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Anekdoten - Nucleus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.01 | 396 ratings

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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.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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