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5 stars My favourite Anathema's. Because it's singular,original, spelling, very ethereal, both spacy and so beautifully dark. Songs are really "progressive", they often move from a certain quietness to a tenebrous apocalytic doom-metallic atmosphere ( just listen to the powerful end of "Eternity part III") . A monument of atmospheric doom-metal, recommended for any fans of melancholic metal or progressive music with a touch of Pink Floyd.
Report this review (#30107)
Posted Monday, May 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This really is a great album. It starts with a peaceful piano/guitar instrumental. The album often reminded me of Pink Floyd. It contains great guitar solo's which really touched me. If you like Prog Metal/Neo Prog Rock I'd recommend it to anyone.
Report this review (#30106)
Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Anathema still got inspiration, the way they have evolved from "The Silent Enigma"/"Pentecost" is amazing. The album is a reflection of how theyve evolved and I love the evolution. I get really emotional listening to the album.

The best track(According to ME!) on the album is "The Beloved" the Energy that Anathema is so good at expressing in their acoustic guitar is amazing, I get filled with adrenaline to this song.

I have Never in my life hear anything so original like this album, it has it all.

Report this review (#30108)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very nice melancholic metal album but it's far from being a five-star-masterpiece. Anathema has improved a lot since their early days. With "Eternity" the death-doom metal is gone and in place we have some nice dark melodic metal, their sound being a metallic and slower version of the great band Fields of the Nephilim.

All in all not a milestone of progressive music, but a nice listen though.

Report this review (#42410)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Actually,this album is not progressive,it's alternative.It's just something different, but not progressive..Anyway,it's one of my favourites of Anathema.This english band which I have seen live in Athens, proves that emotions does not only mean love..That's a cliche for today's mainstream.This album has a fantastic atmosphere.It connects sorrow with rage and when you understand that you'll go crazy.You will listen to it all the time.There are 12 awesome songs in this one.If I could say my favourites,I'd say:Etenity I,Eternity III,Angelica,Suiicide Veil..No, [%*!#] it!They are all great songs.There is also a cover on Pink Floyd's "Hope".Excellent!!Anyway,if you like atmospheric and depressing songs, just buy this one.If you are more of a happy guy who listens to power metal,you will surely hate it..
Report this review (#44346)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1996's christmas present for me was this highly anticipated album (after I read a lot of review stating how much this album would blow up the previous releases of the band), and sure I was not deceived. This album is simply outstanding. The vocalist took singing lessons for the album and that's the main improvement: no more growls! The music, slow, dark and beautiful, lurks more and more toward Pink Floyd.

The album starts really smoothly with the beautiful instrumental "Sentient" (where you can see the influence of keyboardist Les Smith) and the ballad "Angelica" before things start to warm up. "The Beloved" is a very powerful song, fast paced with heavy guitar riffs. Then comes the masterpiece trilogy "Eternity", where you can recognize the songwriting of Duncan Patterson: "Part I" is a tortured song, a mix of pain and sorrow with awesone music and lyrics; "Part II" is an instrumental that is so beautiful words can't describe it; "Part III" starts again very quietly before the band unleashes an unexpected guitar storm at the end of the song. Other songs on the album incude "Hope", a Pink Floyd cover (though I cannot remember that song on any Pink Floyd album), "Suicide Veil", another outstanding slow and dark song (here you can hear clearly the Pink Floyd influences), "Radiance" (slow and dark again) and "Far Away" (another classic written by D. Patterson). "Cries On The Wind" is the only weak song on the album (without that song, this album would be in my top 3 of all time). Finally, the original release ends with an instrumental, "Ascension", in the vein of "Pentecost III" or "Black Orchid" on previous albums. The digipack version contains two more tracks: acoustic versions of "Far Away" and "Eternity Part III" (nice additions).

Rating: 91/100

Report this review (#64719)
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
Heavy Prog Team
5 stars This was one of the first albums I ever delved into... I first read about it in a review of a magazine 10 years ago which described it in a very emotional way, not making any comments on the music, the guitars, vocals etc. I was pretty impressed I must say.

The music: Anathema have evolved from their latest 'Silent Enigma' and follow a more 'melodic' path in this record. The heaviness is still there though. A good description of the music could be 'melodic doom/atmospheric' metal. Of course there are several points were the Floyd influences are obvious and the keyboards bring this feeling. There is also a cover of Gilmour's 'Hope' (for many years I thought it was a Floyd cover) which is excellent.

The emotion: The strong asset of this record is the combination of the music with the lyrics. If you start 'getting' into the meaning of the words, it is almost inevitable to fall in love with this album. Issues about life and death, human existence etc. are very well 'presented' and make this record a 'painful' journey...

It is still (and probably will always be) Anathema's best release. Hint: Don't treat this album as a common release, try to search 'deep' in it, you won't regret it. Regarding it's progressiveness, I can't tell if you can consider it prog or not. For me it's definitely a masterpiece of atmospheric music. Everything seems perfect, from the cover to the last note. Highly recommended.


Report this review (#77610)
Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my favourite albums, Eternity shows Anathema moving away from their early doom sound to an amalgam of progressive rock, alternative and metal, whilst retaining an oppressive atmosphere. Naturally, this move alienated a lot of their early fans but, given the lineup changes, a change of some description was probably inevitable.

