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ANEKDOTEN

Heavy Prog • Sweden


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Anekdoten biography
Founded in Borlänge, Sweden in 1991

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 1991 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.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2015 ⭐

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 "Progfest 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 sh...
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ANEKDOTEN discography


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

4.05 | 431 ratings
Vemod
1993
4.02 | 409 ratings
Nucleus
1995
4.07 | 439 ratings
From Within
1999
3.82 | 338 ratings
Gravity
2003
3.95 | 401 ratings
A Time Of Day
2007
4.14 | 682 ratings
Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
2015

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

4.28 | 78 ratings
Official Bootleg : Live In Japan
1998
4.55 | 100 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)

4.05 | 73 ratings
Chapters
2009

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

3.78 | 35 ratings
Live
1997
4.33 | 3 ratings
Shooting Star
2016

ANEKDOTEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Waking The Dead - Live In Japan 2005  by ANEKDOTEN album cover Live, 2005
4.55 | 100 ratings

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Waking The Dead - Live In Japan 2005
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Something about Japan - and perhaps more specifically the experience of stepping onto a Japanese stage in front of an audience of enthusiastic local fans - seems to bring out the best in Anekdoten. As with the earlier Official Bootleg, Waking the Dead captures them in the course of a Japanese tour - this time in 2005 - and just like with that album, the live context and atmosphere really helps bring their music to a level they've only fleetingly been able to capture on their studio albums.

This time around, Anekdoten dip their toes into some almost post-rock-esque sections, especially in their quieter moments, and between that and the setlist of more recent songs this album has enough of a different sound from the preceding Official Bootleg that the two releases complement each other magnificently.

 Gravity by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.82 | 338 ratings

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Gravity
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whereas From Within had Anekdoten teasing out the more ornate, gothic, atmospheric prog side of their sound, Gravity finds them leaning back into some of the alternative rock influences which had been more prominent on their debut but had been mostly dormant since, revisiting and updating a sonic territory they'd otherwise had somewhat moved away from. It's still recognisably Anekdoten, mind you, but an Anekdoten more willing to get a little quiet and acoustic than they had been for some time, an Anekdoten who sound a bit closer to the mainstream here than they would on any of their other studio albums.
 Official Bootleg : Live In Japan by ANEKDOTEN album cover Live, 1998
4.28 | 78 ratings

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Official Bootleg : Live In Japan
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars A live double album from Anekdoten's early peak, offering excellent, raucous, heavy renditions of their material. Most of Vemod and Nucleus is here, as are a number of non-album tracks (a good chunk of which would eventually see release on From Within), and the overall standard of the performance is fantastic. Whereas the studio renditions of the track in question are decent enough, they don't capture the energy that Anekdoten has live, and I'd say that if you've previously restricted yourself to the band's studio albums you've only heard half the story, at least as far as this early phase of their career goes.
 A Time Of Day by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 401 ratings

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A Time Of Day
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Anekdoten returned back with a modern mixture of prog, alternative rock, Canterbury and alternative pop influences. On average, the songs are calmer than before. The album does not bring anything revolutionary but shows that the band changes over time.

The first song "The great unknown" flows well and shows the band in a good shape. Canterbury influences with hard KC elements can be heard on "30 pieces". A great calm flute section can also be heard. "King oblivion" is a soft melodical song and one of the most catchy in their repertoire. "Every step I take" is a welcome instrumental trip with echoes of post-rock. "Stardust and sand" is another soft and semi- acoustic song to reflect. "In for a ride" brings an organ sound reminiscent of Caravan times.

Though not a bad album, it is not very memorable either. We must give Anekdoten credit for not resting on their laurels and providing an even album.

 Gravity by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.82 | 338 ratings

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Gravity
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Anekdoten returned to the stage with an updated sound and composing on their fourth album, Gravity.What used to be a prototype 90's KC-inspired progressive rock has turned into an alternative sounding rock with typical progrock instruments and layers without the previous complexity.

