Exposé Online banner

Anekdoten — Nucleus
(Musea FGBG 4165.AR, 1995, CD)

by Rob Walker, 1996-03-01:

Nucleus Cover art Anekdoten's eagerly anticipated sophomore effort proves to be a masterful development and refinement of their heavy and driving progressive sound. While Nucleus certainly adheres to the essence of the band's musical character as defined on Vemod, Anekdoten have, much to their credit, distanced themselves somewhat from the more overt King Crimson stylings found on their first album. The writing has matured as well, with excellent use of dynamics and contrast, and a plethora of solid musical ideas carrying each of the songs along. The heavy riffs and melodies that serve as the foundation for many of the tunes find an even more effective home among the various keyboard and guitar countermelodies which give Nucleus an element of musical intricacy much less prominent on Vemod. The stark and poignant melodic sensibility displayed by some of the quieter sections may remind one of Landberk at times; the musical understatement working because of the busy and aggressive sections framing it. Though still drawing at times on the 70s Crimson sound, Anekdoten have injected a larger dose of originality and creativity into the recipe on Nucleus; but one of many exciting and promising signs for their future. All in all this is an extremely powerful and well conceived album. Nucleus should live up to any and all expectations fans had placed on it.

by Mike Grimes, 1996-03-01:

Especially after great shows at a couple of the Monster Prog shows in the last year or so, Anekdoten's follow up to the much heralded Vemod has surely been one of the most anticipated prog releases of the year. In short, it was worth the wait. Nucleus has all the ingredients that made the first album a prog hit, plus loads of new stuff. If I had any complaint about the first album, it was that it was too samey in places and had a tad too much King Crimson influence. The band has matured on Nucleus and added several new elements to their sound. The songs are still primarily instrumental based, but the writing has more variety . Guitarist Niklas Berg proves he is not just a master of the tritone. By expanding his repertoire, varying his guitar style and tones quite a lot, he helps adds some textural diversity absent on Vemod. In addition, he has also expanded to add Zeppelin-esque electric piano to some of the tracks for even more variety. The production quality is much higher on this release too. Anekdoten are great at what they do. They can build parts and tear them back down like nobody's business. I'm sure I don't even need to tell you to get it.

by Mike McLatchey, 1996-03-01:

Anekdoten seems to be one of the most well received groups of the new "progressive" resurgence. Their debut has evidently reached the five-digit sales mark and was given wide critical acclaim on its release. Nucleus is their long awaited follow-up and takes the Anekdoten sound on a slightly different direction. Despite the new approach and the obvious general improvements, I'm not as satisfied with the instrumentalists' tones. Guitarist Niklas Berg's diminished chord patterns are becoming a mite too familiar. I keep hoping he'll break out into a long guitar solo or something. Jan Erik Liljestrom's bass tone has gotten heavier and his incessant pounding throughout the albums seems a bit like how Jannik Top would sound if you ran over his dog. It so unbelievably angry sounding, and to boot you can barely recognize his often effected vocals anymore. While these critical observations of the band's tones aren't meant to scare anyone off, I do mention them as I feel the album would have benefited highly from some diversity. The music is still up to Anekdoten's standards and quite good. Theres still some great mellotron here and a stronger Fender Rhodes presence. The murky and heavily stormy production give this a very swampy feel similar to some of the mid 70s Italian groups (Ibis' Sun Supreme comes to mind) and one I quite like. This definitely seems to be a general improvement on Vemod and an album with a different direction.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 9 , 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Anekdoten

More info

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Frágil - Sorpresa del Tiempo – While they are relatively unknown in most of the world, Frágil must be quite popular in their homeland of Peru. Case in point: this live reunion CD from a concert in 1999, recorded with a...  (2002) » Read more

Univers Zéro - Live – I remember back in the day when I first heard Univers Zéro’s debut LP, I just scratched my head in bewilderment; what were these guys doing? It wasn’t until after hearing a couple...  (2006) » Read more

DésAccordes (Erik Baron) - In C – Erik Baron is a French bassist we’ve heard from before (his excellent Cordayades CD from a few years ago was favorably reviewed in issue #29), but this time out his primary role is that of...  (2006) » Read more

Kevin Ferguson - Strad to Strat – An impressive effort, bringing the compositions of Paganini, Wieniawski, Vivaldi, Bach, Sarasate, and Rimsky-Korsakov from the realm of violins, string quartets, and orchestras to the world of the...  (1996) » Read more

Mircan with Limbo - Numinosum – Mircan Kaia belongs to the Mingrelian people, a South Caucasian minority living in northeastern Turkey, in a region bordering Georgia. She is fiercely linked to her roots, but she is not a folk...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues