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martes, 31 de marzo de 2015

Anekdoten - Gravity (2003)

Artista: Anekdoten
Álbum: Gravity
Año: 2003
Género: Rock Progresivo
Duración: 46:19
Nacionalidad: Suecia


Lista de Temas:
1. Monolith
2. Ricochet
3. The War Is Over
4. What Should But Did Not Die
5. SW4
6. Gravity
7. The Games We Play
8. Seljak

Alineación:
- Nicklas Barker / voice, guitars, Mellotron, Rhodes, Farfisa, vibraphone
- Anna Sofi Dahlberg / Mellotron, voice, piano, Farfisa, organ
- Jan Erik Liljeström / bass, voice
- Peter Nordins / drums & cymbals, vibraphone, Mellotron


Con sus primeros trabajos Anekdoten se hizo de seguidores metaleros, góticos, rockeros de toda índole, pero con éste 4to álbum, más digerible se hizo una división: los que se quedaron con sus anteriores trabajos y aquellos que aceptaron a la banda más versátil y con una retrospectiva de lo que a progresivo se refiere.
Ritmos frenéticos y sincopados, cero baladas, puro rock nostálgico pero poderoso, nadando en esa oscuridad bella propia de la música escandinava haciendo prog, bueno, son suecos y como habrán visto a lo largo de la historia de este blog, la música progresiva que viene de esos lugares es hermosa, emotiva, oscura, pero llena de vida.
Vuelve Alberto para traernos uno de los clásicos de Anekdoten. Aún así es un disco criticado por algunos, elogiado por otros, ya que marca nuevos rumbos para la banda, aunque sin desprenderse de su tradicional estilo de hacer música. Por ejemplo, dejo dos comentarios un tanto antagónicos entre sí, este es el primero:

"Gravity" es el cuarto álbum de este alucinante y siempre muy denso grupo sueco, que nuevamente nos demuestra todo el poder y emotividad de una de las bandas de mayor calidad del progresivo o el art rock que haya escuchado en los últimos años. A través de su combinación única de elementos y estilos modernos con otros sacados de la tradición setentera, Anekdoten regresa con un disco redondo, quizá no tan poderoso como "From Within" de 1999, pero sí, guardando el estándar de calidad de un grupo que crea atmósferas densas, pasajes llenos de belleza y de gran nostalgia, y un estilo de composición tanto instrumental como melódico, que realmente logra emocionar y hacer reflexionar sobre las infinitas y radicales experiencias de la condición humana: el amor, el dolor, la soledad, la angustia, la felicidad, la tristeza.
Como en los discos anteriores, que son "Vemod", "Nucleus" y el ya mencionado "From Within", el sonido del melotrón -que es ejecutado por tres de los integrantes del cuarteto- es una de las características fundamentales del álbum, que le da ese sonido de algún modo, trágico y tremendista al grupo. Pero también las partes de Nicklas Barker en la guitarra, donde crea unas capas de sonidos llenas de energía, incluso acercándose a un metal sicodélico tipo Voivod, y su aportes en los teclados clásicos y el vibráfono, van de a poco tejiendo esta red muy densa de sonido que propone Anekdoten. Y así seguimos con las texturas de una cruda belleza tanto en la voz como en diversos teclados de la única integrante mujer del grupo llamada Anna Sofi Dahlberg; la batería siempre precisa, y acompañando con gran fuerza las arremetidas más potentes del grupo, del percusionista Peter Nordins; y por último, la especial voz y el bajo muy presente y original de quien le da la personalidad melódica al grupo, Jan Eric Lijeström.
El cedé comienza de inmediata impactando con el tema "Monolith", donde encontramos ese espíritu "crimsoniano" de la primera época, pero mezclado con un sonido de guitarra muy sucia y penetrante, con una actitud, de algún modo, metalera. Las capas de sonidos del melotrón y del vibráfono se hacen presentes con finos y potentes arreglos, que adornan la base siempre sólida de bajo y batería, y la manera muy intensa de cantar de Lijeström. Seis minutos de intensidad para comenzar. El segundo tema, llamado "Ricochet" -uno de los grandes del disco- llama la atención por su aspecto melódico más cercano al pop, y que también me recuerda las melodías del Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson. Más que describirla, diría que es simplemente una canción que estremece hasta los huesos.
El recorrido continúa con "The War Is Over", donde resalta el sonido de la guitarra acústica las percusiones y la parte vocal, en una canción más esperanzadora, más que cerrada o más bien encerrada como es lo típico de Anekdoten, más abierta y con un sonido bastante menos denso, pero que por ningún motivo, le quita el grado de profunda emotividad al álbum, sino que nos muestra los nuevos caminos estilísticos y sónicos que ha sabido ir incorporando la banda a si misma. Volviendo a la densidad, que hasta de pronto nos recuerda por pasajes a los temas más oscuros de The Doors, nos topamos con "What Should But Did Not Die", otra muestra de que Anekdoten sabe hacer de la música un pasaje para encontrar la emotividad, que luego se convierte en pensamiento, en reflexión y recuerdos.
El quinto tema, llamado "SW4", resalta por el minimalismo más cercano al pop que el de otros temas, pero donde también llaman la atención, los elegantes arreglos tanto para piano, batería, guitarra y diversos teclados clásicos. El disco llega a uno de sus puntos altos con el tema que da el título al álbum, en una alucinante composición de más de ocho minutos, que es una especie de resumen de todo lo que es Anekdoten: fineza melódica, poder instrumental, intensidad dramática, experimentación y partes llenas de mucha fuerza rockera. La placa continúa con el reposado y muy psicodélico "The Games We Play", para finalizar con la intensidad, que recuerda mucho al álbum "Nucleus", de "Seljak".
En mi opinión, para los amantes de cualquier estilo musical, Anekdoten es una experiencia única, y que ocupará, sin duda, un lugar de honor en cualquier colección de discos de un melómano e interesado por los grupos que van más allá del mainstream. "Gravity" es una nueva demostración de cómo el art rock y la música hecha sólo para el corazón, nunca perderá su sitial en las nuevas generaciones de grupos que como Anekdoten, han sabido tomar una tradición, modernizarla y de este modo, crear su propio y especial estilo.
Héctor Aravena A.