My favourite tracks on the album are The Beloved, Eternity Pt I, Hope, and Cries on the Wind. The instrumentals are great as well. Contrary to popular belief, Hope's neither a Pink Floyd track nor a David Gilmour one (though he did co-write the song), but a track from the Roy Harper/Jimmy Page album, Whatever Happened to Jugula? Harper himself provided the opening narration for this version.

Their move away from doom continues through their following albums, though they still end up playing gigs with other metal bands, which is no longer really their best audience.

Report this review (#79396)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every once in a while there comes along an album that makes a deeply significant impact on you. An album that sums up the utter power of music. While it plays, all you can do is sit there, and listen...allowing every note in every song to completely consume your entire being. All the joys and sorrows, all the pain and laughter, the beauty and darkness of life flashes in front of you at once, and leaves you breathless. If, in fact, a recorded volume of music can indeed make such an impact upon a listener that it significantly alters, or even changes, one's life, then Eternity is such an album.

The crushing Doom Anathema had been known for now seemed worlds away. Indeed, it was hard for me to get my head around the fact that this was the same band that wrote songs like "Under A Veil (Of Black Lace)", "All Faith Is Lost" and "Nocturnal Emissions". There was a certain maturity to these compositions that transcended genre. Album intro "Sentient" is a beautiful introduction, heartfelt guitar melodies over softly tinkled piano which then gives way to the fragile yet painful beauty of "Angelica". Vincent's voice had grown leaps and bounds from his vocal debut performance on The Silent Enigma. Throughout the entire album, he sings every word as if it was his last, unquestionably one of the most emotional vocal performances ever recorded. There is an abundance of keyboards here, and the music overall is less sonically heavy as before, with the band concentrating on mood and atmosphere instead of crushing weight. However, I hold this album to be much "heavier" than anything the band had done before it. Emotionally heavy. It is here where Anathema's lyrics really began to be as important as the music, so honest and from the heart, you know they dug deep to get this out. Their cover of David Gilmour's (Pink Floyd) "Hope" sits perfectly in the center of the album, flowing along as though Anathema could have written it themselves. The Pink Floyd comparisons came in droves at this time, but given that they are admittedly a major influence, I hold Anathema to be much better than Floyd. Much more personal, emotional, and yes, even better songwriters. Testaments to this are the despondent "Suicide Veil," the graceful splendor of "Radiance," "Far Away"'s nearly psychedelic spirit which then sees the band launch into a rocking ending, and 'Cries On The Wind", an ode to the pits of despair. "Ascension" lifts the desolate atmosphere up to the heavens and ends this journey, as a fallen soul taking one last look at the sky.

Eternity was the beginning of a new era for Anathema. Always having been synonymous with feelings of despair and sorrow, they still possess these feelings, but have found a much more fitting and appropriate way to get the message across. While experiencing this masterpiece, one cannot help but ask the questions we may never find answers for. Questions of life and of death. Anathema poses one of their own...."Do you think we're forever?". We are all destined for eternity, and Anathema's provided our soundtrack

Report this review (#85982)
Posted Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This record is the start of a new era for ANATHEMA. Gone for good are the Death Metal vocals, and they would become more PINK FLOYD sounding.The best song for me on the record is "Hope" which was co-written by David Gilmour and is a cover from the Roy Harper and Jimmy Page record called HARPER AND JAGULA. The monologue to open the song was also done by Roy Harper. I really like the guitar line in this one. Duncan Patterson's finger prints are all over this album from the lyrics to the excellent bass playing. Compared to the albums that follow this is a little dingy sounding and the vocals to the songs themselves just aren't as good. Maybe it's because this is the transition album.

The first song "Sentient" has some nice piano and guitar, and ends with some vocal sampling sounding a lot like PINK FLOYD. "Angelica" has a quiet beginning that builds in intensity until the vocals come in. Some emotional guitar on this one."The Beloved" is a rocker, much more aggressive than the first two tracks. Some excellent guitar 4 minutes in. "Eternity Part 1" is emotional much like most of this record, love the line "do you think were forever ?" "Eternity Part II" is atmospheric with a guitar line that comes and goes, some faint spoken vocals 2 1/2 minutes in.

"Suicide Veil" is pretty much a gothic tune, dark and slow, with lots of bass, ending with some beautiful acoustic guitar and rain. "Radiance" kicks in around a minute and gets heavier with synths before 3 minutes. Passionate vocals and guitar after 4 minutes. I love the chorus on "Far Away", and the bass is great too. I like the way the song speeds up at around 4 minutes and then the guitars of Vincent and Daniel shine. "Eternity Part III" is a dark tune that gets heavy with some nice guitar. "Cries On The Wind" features some heavy passages early. Check out the ripping guitar solo after 3 minutes, then the tempo picks up. It ends with spoken vocals. "Ascension" is a melodic instrumental ending emotionally with piano.

A pretty good record but the best is just around the corner. For me "A Fine Day To Exit", "Alternative 4" and "Judgement" are all a level up from this one.

Report this review (#93937)
Posted Monday, October 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was the definite transitional one in the career of this band hailing from Liverpool. After two full-length releases plus one EP having been quite influential in doom metal they've changed here drastically their sound towards more atmospheric and psychedelic rock/metal with a strong Floydian touch. It became a highly emotional, melancholic and inspiring album and I've to say it's besides "Alternative 4" one my favourite ones by them (though all their others are very good as well).

