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Anathema - Judgement CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.13 | 704 ratings

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The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Probably the most consistent prog album i have ever heard. These guys sure know how to dish out experimental metal, not reaching the realms of the mighty Tool of course, but nonetheless they are very enjoyable to listen to. This far outweighs Alternative 4, which is also a good album, meaning that this is the peak of the band's career. Their sound is a heavier version of Pink Floyd if you want an exact pinpoint on what they're about, but they are still unique in their very own way. This album is no exception to the above style, and many Floyd fans will appreciate this beautiful album.

Now to the songs. Most of them are very short and clipped to around the 4-5 minute mark, which i perceive as a good thing: you can never get bored of any of them! There is not one single weak track on this album, and equally no filling songs. Deep is an excellent way to kick it off and is the start of a suite of four songs. It's a very basic and powerful rock song with a few prog touches here and there, progressive nonetheless. It then flows into the mellow bassline of Pitiless before it kicks off again, with a touch of Muse heaviness this time. Probably one of the stronger and heavier tunes on the album, this is also my personal favourite. Before you know it, the song explodes with guitar and you are brought into a mellow third part Forgotten Hopes. This has a very catchy verse with a not so bad chorus, although slightly banal with the chord sequence. This is quite an emotional track that builds up into the final part Destiny Is Dead, which is instrumental and very mellow, easy listening. Some nice harmonics also wrap up the suite into a rallentando and finishes.

Make It Right (F.F.S) is the most keyboard orientated of the lot, which is a shame because it is one of the weaker song. Not as heavy as its predecessor suite, it is still a worthy listen and deserves credit. The melody isn't very standout, but it remains an audible pleasure. The beautifully crafted and gorgeous One Last Goodbye follows, and is another highlight of the album (if there are any). The first Anathema song i ever heard, this is the most Floyd rooted song on the CD, and... well you will not be disappointed, melody = excellent, guitarwork = excellent and lyrics = excellent. A very poignant song that really does it for me. Brilliant.

Parisienne Moonlight is by no means a filler, but a beautiful interval between two great songs. This has a delicate charm to it and has a female voice on the scene, which also gives it a slightly creepy touch. The piano is very stylish also. Judgement is a schizophrenic track and a very experimental one at that, with a gentle first half and an extremely aggressive second half, where the drums speed up at a sublime rate and the whole band kicks in with distortion. What more could a metalhead ask for! Judgement ends very drastically and suddenly and leaves way for the third masterpiece song: Don't Look Too Far. The Floydian influence is definitely there and clear, but as mentioned above, it has its own style. It reminds me distinctly of Comfortably Numb, but adds its own heavy chorus which really creates a lush contrast. Yet another absolutely awesome song.

Emotional Winter is a slow builder, with some gentle 5/4 drumming in the backdrop. The guitar work here is very tasteful indeed, the vocals are melodic, and for all you mellow music lovers out there i think this one is for you. It doesn't really compare with the rest of Judgement because it is so different, exquisit ruling that factor out however. Returning to the Anathema vein, we have the wonderful Wings of God. This song, similarly to Judgement, has two parts, this time both equally as aggressive. A very heavy track that would appeal to fans of Tool and Opeth possibly, that has some very well placed stops over acappella vocals to create a falling effect. The strongest representation of the album, this is a track to be reckoned with! Listen to it and you will see what i mean.

The penultimate track is very progressive and poignant. It starts out with a solo acoustic guitar arpeggiating a dark chord sequence, followed by the vocals, some nice piano melody and finally the whole band kicks in, led by the familiar piano melody. This is a dark song, probably the darkest on the album, and shouldn't be listened to whilst depressed. This is also a moshing song, so any of you excited prog metalheads out there would enjoy this (which i happen to be most of the time). The album cleans off gently with the Floydian 2000 and Gone, which is another builder and by no means in the metal spirit. A very clean song, it eases you out of the journey that is Anathema's Judgement.

An exciting ride, this is a must have album for prog-metallers, and almost essential to a conventional proghead's collection. The only thing that holds it back is the lack of prog, however it remains a masterpiece. 9.6/10.

The Pessimist | 5/5 |


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