erik and Peter well. 1. "Shooting Star" (10:10) opens deceptively quietly for what is to follow. A hard driving album with some organ and lead guitar stylings that remind me of URIAH HEEP-era Ken Hensley and BLUE OYSTER CULT's "Buck Dharma" Roeser and even a little of TRAFFIC-era Steve Winwood and NEKTAR's Roye Albrighton. Definitely one of the best long-play prog songs of the year and one of the best songs overall! Depsite the awesome mood and key changes, this song maintains its hard driving force throughout the entire ten minutes. I can never believe how quickly this song plays! Just awesome energy! (10/10)

2. "Get Out Alive" (7:32) opens with what I call their signature "oppressive heavy-happiness." While driving us into despair and doom Anekdoten's music somehow maintains an upbeat,"happy" feel to it. The band just can't go full-out doomer. Devil may care, they must love the music too much. The vocals and doomer lyrics are somehow quite fitting for the music and yet I love how they feel secondary to the heavy (and light--from the sixth minute on) instrumental parts. Nice Frippertronics in the fifth minute. That one note Nicklas bends up and then down is so cool! Awesome song. (10/10)

3. "If It All Comes Down to You" (5:52) Melllotron drenched with CRHIS REA-like lead guitar riffs playing tantalizingly over the top, this song is just gorgeous and very jazzy--almost in MOTORPSYCHO or THE AMAZING territory. The constant background 'tron and Theo Travis flute play are awesome but it's Nicklas's delicate guitar play and the background tuned percussion (xylophone?) that make this song for me. (10/10)

4. "Writing on the Wall" (9:03) opens with another familiar Anekdoten opening and settles into a structure not unlike their masterpiece "Hole"--that is, until the lead vocal establishes its surprisingly light melody. An especially heavy subject matter is treated rather lightly, almost happily, for sure lackadaisically as if in complete resignation to the belief that there is absolutely nothing to be done. Perhaps the weakest song on the album, it is still a pretty good song. Some nice drum and guitar work in the middle over Ana Sofia's awesome chord progression of the Mellotron foundation. The delicate guitar and synth "raindrops" interlude section is very KING CRIMSON-esque before bursting back into a two minute, two-part outro with some awesome REINE FISKE-like guitar soloing. (8/10)

5. "Until All the Ghosts Are Gone" (5:07) opens with full band, some nice guitar work, and more of Theo Travis' awesome flute (and saxophone) work. The vocal feels and sounds a bit too much like older Anekdoten, but the acoustic and electronic interplay is awesome throughout. between acoustic and electric guitars, mellow drum play, multiple keyboards and even some harmonized vocals. Acoustic and electric guitars, mellow drum play, multiple keyboards, beautiful flute play, and even some harmonized vocals for the repetition of the catchy final lyric, "Praying that it will work out ok" is really nice. (9/10)

6. "Our Days Are Numbered" (8:36) is an instrumental with a familiar Anekdoten feel, driving acoustic drums with bass, electric guitar and keyboards weaving with and around each other in and out of synchrony and from collective play of the melody to weaving into harmony structures. Return of Nicklas' new "Buck Dharma" guitar play preempts a brief polyphonic section before all music drops away for bass and echoed sax notes and riffs float around the background. The band gradually builds back its volume and full presence until at 6:28 Theo Travis' saxophone screeches out some awesome notes to signal the beginning of a section in which there is a kind of gradual whole band climb until at 8:15 it all comes to a head for the finale. Another gem! (9/10)

I don't feel as positively about any previous Anekdoten studio album as I do about this one. Until All the Ghosts Are Gone deserves five stars all the way. A masterpiece of progressive rock music that is definitely a candidate for Album of the Year!

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is ANEKDOTEN's sixth studio album but the first in eight years. Mind you there have been four little Anekdotens born during this time as life goes on. Man this one has really blown me away, I honestly wasn't expecting something so great as their last one "A Time Of Day" was my least favourite studio album up to that point. There seems to be a theme on this one and "death" is the subject matter. The cover art is a photo of an old, haunted looking house that they found on an island near Stockholm.

It's pretty cool that they have a few guests helping out including Australian Marty Wilson- Piper who played guitar in THE CHURCH. I asked on another site how the heck he ended up on this album being a half a world away when Mattias Olsson(ANGLAGARD) told me that Marty now lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Theo Travis also guests here and he became aware of this band when Steven Wilson played him the album "From Within", as a result Theo knew he had to work with these guys. We also get ex-OPETH keyboardist Per Wiberg guesting on one track. He's an old friend of the band who actually played Grand piano on "Vemod" then again later on a song from "Chapters". Lastly sax player Gustev Nygren guests on the final tune.