The short but fascinating "Sentient" is a perfect introduction into the inspiring atmosphere of this album and "Angelica" reveals a sound quite typical for the band's later albums with weeping guitars, mournful atmosphere and soft vocals by Vincent Cavanagh that considerably improved compared to "The Silent Enigma". "The beloved" changes to a significantly heavier and more aggressive mood though still having pleasant and highly emotional sections with expressively presented deep lyrics. Then there are the first two parts of the title track of which Part one is a great highlight in particular. It's a rather up-speed track with some experimental electronic sounds at its end leading into Part 2 which continues with more atmospheric and ambient tunes. Pink Floyd-cover "Hope" starts with the recitement of a Shakespeare-sque sonnet and represents a very nicely done version of this great song. Somehow it fits here very well right in the middle bringing some gleam of light into this rather mournful album. "Suicide veil" is another highlight and as the title implies a very sorrowful and depressing song with some nice Floydian touch. "Radiance" is another slow paced and excellent track revealing a highly textured symphonic sound. The following "Far Away" is - actually I hate repeating myself - once again a highlight of this disk and together with "The beloved" and "Hope" one of the easiest ones to memorize from here. "Eternity part III" reveals a more dragging doom metal sound with thick guitars and here we can find one of the few sections with growls of this album. "Cries on the wind" continues in a heavier and slow paced mood with great thick guitar sound and all instrumental last track of the standard edition "Ascension" starts in a more up-speed pace before it closes with a mellow acoustic sound. The limited edition comes including acoustic versions of "Far Away" and "Eternity part III" which are a very worthwhile addition.

As a summary I just can highly recommend this album to any fan of heavier, dark and atmospheric progressive music. Certainly worth (at least) 4 stars!

Report this review (#99095)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Cavanagh makes leaps and bounds with his vocals - but the rest?

Anathema biggest leap into a "darker" Floydian sound was here at Eternity. The copy I have is actually a Limited edition Disc with 2 extra tracks, an acoustic rendition of Far Away and Eternity Pt2. Anyways, this might be one of my least favorite Anathema records, it strikes me as the most plain and least captivating.

Quite frankly, I find little of it intriguing, progressive, or what not. Most of it seems like bland alternative music. And to boot, the melodies are not particular captivating, as they would be on Judgement and Alternative 4. Many speak of the emotion that is contained in all of the Anathema records. I find little if any of it here. Instead I here a group of musicians, while still very able, searching for their sound since they went away from their doom roots.

I am sure fans of neo, alt. rock, and more mainstream acts might find this album very enjoyable, however, it's just not for me. I find many of the other Anathema records much better music wise, and also crafted much more thoughtfully.

Report this review (#112020)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars For those of you who read my review for A Fine Day to Exit and wondered why Anathema seemed like such an anathema to me, I would first like to say that I only said that just now because it was a pun and I almost never leave a potential pun unsaid. Now, the band is no anathema to me, but they do bore me. And if they don't bore you, well then my goodness you are either a boring person or you are really depressed and you just sit there meditating on the lyrics while you listen and you wallow in the grief that you've exagerrated because you crave attention.

Before you guys get all offended or whatever, know that I am kidding, unless you liked the Crestfallen EP, because you shouldn't like that even if you're into doom metal. Sure, I'm opinionated, but I've also long held the belief that my opinions are facts, so there. I'm not going to argue with you about it! Just let me write this review!

So, what we have here is Anathema sprouting from their doom metal roots into a decent-sounding alternative metal with some Pink Floyd influence. This is the premature version of their sound, though. You'll notice that when Anathema drastically changes their sound, it takes them and album or two to actualize the potential of their new ideas. A Fine Day to Exit was a decent album, but it did get a little boring and I couldn't bother finishing it when I had more enjoyable music to listen to, like the album that followed, A Natural Disaster.

If you like the general sound the group presents here, I would suggest that you stop listening to whatever you're sampling, and grab Judgement, which [at this point] is analogous to A Natural Disaster in terms of sound development. If you're really into this sound, I still suggest that you stop and go check out the aforementioned as well as Alternative 4, which is also better. Now, if you still aren't satiated by those two, sure, have this one as well, but I doubt you'll listen to it half as much.

Report this review (#168244)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Crow
3 stars The album where the Anathema's musical direction changed definitively... Thanks God!

But the style of the band was not really orientated yet. After closing their Doom Metal era, they maked this album based on Pink Floyd and 70's sounds, and with some gothic and symphonic influences... And the new Anathema's style was born!

They keeped their metallic roots, but giving the music a lot of more sentiment and diversity... The clear Vincent vocals are far from the Doom Metal growls. Ok... But I muss say they are not really good. This mand could not really singing yet... He is not very bad, but sometimes he sounds out of tone, and I think his voice was not under his total control. It's a pity... Because some great parts of the album are spoiled by the weak Vincent's singing. He would improve a lot for the next realease (Alternative 4), but in Eternity he sounds unpleasant. Nevertheless, the female voices in some songs are much better.

The album is maybe still harder than the later Anathema's milestones... But the acoustic and ambiental passages avoid this album being hard for not-metal lovers. Some songs have even new age influences... Like Eternity Part II, and the very Pink Floydish Sentient. This is still metal, but a mellow view of this style, and more accesible than the previous Anathema's extreme works. So if you are not into hard sounds, this is not a problem.

