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Anathema - Pentecost III CD (album) cover

PENTECOST III

Anathema

Experimental/Post Metal


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billyshears'67
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Not prog, but great if you like early Anathema.

An amazing EP, though the length is that of an entire album. "Kingdom" starts the album with a classic epic song that's very emotional and the guitar melodies are excellent. "Mine is Yours to Drown In (our is the new tribe)" is an excellent song and being very dark. "We, the Gods" is another Anathema classic. Being perhaps their longest song recorded, the lyrics are great and the guitar work is again, mesmerizing. The Cavanagh's really established themselves as a force after this album. There aren't many metal albums that have guitar work as unique to the music as this, it's entirely Anathema's sound. "Pentecost III" is a spacey and doom ridden intrumental. "Mementor Mori" is the only song on the album that feautres Darren White's old vocal style, it had improved on this song. Memento Mori means "remember you must die." Good song, but needs to grow on you. There's also two hidden tracks after "Memento Mori." "Pentecost III" is a great starting point for earlier Anathema albums, though it wouldn't be able to surpass the next album "The Silent Enigma."

Highly recommended: "Kingdom" and "We, the Gods."

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Send comments to billyshears'67 (BETA) | Report this review (#31085)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Pentecost III" is actually the third release by Anathema and by far the best album of the first period of the band. Also this is the last album with "vocalist" Darren White and strictly their last "doom metal release".

The album is dominated by long epics and falls inevitably in the progressive genre, "progressive doom" I'd like to call it. The compositions have more symphonic character too, compared with the two earlier releases.

This is a big improvement but still Anathema are a doom metal band and might not be the "cup of tea" of most "proggers", but if you like doom metal you'll probably love this record.

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Send comments to Prosciutto (BETA) | Report this review (#46568)
Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first Anathema album I bought back in 1995 and, in fact, the first doom album I ever bought which introduced me to this type of music. The style is still in the doom/death territory, but with a more epic feel.

The opening song, "Kingdom", starts with a very dreamy melody (I love listening to the first 6 minutes of that song) that is unfortunately spoiled by a fast paced ending with growls. "Mine Is Yours To Drown In (Ours Is The New Tribe)" is the opposite: it starts with extreme vocals on a slow paced, dark type of music that turns again very atmospheric at the end. "We, The Gods" is a long epic doom song. "Pentecost III" is a short instrumental divided again in two parts: a calm start and a threatening end. "Memento Mori" is the track that contains the most death metal parts, but the outro is really nice. The album contains a hidden track, a version of the song "666" (with this name you know it's gonna be a death metal song) that has an alternate intro (usually this song starts with the "Nailed to the cross" intro).

Rating: 76/100

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Send comments to zaxx (BETA) | Report this review (#64712)
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Pentecost lll was a 5 song E.P. released in early 1995 that saw Anathema continuing on with the suffocating Doom so elegantly displayed on their Serenades debut, yet shifting their focus on long, epic and atmospheric compositions such as the monumental opener "Kingdom" and "We, The Gods". The first half of the nearly 10 minute "Kingdom" is pure bliss, very atmospheric with a slight gothic spirit dwelling within. The song's later half is punishingly heavy, driving Doom which changes the complexion of the song completely. "We, The Gods" follows a similar direction...a slow, morose beginning and a crushing ending complete with pounding double bass work. It's nowhere near as atmospheric as "Kingdom" but much heavier towards the end. "Mine Is Yours To Drown In (Ours Is The New Tribe)" was the most immediate track upon first listen. Not as long as the two mentioned above, this particular song starts off extremely heavy, eventually cascading towards a very atmospheric ending. The title track is an instrumental that starts off with mournful guitars and an acoustic piece then ends with a bombastically pounding outro that completely destroys the serene aura that was set before it...a bit disturbing. I always wanted it to keep the theme of the beginning with the guitars instead of going into this heavy ending. "Memento Mori" is devastating throughout its entire duration. Quite possibly the most aggressive song the band has written. Unmerciful. There is a hidden track on this disc in which the band launch into driving Doom with Darren shouting out "666!" throughout.

