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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 "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 sh...
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NucleusNucleus
Remastered
Musea 1995
$10.99
$9.23 (used)
A Time Of DayA Time Of Day
Musea 2007
$11.99
$27.32 (used)
GravityGravity
Musea 2003
$11.99
$16.81 (used)
From WithinFrom Within
Musea 1999
$16.69
$15.05 (used)
Until All The Ghosts Are GoneUntil All The Ghosts Are Gone
Musea/Virta Records 2015
$15.74
$14.57 (used)
VemodVemod
Musea 1993
$11.99
$10.00 (used)
ChaptersChapters
Remastered
KSCOPE 2017
$21.81
$16.97 (used)
Vemod (Black Vinyl)Vemod (Black Vinyl)
VIRTA 2011
$30.89
Waking The Dead, Live In Japan 2005Waking The Dead, Live In Japan 2005
Arcangelo
$27.99
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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)

4.03 | 399 ratings
Vemod
1993
3.98 | 381 ratings
Nucleus
1995
4.08 | 412 ratings
From Within
1999
3.81 | 315 ratings
Gravity
2003
3.94 | 379 ratings
A Time Of Day
2007
4.13 | 621 ratings
Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
2015

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

3.77 | 33 ratings
Live
1997
4.21 | 74 ratings
Official Bootleg : Live In Japan
1998
4.52 | 94 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 | 69 ratings
Chapters
2009

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Shooting Star
2016

ANEKDOTEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.03 | 399 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
4.08 | 412 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: ***

 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.98 | 381 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nucleus is the second effort from one of the most interesting prog-rock bands born in the 90's.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The King Crimson tribute band is gone. Welcome Anekdoten!

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

My rating: ****

 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 621 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars As with the "Larks Tongues.." thru "Red" era of KING CRIMSON, ANEKDOTEN proposes an intense mellotron soaked take on heavy prog rather than the mellow romanticism of early MOODY BLUES, Crimson, or the myriad disciples that followed. Comparisons to a RIVERSIDE and growl-free OPETH are also appropriate. Nonetheless, on this album, the band also navigates pathways of resounding beauty that contrast with the claustrophobic atmosphere elsewhere. Moreover, rather than overexerting the tron flutes and brass, the band invites guests to lend their respiratory systems to the authentic instrumentation. How quaint! But also most effective, especially when blended with 12 string guitars and their ilk, like in "If it all comes down to you".

As a fan of the lighter end of the spectrum, I find plenty to enjoy here, in music that works for lazy drifting and active listening, but my personal highlight is "The Writing on the Wall", especially the last few minutes, at first palpably light, almost dainty, before a brilliantly emotive guitar/mellotron blend parades triumphantly to the exits accompanied by dignified choral effects. But on the more big P prog substantive scale, I also want to signal the tasteful saxophone work over hypnotic rhythms as the album's closing instrumental winds down. In contrast, "Shooting Star" is a bit too SPOCK'S BEARD like for my taste, with a rather trite verse-chorus structure and lyrics somewhat redeemed by instrumental illuminations in the break.

Landing somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, "Until all the Ghosts are Gone" bubbles up because of its appeal across the prog diaspora, a knowing blend of dark and light to haunt us until...

 A Time Of Day by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.94 | 379 ratings

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A Time Of Day
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Anekdoten's first brace of albums all largely chase the same broad style of heavy prog influenced strongly by mid- 1970s King Crimson, and an audience thirsty for new prog lapped them up eagerly. (For my part I find that they tend to sound a little samey, with From Within standing a little ahead of the pack.) A Time of Day finds the band sidestepping into a quieter style, with psychedelic influences suggesting that they had been listening to a good deal of 1960s proto- progressive works in the intervening years since Gravity, establishing a new sound for themselves which they would successfully polish further on the following Until All the Ghost Are Gone.

If you are highly invested in the early Anekdoten sound, take a breath and clear your mind a little before listening to this one, because it's not going to meet your expectations - but if you find that Vemod, Nucleus, and From Within tend to mash together into one indistinct mass in your head, you may find this the refreshing new take that Anekdoten needed.

 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.03 | 399 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Vemod is the result of the talent of a bunch of musicians who had the ability to consider the past while achieving to sound actual for their time!

And yes, this album sounds a lot like King Crimson, and sometimes even like Van Der Graaf Generator. But it's also has glimpses of grunge, alternative rock and even punk. Yes! That's what I ask of a progressive band, and Anekdoten delivered in a magnificent way.

Nevertheless, the production of the album is not the best. The drums are a bit too loud in occasions and the vocals are not really good implemented. I think Jan Erik Liljeström is not such a lousy singer as he seems to be in this album. In Nucleus he sounds better, and in posterior releases even better. So, I think that the out of tone segments that we can hear in this album are in part because of the weak production.

But it's all part of the charm of Vemod, I guess.

Karelia starts the album and Anekdoten's career in a great way, with a dark keyboard and a precious mellotron melody. After that a pungent bass appears introducing some guitar melodies very reminiscent to King Crimson, but filtered out by heavy distortion (or punk) which set us undoubtedly in the 90's.