Best songs: Angelica (one of the most beautiful guitar meodies Anathema has ever made...), The Beloved (hard and catchy song... Despite the bad vocals), Hope (one of the most original songs, with good guitar layes and some keyboards), Far Away (a little classic of this album...) and Cries on the Wind (I like the egipcian influences of this track...)

Conclusion: the first album where Anathema starts to showing the style they make now... Really different of their Doom Metal beginnings, and far better in my opinion. This album has some weak points, like the poor production, and the bad Vicent's singing. But every Anathema's fan will find it interesting. I would also recommend this album to the rest of listeners... But despite this is not a bad work, if you are new to Anathema, I recommend you to start with later albums like the marvellous Alternative 4, or the equally excellent Judegemnt, because Eternity can be a bit hard for beginners.

My rating: ***

Report this review (#171775)
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Anathema shock. they're very good!

Between 1992 and 1995, Anathema released two full albums and two well filled EPs. With their doom laden heavy instrumental sound and growled vocals, they appeared to have set out their stall and defined the path they would take throughout their career. People like myself found their works frustrating as they hinted at great potential but ultimately disappointed. Nothing prepared any of us though, including their most devoted fans, for what was to happen in 1996.

The line up remained unchanged for the recording of "Eternity", but the reality is this is a completely different band. Suddenly, Vincent Cavanagh discovers he is actually a highly capable singer while the band as a whole reveal a starling capacity to create melodic masterpieces. There is no question of the band compromising their values or selling out, but this is the equivalent of Pink Floyd metamorphosing from the band which made "Ummagumma" to the creators of "Dark side of the moon".

The opening "Sentient" signals the change straight away, with beautiful piano and weeping guitar combining over a lush mellotron like base. The track is slightly reminiscent of Marillion's "Pseudo silk Kimono", in texture if not melody. This becomes "Angelica" where we find a continuation of the wonderful guitar sounds. As we brace ourselves from the inevitable growling to shatter the magnificent introductory moments, we are presented with delightfully melodic vocals. I still find it hard to restrain my unfettered joy in Anathema's decision to take such a bold step at this stage in their career.

Even when the pace is lifted and the atmosphere is sharply altered for the hard rocking "The beloved", melody and fine vocals remain the order of the day. The arrangements are admirably inventive and tightly performed. The first of three tracks to bear the album's title runs in all to almost 6 minutes. The choral synths, female backing vocals and gothic atmosphere combine to create a track which has all the hallmarks of a Sisters of Mercy number, it could even be Wayne Hussey singing! There is no direct connection between the three "Eternity's", part two being an atmospheric instrumental coda to part 1.

The next surprise is the inclusion of a cover version of the David Gilmour/Roy Harper song "Hope". This starts with a poetic recital leading to magnificent bass laden number with a quite astonishing vocal performance. As Vincent sings "I wanted to live forever" the quivering of his voice is charged with emotion and power. Why would anyone with such a fine voice waste so many years growling!

"Suicide veil" has more in keeping with the old Anathema in terms of style and instrumental sound, the raw emotion being brought out far better by the sung vocals. "Radiance" builds from a goth like start to a climactic conclusion, the Mission/Sisters of Mercy comparison remaining entirely valid. "Far away" is strongly reminiscent of Porcupine Tree, a band Anathema have been closely associated with over many years. The vocal style on this song is that of Steve Wilson, especially on more recent Porcupine Tree albums.

The final "Eternity" track is by far the hardest, venturing even closer to the style of previous releases. "Cries on the wind" prolongs the doomy mood with ultra-heavy guitar sounds prevailing. The instrumental "Ascension" which closes the album takes us back to the haunting piano atmosphere of the start.

The re-released version of the CD includes three bonus tracks. Two of these are acoustic workings of tracks on the album, while the third is a live rendition of "Angelica". I find myself preferring the acoustic renditions of "Far away" and "Eternity part 3" which are after all the heaviest tracks on the album.

This is the album Anathema had threatened to make right from the start. Those of us who saw the potential in their early albums but were left disappointed by them have been rewarded beyond our dreams here. There is still a little way to go to attain the heights the band would reach on later albums, but "Eternity" represents a massive change for the band and one of the most admirable improvements in the history of prog.

Report this review (#174779)
Posted Sunday, June 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With the death grunts gone, some of the band's future style and quality starts shining through. What we get is emotinal doom rock that reveals a lot of Fields of the Nephilim and Pink Floyd influences.

The album is uneven though, only a few songs are really remarkable and while Vincent gives a brave try at the vocals it comes out rather forced and regularly out of tune. At least he succeeds in offering some strong melodies and an emotional - not to say pathetic - edge to the growing personality of the band. You can certainly not blame them for not doing their ultimate best.

Report this review (#237626)
Posted Sunday, September 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Anathema's third studio album is the album that divides Anathema's two main periods: The deat Doom metal one, and the Alternative Rock (with Doom Metal influences) one. Said that, "Eternity" is still an immature album, with certainly some very nice moments in many parts, but the band obviously hasn't reached maturity yet; the vocals aren't really convincing, just like some moods in the songs.