Y acá va un segundo comentario un poquito distinto, o por lo menos con otra postura u otro punto de vista:

Desde su espectacular estreno con el disco "Vemod" 10 años atrás, ANEKDOTEN ha realizado sólo cuatro álbumes de estudio, evolucionando en cada uno hasta llegar a éste que sin duda originó variados comentarios y posturas diferentes.
Mi postura es que Nicklas BARKER (voz, guitarras, Mellotron, Rhodes, Farfisa, vibráfono), Anna Sofi DAHLBERG (Mellotron, voz, piano, Farfisa, órgano), Jan Erik LILJESTRÖM (bajo, voz) y Peter NORDINS (batería, cimbales, vibráfono, Mellotron), desperdiciaron un tanto la capacidad y originalidad que había ganado el grupo en esta década (ya se veía venir desde que hicieron "From Within"), para verter su evolución hacia desarrollar una música que en mi opinión muy personal (otros le dicen EMHO), escucho como si KING CRIMSON hubiera hecho el amor con U2 mientras escuchaban a IRON BUTTERFLY y el producto fuera ANEKDOTEN llorando "Gravity". Sin embargo hay cosas que rescatan la característica experimental que se podría esperar, expuesta en temas como 'What should but did not die' y 'Gravity', casi siempre desde densidades lerdas y pausadas.
Algo que no se puede negar, es que ANEKDOTEN es un grupo dispuesto al riesgo y con una filosofía de música muy propia. Y a pesar de que en "Gravity" no haya un tema que me encante, tampoco puedo dejar de reconocer que se trata de un álbum disfrutable, controvertido e interesante.
Alfredo Tapia-Carreto

Sea como sea, esto es puro Anekdoten; puro progresivo de calidad, denso, emotivo, climático, crimsoniano, son los suecos a todo vapor, aunque claro que como es natural en este tipo de bandas, no tienen miedo de arriesgar por nuevos sonidos y nuevos rumbos, como debe ser para una banda progresiva que se precie como tal.
Antes del video, les dejo algunos comentarios en inglés:

