Anekdoten – Until All The Ghosts Are Gone (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 46:26 minutes | 950 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: anekdoten.shop.textalk.se | Front Cover | © Virtalevy/Anekdoten
Recorded: Atlantis Grammofon, Sisu Sound, Magic City Studios, Pete’s Place, Tjep, Mellotron Archives,Travesty Studios
After delivering a steady stream of music between 1993 and 2007, Swedish progressive vets Anekdoten seemingly vanished. A 2-disc anthology surfaced in 2009 and a few live dates occurred, but otherwise, silence. Not until 2013 did the band begin circulating updates about a follow-up to 2007’s A Time of Day. Posts on the band’s webpage clearly conveyed the group’s desire to not only release new material, but to produce something worthwhile. That level of commitment is commendable, but 8 years is still a long time for fans to wait. Imagine the anticipation that came with the band finally re-emerging with Until All the Ghosts are Gone.
Throughout these 6 new songs, Anekdoten’s roots as a King Crimson cover band are still noticeable. “Shooting Star”, which may be the band’s strongest opener since “Monolith”, recalls King Crimson’s Red-era dissonance and drive with its knotty riffs, towering Mellotron and immense bass tones. The dense notes of “Get Out Alive” erupt with atmospheric intensity akin to “The Court of the Crimson King” and guitarist Nicklas Barker’s soaring solo is beholden to Robert Fripp’s more melodic moments. The influences are apparent, but this does not deter the quartet from exploring some original terrain. The latter half of the record’s centerpiece “Writing on the Wall” aptly reflects the band’s modern tendencies. Following an opening section replete with swirling guitar and hovering sheets of vintage-sounding organ, Barker’s lead guitar diverts the proceedings toward airier passages, where the ensemble employs a hitherto unseen mastery of dynamics and space.
The guest appearances here are worth mentioning. Ex-Opeth keyboardist Per Wiberg mans the Hammond on “Shooting Star” and virtuoso flautist Theo Travis (Gong, Steven Wilson’s solo outings) adds a pastoral touch to the pining “If It All Comes Down To You”. Travis’ flute work reappears to complement Marty Willson-Piper’s 12-string guitar on the title track before being overtaken by the wild percussion and manic saxophone of the chaotic, closing instrumental “Our Days Are Numbered”.
Many will point out the record’s similarities to Opeth’s recent output, which arguably go beyond Wiberg’s guest spot. Before claiming plagiarism though, consider that both bands do stem from the same culture and perhaps are drawing inspiration from the same or similar source material. Also, it should probably be noted that Anekdoten are part of the earliest waves of the Scandinavian prog revival and played in this style long before Åkerfeldt and company redirected into like-minded territory.
Overall, the missteps are few. It is a pleasure to report that Anekdoten made the right choice by abdicating expedition in pursuit of quality, despite the grueling delay. The fruit of their labor sits comfortably alongside their finest works and deserves to be recognized among the great albums of 2015. –Brandon Nelson, Sputnikmusic.com
1 Shooting Star 10:10
2 Get Out Alive 07:32
3 If It All Comes Down To You 05:52
4 Writing On The Wall 09:03
5 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone 05:07
6 Our Days Are Numbered 08:36
Nicklas Barker – electric & acoustic guitars, Mellotron M400S, organ, vibes, vocals
Anna Sofi Dahlberg – Mellotron M400S, organ, Fender Rhodes
Jan Erik Liljeström – bass guitar, vocals
Peter Nordins – drums, cymbals, vibes, percussion
Marty Wilson-Piper (The Church, All About Eve) – lead guitar, electric guitar & acoustic 12-string (5)
Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth) – Hammond organ (1)
Theo Travis (King Crimson, Steven Wilson) – flute (3,5)
Gustav Nygren – saxophone (6)