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Anathema - A Fine Day To Exit CD (album) cover

A FINE DAY TO EXIT

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.83 | 490 ratings

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LakeGlade12
3 stars 3.0 Stars. Leave no trace of their metal past

A fine day to exit (AFDTE) shows the band making quite a radical change to their sound. While it was clear from Eternity to Judgement that they were slowly removing their doom metal past what could not be expected was that they would replace it with very bleak alternative rock with a few hints of Pink Floyd influences (only hints, nothing more).

Now I come from a Alternative rock background so the music here is well within my comfort zone. The best way to describe AFDTE is to imagine Radiohead creating long and drawn out songs where there are not too many changes in flow and are quite one-dimensional in what they are trying to achieve. In fact despite me listening to these songs for quite some time its difficult for me to remember them. That does not mean that they are bad, it just means that AFDTE is more about the mood for the whole album and not about specific songs.

So what is that mood? Well its a very unhappy and restless atmosphere which hardly ever lets up. While this is not a fast paced album (only "Panic" is fast) the melancholy is relentless and the energy is quite high. Most of the songs finish with a climax and all the pain in the band's hearts are poured on you which makes for a very intense experience. As with most of Anathema's material they focus on emotion and less on technical content (so don't expect anything complex) and as usual they are very successful. I have never failed to be moved by this album, but the negative content does take its toll so repeated listens can be difficult. People who struggle with depressive themes are not advised to get this album (or anything before WHBWH).

I don't want to focus on individual tracks because it would be boring for everyone, but I do want to focus on the last track "Temporary Peace" which is both the highlight and train wreck of this album. The song starts on the downbeat and depressing mood which has dominated everything up to that point, but then it transforms into a very warm and hopeful song which really stands out from the rest of the album. It makes for a perfect closer after less than 6 min of running time and it finishes with waves in the background...

...Or I should say it SHOULD finish there. The waves carry on for several minutes and then it gets really stupid. The album has been very serious to this point and then they ruin everything with them shouting thing like "What about the dogs!? What about the cats!? What about the Chickens!!!?" at the top of their lungs for several minutes. After giving one of the best 6 min of their career they do that! What were they thinking? The song falls into silence and then comes back with a hidden track which is another silly song and again is a mood killer.

If I were to rate this album just on personal opinion it would be a low 4 stars, but I have to take into account the lack of Prog and that AFDTE's appeal is not as diverse compared to their other releases. So 3 stars is fair. Overall this is a good effort from the band and does not suffer from weak material which can often happen when a band changes their sound so significantly. But its not as eventful as their other albums and not a good starting point. I would focus on either Judgment or the following two albums after this one.

LakeGlade12 | 3/5 |

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