A new album from ANEKDOTEN has always been a great pleasure ever since I bought their first album "Vemod" in 1993. ÄNGLAGARD's "Hybris" and ANEKDOTEN's "Vemod" were my most played albums for a long time that year. I had heard rumours that "Gravity" was ANEKDOTEN's best album so far, so I thought, "let's check it out." I love their tasteful use of Mellotron, Farfisa, Rhodes, Piano and Organ, but I miss the cello at times. The music is still the same but softer and not as wild as before, and you can still hear their origin as a KING CRIMSON tribute band, although they have developed their own style and you can hear that they're still trying to find new paths for their music to follow. Here and there you can also recognise some similarities to their mates PAATOS and the since long sadly disbanded LANDBERK. Together with A.C.T's "Last Epic" and RITUAL's "Think Like A Mountain", ANEKDOTEN's "Gravity" is the best album from Sweden 2003, regardless the genre, but in my book "Vemod" (1993) and "Nucleus" (1995) is still their best albums so far.
Greger Rönnqvist

A lot of people seem not to like this as much as Anekdoten's previous albums, which I just don't understand. It seems like a real step forward to me. On previous albums, the KC Red-type bashing could get quite tiresome, although I do generally like that style. This album contains a number of that type of piece as well (title track, Monolith), but also a bunch of softer, more atmospheric (definitely not "poppy") numbers like SW4 and The Games We Play, which feature a greater use of guitar effects and ambient sounds. I think the variety results in a gripping album that is more fun to listen to than the band's other albums. And track 2, Ricochet, is a melodic, emotional mellotron-fest of such beauty that I rank it only with IQ's Harvest of Souls as the best new prog tune I've heard in the last couple of years.
Another improvement is the fact that the vocals, usually Anekdoten's weak point, are much stronger and more assured on this album. Not only that, but the lyrics are much better as well, more mature and with a less depressed feel. Sure, I could have used some cello on this one too, but the quality of the songs is such that it is a small criticism. If you love Anekdoten's early work but have been turned off by some bad reviews, don't listen! This is a fine album of dark, melancholic prog.
Allister Thompson

In the liner notes Nicklas Berg's name is shown as Nicklas Barker, now i'm thinking he just wants people to think he's related to Bob Barker from The Price Is Right, but apparently he got married and took his wife's last name ! Like Nicklas' name change, the music has also changed.There are actually a couple of radio friendly songs here. Things are softer now, although "Monolith" and "Gravity" would have fit nicely on the previous album. This album ("Gravity") continues in the style of "From Within" with the extended instrumentals, while the stark contrasts that were prominant on "Vemod" and "Nucleus" are lessened considerably. Nicklas sings lead on all songs except for "Ricochet" where Jan Erik does a great job on what I feel is one of the best songs they have ever done.
A mellotron storm with a good beat leads off on "Ricochet", then the vocals come in.This is so moving. He sings "So which of all the lies you told should I keep as my own ?" The instrumental interlude before 3 1/2 minutes in with the organ and bass is such a pleasure. On the last verse of this song the vocals become emotional as he sings "Hands outstretched, along the river" Yes ! I mention that because i've never heard this emotion vocally in an ANEKDOTEN song before. Awesome tune ! "The War Is Over" is another song that just transports me. It's like a dream come true, laughing in the sun. Two of the best songs I have ever heard back to back. This song is different from anything they have done before. The acoustic guitar and pleasant vocals just move me. Just gorgeous. Listen to Nicklas sing "A blue whippoorwill sings on the other side of the rain" and "So come my kingdom come-come today", this is followed by majestic mellotron. Back to the opening track "Monolith" which by the way they have opened concerts with as well. Anyway it opens with a nice riff before a fuller sound with vocals takes over. This is a mid-paced beauty with great vocals. The mellotron comes and goes, although it sounds especially good after 2 1/2 minutes. Love the sound 5 1/2 minutes in as we get hit with mellotron gale force winds. "What Should But Did Not Die" is a slow atmospheric song that seems like it's building towards something but doesn't. Vocals after a minute. A lighter but fuller sound before 3 1/2 minutes before it gets heavier again.
"Sw4" is another song that doesn't typify ANEKDOTEN. It's also the only track without mellotron on it. Seems like it was written from an experience the band may have had while on tour in London. It's mid-paced but fairly dark and atmospheric. Love when Anna comes in with the keys 1 1/2 minutes in and after 2 1/2 minutes. They stretch it out instrumentally to end it. "Gravity" is another highlight ! Nicklas said this was one of his favourites to play live. It's all about the vocals early. It kicks into gear with mellotron and a great beat 1 1/2 minutes in. The contrasts continue. Fantastic tune ! "The Games We Play" is a gentle haunting piece, with higher pitched vocals. Strummed guitar while piano comes in around a minute. Cool song. "Seljak" starts with piano and chunky bass before drums and sax arrive, which reminds me of the PSYCHEDELIC FURS and I love it ! It settles after 2 1/2 minutes with vocal melodies coming in after 3 minutes. It's building to a full and heavy sound to end it.
I really like the cover art on this one. "Monolith" and "Gravity" remind me of the "From Within" album but other then that, this is a much more accessible record. The band thanks Sorrentini and Roversi from MOONGARDEN, Akerfeldt from OPETH, Reine Fiske and many more in the liner notes.
John Davie

