This double CD from Swedish prog-rock band Anekdoten is an impressive offering, all the more so because their reputation is relatively unknown in Britain and America. Anekdoten have, however. gained a significant following in their homeland and Japan. Following an eighteen year career, 'Chapters' is Anekdoten’s “best of” album, offering highlights from the band's history.
Anekdoten sound not unlike the Smashing Pumpkins, without Billy Corgan’s nasal-esque vocals, and has distinct elements of Clannad. While I doubt Anekdoten’s music will ever pack the dance floor in a nightclub, for their musical style is too mellow, they are nothing less than fantastic. They are the kind of act are best suited to relaxing in a chair while letting the music flow in the background.
Although Anekdoten’s lead vocalist Nicklas Barker’s voice is eloquently beautiful, the strength of their music comes from the seamless integration of each member, where – like Clannad - the resulting song is achingly evocative. Thus it is difficult to highlight an individual member of the group, for the band are so intertwined that each offers an irreplaceable aspect to their music.
Yet despite the fantastic melody that Anekdoten offer, their music is unfortunately inflexible. This lack of musical variety sadly means a more casual listener will soon become disinterested.
Overall, Anekdoten are an incredibly gifted band that deserve to be heard. But while existing fans will appreciate this album, I suspect the the bulk of more casual listeners may be disappointed by the limited offering. This will be regrettable, as Anekdoten are an excellent group.