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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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Buy ANEKDOTEN Music


A Time Of DayA Time Of Day
Import
Musea 2007
Audio CD$16.09
$10.99 (used)
ChaptersChapters
Remastered
Kscope 2009
Audio CD$10.15
$9.59 (used)
GravityGravity
Import
Musea 2003
Audio CD$12.35
$8.95 (used)
Waking The Dead - Live In Japan 2005Waking The Dead - Live In Japan 2005
Double LP
Virta Records
Vinyl$27.27
NucleusNucleus
Musea 2003
Audio CD$21.99
$94.24 (used)
VemodVemod
Musea/Virta 1993
Audio CD$357.83 (used)
From WithinFrom Within
Musea 2003
Audio CD$21.99
$29.00 (used)
From WithinFrom Within
Import
Musea 1999
Audio CD$10.67
$6.00 (used)
Live in JapanLive in Japan
Import
Imports 2005
Audio CD$36.99
$46.77 (used)
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ANEKDOTEN shows & tickets


  • Burg Herzberg Festival on 30 Jul 2015

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 | 263 ratings
Vemod
1993
3.99 | 267 ratings
Nucleus
1995
4.15 | 275 ratings
From Within
1999
3.83 | 213 ratings
Gravity
2003
3.95 | 275 ratings
A Time Of Day
2007

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

3.76 | 21 ratings
Live
1997
4.17 | 49 ratings
Official Bootleg : Live In Japan
1998
4.51 | 60 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 | 46 ratings
Chapters
2009

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

ANEKDOTEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.99 | 267 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings

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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 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.99 | 267 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars ''Vemod'' was shockingly good for the underground community of prog fans around early-90's , who waited for years for the ressurection of their beloved music.For Anekdoten this would be translated into a major tour around Europe - they visited Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Italy besides Sweden - and completed a transtlantic journey to the American grounds, highlighted by their performance at Progfest 94'.This gig would be part of both of the CD and Video formats of this festival by Musea Records.Next came the long-awaited second album of the band, recorded at the Studio Largen and released on Virtalevy in 1995 under the title ''Nucleus''.The same album was also released by Musea Records and the Archangel label for the Japanese market.

While using the same formula as on their debut, Anekdoten returned with an even heavier album, featuring some extreme guitar and bass parts, which usually led into an atmospheric lyricism.KING CRIMSON appear to be once more the center of their influences, the lovely and unique combination of complex guitar moves and powerful dissonances with the mellow lyrical parts had become a trademark of the band.''Nucleus'' seems to open a window into Alternative Rock paths at specific moments, the punchy guitar rhythms were a good reason for this change, but they still retained their genuine approach on Progressive Rock, as long as Berg and Dahlberg were handling the Mellotron and the cello respectively.While they sounded very modern, the use of analog keyboards, the KING CRIMNSON-ian atmospheres and the long instrumental parts with the orchestral overtones still showed some tight links to the vintage era.The Mellotron appears as a regular contributor in almost every track, complemented by occasional organ and electric piano washes, and the cello provides an even darker and more haunting taste to Anekdoten's music.The contrast between the sinister and complicated instrumentals and the ethereal, poetic vocals is always charming and the atmosphere at moments seems to enter a more dreamy and optimistic territory.Very good arrangements with impressive mood changes and the correct dose of prog complexity.

Similar to ''Vemod'', albeit a bit heavier, revisiting the old KING CRIMSON principles with a Scandinavian color of their own.Pretty personal style of atmospheric Heavy Prog, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

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 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 263 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by EMLonergan

3 stars This is another one of those albums that would have been absolutely awesome if it weren't for the vocals!! The instrumentals in this album are awe inspiring and send shivers down any spines. The heavy instrumental segments are the heaviest you can get without actually venturing into Metal, which is quite the achievement. The brooding atmospheric segments are reminiscent of King Crimson's best gentle moments mixed with an extra tinge of terror. Somehow, unfortunately, the vocals manage to ruin it for me. They are incompetent and drag along for way to long, and sounds rather uninspired. That's not to speak for the lyrics, which are pretty decent. If only the vocals were either cut out entirely, this would be an absolute masterpiece!

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 A Time Of Day by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.95 | 275 ratings

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A Time Of Day
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by EMLonergan

4 stars This album marks a departure from Anekdoten's traditional Red-era King Crimson-esque sound, making it's way into territory traversed by Radiohead and Muse. Despite distancing themselves from progressive territory, Anekdoten manages to develop a new, more mature personality. Instrumentally speaking, this album is far less complex than its predecessors, given the lack of strange time signatures. Emotionally speaking the band has lifted itself away from the deep, dark, suicidal dismay into a more hopeful melancholy, particularly evident in the vocal melodies. Notably, the vocals are immensely better quality than previous Anekdoten releases. The advantages here are the development of a distinct emotional richness, while sacrificing instrumental complexity. This certainly will not appeal to hard head Red-era King Crimson fans, but will certainly appeal to those who enjoy King Crimson's more emotional side such as in 'Book of Saturday'.

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 From Within by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.15 | 275 ratings

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From Within
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Anekdoten's From Within finds the band still ploughing the old mid-1970s King Crimson furrow which serves as the basis for their sound. However, whereas I was initially impressed with their first two albums but became disillusioned with them over time, at first I was unimpressed with From Within but I have found that it has grown on me. There's a subtlety and delicacy on display here, from the title track onwards, which sees Anekdoten move towards a more distinctive and individual identity for themselves, which makes the album a richer and deeper prospect than their previous work. The opening number, with its crashing intro and its fragile lyrics, grabs the listener's attention instantly and the album doesn't let go for its entire running time.