The Old Man and the Sea starts with a schizophrenic riff which leads to another calmer one, imitating the sound of the waves. Just great! And at this moment the vocals appear? And I don't really know if I love the singing or I hate it. After repeatedly hearing this album I find the vocals not so annoying, but I guess that it's an acquired taste. At 3:47 we find an outstanding punk riff which leads to a great progressive section. Just incredible! Shame of the weak singing in this one.

Where solitude remains has a brutal bass line at the beginning, which lead to verses dominated by keyboards, very good despite the mediocre vocals. The chorus is more intense and the great bass appears again. After the chorus Anekdoten show their most psychedelic side, with an outstanding guitar solo. But the singing is just lame? "Taiaiaiaiaiaiam Looost" Just awful.

Thoughts in Absence is a marvelous acoustic song which had a lot of influence through the 90's in my opinion, especially in acts like Opeth or Green Carnation. And the vocals are undoubtedly better in this one! Thanks God. The Flow has a completely atmospheric beginning but after that we can hear another crazy riff and piercing bass flowing, intertwined with great notes of cello and mellotron. The vocals are not good, but at least not so annoying this time. At the end of the song we can hear where Opeth took inspiration to create their characteristic riffs!

Longing is another instrumental composition with precious acoustic guitars and cello. Almost a perfect one! And Wheel is also outstanding, with its melodies which go up and down through a limited scale in attempt to imitate the form of the aforementioned wheel. The Jan Erik Liljeström's vocals are accompanied this time of the Anna Sofi Dahlberg ones, achieving the best vocal interpretation of the album. After a prodigious solo of drums, bass and trumpet we encounter the initial riff again, closing this album properly.

Conclusion: Vemod is an outstanding mixture of piercing bass melodies, tons of mellotron, weak vocals and imaginative guitars in the vein of King Crimson, and a cello (and trumpet) work reminiscent of Van der Graaf Generator. But Anekdoten has the ability to mix this 70's influences with the typical grunge, alternative rock and heavy of the 90's, achieving a unique and very influential sound.

I think a lot of bands, especially in Sweden, took a lot of ideas of Anekdoten and Vemod. So, despite the weak vocals (maybe given by the sub-par production), I think this album is an excellent addition to every prog-music collection.

Best Tracks: Karelia, The Old Man and the Sea, Longing, Wheel.

My rating: ****

 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.98 | 381 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Although I've been aware of Anekdoten since 1996, I only bothered buying any of their stuff recently. I was able to acquire original CD copies of Vemod and Nucleus for cheap, which helped me. I can understand why it took me this long to bother buying anything from them. They're simply overrated. They're not bad, but let me explain. Most detractors will accuse these albums as being nothing more than Red-era King Crimson ripoffs. That's not what bother me, but when I listen to this, it sounds more like '90s alternative rock that happens to used quite a lot of Mellotron. That grungy guitar from Niklas Berg could easily come from any given hard-edge alternative rock album of the '90s as would be King Crimson. Anekdoten is often referred to as a retro prog band, but to my ears it sounds clearly from the 1990s. Änglagård is much more retro, even though there's some traits yout can tell that it originated in the 1990s (despite the complete lack of digital keyboards). Regardless, I can see why Anekdoten appeals to many, because you can't deny the intensity of these songs. Nucleus is their second album, released in December 1995, and it sounds like a continuation of its predecessor, although perhaps a heavier approach. Anna Sofi Dahlberg gives some nice mournful cello work, and Niklas Berg is nothing short of a tron fanatic, so there's really no need in saying that on any given Anekdoten release you get treated with plenty of Mellotron. Honestly I'm really torn about this, I guess I need to be in the mood. I really can give it a three and a half star rating. I really feel that being blown away by Änglagård that I was perhaps expecting a bit more with Anekdoten. But even if it's not entirely my thing, I can still recommend Nucleus for those who like their style.
 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 621 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Anekdoten returns after a long absence to gift us with Until All the Ghosts Are Gone, another rock solid entry into the 'heavy prog' sub-genre, and heavy it is, abounding with massive bass and guitar riffing, and pounding, tension-filled songs. However, it's also filled with beauty and nuance through artfully arranged songs and many- layered sounds of mellotron and organ.

"Shooting Star" wastes no time in showing us why Anekdoten remains one of the more powerful, creative, and heavy sounding bands around - even after 8 years of hiatus. The two guitarists lay down an amazing amount of sound, crushing the listener during the song's numerous fortissimo moments while also showing their restraint during other moments. The use of negative space and ambiance has always been a strong suit for the band, and here it's juxtaposed to the massive riffing - and not to mention unexpectedly aggressive soloing from Barker - very well indeed. It's an optimistic song that takes you to places dark and bright in 10 jam-packed minutes of thick, heavy, wonderful music; off to a great start, though things get much darker thematically from here on out.

