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Anekdoten - Vemod CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.05 | 410 ratings

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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: ****

The Crow | 4/5 |


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