As Anekdoten appeared to be stagnating a bit after their third album, it was time for the group to grab the bull by the horn and try to evolve. And this album is certainly a step away from their usual formula, although the least we can say is that it was not in the right direction. One of the factors working against it, outside the pressure to renew themselves, is that this album feels rushed, not only in its production: Anna-Sofi confirmed that they had to rush it out to the factory in order to meet the release date prior to their Western-European tour dates. The extra-terrestrial artwork is nice and an improvement the nihilistic previous album, but it (and the music) fail to deliver the excitement of the early releases.
Obviously if the songwriting is also improved compared with the ambient From Within, we are not at the level of Nucleus or Vemod. But the group loses much of its soul by running after the alternative rock scene and sound sometimes desperate in trying to find something different. While the opening Monolith retains their usual paw signature (Nordin's discreet vibes adding a little extra flavour), while Rhodes, Farsifas and Mellos (trons of them ;-) takes us back to the old Anekdoten world. Unfortunately this doesn't last; if War Is Over develops a too rare acoustic feel (mostly Barker's guitar), Ricochet (sounding like a Swedish REM or Muse track), the ambient Games We Play (hollow and shallow) and What Should But Didn't Die (this is another track that remains also credible) don't bring any excitement, even if it is clear that the new direction taken is not really convincing. Their Indie Rock falls a bit flat on its face, because of the band's usually good monochord feel. The title track is actually fairly pleasant even if it reminds Muse or early Radiohead, but the closing instrumental is little more a chordal jam without much interest, dare I call it a filler?
The problem with Gravity is that Anekdoten is aware they must progress, they certainly try to do different, but they simply try too hard and lose a bit of themselves in the process. Even if vastly different, Gravity is not any better or worse than the preceding From Within, I must say that they've taken different directions in my mind: their third wearing thin after many listens, while their fourth has gained a bit over repeated listening (but it had started badly on immediate listens), but it will never approach their better works either.
Sean Trane

I consider this as one of the most affecting albums I have encountered during my quest of searching emotions and communication from music. The sharpest edges of the band's musical style have now matured ready for the Greco-Roman wrestling with Gods of Antiquity, "Gravity" resembles "From Within" certainly, but feels like a next step onwards with the new sounds found after Van Der Graaf Generator oriented "Nucleus" LP. "Monolith" strikes to the listener first with raw power, associating with the front cover's girl's astonishment of universal miracles from the moons of mars. The song title embodies interestingly in the middle section, where mellotron and bass guitar circle around monolithically stagnant guitar chords. "Ricochet" elevates solemnly even further heights on its intro, resting for a while on the room of lover couple's doubts and concerns. The union metaphysical and casual themes both on lyrical and musical idioms strengthen the records listening impact, allowing easy grabbing points for the sound rocketing to the divine spheres. "The War is Over" stays on the human relationship theme, shifting to more acoustic orientation, and being captured to a funny official film easily found from the internet. Following two compositions return to shadows of doubt and despair, waiting slowly possible realizations of the fearful anticipations on a path of individual's life. The title track feels slightly like a re-run of "Hole" from their previous album, not reaching the same massive of destructiveness, but curving rock dramatics successfully to a hazy hippie vision of "The Games We Play". The album coda "Seljak" is one of the most amazing conclusions to any rock album I have heard, the instrumental track handling time signatures, aggressive boosts and hollow calm moments' contrasts to final trinity chords blowing the vinyl to deepest levels of consciousness. As a personal memory, I remember when I was struggling with my graduation and spent solitary workday's nights at the local pubs, this album with its predecessor and Morte Macabre's album formed my own soundtrack of the darkest hours. But the promise of hope glimmering on this music is also true, not much after all unpleasantness often get solved, and I also found other local hippie acts for my soundtrack of healing, relating to Jefferson Airplane and such listened at high school. If not greater than life, then as great as life this music on my turntable I see.
Eetu Pellonpää