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 From Within by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.15 | 275 ratings

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From Within
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars In 1999, the Swedish band ANEKDOTEN, led by Niklas Barker, created one of the most impressive albums in progressive rock: FROM WITHIN. This album is full of mellotron sound, and impressive bass lines, that together with the guitar, drums and other keyboard instruments, such as a hammond organ, this album is consistent, powerful, mesmerizing. All the songs have Anekdoten's essence that has maintained from the very first album, and Barker's voice, which sounds a bit different to an average singer gives the final touch to the wonderful creations shown in here. The opening track "From Within" is really amazing with the excellent drum nuances, good guitar riff and the fantastic bass sound; from this moment and on, all the songs have a high level, and the last track "For Someone" is an excellent acoustic conclusion for an album that takes you to a rollercoaster of emotive and powerful music!

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 Gravity by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.83 | 213 ratings

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Gravity
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars I know Vemod, Nucleus and From Within are people's favorite albums of the Swedish band ANEKDOTEN., they are mine as well; however, GRAVITY is my special album. I love every single song in this album, and my top favorite is Ricochet, it is kind of emotional for me. The rest of the album ranges from peaceful and relaxing songs to heavier and proggier sounds. This album is the most accessible of the first 4, maybe that is why people think it is not the best, but let me tell you something, ANEKDOTEN's albums deserve a rating of 5 stars, because they are far better than many other albums of other bands.

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 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 263 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

3 stars King Crimson comparisons abound for Anekdoten's debut album Vemod and rather than presenting a dissenting view, I will just join the choir on this one.

Just about everything familiar, alien, loved or loathed from (primarily) ca.-Red era King Crimson can be found on Vemod: keen dynamic awareness and exploitation of the massive power in jumping from the calm to the chaotic in wild abandon, throwing out more minimal atmospheric focus for powerful, musically busy aggression by the flick of a switch along the way. The similarities do of course not end there, but continue all the way down to the sound of the instruments. Along the way you will recognize the unstable, neurotic melodies and slight atonality and chromaticism of Fripp (coupled with the equally familiar angular, uncompromising riffs), the muscular, distorted and dominant bass lines, soaring Mellotron and a mix of forceful and dexterous drumming. Even the moods come across as rehashed: twitchy, neurotic melancholy, sad reflectiveness, a ray of wondrous light in the midst of aching sorrow. Plain old fun if you're into the brooding or dark side of stuff! Take any of those feelings, transport it by a dense, ominous buildup of slightly malevolent sounds and let it explode in a cathartic eruption of frustrated, crashing instrumental thunder.

But it isn't identical. Out goes the violin, in comes the cello. Not the most dramatic of changes, but it definitely brings more fullness to the soundscape. However, the major differences, as I see them, are two. Or possibly three. Because when peaking in intensity, there's a streak of more hard-hitting aggression and speed to the music, making it feel more contemporary metal or heavy rock. It's just a stronger crossover into that world than King Crimson ever tried to accomplish; more riff-driven and direct, rawer and more "honestly" energetic, if that makes sense to you. Some of the grittier parts are sometimes spectacularly heavy, but also rather fast and rhythmically bouncy. Funnily enough, the other main difference I would identify is found in the very opposite end of the music. When in mellower territories, there's a streak of vulnerability and sensitivity to both the clean, precise vocal lines (sometimes even lacking in power) and melodies I don't really associate with King Crimson, something that could be described (perhaps wrongly) as a touch of a more ethereal, introverted indie/alternative-influence. The addition of piano fleshes out these bits and serves as an excellent indicator of the third difference: a will to enrich the arrangements, a search for more melodious fullness ( even mildness) and a decidedly more organic and agile approach to the compositions than the mid-70s-King Crimson, who despite even improvisation can come across as a bit formal and disciplined (perhaps even academical) to this reviewer.

I thoroughly enjoy Vemod, but think the band paid just a bit to much tribute to their apparent heroes here. There is individuality to be sure, but it's a bit underdeveloped and raw at this point, and the band would go on to make more interesting albums later. And sadly, things tend to stay a bit same-old-same-old as well, with songs morphing into each other at a bit too high a rate. This is made even more obvious due to the similarity of mood throughout the album, causing just a bit of listening-fatigue.

A nice addition, a good debut, but far from essential.

3 stars.

//LinusW

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 Nucleus by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.99 | 267 ratings

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Nucleus
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Anekdoten's album refines the approach of Vemod, taking the King Crimson-inspired style of that album and amping up the heavy, at points almost grungy guitar riffs. It's an intoxicating mix which at its best threatens to beat the 1990s King Crimson at their own game, but once again it doesn't quite hold up over the course of the album; the tracks begin to blend together and my attention invariably begins to drift at about the halfway point. Though they do manage to do slightly better at judging when to throw in a quieter section to keep things varied, the different quiet and loud sections all begin to sound like each other after a while. OK if you're addicted to Red-era King Crimson, but I'd rather just listen to Red again.

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 Vemod by ANEKDOTEN album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 263 ratings

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Vemod
Anekdoten Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Anekdoten's debut album finds them already mastering their chosen style - a style heavily inspired by King Crimson from around the period of Red, with a combination of raging guitar, a jazzy rhythm section and melancholic Mellotron creating an air of nostalgia and yearning on each track. In fact, this is my major criticism of the album - each track seems devoted to exploring precisely the same sort of emotional mood in precisely the same way. The lack of variation eventually begins to wear on me over the course of the album, though King Crimson fans who seriously miss the Red era will doubtless find it endlessly entertaining.

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Thanks to Erik Neuteboom for the artist addition.

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