Musically, the album has many Pink Floyd influences as well as still some metal winks here and there. The structure of the album isn't particularly well-built, but still respectable for a band that still had a lot to prove back then.

Some of the best moments are also the most dramatic; "Angelica"'s melancholic melodies, the first part of the title track's amazing, haunting, and very impactful atmospheres. Not to forget also the alarmed and creepy "Cries On The Wind", and the beautiful harmony of "Far Away".

An interesting effort, in conclusion, and definitely worth the listen if you like the band, since it it's a landmark album for them chronologically and musically speaking.

Report this review (#318781)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you have ever read some previous reviews of mine about "Anathema", you might know that I was quite mixed (to say the least) about the music displayed so far. The only exception being of their "Pentecost III" EP (whose lenght was almost a full album one);

This "Eternity" album starts brilliantly, with a fantastic intro song that should shiver your flesh. The instrumental "Sentient" is such a moving piece of music! Almost symphonic!

Actually, the great feeling goes on with the other songs featured as well: harmony combined with some heavy enthusiasm. If it weren't for one of my best friend (hi JP), I wouldn't have investigated more into this band. But as I wrote in some previous early recordings (especially the EP "Pentecost III"): there were some good signs which are completely fulfilled in this album.

Of course, this work doesn't belong to some sort of a quiet and tranquil generated music. The offering is rather energetic, but still melodic and comfortably innovative ("Eternity"). What a change in comparison with some previous works!

The band is almost unrecognizable. Not in terms of instrumental parts (I have mentioned how great they were already). But more in terms of musical beauty ("Eternity " both part I and II).

This band was categorized in a complete different section while they appeared in PA. But now, gone are the growling vocals, and welcome are the melodic song structures like "Hope". I would almost tell that the great instrumental sections of their previous recordings are shadowed by the vocal parts of this work!

The excellent doom atmosphere is not alien from this album of course: "Radiance" and the excellent "Cries On The Wind" are there to remind us these moments. The added prog feel is so obvious! These songs are a great achievement and a definite superb prog adventure.

As many reviewers have written, this work is a major step forward (but some signs of improvements were noticeable already with "Pentecost III") in the development of the band / music.

The most emotional track being the wonderful "Far Away":which featurs an awesome guitar finae. Itl is of course a highlight of this album.

This effort is by far their best one. Seven out of ten, but upgraded to four stars. This is a total and reversed style of music which is played . But so pleasant to report! And so great to listen to!

Report this review (#338575)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Eternity ? 1996 (2.6/5 almost 2 stars) 9 ? Best Song: Angelica

Artistic growth used to mean so much more, I think, and this isn't me complaining about the 1990's, because if you take a quick stroll at my other review pages, some bands (like Ween) receive glowing praise from me. But back with a band like the Beatles, artistic growth from them was going from I Wanna Hold Your Hand, a cutesy pop song, to Happiness is a Warm Gun, which nearly defies explanation. Today, though, it seems like artistic growth implies beginning as an awful lot of noise, then whipping into gothic rock. Sure as hell I'd take good gothic rock over the best obnoxious trite noise, but I'd much rather the groups just take a crash course in songcraft. Eternity is akin to that latter form of artistic growth. I'd certainly take a relatively interesting, sharply psychedelic melancholy track in the flow of 'Angelica' over anything from the first two albums. I'll go ahead and say that I hate black metal more than hardcore gangster rap, and call it a night for many a young reader. And I still wonder. Yes, Eternity is an improvement, and I hesitate to overrate it. But that opening instrumental is pointless. They're still relying on style and aesthetic sound values over the actual direct notes they play.

The singing retains the quite-abrasive coldness on 'The Beloved', and it makes for a disconcerting experience. The riffs become thicker, more well-oiled and fitting of the big flair, and the bucket whacking has gone down to a minimum. These are not positives so much as loss of negatives. For no reason I can discern they cover a Roy Harper song. I like it for what it is, but gosh it's out of left field. Almost like a classic metal band covering a folk love ballad to Bob Dylan. It's all pessimistic and depressing in the silliest manner, but at least I can listen to it without going back to the medicine cabinet for another handful of ibuprofen.

Report this review (#459139)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
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?' ................

Report this review (#567445)
Posted Sunday, November 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Of all the bands in the "Peaceville Three" of Anathema, My Dying Bride, and Paradise Lost - pioneers of both a death/doom hybrid sound and, later, gothic metal - Anathema are by far the group who have drifted the furthest from their original metal sound. On Eternity they play an intriguing blend of doomy gothic metal with gothy indie rock which puts me in mind of The Chameleons - in particular, Vincent Cavanaugh's lead vocals put me in mind of the vocals of Mark Burgess of Chameleons fame, and both bands tend towards a similar "wall of guitars" sound. From here on in the Pink Floydisms which would come to dominate their music would only become more prominent, so I guess here's where you decide whether you're done with Anathema or in it for the long haul. Personally, I find the whole thing just a little too bland for my tastes.
Report this review (#627088)
Posted Sunday, February 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars 7.5/10

And here things start to work, thankfully.

With Eternity, I get to see Anathema who I became a fan. No more guttural vocals, and I am eternally grateful for it: this is an album of transition, more melodic and ethereal than its predecessors. There are still a lot of weight here, but it is clear that the intention of the band is distancing himself from the sound of the first two albums towards something like say ... "enlightened."