When I see the ratings for Anekdoten albums on PA, I must be one of the few that started to be charmed by their work with From Within.
And since this album is in the vein of its very good predecessor, it is all logical that I will appreciate Gravity. Especially the first two songs. Manolith is a fantastic opener which sets the pace. One thing is for sure : Anna Sofi is fabulous on the mellotron. She adds so much depth to their music; a great contribution for sure. Tortured guitar and great drumming.
Do I really need to say anything about Ricochet? A gorgeous mellotron intro and a sad mood reminds me of Echo & The Bunnymen if you would take out the mellotron of course. The Bunnymen were one of the few excellent bands from the eighties. So influential. Actually Manolith has such an indefinite savour as well.
What Should But Did Not Die is a melancholic song which PT could have written. And I have the same feeling during the psychedelia of SW4. And I am just found of these guitar notes during the title track. Stripped down riffs, cold, dark. And again, when the sublime mellotron comes in, it is an enchantment. A very powerful song. A beautiful one. One of the highlights (together with Manolith and Ricochet).
And even if The Games We Play is dull; it is the only weak song from this album (and the shortest one as well). The icy beauty of the closing number should also please the fans of their earlier work. It is the most Crimsonesque piece of music of this very good album. Hypnotic guitar and very solid rhythmic section. Another highlight.
Four stars for Gravity which is much more accessible than their early albums.
ZowieZiggy

Gravity is the fourth studio album from Swedish progressive rock act Anekdoten. I was very impressed with their previous album From Within which I felt was a shift towards a more emotional style compared to their two first very King Crimson Red era influenced albums Vemod and Nucleous which emphasised complex playing and dissonant riffing over emotional pathos IMO.
The music on Gravity continues in the emotional style that was started on From Within but adds an alternative rock touch and a bit more commercial appeal to the overall sound. Many reviewers don´t enjoy this development in Anekdoten´s sound as they feel that the band is moving further and further away from the conventional progressive approach. While this may be true the music on Gravity is still far from ordinary commercial alternative rock. The dark mood and the famous extensive use of mellotron are still trademarks in Anekdoten´s sound on Gravity. The vocal melodies have become slightly more memorable, but they are still far from commercial rock melodies.
There are some really great songs on Gravity. I really enjoy the opener Monolith, What Should But Did Not Die and the beautiful and dark title track. Ricochet is probably the most commercial song Anekdoten had made up until Gravity, but it´s still a beautiful and great song. The War Is Over opens new territory while the two closing songs The Games We Play and the instrumental Seljak are both great songs. The only song which I feel is a bit below average is SW4, but that one might grow on me in time.
The musicianship is excellent. Emotional playing and unique vocal performances makes this album stand out.
The production is the most modern and alternative rock sounding production Anekdoten has had so far. Some will like this, some will not. I enjoy the sound.
Despite what many others feel I think Gravity is a great album. I think Gravity falls into the same alternative rock/ progressive rock catagory as Bloodflowers from The Cure and Last Fair Deal Gone Down by Katatonia and people who enjoy music that falls somewhere between those genres will greatly enjoy Gravity. 4 stars are well deserved for this excellent album.
UMUR

This low profile band from Sweden hardly registers on any radar. And that is such a loss as they could appeal to many people, prog as well as alternative rock fans. There's no other band that can write such complex music and still make it sound so spontaneous and organic, as if the music already existed by itself and they just had to seize it out of the sky and commit it to tape. (Now, if you think I've lost it, this is more or less a quote from Robert Fripp! But then, we all now he's really weird :-/ )
Anyway, their music can be forceful and menacing as on Monolith but it can also be equally tender, subtle and delicate as on the mesmerizinf SW4. And in whatever form it manifests, it's always intelligent and at the same time emotional, heartfelt in that unique understated way of them. It is as though they are a musical manifestation of the Swedish psyche. Not that I'm any kind of specialist on Sweden but judging from what I know of that country and its people, Anekdoten's music seems to breathe Sweden through all its pores.
Gravity is their most accomplished album for me and a definite desert island pick.
Karl Bonnek

