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Anathema - Judgement CD (album) cover

JUDGEMENT

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.17 | 539 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
4 stars An album for rainy days

Anathema's fifth album, Judgement, has been my first contact with this depressed band from Liverpool and it could not have been a better first impression, in more than a way. With competent musicianship, songwriting and new, interessing, but familiar settings, this album hooked me for good right from the first time, but a number of reasons influenced that.

First, the music they present here, by itself, is really enjoyable and catchy, not only for the average progressive rock fan, but also anybody that actually likes rock'n'roll. I find it hard to dislike such a great presentantion of atmospheric rock with progressive leanings and Floydian influences the band do in this album. Second, the mood they are able to put through most of the album, in spite of being somewhat depressive and all, it dows not wallow in mysery and disgrace, as a considerable number of bands from such style do, which is a very positive side of their negativity.

Third, the day I gave Judgement the first spin was a cold, windy and rainy day. This may not make a lot of sense for some people, but believe me, if you do play this album in this kind of setting, you will understand. The whole album made a lot of sense, clicked right off the bat for me just because of this kind of setting. Finally, I really like this kind of music. This atmospheric, floydian and bluesy feel moves me quite easily so, for obvious reasons, I see this album very favorably, specially because, unlike some other artists and bands, Anathema does not tries to mimic and copy every aspect and characteristic of Floyd.

As some other reviewers already pointed, Judgement is, for the most part, an acoustic album. The acoustic guitars and sad vocals dominate the landscape the band creates in their music. There are, without a doubt, electric instruments. The keyboards, for example, are obviouisly electric, as are the solo guitars, and probably the bass guitar, but they all have a secondary role in the whole album, apparently following the lead of the acoustic guitars, completing its musical ideas or even give the song a heaviness the acoustic guitars can't achieve. Although they don't play a chief role here, the electric guitars definitely shine brightly whenever they do appear.

Despite its numerous qualities, some of which I pointed out previously in this very review, this album is not perfect in my eyes. That is mostly because of it's setting or song listing. The first three songs are just so good that, despite the respectable effort from the band, the rest of the album just cannot reach the same level. After that the album seemingly stops evolving, it just gets down and stays in the very same place untill the end. With the exception of that flaw, the Judgement is very round and balaced, all songs are very good and it has a gery good overall quality.

The highlits of the album go to the first three songs, Deep, Pitiless and Forgotten Hopes, which sound more or less like a a one pice composition, the sad and depressed but somehow energetic vocals and, most of all, to the electric guitar solos.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Anathema's Judgement had a lot of potential for me. The firsts spins were very enjoyable, but since then my apreciation for this album has improved very little. the album is very enjoyable, but that is it, nothing further. But whenever i give it a try, it is an assured good and pleasant ride from start to finish.

4 very solid stars.

CCVP | 4/5 |

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