5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With the release of the stunning "Vemod" album in the mid-90's, it was apparent that Anekdoten was going to become a major fixture on the prog scene.
And so they have, and why not? With music like this, its difficult to see how it wouldn't appeal to a prog fan. While citing King Crimson as an obvious influence (3 of the members used to play in a King Crimson tribute band), this band has a sound that is all their own. The album opens with the dark, gloomy mellotrons of "Karelia," which soon evolves into a full force instrumental rocker. While maintaining the heaviness and energy of heavy metal, this track has much more than boring power chord riffage. The tune has loads of nimble guitar workouts, dissonant patterns, and yes, some chords. The confident Bruford-esque drumming and growling bass provide a strong, concrete foundation for the guitar, mellotron and cello that accentuate the song.
"The Old Man of the Sea" starts of with some heavy but complex riffing (odd meters) which segue into the vocal sections, which are a bit mellower. Though the group has two lead vocalists, it is difficult to distinguish between them. While they are decent overall, at times there is an annoying vibrato, and a bit of off-key notes. These, however, are only minor distractions. Anyway, the vocal sections are mellower and 70's sounding with piano, then this scorching, psychotic, screaming riff comes flying in, leading the track into some dark and sinister prog metal, not of the Dream Theater type, but of a much grittier, gothic styling.
Thundering guitar and a nice chromatic mellotron ascension open up "Where Solitude Remains," a track that blends loud and soft parts to great effects, and has a very strange dark and doomy feel to it. Features more obligatory, but certainly not boring riffing.
"Thoughts in Absence" has some jazzy sounding clean guitar and equally jazzy brushed drums, and some very dark lyrics ("Life begins/And ends with pain") Also has a very touching mellotron refrain. One of the best tracks on the album.
"The Flow" starts off with some sparse sounds, which bring to mind things like "The Talking Drum" or "Close to the Edge." Once the intro gets out of the way, the heaviest track on the album is free to stomp about. The riffing is manic and insane, the rythym sections crushing and harsh. Once it slows down, some sinister vocals with more of the deliciously dark lyrics come in. This song has its hard rocking parts, as well as the sinister slow dirges that make it a real hard hitter.
"Longing" is an acoustic instrumental which features some beautiful classical guitar and strings. It has a very sincere feel to it, and the title couldn't be more appropriate. Very melancholy but stunningly beautiful, this emotional song verges on breathtaking, with its sparse acoustic textures and melodies of a darkly sublime beauty. Another one of the album's best.
"Flow" kicks you... after the brooding "Longing" with some medium paced dirty guitar playing and trippy psychedelic vocals. This song is quite trippy, and the melody is very strange.
Sure, you can compare these psych-prog-metal rockers to King Crimson all you want, but this astoundingly dark and powerful band are something that only Sweden could produce. And if this is only their first album, you know these guys are going places.