Gravity, released in 2003 saw Anekdoten continuing their trend of consistently excellent releases but by now the King Crimson comparisons are more or less left behind as the band have by now well and truly developed their own sound in a direction more than hinted at on From Within.
Anna Sofi Dahlberg's haunting Mellotron and organ still plays a key role in their sound providing a sweeping backdrop much of the time but the songs are now more succinct. There are less of the drawn out grooves, though What Should But Did Not Die continues that style occupying similar territory as Hole from the From Within album, but less expansive. The guitar riffs are less angular than the first 2 albums but that's not to say they lack power. This is clearly immediately apparent as album opener Monolith delivers an explosive riff on one of the highlights here. Title track Gravity, at over 8 minutes is the longest song and another incredibly powerful moment with the driving rhythm section of Jan Erik Liljeström and Peter Nordins keeping it simple but effective as the guitar of Nicklas Barker and well up front Mellotron of Anna Sofi Dahlberg provide the icing on the cake.
What has not changed is the vocals of Barker and Liljeström, not surprisingly still retaining that instantly recognisable melancholic quality.
The Games We Play and The War Is Over offer a new perspective and are 2 mellower acoustic driven moments and Seljak, a driving instrumental closes the album in fine style with its abrupt ending.
It's difficult to draw parallels between Anekdoten and other bands here as by now their sound is truly their own and while Gravity is the weakest of their first 4 albums it's only because of it being in such illustrious company that I'm able to say that. It's still an incredibly strong and consistent release and fans of the band should not be disappointed.
Paul Fowler

progmonster, I can't agree less with you. And in general, what a unloved son this Gravity bastard is. Hardly received by fans and blamed by others, from their albums, if they're rated all quite well, one simply have to be worst. And so here we are, evaluating, judging, thinking about qualities, prog qualities and quantities (tities?) of Gravity trap. Isn't it nice to be trapped again ? Seems like good young Marty (it's opposite of "good ol' Marty", who I'll become in future - 2015).
I'll rather advice to something else (not talking to anything in particular, just responding to so "low" [relatively] rating that reigns here. I don't stand a chance to change it and I also don't want to), face the fact that this is different Anekdoten. If you compare slightly worse album (Nursery Crime) with Masterpiece (Foxtrot), the result is - easily 4-stars. But when you compare it to other, 4- star albums, the result it 5-stars. What about to apply same fair policy here. Be honest, be fair with Anekdoten, they does not deserve our wrath. Or sour grapes.
I'll also fact (or you, as you wish, if you'll follow me), am aware that this sounds weaker. Not completely bad, but weaker for sure. Structures too depending on vocals (which were good in small dosages) and somehow more pop feeling here. More melodic, something that does not fits me here. You see ? I'm thinking in terms of their music, comparing this album to others, but when comparing to other work of other acts, would it be better ? A little bit, yes. As long as I know, their most melodic album by far.
But it's nice to look at other reviews and see, how confused some reviewers are, not knowing what to say. At least I'm not alone in this.
4(-), but I've been tempted by darkness to give less. I'll leave it for a next time.
Marty McFly

I know Vemod, Nucleus and From Within are people's favorite albums of the Swedish band ANEKDOTEN., they are mine as well; however, GRAVITY is my special album. I love every single song in this album, and my top favorite is Ricochet, it is kind of emotional for me. The rest of the album ranges from peaceful and relaxing songs to heavier and proggier sounds. This album is the most accessible of the first 4, maybe that is why people think it is not the best, but let me tell you something, ANEKDOTEN's albums deserve a rating of 5 stars, because they are far better than many other albums of other bands.
Guillermo Barrera

This is a GREAT prog album!
The album is GREAT all the way through, and my absolute farorite Anekdoten album. No bad tracks here, though some are more interesting than others.
Anekdoten sound is very distinctive, with lots & lots of Mellotron and dramatic singing.
It starts strong with "Monoilt" and "Richochet", in my book the best songs on the album. These two tracks are one of Anekdotens finest moments ever in my book.
"What Should But Did Not Die" is a drone song very similar to "The End" by The Doors. Great song. "SW4" is another beautyful drone song with backwards vocal effects.
"Gravity" hits you strong with hard Mellotron all over the place. Epic ending.
"The Games We Play" and "Seljak" are great, but not my favorites.
A great album, and an essential album in the collection.
Moonstone