"Get Out Alive" sadly takes a while to get going, weighed down by vocals that plod along until electrified by a terrific instrumental break that concludes with a sense of strong sense of drifting melancholy. A busy song, even though slow tempo, and probably the weakest on the album.

The wonderful "If It All Comes Down to You" shows the band's ability to craft very likable and approachable music using a blend of sensitively incorporated mellotron, vibes, and guitar tones. It's about as pop-friendly song that the band has ever produced, though its complex instrumentation and prog-feel probably won't convince people who aren't use to listening to music this dense. Still, its a great moment of lightness in the mix, even though it's basically a break-up song, and the contributions by Theo Travis' flute soloing is a great touch.

"Writing on the Wall" continues in achingly melancholic form, being excellently composed for dramatic and emotive effect, especially the four minutes of instrumental work that concludes the song. This leads me to album's conclusion, "Our Days Are Numbered," a powerful instrumental song with amazing tension and performances throughout. Once again, when Anekdoten is at their best, they absolutely nail it. This may be one of their best songs, and it certainly carries an 'end of the world' feel to it's rousing climax.

While not a perfect album, Until All the Ghosts Are Gone does a tremendous amount of things exceptionally well. This doesn't surprise me, given my ratings of past Anekdoten albums; the band rises above in so many ways, but there's just something illusive that keeps the music from resonating with me. It's this lack of emotional connection that I've decided to keep my rating at a 4-star. You will not be disappointed with Until All the Ghosts Are Gone, but if you're like me, you probably won't connect or remember much of it specifically afterwards. A great album for fans of loud, heavy, artistic rock.

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

 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 621 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For a while I'd written off Anekdoten as also-rans of the Scandinavian prog scene - it's not that I didn't like their sound, From Within is a pretty good album, it's just that the sound didn't really vary enough from album to album (or, for that matter, from song to song) to really keep me interested.

Well, after taking a good long break to recharge their creative batteries I'm pleased to say that Anekdoten have pulled off the difficult task of extensively revising their sound whilst still creating something that is true to their personality and history. There's still plenty of Crimso-fied technical noodling afoot, but this time it's enhanced by a sense of playfulness and whimsy reminiscent less of 1970s prog and more of the 1960s psychedelic forerunners of the prog scene. Organ gets to play as much as, if not more than, the Mellotron which was previously the band's trademark, the vocals actually occasionally seem hopeful or cheerful, and there's a sense of dynamism and spontaneity which I haven't previously heard in Anekdoten's music, but which is extremely welcome. Welcome back, gang.

 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.13 | 621 ratings

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Until All The Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A couple of years back, I purchased "Nucleus", Anekdoten's second album I believe. I found I really liked some tracks and always thought to someday grab another album. Then one day in 2015, I saw that the band had a new album out and I decided to grab it and check it out.

The opening track "Shooting Star" is quite a surprise. It sounds a lot like some recent Opeth and in fact, a couple of times that I've had this song and some from Opeth's "Pale Communion" on a mixed playlist and on shuffle, I actually mistook this song for an Opeth song at first. It's an excellent opening to the album and I can't help but notice the smoother and warmer sound compared to the sometimes crushing and pulverizing sounds on "Nucleus". This song has become a favourite off the album.

The final track too is a memorable one. "Our Days are Numbered" is an instrumental with more heavy guitar but a lighter, atmospheric part with some saxophone before coming to a dramatic finale. It's an instrumental with moods and tension. Great work!

Unfortunately, I keep fading out during the four songs in between. I understand that this is a top rated album of 2015 and I even read a raving review praising this album to high heaven. But I'm afraid that I can't find and become absorbed by the genius music that many others are claiming in there. There's supposed to be this totally far out guitar solo packed with sweet emotion on "Get Out Alive". Yes, the song really comes out strong in the second half and builds nicely in the first. But I am not totally blown away. "If It All Comes Down to You" includes some lovely flute and Mellotron. It should be really marvellous and listening to it now on my iPhone without headphones it is indeed very beautiful.

But I've tried to listen to this album through a few times and my attention always wanders. What's wrong? It sounds like it should be a great album to me. Is it Nicklas Barker's vocals, which aren't exactly the strongest in progland? No, I can get along with the vocals, especially since there's so much instrumental work. What is it then?

Well, I listened on the way home tonight and I think I know what's missing. I heard someone say recently, "Have you ever had an album ruined for you for one thing and that one thing only?" My impression is that this album isn't mixed very well. I find the sound murky and thick. Turning up the volume usually helps in these cases but it still seems to me that the middle songs especially just don't sound as clear as they should. Listening to recent albums by Opeth, Pandora Snail, or Nice Beaver for example, the music is just so warm and rich in sound. That's lacking here and I think that's why my mind keeps losing focus and I don't know what I've just listened to.

Yeah, I'm listening one more time to "Writing On the Wall" now without the ear buds in and the music sounds better like this actually. I can see why some people rate the music of this album so high. As for me, I would really like to have heard a clearer, cleaner production of the sound here.

Surely a great album that happens to be suffering a bit from the mixed sound of the music. Four stars knocked down to three.

Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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