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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 | 449 ratings
Vemod
1993
4.02 | 430 ratings
Nucleus
1995
4.07 | 455 ratings
From Within
1999
3.83 | 356 ratings
Gravity
2003
3.95 | 417 ratings
A Time of Day
2007
4.15 | 704 ratings
Until All the Ghosts Are Gone
2015

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

4.29 | 82 ratings
Official Bootleg : Live in Japan
1998
4.55 | 103 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)

4.07 | 81 ratings
Chapters
2009

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

3.79 | 36 ratings
Live
1997
4.50 | 4 ratings
Shooting Star
2016

ANEKDOTEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gravity by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.83 | 356 ratings

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Gravity
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fourth album by the impressive Anekdoten!!!

So far, I have only listened to their first four albums, and without a doubt this Gravity is the one I like the most of all of them.

Unlike in From Within there is no fillers to be found here maybe with the exception of the rather anodyne The Games We Play (Sigur Ros influences here), it is not as dense as Nucleus, and without a doubt the band sounds much more cohesive and mature than in Vemod.

I even like Niklas Barker's voice better on this album! It's certainly still the band's weakest point, but here at least he sounds in tune and doesn't bother at all.

So as soon as you like heavy prog with tons of mellotron, give Gravity a try! And if you've never listened to Anekdoten, it also seems like a perfect album to immerse yourself in their discography.

Best Tracks: Monolith (hypnotic and with incredible Mellotron work), Ricochet (I especially like the verses, performed with exquisite taste, and of course the great keyboard solo), The War is Over (beautiful acoustic guitar work) , What Should but Did not Die (impressive keyboard arrangements and an anthological crescendo for what is perhaps the most intense track on the album), Gravity (the best composition on the album altogether, highlighting a punchy bass in a great instrumental interlude )

My Rating: ****

 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.02 | 430 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars The music from the band is sophisticated and well thought-out overall, but also dark and filigree. They merged the symphonic complexity of their debut on their second album even more intensely with the dynamics of alternative rock and created a tense mixture in an accomplished juxtaposition of complexity, Nordic melancholy and unbridled force, featuring, a certain inspiration from grunge.

Brute sound brew, which is characterized by a booming bass, which, together with a lively, weird guitar (often in stark contrast to the elemental force of the bass passages - howling slightly distorted weird melodies over the bass), cleverly pushes the brilliant entry forward. This highly explosive mixture is loosened up at the right time by soft mellotron sequences and scratchy cello interludes, which are unexpectedly joined by melancholy vocal interludes.

This peace oscillates between melancholy indulgence and weird dynamics, it is done with a skilful build-up of tension and it is carefully building up a symphonic-melancholic sound in a slow, psychedelic manner. A crashing bass and graceful Mellotron sequences serve as effectively used contrast points - dynamic sets, but is again interrupted at the right time by distant melancholy.

Expressionistic and psychedelic soundscapes, inspiration from musical border areas such as free jazz, relatively hard, brute, often disharmonious outbursts, everything is presented in this fantastic eclectic musical landscape.

 Until All the Ghosts Are Gone by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.15 | 704 ratings

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Until All the Ghosts Are Gone
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars The band was formed in 1991 and in the interval from 1993 to 2015 they released six albums, which were well received in the world of progressive rock.

Anekdoten is one of those bands that with its compositions is definitely a member of the generation that participated in the new birth of true progressive sound. Listening to the discography of this band, one notices the diversity in the way of writing compositions, from eclectic sounds to some kind of alternative rock.

This time the Swedes manage the balancing act between old strengths and gentle modern influences pretty perfectly. The opener "Shooting Star", a ten-minute epic delivers a heavy sound followed by great guitar work. Hammond in the background brings extra tension to the tune. The concept of the song in the moments when the vocals take over is melodic and gives a totally different feeling, but as soon as the instrumental part begins we are back on the train of eclectic / heavy prog.

A fantastic presentation of musical possibilities is shown in the driving instrumental "Our Days Are Numbered". Anekdoten moved a good bit towards the style of their first two albums, again offering their rough, angular and yet always pleasant melancholy feel, a large dose of styles is presented and all the songs represent successful synthesis of all the worlds of sound.

 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.05 | 449 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Anekdoten released their first album Vemod in 1993 and the story of one of the greatest prog bands began. They are one of the most important bands that announced and delivered the second coming of true and fantastic prog.

This album is one of the best debut albums and it's heavy and dark. The album consists of seven tracks, mostly in the 7-8 minute range and we have two instrumentals. Throughout, it delivers a really dark, moody and disturbing moments followed by fantastic guitar and Mellotron and on several occasions it goes for the heavy eclectic sound to a place of mellow acoustic realm.

This album was exactly what prog needed, usage of elements of a classic era with new, original and inspiring feel and ideas.

 Waking the Dead - Live in Japan 2005 by ANEKDOTEN album cover Live, 2005
4.55 | 103 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
3.83 | 356 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
4.29 | 82 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 | 417 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
3.83 | 356 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 | 455 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.

Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition.

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