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Anekdoten - Nucleus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.00 | 392 ratings

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Moogtron III
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album is uncompromising and beautiful at the same time. Anekdoten is one of the Scandinavian bands which came up in the 1990's, which added a fresh breeze to prog. Well, breeze? Call it a storm, a tempest! One that you won't forget soon.

Yes, Anekdoten is a heavy band. The band is prog for sure, but there is also a clear element of metal, a grungy element to their music. Of course, this was that era in music, after some of the hollow sounding bands of the 1980's, where people were looking for autenthicity again. And you will find autenthicity in this group.

People often compare Anekdoten to King Crimson, but sure enough, that only says a litlle bit where the group stands for. The opening track, Nucleus, starts with some unstructured sounding noises, which makes you wonder what is going to happen the next few minutes. Suddenly the storm breaks loose with Metallica - like minimal barbarian guitar / bass riffs, though much deeper sounding, slower also, though that is not a pointer for having less strength: on the contrary. It is as if a force of nature (like an earthquake) sets the pace for the rest of the album.

Then comes the singing of Jan Erik Liljeström, and there is something unsettling in his voice, like the artwork of the cd booklet is unsettling (the artwork really is in touch with the music). Then for the chorus: (Well, chorus? Sort of... The music is too progressive for tags like verse and chorus) : Jan Erik's voice turns into a barbarian shouting.

If you never heard Anekdoten before, it may take some time to really appreciate them. If you are not afraid of a heavy prog group, and if your music doesn't have to be melodious all the time, then this may be a band for you. Because Anekdoten obviously is influenced by '90's metal. But they are so much more than your average metal / grunge band. There is a definitive Scandinavian touch in the music, hard to pin down but it's there.

Also, the music is often quiet as well. But don't hold "quiet" for "soft". Anekdoten is always powerful, even in their quiet moments. Anna Sofi Dahlberg's cello especially gives the music a certain extra, like in the magnificent closing song "In Freedom" (I haven't heard the 2004 remaster, so that's the closing song on my cd) . Also the use of mellotron and other keyboard instruments give the album a certain mystery.

The playing is wonderful, the production well suited for music like this, and the cd booklet is a treat in itself. Anekdoten really helped to take prog into a new era.

This album is truly progressive. Music like a barren landscape, but one in which you would like to reside from time to time. Ruthless and soaring at the same time.

Moogtron III | 4/5 |


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