When it comes to Anatehma, I like to use that word for some reason.

The production is still far from the best in the world. Especially the battery seems weaker here. And while Vincent sing melodically here, I think he will offer a better performance in the next album. One of the things that I like is the incursion of pianos and ethereal sounds, adding and boosting the overall sound of the band. The guitars continue to be the strong point here, and also mention to the bass of Duncan Petterson.

4 stars.

Report this review (#996618)
Posted Friday, July 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is Anathema's first attempt to venture away from their trademark doom metal sound into a more dynamic and varied sound. For the most part, they keep a lot of the same topics of interest in their songs, but they explore other sounds in a search for a sound they can call their own. The band does a pretty descent job of pulling it off, and there was a surprising lack of criticism from most of their fans about the sudden change of style.

Anathema has become a band lately that has received a lot of respect and it has been well earned. They have a pretty impressive discography and through most of it, you truly hear a progression to a much better sound, production and vocal quality. On this album, there are very few dirty vocals, where previous to this, all of their vocals were pretty much growling. The vocals aren't too bad, but there are a lot of issues and areas of weakness there that weren't yet worked out in this album. So you get a real raw feeling there, but it doesn't mix very well with the accent in the English lyrics. It's sometimes an irritating sound, but not bad enough to ignore the album.

As far as the instrumentals and orchestration, you can hear a huge improvement in the variation, composition and musicianship here. Even the instrumentals can be a little rough at times, but there is no doubt of where the band was going to go as far as professionalism. Here is a band that listened to criticism to improve their sound, and improve it they would do. That still doesn't mean you should ignore this album. There are some great tracks here and you can hear the attempts at emotion in both the voice and the instruments, and as a consequence, you get some great moments, notably in the "Eternity" trilogy and other songs where the vocals even come close to early David Gilmour vocals as in the Gilmour/Harper penned tune "Hope".

You can also pick out their explorative side starting to grow in "Suicide Veil" where if you can get around the vocals, you end up getting a very beautifully written song with a lot of emotion. The problem with the vocals and emotion is that sometimes it is over dramatized in an attempt to make the emotion stand out more, but again, the band was learning. Actually, the believability level is a lot higher in the sections where the vocals approach the most emotional points and come close to, but don't quite reach, the old dirty sounding vocals. It is actually a trait that is welcomed on this album mostly because it is done with better control than in previous attempts, and of course, dynamics are playing a much bigger part in this album. Even the use of dynamics would continue to improve as the band continue to put out more albums.

I have a lot of respect for this band and the growth they have had over the years. I was pushing my friends to listen to this band and some of them actually did listen to them and are now true fans. It is good to see them now getting the respect they deserve for improving their sound and perfecting it. On the way to perfection though, they were able to influence the sound of Goth- metal with albums like this one that would be released. I know there are a lot of fans that love this album, I have a slightly harder time with it because they were still working out the kinks in the new sound they were exploring. When they finally do find their own sound, what we have is a band that is up there with the best post-metal or progressive metal bands and for that I have respect for what they were doing with this album. They took some great steps with this album and they still came out of it with a lot of respect, so it was a step in the right direction. With some slight hesitation because of my respect for the album, I can only rate the album as good, but not essential. But it is a very bright 3 star album and if you like this post-metal sound then you should check it out at least, it might strike a stronger chord within you.

Report this review (#1346505)
Posted Friday, January 16, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Third album - three stars! Until now, each new Anathema effort has earned better rating than the previous. Anathema have removed their trademark sound and hence also most of their weaknesses - poor growling, inconsistent songwriting and lack of focus. The level of bleakness is lower which might be welcome by most of the listeners on this portal but perhaps not so on the metal forums. The lyrics are actually darker than the music. The heavy guitars are still prominent and singing is improved but still odd due to the artificially positioned vocal (as can be heard on "Beloved").

The album starts promising by a light instrumental overture that sounds promising. "The beloved" could be classified as doom rock not unrelated to Katatonia. There is also a splendig guitar solo - something not often heard by Anathema until now. Eternity tracks are quite contrast - the first one is dynamic and features irregular rhythm whereas the Eternity 2 is ethereal but not very interesting. Eternity 3 is closest to the slow doom metal. "Hope" shows a feature inclination to Pink Floyd - even though it does not fit to this album. The narrative in the end and beginning of the track are annoying. "Suicide Veil" shows acoustic and very heavy contrasts of Anathema. The anthemic "Far away" is the first very well known track that Anathema constantly plays live until today - and captures the trademark sound from the end of 90's. "Cries on the wind" is a great orientally influenced doom metal song. "Ascension" is in the same vein and has keyboard layers and more dynamic structure - and as one would expect, has the second part completely acoustic and peaceful. This is the recommended first album for more progressive Anathema fans.