Yes, even though many reviewers think this is not on the same level than their previous releases, I believe is on the same league and even better than NUCLEUS. Is it more accessible? Sure. Is it less odd and complex? Of course. Is it less progressive? Maybe, but I don't think so. Is it going in a different direction than the other albums? Truth. Do all these statements mean a bad thing? NOT AT ALL.
As I've said in other reviews, I like things to evolve, especially music, as long as the change isn't radical or backwards, which I don't think this is that case. This evolution shows a different face of the band, actually a very good face. Nevertheless we still hear in this record that Anekdoten we all fell in love with: that atmospheric mellotron, those great bass lines, that powerful drumming, the excellent guitar works of Nickas "Barker" and the melancholic mood and vocals.
There are really wonderful songs here like "Monolith" with the typical Anekdoten sound, dark and mellotron loaded. "Ricochet" with the mellotron again dominating, cadent drums, nice organ and vocals; great atmosphere, excellent song. "SW4"which is actually one of the best songs I've heard from the band, dark and psychedelic, mystic and ambient, just marvelous. "Gravity" starts very smooth and melancholic and then gradually increases the heaviness to afterwards slow down a bit to progress again and finish with powerful riffs. The closer "Selijak" is a very good instrumental that begins with the traditional heavy sound of the band with a mellow moment with nice guitar chords in the middle part and smooth atmospheric vocals by Anna Sofi.
I´d say this is an excellent album that shouldn't be rejected by the fans of the heavier sound of the band; it just needs a few listens to grow in you and start to enjoy it. At least it works for me perfectly and gave me the chance to know an alternative side of the band which I found very interesting and delightful.
Fran Muñoz

Interesting to see how people judge an album. To me Anekdoten was not unpleasant music but sometimes 'suffering' from sharp edges. This album is very smooth and fits exactly to my preferences. The album itself is very consistent. Maybe some people will find it 'too consistent'. In that case be aware the album is rather short (45 minutes). In my opinion better short than overstretched.
Dennis Hoogendonk

For me, this is one of the favorite albums that I ever heard, not just as prog, but music. This album make truly melanholic emotions, what you can feel not just with mind but with all your body. Song "Gravity" is peak of feelings. I like all Anekdoten albums, but more like good prog with strong King Crimson influences, but this not more King Crimson, but Anekdoten with own sound, and it is perfect. Hear so many mellotron sound, in this era is so incredibly. Finally I'm a big fan of mellotron sound.
Uldis

I love the feel of this album. Although it might not be fancy time signature-progressive, the album conveys much emotion, varied emotion -- which in my opinion is much more worthwhile than just technical prog. The music on this album is just plain wonderful! Very relaxing, yet never boring. One of my all-time favourites.
tq

Some reviwers compared this record with Radiohead, they are completely crazy. The fourth studio album is an evolution in Anekdoten's sound. Gravity is more original than the previous records, the KC influence is still present, but less evident. Monolith and Gravity are the highlights on this beautifull album.
albertolc

Every new Anekdoten-album is like having a new kid. This swedish band has become my favourite band together with Ânglagård. "Gravity" is an album the grew on me, and became one of my favourite albums, ever. It's mellotron-drenched melancholic rock is just perfect. This time even the vocals are great. Of course _I could miss the cello, but when it's this good, who cares? I've seen them live twice, and they bring tears in my eyes each time. This is today's best band no doubt. Just buy all their records, nothing more to say.
Welhaven

Superb album from a great group of folks/musicians. I had the opprtunity recently to meet the band in Mexico at BajaProg, and vend with them in the back room...They are great folks, very earthy and erudite. However, their true magic was manifest when they took the stage. Ms. Dahlberg has a intrinsic feel for the 'tron and her keys, as well as cello. This album is a departure from their KC inspired albums, but is no less effective. Every song is drenched in mellotron and has some vocals that evoke styles of Jack Bruce, The Ocean Blue and even some Manzarek style organ. I found myself repeatedly drawn to this album, and feel that thje entire piece flows well and will continue to satisfy me, musically. Thanks for a great album guys, and good luck...
soldham56

Sea como sea, es un disco de Anekdoten, y por supuesto es un disco muy recomendado. Y otra vez agradezcan a Alberto, que trae más Anekdoten para que se diviertan a lo grande.



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