The first song shows a greater degree of accessibility than ever before, driven by mellotron, not heavy guitar riffs and mainstream friendly drums. "Ricochet" reminds me of Anathema not only because of vocals but also the rhythm section. "What should but did not die" is one of the closest songs harking back to the old times, however, gone is the raw brutality; the guitar riffs are decent and radio friendly. "SW4" is a forgettable track with experimental mood, what stands out is a digital piano line. The title track is one of the best on the album and gives space for mellotron to shine through. It's the last track "Seljak", where I finally find my favourite track. This fully instrumental and nostalgic number is a rather complex number with drums and guitar exceeding themselves. Melancholy reminds me of Opeth way of depression. All instruments are impressive here.

Overall, this is a pleasant album but in comparison to the previous ones, it didn't make Anekdoten stand out from the crowd.

 From Within by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.07 | 439 ratings

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From Within
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by sgtpepper

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 the direction that Anekdoten would be pursuing in the future.

"Kiss of life" showcases where band will be heading to in the future - a more streamlined and accessible interplay between mellotron/keyboard, guitar and rhythm section, excluding metallic fever and avantgarde elements.

"Hole" is a cornerstone on this album, however it reveals less in 11 minutes than some previous Anekdoten tracks in 7. The quiet parts represent the track majority and aren't too memorable. "Slow fire" and "Firefly" focus more on the overall feeling than sonic details. "The sun absolute" has a repetitive but capturing mellotron and xylophone interplay. The last track on the album is a poignant and melancholic one, the sung vocal suits very well.

Overall, it is a very enjoyable album although not on the same level as the first two in terms of music quality.

 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.02 | 409 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by sgtpepper

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. The intro is one of the heaviest by Anekdoten. Unusual singing on "Harvest" reminds me of alternative rock, especially in the end. The anthemic "Book of hours" is a lengthy piece taking its time to reach climax. The guitar notes in the intro accompanied by mellotron slowly take crescendo. The experimental part comes after a mellotron chorus featuring disonant avantgarde notes. "Raft" and "Rubank" have a unpolished and also unfinished feeling. "Here" is one of the few tracks on the album featuring cello to create a layer of deep sadness. "This far from the sky" is my favourite track on the album. The metallic riffs interchange with mellow guitar tones and excellent flute. The melotron chorus especially the crescendoed one at 3:30 leaves me speechless. Delicate guitar and heavy King Crimson like sounding parts add to the beautiful listening experience. The last track is quite different - mellow sounding harmony vocals, cello soundscape and xylophone in the end.

Anekdoten reached another level of maturity with this album and the album stood the test of time. Highly recommended.

 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.05 | 431 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars Together with Änglagard, Anekdoten are the most famous Swedish bearer of the King-Crimson message in the 90's.

In comparison to Änglagard, Anektoden is less melodic, melancholic and stiffer, in other words, slightly different. It is also more accessible than Änglagard, in my opinion.

Vemod is one of their best albums if not the best one. A good balance of instrumental and rarely sung music as well as presence of violin and mellotron bring the KC authenticity.

"Karelia" is a trademark instrumental combining heavy and mellow moments having a memorable dark mellotron intro. Delicate guitar lines belong to another highlight. "Old man and the sea" is in its composition a complex piece very much resembling King Crimson style. "Where solitude remains" has a killing melancholic solo in the end and 3/4 rhythm pattern in the beginning. The mellow "Thoughts in absence" showcases flute, jazz guitar licks and synths, something that Opeth could be doing in 20 years on. "The flow" is not surprisingly focusing mainly on the music flow rather than melody or arrangements until the 5th minute when a very progressive experimental dynamic section kicks in. "Longing" has a pastoral and broken feeling that makes it the most peaceful track on the album.

The album "Vemod" is characterised by mature composition and playing and will be a welcome addition to any prog music collection.

 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.05 | 431 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars What will be the status of Anekdoten in the year 2025, 10 years after their latest (or last) effort entitled Until All The Ghosts Are Gone. Will this Swedish prog formation be remembered as legendary Nineties Skandinavian progressive rock? Or as a very good prog band, but too derivative? If I take a look at this website I notice that Anekdoten was a highly acclaimed band between 1993 and 2015 (all albums around a 4 star rating) but then Anekdoten gradually turned from highly acclaimed into pretty overlooked. The reason for this intro is the fact that I recently watched Anekdoten live footage on the Internet, and again I got very excited about their music. I decided to play their praised debut CD entitled Vemod, this title is close to the Dutch word 'weemoed' and also means 'melancholical mood', a strong indication for the Anekdoten sound.