Report this review (#2040894)
Posted Thursday, October 4, 2018 | Review Permalink
4 stars Eternity by Anathema is where I would say the band would start to become the kind of band that they turned out to be on their later albums. The death/doom metal the band played on their first two albums is gone but the Gothic metal is still very present. Eternity is not as progressive or experimental as their later albums but it does still hold up as a great release. The song Angelica is a beautiful and melancholic song that serves as a great song to kick off the album as it really showcases what the entire album is about. The rest of the album is great, full of melancholic and romantic Gothic beauty that can only be described by listening to the music for yourself. Just because Anathema's earlier material isn't progressive or experimental like their later releases does not mean that they aren't good, as they are great romantic Gothic metal albums, with this one probably being their best early album.
Report this review (#2454882)
Posted Thursday, October 8, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars If already on The Silent Enigma Anathema had shown traces of an evolution away from their doom-death origins, Eternity is where these tentative developments blossomed into a whole new sound that will form the point of departure of all subsequent Anathema releases. There are three main ingredients to this new sound. First, the songwriting has become leaner. The meandering twin guitar riffs and leads of Serenades are almost completely forgotten. They have made room for riffs and melodies that are more concise and easier to assimilate and memorize. The simple but effective guitar lead on "Angelica" is a great example of this. It's a very hummable, three-bar guitar lead, repeated over and over again in the breaks between the verses. When put like that, it sounds rather dull, but it's incredibly effective and crowd-pleasing ? if you've ever been to an Anathema's concert you know what I mean!

Second, the timid Pink Floyd influences that at times had already surfaced on previous albums (for example, on The Silent Enigma's title-track), on Eternity have become much more prominent and unapologetic. In several tracks, the band indulge in creating dreamy, lysergic soundscapes using Gilmouresque guitar leads and cinematic keyboard arrangements, courtesy of adjunct member Les Smith. We get a taste of these influences already on opener "Sentient", a beautiful instrumental for piano and guitar with sampled voices that is like a testament to the band's new sound. Even more obvious are the Pink Floyd references on "Eternity Part II" (which could have been taken off The Wall) and especially "Hope". This is actually a cover of a song that was originally written by David Gilmour for his 1984's solo album About Face, but then discarded and used instead by singer-songwriter Roy Harper (Harper's voice can be heard in the speech at the beginning of the track). Anathema's rendition is actually quite beautiful, powerful and dramatic. These are not the only moments of the album that are reminiscent of Pink Floyd: there are strong Floydian vibes throughout the album, which truly sounds like a strange hybrid between metal and Roger Waters's iconic band.

The third ingredient in Anathema's newly-found sound is the blossoming of Vincent Cavanagh as the lead singer of the band. Vincent had already taken over vocal duties from Darren White on The Silent Enigma. However, on that album he was mostly emulating the gruffy, death vocal style of his predecessor. On Eternity instead Vincent tries to actually sing. And what a beautiful effect that has! His tone is deep and dramatic, but warm and soothing at the same time. Occasionally, he still resorts to the gruff vocal style of olden days, but that does not sound out of place at all on the hedgier songs of the album, like "Thy Beloved" or "Eternity Part I". It's an overall beautiful performance, which gives an instantaneous melodic accessibility to the music and, in doing so, almost single-handedly elevates Eternity above Anathema's earlier output.

The new sound that Anathema concocts on Eternity will go far. By combining the gloomy atmospheres of doom metal with accessible riffs, clean vocals, and Floydian dreamscapes, on this album Anathema laid the foundations of the dark progressive rock/metal style that will become a staple of the metal scene in the new millennium. As such, Eternity is truly a seminal album, not only in Anathema's career, but also in the development of progressive metal in general.

In terms of listening experience, the album features some very strong tracks, but also some weaker ones. Generally speaking, the first half of the album is awesome. "Angelica". "Eternity Part I & II", and "Hope" are all amazing songs, full of pathos and substance. The second half is instead weaker and plods a little, with tracks like "Suicide Veil" and "Radiance" resulting rather forgettable. The album closes strongly, though, with "Far Away" - another Anathema's classic and a staple of their live shows - and "Eternity Part III".

It's this unevenness in the quality of the songs that prevents me from giving a higher rating to Eternity. Nevertheless, Anathema's third studio full-length remains a landmark in the band's career as well as an iconic album in the doom and progressive metal scene, and therefore it is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in getting to know either scene.

[Originally posted on]

Report this review (#2489735)
Posted Saturday, January 2, 2021 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars [A retrospective originally published at The Progressive Aspect in 2020]

With Anathema announcing themselves another casualty of 2020, and being placed on indefinite hiatus, I'm sure many have been reacquainting themselves with their full discography. Everyone has their own special and favourite albums from the band, as their mood and style have changed several times over the years. There are, however, pivotal and transitional moments, and 1996's Eternity is possibly the most important of those. There's probably some bias in my statement, as Eternity is one of my three favourite Anathema albums ? and yet, it's hard to deny that this album was a big change for the band. All traces of extremity are gone from the music, and there are no harsh, guttural vocals.

The album is dark, tortured, melancholy, and yet hopeful. It's powerful, emotional and expressive ? all of which are key components to the success of Anathema's latter day albums, and the new legion of fans accorded to them when they signed to Kscope. There will be some who argue otherwise, I'm sure, but in my opinion it all started here. Anathema retain the heaviness of their previous releases, but it is a heaviness more akin to gravity than to sound. This is music that weighs down upon the listener, all- encompassing and all-enveloping. The music may be less sonically heavy, but it's crushing nevertheless.