"Shooting Stars" is without a doubt one of the best openers that this band have come up with. They actually brought Per Wiberg in because Nicklas wanted there to be an organ/guitar duel in it and man does it work well. I don't remember hearng such powerful organ runs on an ANEKDOTEN album before. How good is this song when it kicks into gear. Powerful to say the least. The organ runs rough-shod at 1 1/2 minutes followed by mellotron. Not worthy! It's the guitar's turn after 2 minutes ripping it up in a big way. A calm follows as we get vocals for the first time. "Hold your head up high" is such an appealing line during the chorus. Some heavy [&*!#] 4 1/2 minutes in after the vocals have stopped. That organ/guitar duel begins before 5 1/2 minutes as they trade solos and check out the drumming. It's so majestic 6 1/2 minutes in, then the vocals follow as it settles back. "Get Out Alive" has such a powerful and majestic intro as the vocals arrive around a minute. I'm so moved after 2 1/2 minutes then we get an instrumental break after 3 minutes as the guitar grinds away. Vocals are back before 5 minutes then Anna adds violin, what!? Okay she played cello on the debut but I wasn't expecting this. Another instrumental break follows.

"If It All Comes Down To You" features Theo Travis on flute and man what a gorgeous track. Even the guitar and keyboards are so beautiful here, not to mention the mellotron. It's like being in this sublime dream really. Vocals around a minute and I really like the vocal line on the chorus that is repeated like an echo. A nice guitar solo signals a wondrous instrumental section with some amazing flute. "Writing On The Wall" is mellotron heaven early on and check out the guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. It calms down with vocals before 2 minutes and I love the liquid sounding keys 3 minutes in. It turns instrumental after 4 1/2 minutes. Another calm before 7 minutes then it kicks in fairly heavily. So good! A mellotron storm ends it. "Until All The Ghosts Are Gone" features both Wilson-Piper and Travis. Nicklas is in fine form vocally here and a fuller sound arrives before 2 minutes. There's so much depth and the flute is such a nice touch. A beautiful track with some excellent guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. It ends with a stunning instrumental. "Our Days Are Numbered" starts off with mellotron and sparse sounds but when it turns powerful it sounds incredible with the mellotron, bass and more. Another calm follows then at 5 minutes it starts to build with sax and an urgent rhythm. It becomes so intense with the sax blasting holes in the soundscape.

Man this was well worth the wait. My oldest daughter bought me this from I-Tunes but I need to get a physical copy. It's early yet but this is already a top three ANEKDOTEN album for me, and that's saying something as they are a top three band in my world.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Until All The Ghosts Are Gone is the long awaited album from Anekdoten, a wait of eight years since the excellent A Time Of Day. Fortunately it's been worth the wait as it's as good as and sometimes better than most of their back catalogue. Some achievement when you consider the illustrious company it keeps.

It's clearly recognisably Anekdoten with no great leaps in style from the last few albums which is fine by me. The haunting and melancholic melodies, the dynamic rhythm section and of course the ever present Mellotron. There is little in the way of Nucleus style dissonant riffs here but the album is bookended by some particularly powerful moments. Six tracks in total, the middle four to a large extent occupying their mellower and melodic ground though Writing On The Wall does have a powerful guitar driven ending and Get Out Alive packs quite a punch. The opener, Shooting Star and instrumental Our Days Are Numbered show the heavier side of the band, the latter being the nearest we get to the earlier style of the band with some powerfully oppressive and brooding guitar and keyboard work with guest Theo Travis adding some welcome sax flourishes. Shooting Star is perhaps most satisfying of all, the lull of the verse after a particularly bombastic opening being particularly effective before things take off again for an exhilarating instrumental workout with Per Wilberg (ex-Opeth and another guest) adding some strong Hammond playing.

As a whole Until All The Ghosts Are Gone is a stunning achievement, an album that can sit proudly alongside anything in the bands past. Fans who prefer the first two albums may have wished for more along the lines of Our Days Are Numbered but with no weak tracks I can't fault it. I'd be very surprised if this is not in the top ten albums of the year here on PA, so highly regarded is this great band.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Einwahn

5 stars Eight years after their last, excellent album, this would class as a come-back for some bands. But Anekdoten have never been prolific, and it was previously usual for their cult following to have to wait four years between albums. Their guitarist, vocalist, and driving force Nicklas Barker has been engaged recently in the wonderful side-project My Brother The Wind, and that certainly has been a consolation for the silence from Anekdoten.

