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Label: Virta


  1. Karelia - 7:20
  2. The Old Man and the Sea - 7:50
  3. Where Solitude Remains - 7:20
  4. Thought in Absence - 4:10
  5. The Flow - 6:58
  6. Longing - 4:50
  7. Wheel - 7:52


  • Jan Erik Liljestrom, bass, voice
  • Nicklas Berg, guitar, Mellotron, voice
  • Peter Nordins, drums, percussion
  • Anna Sofi Dahlberg, Mellotron, keys, cello, voice

Guest musicians:

  • Per Wiberg, piano
  • Par Ekstrom, Flugelhorn, cornet

Amonf the three Anekdoten albums till now, fans don't agree in which is on is the best; there are favorable opinions to all of them. But surely all three are essential. I always have had a special predilection for "Vemod", but right now, all three albums seem to me more or less of the same high quality.

Some people see in Anekdoten just a derivative band of King Crimson circa Lark's/Bible Black/Red. I differ of such an affirmation. It's true that Crimson's influences are remarkable, but Anekdoten is much more than this.

The group themselves mention King Crimson, Primus, Talk Talk, Magma, Van der Graaf Generator, Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Smashing Pumpkins or Univers Zero as influences, among others, and actually, it's already possible to percieve all of them in this debut "Vemod", and especially in "Nucleus" and "From Within".

Another aspect that doesn't appeal to someone, is Jan Erik Liljestrom's voice, but I don't understand where is the problem. He does not have a spectacular powerful voice, but it's a nice one, that is also improving on later recordings, and the tone, a bit similar to Kerry Minnear's of Gentle Giant, gives a special touch to the group.

Anekdoten's music is energic, dark, lugubrious, and depressive, with very hard and violent moments, and other ones very quiet, melancholy and incredibly beautiful. Lot of hard guitars, inheritance from King Crimson, very powerful bass lines, as the drums too, and an important use of mellotrones and cellos. Also to mention the vocal melodies.

There are two tracks that almost reach the perfection. The instrumental "Karelia", where it's possible to estimate clearly this mixture of melancholy and rabid force. Whereas the other one is "The Old Man and the Sea", an incredible track, with such vocal melodies, the Gothic pianos and the power of the resounding instrumental part.

Also prominent is "The Flow", equally very raging, and "Wheel" another impressive track where again there are contrasts with beautiful vocal melodies and rabid guitars. "Thoughts in Absence" is one of the typical soft and melancholy tracks of the band, and so as for "Longing". I wonder whether bands such as Anekdoten or Landberk were a decisive influence to post-rock bands like Sigur Ros or Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Definitively, essential for my taste, and one of the great prog works of the 90's.

Rating: 9.5/10

Ferran Lizana

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