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Anathema - Eternity CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.61 | 346 ratings

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Ffogorp the Confused
5 stars A fair proportion of bands are able to produce one album which clearly stands out above the rest, and stands as a crystallisation of all the best elements of the band while carefully avoiding some of the more obvious negatives. And in my humble opinion, this is Anathema's. The Liverpool lads have produced some exciting and varied stuff over the years, but this one really hits the spot for me. It may not be their most atypically 'proggish' release, but this work is progressive in the way that it stands pretty much alone in rickety bridge between death-doom and a more alternative-prog sound, something which to my knowledge no other bands have attempted to do in the same slow progression across many albums that Anathema have done.

The album is incredibly atmospheric right from the off, the flowing 'Sentient' expertly punctuated by the feedback heavy guitars and subtle synthesisers. This leads nicely into the next track, 'Angelica', which is quite simply one of most awesome pieces of music ever recorded. With around 90 plays on my I-Pod to date, I've calculated that I've spent nearly 9 hours of the past year listening to this song, but every time I hear it I feel the goosebumps as the gentle guitar slowly builds into a powerful but certainly not heavy riff, proving that Anathema could dispel their death-doom roots without losing the ability to write a flipping good song!

'The Beloved' and 'Eternity Part I' pick up the pace a bit but not at the expense of the atmosphere. Both songs offer great riffs and 'Eternity Part I' offers excellent build up to a very goth-rock style guitar verse. As usual, the lyrics are fairly doom and gloom, but with the atmospherics that Anathema play with, they actually manage to pull it off.

'Eternity Part II' slows things down again, but the instrumental provides an interesting break before seamlessly leading into a rendition of Roy Harper's excellent 'Hope', which Anathema pull off flawlessly, and manage to make the piece sound like it was always meant to be a goth-metal song!

The album continues with 'Suicide Veil' and 'Radiance', slower and more melancholy numbers which nevertheless pull their punches when they mean too, before the well placed 'Far Away' brings in Floyd-ish elements (if at a fairly slow pace) and sounds a little less doom and gloom, even if the lyrics suggest otherwise. Of course the album couldn't end there, so some slow and more atypical (of the album) sounding songs finish it in the shape of 'Eternity Part III' and 'Cries On The Wind', both entirely capable numbers even if they're not up to the high standards set by 'Angelica' and 'Eternity Part I.'

On the whole, the album really does sound excellent. It flows well as an album even if it's not hugely diverse, and there are no weak tracks on the thing, along with some amazingly strong ones. The staple feedback guitars are very present as is the snails- pace of the some of the songs characterised in Anathema's early work, but this album catches Anathema at a very unique bridging point between the much doomier and heavier 'Silent Oblivion' and the more overtly alternative if still dark 'Alternative 4', neither of which were a patch on 'Eternity.' In all, this really is an excellent album, but in the words of that recent BT TIVO advert (of which I am not really a fan) 'But what do you think?' ................

Ffogorp the Confused | 5/5 |


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