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Anekdoten - Vemod CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.05 | 413 ratings

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4 stars AN EXCELLENT DARK MUSIC (with great composition!)

How dark? Observe this lyric .

"My mind's falling down endless tunnels. Until I find myself in the void. Somewhere down there I could hear them calling me. Through walls of silence I heard them weep."

This album has been the missing piece for me as I have already enjoyed the other two excellent albums "Nucleus" and "From Within" until last week when my prog mate Anto Sulistianto loaned me this CD. I had no difficulty in digesting this album as I've been familiar with the band's music. What surprised me when I spun the CD the first time was the excellent music quality despite it's a debut album. Historically, Anekdoten was previously King Edward - a band that was formed in the vein of King Crimson. The arrival of keyboardist / cellist Anna Sofi Dahlberg remarked the change of band's name to Anekdoten. Guitarist Nicklas Berg and drummer Peter Nordins were previously members of the Manson Family Band - a band with roots in psychedelic vein; influenced by Cream and Jimi Hendrix. Not much we knew the music of King Edward. It seemed only one song "Sad Rain" that appeared on the Japanese version of Vemod., the band's debut album (1993). Vemod is a Sweden word that means "melancholy" and basically represented the band's music.

The album opener "Karelia" (7:20) is an instrumental outfit started out with a long sustain and ambient mellotron sound that sets a very dark nuance that characterizes the entire album. The full-blown music enters beautifully a combination of guitar work in the vein of King Crimson, mellotron, inventive bass lines and drumming style that reminds me to Bill Bruford's, especially on the unique snare sounds. The music flows mellow in a floating style and giving mellotron, cello and guitar a fair chance to deliver their simple solo. Yes, most of Anekdoten's solos are performed in simple and less to medium complexities. At the end of this track I can sense an influence of King Crimson, i.e. when the riffs are similar with "Easy Money" intro of the "Lark's Tongue in Aspic". I don't think it's a rip-off as the similarity only in nuance.

"The Old Man & The Sea" (&:50) is a song-oriented composition featuring relatively flat vocal line. The song revolves around chords progression driven by guitar work and mellotron in relatively medium tempo. As the song builds up into crescendo the music turns into a more complex one and this segment represents the song interlude. At the end part of the interlude, the guitar style is reminiscent of Robert Fripp. Really nice.

The third track "Where Solitude Remains" (7:20) moves the album to a faster tempo music (during opening part) combining heavy bass lines, drum work and mellotron. It's a powerful opening until it turns into quieter passage when vocal lines enter the scene. During lyrical verse, mellotron with its long sustain note accompanies the singing augmented with Bruford like drumming. Wow! It's really wonderful man! What later surprises me is the guitar solo where this time is performed in jazzy style accentuated with mellotron sound and dynamic drumming. It's an excellent composition!

"Thoughts in Absence" (4:10) starts off with guitar fills followed with slow beat drum work and bass guitar that accompanies vocal line. This track is different than the other first three where it's performed mellow and nice with vocal quality that reminds me to Peter Hammil. The song also has a killing melody. Guitar fills (played soft) and mellotron characterize this song. It's a cool and nice composition that serves as a break after hearing more complex first three tracks.

Fifth track "The Flow" (6:58) moves the music back into more complex composition combining Crimsonisque guitar work, mellotron and solid bass lines. Right after the middle of the track, the arrangement turns into a very complex one combining multi instruments: cello, mellotron, guitar, bass and drum. I really like this ending part. Yes, it's dark in nuance but the music is so uplifting. There is a kind of avant-garde music here. It's a masterpiece track!

"Longing" (4:50) is a beautiful instrumental track that combines acoustic guitar solo and cello in a nice melody. Mellotron sometime provides its sound at the back to accentuate the song. The combination of acoustic and cello works is awesome. Performed unplugged, this is a different style of Anekdoten music even though it's still maintaining the dark nuance.

The concluding track "Wheel" (7:50) brings the album back to a faster tempo music with mellotron-based composition. The music turns slow when it gives a chnace to choirs enter the music. Guitar work brings the music into more complex arrangements. The interlude part explores flugelhorn work by Par Ekstrom. An excellent composition.

Overall, how can I sum up my views about this album? It's not a tough job at all for me because I love this album from start to end. If you can tolerate dark music, you may find this album rewarding. It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. The best listening time is during late night, play it loud, with no disturbance from your surroundings. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,


Gatot | 4/5 |


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