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Anathema Hindsight album cover
3.89 | 179 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fragile Dreams (5:30)
2. Leave No Trace (4:52)
3. Inner Silence (3:40)
4. One Last Goodbye (6:03)
5. Are You There? (5:18)
6. Angelica (5:00)
7. A Natural Disaster (6:20)
8. Temporary Peace (5:10)
9. Flying (6:27)
10. Unchained (Tales Of The Unexpected) (4:18)

Total Time 52:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Lee Douglas / vocals
- Vincent Cavanagh / vocals, guitar, vocoder
- Daniel Cavanagh / guitar, vocals, keyboards
- Les Smith / keyboards
- Jamie Cavanagh / bass
- John Douglas / drums

- David Wesling / cello
- Duncan Patterson / Irish mandolin

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Vincent Cavanagh

CD Kscope KSCOPE106 (2008, UK)
CD Kscope KSCOPE106P (2008, UK, promo)
CD Soyuz Music / Kscope KSCOPE106 (2008, Russia)

2LP Kscope KSCOPE859 (2014, UK)

"Hindsight was the first release of new studio recordings from Anathema since 2003's "A Natural Disaster". Featuring selected favourites spanning the band's career, Hindsight consists of sensitive, semi-acoustic interpretations utilising acoustic, electric and orchestral instruments. "

Thanks to grablesky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANATHEMA Hindsight ratings distribution

(179 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ANATHEMA Hindsight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars An exceptionally flavorful addition to the band's catalogue which will positively overjoy fans of the group's fine delicate sound, and probably attract a few new fans who might be scared away by Anathema's Experimental/Post-Metal classification (realistically outdated at this point).

To sum up, Hindsight is a collection of the group's soft songs, as well as a few heavy ones arranged to an acoustic and toned down feel. The set list is well chosen, with highlights from their most recent 4 albums (or so), all of which are emotionally charged with melancholy and poignancy; the listener will almost certainly be captivated or moved throughout. Anathema has a reputation for being gloomy, and these songs certainly reflect that, but Cavanaugh's rich voice makes this an emotional trip worth taking. Many of the songs deal with the death of friends, oneself, lost hopes, etc., but a few rise from the gloom with uplifting lyrics or melodies sprinkled now and agin.

The band's atmopsheric playing only rarely stands out-- which is the sign of exceptional atmospheric playing in my book. The song's arrangements feature lush swells and sustains complementing Cavanaugh's vocals perfectly, the blend of the two becoming very easy to let drift into the background without becoming boring. Perfect for moody relaxation, reflection, or for getting your girlfriend to like your obscure rock music.

Fans of the band's albums will enjoy the song's new arrangements, but I feel like there was more room to experiement. Still, very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I've already rambled on somewhere about the pointlessness of the whole unplugged idea. An artist usually cares as much about the sound and the arrangement of songs, as about the actual melodies and riffs. Stripping the instrumentation down to a low-fi skeleton is a risky business that mostly reduces the original splendour to tedious campfire sentimentalism.

Anathema have a long tradition of unplugging their songs for special intimate live gig settings and their expertise in the matter shows. The result on Hindsight rarely equals the originals for me but the rearrangements are clever, tasteful and very textured. This is not just two guys strumming away with stiff fingers on acoustic guitars. Various instruments such as violin, piano, vibes and percussion makes the songs sound entirely different from the originals but recreate the mood of the originals perfectly. There are pleasant surprises throughout the journey. Are You There for instance has been given a quicker pace and works better then the original for me.

Overall, the sonic decomposition doesn't work for every track and the sameness of tone and mood ultimately drags down the album. After 5 years of radio silence I had expected a bit more.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Hindsight' - Anathema (8/10)

Let's face it, when a band even mentions the possibility of an 'unplugged' album nowadays, it is almost instantly met with groans and jeers, as were it a bad joke. Truth be told, alot of the bands that do decide to give their tracks an acoustic do-over generally fail at getting their songs to go that extra mile, thinking their fans will be perfectly content to pay again for simplistic versions of music they are already familiar with. Every so often nevertheless, a band will take the idea of an acoustic album seriously, and really put the heart and added touches it needs to float as a work of its own. Such is the case of Anathema and their own 'unplugged' album 'Hindsight'; a series of acoustic renditions of some of their greatest songs. While some songs here feels as if they could have done with a bit more added onto them in this new version, there's no doubt for me that 'Hindsight' has inadvertently become one of my favourite Anathema albums, and in many ways a clear example of how an acoustic album is done right.