This was to be the final Anathema recording to feature Darren White. The band felt that his vocals (which were not as gruff on this ep as they were on Serenades, sort of like a harsh singing style) and lyrics (which were very fantasy oriented here, though still maintaining a grievous nature, it was hard to tell just where he was coming from with these words) were not suitable for the direction they wanted to go. At the time, it seemed like a mistake, considering how perfect Darren was for Anathema's early material. It would prove to be the best decision for the future of Anathema.

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Send comments to bleak (BETA) | Report this review (#85979)
Posted Sunday, August 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
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 9½ 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.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#173177)
Posted Saturday, June 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pentecost III is the second EP released by british doom metal ( at the time) band Anathema. My first experience with Anathema was through their debut album Serenades and the video for the track Sweet Tears which was often played on Headbangers Ball back then. I bought Serenades and found it good but never as good as some of my favorite doom metal albums from that time which included Gothic and Shades of God by Paradise Lost, Forest of Equilibrium and The Ethereal Mirror by Cathedral and As the Flower Withers and Turn Loose the Swans by My Dying Bride. Serenades always came second to those albums and still do IMO. Well about the time Pentecost III was released I lost my interest in doom metal and therefore never purchased that one until recently when I found it second hand. I´m glad I did as I really think Anathema has improved since Serenades and become a much more exciting band.

The music is still in the doom metal style with both whispering and growling vocals from Darren White but the songs are better structured, better played and better produced. I will mention the opener Kingdom as the best track here. It´s very melodic and I think that fans of Post metal will recognise the sound of the background guitars. It´s a sound frequently used by bands like Pelican and Isis. This is not Post metal of course but Anathema must have inspired a lot of those bands.

The musicianship has improved considerably since Serenades and the only weak spot is Darren White´s vocals which are still not very good. His growling is weak and his whispering clean vocals are a bit embarresing at times. The music is strong enough to not by ruined by this though.

The production is one of the really positive things about Pentecost III. A really strong production for the time.

The cover is very typical for the style and not that exciting.

I think this EP is very good and I´m a bit surprised at how much I like it. I´ll rate Pentecost III 3 stars and recommend that you start here if you want to hear some of the early music from Anathema. Also note that the playing time is 41:22 minutes and this is an EP. Great value for your money. This is definitely quality.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#178864)
Posted Tuesday, August 05, 2008 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Though officially not listed as a full-length album, this extensive EP is actually a lot better then the debut. Think early Swans with the fattest possible sound and you're close. This is Anathema's heaviest and most oppressive doom release.

Kingdome is a doom-death classic. It's impossible not to hear the defining influence on Katatonia and especially on Agalloch. Mine Is Yours is almost literally early Swans, an insanely heavy American post-punk band that would also serve as a huge inspiration on Neurosis. Anathema make a worthy and respectful tribute out of it. We The Gods can't maintain the quality, sounding rather tedious and uninspired. After 2 minutes of eerie feedback, Pentecost III goes for a full Swans attack again. If you like this stuff, pick up their albums Filth, Greed or Children of God. Similar to We The Gods, Memento Mori can't capture the drive of the opening tracks.

The 2004 CD-issue also contains Anathema's first EP The Crestfallen. On it's own it has hardly any convincing material, but the delightful dreamy acoustic piece Everwake is all it takes really to lift the 2.5 star rating of Pentecost III to 3 stars.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#260928)
Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Pentecost III' - Anathema (6/10)

This is some of the best doom metal Anathema has come out with over the course of their careers. Here, we have an imperfect, but beautiful blend of heaviness and grim melody. To anyone that has listened to much doom metal in the past, it shouldn't be hard to estimate what sort of material is going to be heard here. Despite being one of the best doom records I've heard, 'Pentecost III' seems to be lacking a few things, and suffering from a few shortfalls. The high points and most inspired sections are doom metal at it's best, but some lackluster vocal work and some less impressive sections rob Anathema of what could have been a real classic.

