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Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here CD (album) cover

WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE'RE HERE

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.06 | 894 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "We're Here Because We're Here" has ambient passages of tension and release with lyrics that reflect on life and death.

After being absolutely mesmirised by Anathema's excellent "IV" album I was really looking forward to more of the same on this release, and I was not disappointed. In some ways this album is even better than their pinnacle release that floored most listeners.

The soft haunting ambience of Anathema can be uplifting and reflective, as well as encompassing tones of shadowy despair, such as 'Thin Air'. One may be reminded of Radiohead or Muse in places, and the three Cavanagh brothers are at the peak of their powers with this release, as well as the Douglas siblings and Smith who assists on keyboards.

One of the best songs that spring to mind is the raucous 'Summer Night Horizon'; a straight heavy rocker with a cool lyric about the 'space between us'. Very melodic and well executed musicianship throughout. The gorgeous tones of 'Dreaming Light' are beautifully sung by Cavanagh. The piano drives it along with a strong beat. The melody is quite pretty with the orchestrated synths. The sparkling clear vocals sound a bit like Muse or Steven Wilson, alomost like Opeth's quieter moments; there is no growling at all, and in essence the album is more sympohonic than post metal.

The progressive time sig piano motif on 'Everything' locks into a pleasant melody. The vocals are slower and follow the chord structure cautiously with strong harmonies. The atmosphere generated is replete with uplifting feelings of hope. The music builds to a drum heavy rhythm that is not quite in sync with the piano. This odd metronome time augments the estranged lyrical nature that states that the energy is you and me, everything has energy, and that energy is everything when you are near. The lead guitar is played with dexterity and dynamism.

'Angels Walk Among Us' is a soft gentle melody with an ambient synth line, and very nice vocals; "only you can heal your life, only you can heal inside". This builds to a stronger cadence with intonations of pitchy guitar and symphonic strings of sheer beauty.

'Presence' follows straight on with a lecture style narration, stating that one must come to terms with death, birth, and life eternal as a part of a cycle. The spiritual themes are complimented with cathedral organ, a religious atmosphere, and a swathe of symphonic synth lines. The female vocals of Lee are beautiful echoing the same themes in the previous song that only you can heal inside. This works as a sequel.

'A Simple Mistake' is one of the best Anathema songs. It features violining guitars, acoustics, layers of ambient key pads. Cavanagh's vocals are high pitched again, and fractured within the soundscape; "We share trembling between the words, I found my way to fly free from constraints, I have soared through the sky, to see life far below ". The melody is haunting and unforgettable, especially the exquisite chorus; "take a child losing all, to create and deform, a memory in a wild, in a cage." The instrumental is a great guitar riff and chiming keyboard passages. The drums crash in with a metal guitar distortion section darkening the atmosphere, and sealing the deal for me. It is one of the great Anathema tracks that I was compelled to play again as soon as the album ended.

'Get Off Get Out' is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, and is a sound that is similar to Porcupine Tree or Riverside. It has a strong melody and heavy guitars, with a consistent wall of sound generated by synths, bass and pounding drum patterns. It locks into a loud repeated passage with Cavanagh strained through a vocoder effect.

'Universal' begins with ethereal keyboards wrapped around estranged processed vocals; "through the eye of the storm, enter to the light, you're everywhere I go." This tranquil style is downbeat and reflective, the theme is perhaps centred on thinking about what we have done with our lives and what will we take to the grave. It brings the album towards a sobering conclusion that is backed up by the haunting strains of the final track.

'Hindsight' is a virtual instrumental with some commentary from Lee Douglas at the beginning. The music emanates a ray of hope and ends the journey satisfactorily. Overall this album may be Anathema's shining jewel among a treasure of innovative studio releases.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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