With classic tracks like 'One Last Goodbye', 'Fragile Dreams', 'Inner Silence', and 'Temporary Peace' gracing this release, the band seems to run through many of my favourite songs the band has done over their later, more mellow albums. As pieces of songwriting, these are all fantastic as they were on the original albums, but are often improved even further through the acoustic rendition. The changes can be fairly subtle (as with 'A Natural Disaster', which retains most of its original sound) to very noticeably different, like 'Are You There', which sheds its choral atmospherics from the original in favour for some beautifully warm guitar work. 'Inner Silence' also sees some great improvements through a more mellow run-through, including a beautiful added vocal section that makes the original sound lacking in my ears now. What robs this album of being truly essential is the fact that not all of the songs are so successful in being changed. While the music is fantastic throughout, 'Hindsight's success rests on it sounding different from existing versions, and a handful of tracks here do not necessarily change much.

While the emotional impact of Anathema's music has always been profound to me, 'Hindsight' features some of the warmest, most vulnerable and moving performances I have heard from this band ever. Without having to worry about any heaviness or needless atmospherics, they can focus on some of the most soulful instrumentation in their arsenal, and bring it to life. With the jaw-dropping success of many of these tracks however, I am left somewhat wishing that the few that don't necessarily excel could have been made to shine.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Temporary peace

As the name might suggest, "Hindsight" sees Anathema looking back at some of their earlier material. This is not though a simple compilation, but an album of re-interpretations of songs that originally appeared on albums such as "Alternative 4", ""A fine day to exit" and "A natural disaster".

Sometimes misleadingly referred to as an unplugged album, "Hindsight" offers pared back versions of songs that were generally already soft and melodious. The fine cello playing of classically trained musician Dave Wesling is added and the emphasis is certainly placed on acoustic guitars and piano. The soft side of Radiohead remains a decent reference point, especially on songs such as the beautifully melancholic "Leave no trace" and the delicate "One last goodbye" (from "Judgement").

Many of the songs do not sound that different to the originals, among the more notable variations being the absence of the voice of Anna Livingstone to be replaced by equally effective male vocal harmonic accompaniment. The oldest song on the album is "Angelica" from "Eternity", where drifting lead guitar and a heavier back-beat lead to the song having a less stripped but nonetheless highly appealing feel. The title track from "A natural disaster" is surprisingly faithful to the original, right down to the female lead vocal by Lee Douglas.

"Temporary peace" from "A fine day to exit" was originally intended to provide the title for this album until "Hindsight" became the preferred option. The version here thankfully loses its extended section of ambient noises, thus focusing on the melodic opening segment of the original track. There is one new song here, the closing "Unchained (tales of the unexpected)". The acoustic sounds remain firmly in charge, but this feels more like a song from the band's earliest days.

For me this is an album of great beauty, replete with relaxing but far from ambient sounds. I would have liked to have seen more of the early material, especially from the growling days, being revisited as the differences would then have been far more noticeable. As it stands, the versions of the songs here constitute worthy Alternatives, rather than improvements.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The existence of acoustic Hindsight in the Anathema portfolio seems to me rather a delay in the release of We're Here Because We're Here, because by the time this compilation of acoustic reimaginings of the Liverpool formation's hits came out, there have been no full-lengths for 5 years since A Natu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2504972) | Posted by Peacock Feather | Saturday, February 13, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I think it is pretty obvious that Anathema is one of my favorite bands in my life. When I knew Anathema had released an album where they would remake some of their songs and make them acoustic, I was definitely eager to hear it. Every time I listen to Anathema I am surprised about the incredible ... (read more)

Report this review (#1035726) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Sunday, September 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Not a studio album as such, this album is a collection of some of Anathema's finest songs stripped down to their bare esseantials with mainly just a paino, accoustic guitars (with the odd bit of electric lead guitar thrown in to make it all the more atmospheric), vocals and the odd bit of added d ... (read more)

Report this review (#282088) | Posted by FarBeyondProg | Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Anathema's Hindsight could be mislabeled as a quick "unplugged" album to suffice for the fact that their upcoming studio album is now over 4 years "in the works." However, this is not your typical unplugged outfit. It takes the best of the band's expansive catalog, and rearranges it to fit t ... (read more)

Report this review (#244876) | Posted by dtismajesty | Friday, October 16, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars For me Hindsight is the greatest compilation of Anathema. Includes the most emotional songs of Anathema in acoustic version and a new song what the band composed only for this boxset called Unchained. As Vincent says, they wanted only release an album with acoustic songs. There are also some e ... (read more)

Report this review (#232364) | Posted by Macubert | Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars With the release of this semi-acoustic compilation, Anathema proves once again that, beyond the technical criteria, music remains a vector for emotions and a universal language. Semi-acoustic indeed, since some pieces are embellished with electric guitar soli and percussions. This compilatio ... (read more)

Report this review (#185583) | Posted by Vincent Hulin | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Nothing to envy to Radiohead. This is the true meaning of the word 'atmospheric', meaning that you can listen to the album in any time of the day, any moment of your life and you will feel wrapped by it. In addition, Anathema was always analogous to Radiohead by the ability to inmerse the liste ... (read more)

Report this review (#178490) | Posted by synesthetize | Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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