Each composition is full of really beautiful and melodic moments which could make even a heart of ice thaw out and burst into tears. The two songs that seem to have the most cohesion to them are the first and third tracks; 'Kingdom' and 'We, The Gods.' The other songs shown here are also good, but suffer from flow problems which make them feel less organized. With such a drawn out style of music like doom metal, it's easy to steer the course away from a composition and throw in alot of ideas in the hopes of spicing things up, but it ends up making the songs that much less memorable. However, 'Kingdom' for example takes it's sweet time to build up from a clean and melancholy ambience up to the level of full heaviness. 'We, The Gods' on the other hand is speckled with nice sections up until the finale, where an Iron Maiden-style gallop ensues and brings everything to a wonderful climax.

The vocals of Darren White aren't as bad as people say they are; but they definately aren't more than mediocre. The spoken word dialogues give the music a gothic flair, and there are parts where White's growl really compliments the rest of the mix. It should be clear to even a seasoned metalhead though, that he isn't one of the better growlers out there, and does not have alot of versatility to his voice.

Unfortunately, the main issue here is with the cohesion of songwriting. If all of the songs here were as grimfully perfect as 'Kingdom,' there would be a real masterpiece on our hands. As it stands however, 'Pentecost III' is a solid doom metal record and a fitting way to end Anathema's heavier era.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#286675)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Anathema at their darkest, here with their fourth EP, "Pentecost III".

Initially I thought it was better than "Crestfallen" the underrated second EP of the band; now, I tend to prefer that release to this one.

The atmospheres are denser, creepier, and more apocalyptic sounding. Here we have no calm, fragile moments, but only 41 minutes of the doomy personification of pain and suffering. Probably the title track is the one that gives you less creeps, but even here there are sinister winks.

It would be a little hard for somebody who doesn't usually listen to death doom metal, like me, to like all the songs; "Kingdom" is creepy, but not violent, and quite fascinating, but just not that fantastic. "We, The Gods" is basically the same story. "Mine Is Yours..." is definitely the song I like the least here, even though it can be considered the song that has stronger roots to the band's original sound, from "The Crestfallen" and "Serenades". In fact, don't be surprised if you find some prog elements here and there; "Memento Mori" is an epic, 12 minute song, with many great moments, even though they use here much more growls than in all the other songs from this album. It is definitely my favorite song from Anathema's first period.

I can conclude saying that, despite having some elements that are closer to prog more than death metal, even though the doom metal still persists, "Pentecost" is a really good EP, recommendable to whoever likes the genre. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#306434)
Posted Sunday, October 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 1995 was a prolific year for "Anathema". Not only did they release a full length studio album, but they also recorded this "Pentecost III" EP.

Actually, since it lasts for over forty minutes, it can as well be considered almost as a standard album. Still, bearing in mind the music offered by this band so far (doom with growls); this shorter format is probably not a bad idea for my old prog ears.

It is difficult to propose an original review about this band (so far) because their music is so much predictable than one has to say almost the same. But things will soon get better.

Cabanagh is not yet in charge of the vocal department but we'll see in "Silent Enigma" released the same year that it didn't change anything to the "style". At least, from time to time, Daren is whispering his words instead of growling them. If only he could have done this for the whole work!

As I have said in prior reviews, their instrumental parts are damned good and oppressive, dark and passionate. In one word: excellent! This can be experienced again during the long opening track: "Kingdom" which is a great doom number. It is on the very slow edge and solidly heavy. And for once, vocals are almost decent. This is an excellent start for sure.

To be completely honest, there are several signs of hopes featured on this EP, but the major switch will be for later. Still, the change is already latent (even "Mine Is Yours To Drawn In" is more bearable than their usual production).

The long "We, The Gods" is extremely slow during the intro and it becomes a more classic "Anathema" song after this. Even some "prog" metal lines can be observed for a while and the instrumental finale is just gorgeous.

The last two tracks are pretty much dispensable IMHHO. Still, I would rate this album (sorry, this long EP) with three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#338556)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010 | Review Permalink

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