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Anathema - Pentecost III CD (album) cover

PENTECOST III

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

2.87 | 55 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Unfullfilled potential

At the risk of incurring the wrath of those who enjoy the music of Anathema from this period, my criticism remains; the style of singing here completely spoils the album.

Although this short album has now been paired with the band's first EP "Crestfallen" on a single CD, there was in fact three years and a full length album between them. There are 5 tracks in total on this release, the running time being over 40 minutes.

Instrumentally, these recordings are of a high quality, the introductory phase of "Kingdom" for example being atmospheric and melodic. The vocals here are not actually too bad, being more spoken than growled as such. It would still have been preferable had the band chosen to sing, but at least progress is being made. As the track develops through its 9 minutes, the riff gets more defined and the pace quickens, the song evolving as one of the band's best pieces from around this time.

Unfortunately, we are quickly reminded that the growling is not gone for good, with "Mine is yours to drown in (ours is the new tribe)" being a thumping dirge of little consequence. "We, the gods" is another lengthy number running to around 10 minutes. Initially, the song reverts to the relatively(!) lighter atmosphere of "Kingdom" with fine guitar work supporting spoken vocals. Lyrically, the doom elements are still there in full, with passages such as You're slicing your own wrists, you're tearing out your own hearts. About mid-way though, the introduction of a heavier riff signifies the return of the growls.

The title track is the shortest on the album, and the only one which is completely instrumental. Although it runs for almost 4 minutes, it effectively forms a link piece between "We the gods" and the longest track, "Memento mori". This 12 minute monster is profoundly atmospheric, the grunted lyrics sounding like a bizarre ritual. Had this track also been an instrumental, it might have been enjoyable. As it is, it is simply tedious.

I know I go on about the vocals on Anathema's early albums, and I can only apologise to those who enjoy them. I find myself persistently frustrated by the fact that there is so much unfulfilled potential here.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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