The album begins with a beautiful and minimal instrumental, Sentient, with keening guitar over piano. It has a Gothic and Floydian sound which provides the mood and atmosphere for much, if not all, of this album. Angelica follows, and is possibly the album's most well-known song, thanks to its reinterpretation on the Hindsight album. It's also the first we hear of Vincent Cavanagh's tortured vocals ? not growls, but certainly nowhere as polished as they will become. Everything about Eternity screams transitional. The music is caught between what was and what will be. The vocals, too. And that transitional nature has often seen this album be viewed more harshly than I think is fair. Vincent's vocals no doubt come as a shock to those who have come to Eternity off the back of later albums, as they did to those who came to it at the time.

In fact, the Anathema album I find most akin to Eternity is the far more recent Distant Satellites ? another transitional album, heralding another change in sound. But while a lot of people seemed to regard Distant Satellites as a step backwards, after the beloved Weather Systems and We're Here Because We're Here, I see it more as looking back, than stepping back. Besides the aural similarities to Weather Systems, the Anathema album I am mostly reminded of is (you guessed it) Eternity. There is a return to the bleakness and darkness, after a couple of overwhelmingly "happy" albums. This is perhaps more a minor melancholy than the more oppressive gloom of Sternirt, but the change in mood is inarguable. Vocally, obviously, there is little comparison to Eternity (though the song Anathema certainly comes close), but musically it has that same Gothic Floydian vibe, albeit with an added flirtation with electronic sounds.

Both albums also have a song in three parts, in Eternity's case the title track(s). The first part screams pain and sorrow, while the second is another gorgeous instrumental, as expressive without words as the first part is with. The pain may be gone, but the sorrow remains ? until the end, where hope springs eternal. And this has to be deliberate, as the next song is one of the absolute highlights of the album ? an incredible cover of Roy Harper's Hope, from his album with Jimmy Page, Whatever Happened to Jugula?. Even better, they presage the track, as it was on the Jugula album with Roy's recital of Bad Speech. I love both the original and Anathema's cover, and it deserves its centrepiece spot on Eternity. With music written by David Gilmour, Hope is of course tailor made for Anathema's dark and Gothic take on Floydian splendour.

Suicide Veil is even greater, with its slow and dramatic crescendo. It's probably my favourite song on the album, the dynamic control on this track is awesome, instrumentally and vocally. Radiance is another slow burner, though with nowhere near the punch of a Suicide Veil. It's cold and abrasive, but it pales in comparison. That said, when it ups the tempo in the last couple of minutes, it's really quite impactful, and the guitar sounds at this point are irresistible. This is the weakest song on the album, for me, and it still has moments of glory. Eternity truly doesn't have a dud track ? which is quite phenomenal when you consider that it is a transitional album. Generally speaking, transitional albums can be quite clunky, but somehow Anathema has made the journey as exciting (possibly more so) than the destination.

Far Away remained a live staple long after Eternity was released, and you can hear why. With very little tweaking, it fits the more modern Anathema aesthetic, and features female vocals (those of Michelle Richfield) prominently. The final part of Eternity is suitably climactic, with squalls of guitar. Cries on the Wind has a glorious bass-driven introductory passage, which leads me to finally acknowledge one of the ingredients vital to the vibrancy of Eternity ? Duncan Patterson. Patterson stayed on with Anathema for their next album, before moving on to different things. His bass played a huge part in Anathema's sound at this point, and was certainly one of the reasons, I think, that this transitional album is as smooth as it is.

Eternity then ends as it began, with an instrumental. However Ascension is a very different beast to Sentient, and actually a quite surprising end to the album. Spirited and spritely, Ascension dances its way towards a fade out, before returning in a more sombre, yet still overtly optimistic fashion. Hope seems a key concept to this album. Through all the darkness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We can only hope that Anathema's hiatus will not be final. There may yet be light at the end of that tunnel, too. And even if that never comes to pass, the band have left behind an incredible discography. If I can not objectively say Eternity is one of Anathema's best, I can say it is one of my favourites.

Report this review (#2489766)
Posted Saturday, January 2, 2021 | Review Permalink
2 stars The last album of the classic period of the band and a turning point in the work of the whole Anathema as a whole. Nevertheless, despite the local softening of the sound and following precepts of their idols and compatriots from Pink Floyd (it is Eternity from the entire catalog of the group that most resembles the atmosphere and sound of the legendary British), I do not share the general enthusiasm for Eternity. In the historical context, this work is certainly important; as I said, this album was a turning point in the band's work and marked a movement in its own special direction. Also here, Duncan Patterson gives rise to his multi-part suite called Eternity; the album itself contains its first 3 movements.

With Eternity, I have about the same story as with Tonight's Decision of the notorious Katatonia: probably, with a special mood, I will like this album, but all I hear is not quite clear and understandable, either doom or Pink-Floyd-metal. The emotionality of the material and the presentation itself is not enough for the guys, Vinnie still does not know how to sing well, but he does it with a soul, the performance is chaotic and as if turned inside out. I was not won over by this album, in general, and it's not even about indulging in my favorite Pinks. Just in comparison with what will go on, the band on Eternity clearly shows immaturity in writing more serious, branded material. Of all the 12 tracks on the album, the only ones I want to listen to are the intro, Angelica, the second part of the Eternity suite, and a cover of Roy Harper's Hope. A key, cornerstone album for the band, but at its core quite weak and faded against the background of all the work of the Merseysiders.

Report this review (#2504967)
Posted Saturday, February 13, 2021 | Review Permalink

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