1. Karelia - instrumental (7:20) : What a legendary Mellotron intro, especially when the violin section joins, goose bumps! Then the music explodes with a propulsive, powerful and dynamic rhythm-section and fiery electric guitar, early King Crimson rules, very exciting. The music frequently alternates between dreamy and bombastic, this creates a lot of tension in the music, embellished with wonderful work on the Mellotron and the cello by Anna Sofi Dahlberg.

2. The Old Man and the Sea (7:50) : More KC inspired prog, the drummer shines with his inventive play and assorted percussion, and the bass growls, very powerful. The English vocals sound inspired, the focus is on emotion, from dark to fragile, but at some moments the singer lacks a bit power. The bombastic and heavy outbursts are awesome, with Mellotron choirs, 'Red meest ITCOTCK', how thrilling! The mellow parts delivers subtle piano work, again creating lots of tension.

3. Where Solitude Remains (7:20) : A heavy and bombastic atmosphere, fuelled by an agressive bass sound and embellished with Mellotron layers, this is trademark Anekdoten. Then dreamy with Mellotron flutes and melancholical vocals. Halfway a great build-up with howling guitar and Mellotron floods, supported by an awesome rhythm-section!

4. Thought in Absence (4:10) : The music turns into mellow featuring a jazzy guitar and fragile vocals. In the end subtle piano and gentle electric guitar runs, simply wonderful.

5. The Flow (6:58) : An intro with sound effects (Genesis with The Waiting Room comes to my mind), then biting Fripperian guitar, a thunderous rhythm-section and Mellotron flutes. The distinctive melancholical vocals match with the dark and compelling atmosphere, topped with majestic Mellotron violins and dark cello work. In a propulsive and heavy, catchy beat we can enjoy a distorted cello solo and Fripperian guitar runs, fiery and biting, like a musical chainsaw! The final part is bombastic with a heavy cello solo, an adventurous part.

6. Longing (4:50) : Another mellow track, with tender classical guitar and cello, evoking a very melancholical atmosphere. To me it sounds like sublimating deep sorrow, very emotional. And what a huge contrast with all those heavy, bombastic and agressive parts on this album.

7. Wheel (7:52) : A bombastic Mellotron drenched atmosphere with powerful drum beats, then mellow with cello and a bit high pitched duo vocals (male and female), pretty hypnotizing and dark. Halfway agressive work on guitar and bass, blended with Fripperian guitar, powerful bass lines and a flugelhorn solo, like the more avant-garde side of King Crimson. The music explodes again with biting electric guitar (overdubs) and a powerful and dynamic rhythm-section, and in the end the flugelhorn, a strong musical idea.

8. Sad Rain (10:14) : I bought the Japanese 1995 CD version because of this mindblowing bonus track, to me it sounds as Anekdoten its dark answer to the titletrack of ITCOTCK. The music starts with a slow and bombastic atmosphere with wonderful Mellotron violins, then dreamy with twanging guitar and tender vocals. The exciting contrast between the dreamy and bombastic parts is the perfect formula in this epic composition, topped by majestic Mellotron violins and flutes. Halfway the music gradually culminates in a very compelling 'grand finale' featuring the Mighty Tron in its full splendor, wow, this is Prog Heaven, goose bumps!

I have always had mixed feelings about Classic Prog band King Crimson: I love their melodic and harmonic work, and I dislike their more experimental and avant-garde compositions. Well, Anekdoten started as a King Crimson cover band, and I am very pleased that on this first effort they have blended the melodic and harmonic elements of the more mellow King Crimson album ITCOTCK and the more agressive and dark album Red. This has resulted in very dynamic, contrasting and compelling music, topped with wonderful work on the unsurpassed Mellotron. So a big hand for Anekdoten their debut album, for me a masterpiece of Nineties Skandinavian prog, along with the first albums of contemporaries Landberk and Anglagard!

 From Within by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.07 | 439 ratings

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From Within
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

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: ***

Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition.

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