Anekdoten - Nucleus

Year of Release: 1995
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: Virta 002
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:18:00

With a new release imminent, I thought it to be a good time to catch up on Anekdoten's past, beginning with 1995's Nucleus. While I've had their first album Vemod since its initial release, I only recently picked up Nucleus. Having not played Vemod in a while, my memory of their sound was hazy, thinking of them more in line with their brethren Landberk.

Nevertheless, I was surprised, pleasantly, in listening to Nucleus for the first time. More aptly categorized as Swedish progressive metal perhaps, the album starts out deceptively sparse and decidedly angular, with a few notes of tinkling piano and discordant draws across Helena Killander's violin (or is Dahlberg's cello?). But shortly, heavy bass and guitars come to the fore, grinding authoritatively. There are hints of King Crimson in the sound, heavier, though, than I think of as Crimsonian.

The vocals on the title track are high and operatic during the verses, harsher for the choruses - and sounding better during those choruses. But, for the most of the album, they are understated.

Despite the metal tendencies in the sound, there are also early-Genesis-like devices, if Genesis were a bit crunchier. And, in what I think is almost a standard in Swedish prog, there are those moody moments, like Landberk. It's a diverse album, full of shifting textures and colors.

The long instrumental part to "Book of Hours" is at first low key, shimmering just below the surface, but slowly builds, only to taper off when the vocals begin - on the one hand gentle, on the other mournful.

While this might put some off, if one were to take a bit of grunge, a bit of metal, and a bit of avant-prog, you'd come close to describing Anekdoten. In some ways, in a lot of ways, this has the rawness that Marillion (for example) should have had on Brave - to be true to the subject matter (as great as I think Brave is, a less clean sound would have increased the impact). Nonetheless, if you're looking for smooth prog you're not going to find it here.

This isn't a beautiful album; it's gritty, dirty, harsh and used. But, it does have it's moments of beauty - Killander's violin being but one of them. Despite its dichotomy of moody atmospherics and driving, angular rock, the album grows on you. It is another album that doesn't reveal itself all in one listening.

[From Within was released Nov '99, -ed.]

Nucleus (5:08) / Harvest (6:58) / Book of Hours (9:58) / Raft (0:58) / Rubankh (3:07) / Here (7:23) / This Far From The Sky (8:47) / In Freedom (6:27)

Peter Nordins - percussion
Jan Erik Liljeström - bass and vocals
Nicklas Berg - guitar, Rhodes, clavinet, pumporgan, mellotron, and vocals
Anna Sofi Dahlberg - cello, mellotron, and voice
Helena Killander - violin
Tommy Anderson - Rhodes (2)

Vemod (1991)
Nucleus (1995)
Official Bootleg: Live in Japan (1998)
From Within (1999)
Gravity (2003)
A Time Of Day (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 18th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1052
Language: english


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