But they are back with a vengeance, no question! Probably like many, I was expecting some intrusion of MBTW-like psychedelia in their sound - instead the jaw-dropping opener Shooting Star is replete with influence from Steven Wilson and Opeth; imagine a confluence of Luminol, Raider II and Slither, taken up a gear with a positive energy I did not think Anekdoten possessed. The second track Get Out Alive starts like a familiar middle-period Anekdoten number, but then again takes off like a torrent. Also in this vein is the final track Our Days Are Numbered. These tracks rank among the best this great band have ever produced. Like a few other reviewers, I feel Anekdoten's only weakness is the competent but characterless voice of Nicklas Barker, and I always feel uneasy on first hearing a track that sounds like he will over-vocalise. One or two of the other tracks fell into this category initially, but in every case the music takes over and I really don't have a criticism in the end. The deep concept behind the lyrics I detect to be religious, sometimes euphoric, sometimes despairing and I'm not qualified to judge the overall picture. But this is a masterpiece, no question.

Verdict: recommended to Steven Wilson fans. HIGHLY recommended.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by floflo79

4 stars A new album by Anekdoten is always an event in prog circles. So when "Until..." was announced, I was very happy ! But then, I remembered the last album by Anekdoten, which was a little bit disappointing. But finally, Until All The Ghosts Are Gone is a very good surprise. One of the best Anekdoten releases. Great composition, complex, with influences of King Crimson, Pink Floyd or Radiohead. The musicians are awesome ! The best track is clearly Shooting Star, a 10-minutes epic song. A very good release, and one of the best of 2015 obviously, almost as good as the last GY!BE.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars After their first two albums, very much in the style of King Crimson with some heavy Progressive Rock sound, the band has drift away a bit, by bringing down their sound with more peaceful songs on their last albums. The music contain that melancholic feel with long instrumental break and some vocals that are use more in the background of the music. The CD start with the heavy style of their first album with the song "Shooting Star", you can even hear at the end the Opeth influence. But after this song, the band is back with some more peaceful music that still use a good dose of mellotron, flute played at a slow pace. While i can enjoy the overall sound of this music, the songs didn't grab me very much until the last song "Our Days Are Numbered" that show again the influence of their heavy period with some great guitar/bass interplay and a grooving rhythm section in the second part , that after a slow break end the song in a frenetic fashion. So i only enjoy two songs on the album : the first and the last one, the rest is not poor, but lacking of the dynamism i am looking for in the music.

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 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.28 | 273 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by strange engine

5 stars Wow! I think this is one of the best work ever in the last thirty/forty years!Magnificent compositions in the best melancholic way.Anekdoten returns with a great,complex,structured album in which all the instruments are perfectly blended and the flute of Theo Travis added something special to the songs.For me it's incredible that in 2015 is possible to imagine such a wonderful work.Just the beginning tracks, "Shooting Star",by itself, worth the cost of the album.My only disappointment is that its too short!But this is in the vein of all Anekdoten albums.Sorry for my English(this is my first review here)but i'm so excited for this i consider a real masterpiece.Absolutely five stars!

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 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 321 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by petrica

4 stars The first thing that strikes you is the evident Crimson-esque atmosphere. They simply took the King Crimson Red-ish sound and started to play with it. After a decade in the eighties when prog was almost extinct when you hear something like this you could not be other than happy. Together with Anglagard they are responsible for the revival of the dark eclectic progressive phenomenon in the nineties.

Even if the word Vemod meaning in Swedish is sadness there are plenty of moments when aggressiveness is unleashed. Except 'Thoughts in Absence' and 'Longing' which are both around 4 minutes slow songs the other are mixing slow cello/mellotron driven with heavy chaotic parts in a fantastic manner. Lyrics are maintaining and even amplifying the melancholic mood.

My impression after several spins is that we have a solid recording which is one of the few responsible in the nineties with reviving some of the best moments of the seventies. Albums as this one seem to be a strong indicator of how advanced and before of their times were King Crimson in the seventies with their incredible and milestone releases. I'm glad that after efforts like this we are still able to hear as of today so many great bands and albums pushing even further progressive rock limits.

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 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.99 | 312 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

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.

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Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition.

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