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Saturday, November 15, 2003

Gravity by Anekdoten

Gravity doesn't always get you down

Gravity
Anekdoten

Virta

released June 2003

Sweden’s Anekdoten may well have started off their career in part as a King Crimson tribute band and though their roots are visible they’ve long outgrown the charge that they are merely a bunch of Crimso-wannabee’s.

If you think that all Anekdoten have to contribute is a smarty-pants pastiche or a dewy-eyed backwards glance to the glory days of prog then you’d be wrong.

Though there’s a liberal deployment of the Mellotron on this album, don’t be fooled into thinking this is an exercise in drippy nostalgia. There’s a real substance and depth to what’s on offer.

The opening track, "Monolith", spanks along in a chill rush of breath-taking ‘tron that is as bracing as a fresh autumn day. Impassioned themes briskly rise against grunge-laden guitars as they rock it up big time.

Followed by "Ricochet", delivering more of the same, it’s akin to a short ride in a fast car with barely any time to take in the details. Despite its brevity, the trip is stirring stuff.

Not surprisingly they slow the pace down with "The War Is Over" – a light innocuous soft-rock idyll which steers dangerously close to being MOR. Concerns that we’re heading for blandland are quickly dispelled by "What Should But Did Not Die" - a Floyd-like case of Careful With That Mellotron, Eugene.

There’s perhaps a greater focus on the song and less of the instrumental pyrotechnics and abrasive, angular qualities of their previous releases. Gravity, with its plusher production values, integrates voices and some bitter-sweet melody to effectively, suggesting the band have not only mellowed but also matured somewhat.

The eight tracks enjoy a tight construction and deceptively compact arrangements leaving little or no room for any extraneous soloing, making it a punchy and curiously uplifting album.

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